Translating from Catalan

(wow, I’ve just noticed a boost of traffic to this blog. Thanks for the views.)

So, what have I been doing lately? A lot, aikido, walks, gardening, hunting exotic crayfish,  but I’ll leave them for other blogs.

One thing I’ve been busy on is translating the CEN Association website from Catalan to English. CEN is an association that “works for the improvement and conservation of habitats and biodiversity”.  I’ve been involved in several volunteer actions (including “hunting cranks“) as well as being a board member. We  (Biodiversidad2030) signed an agreement with CEN under the Custódia del Territorio (Land Stewardship Scheme in English) to protect the land and its ecosystems and develop projects in a sustainable way for us and the environment.

So, I’m translating the website so it’s accessible to the anglosphere. Moreover, it helps in an application to EOCA to do work for the Glorieta river, such as litter picking, control and eradication of invasive exotic species, regulation of canyoning, restriction of access to vulnerable areas and raising awareness of environmental issues, both local and in general. It’s tough work (I am not a professional translator) but I enjoy it.

I can read Spanish fairly well, and because of that other Romance languages are more accesible, like Portuguese, Italian and Catalan. I can read them a bit and make “educated guesses” at what they’re saying. But to hear them… no entenc res! (I don’t understand a thing!).  I understand enough Catalan to translate it, and there’s plenty of resources online to help me,  but the mental gymnastics I have to do translate from one grammar to the other is mindbending. A long list of de… de… de… de… might sound okay in Catalan, French or Spanish, but in English of… of… of… of… doesn’t flow. Then there are the technical terms that I have to accurately translate to make them meaningful. But I think this sort of saturation is good for learning a new language.

Well, I think I should get on with the translation now. Time’s a wasting!

The Wild Patch

Rocket (and if you look carefully you might see spinach poking through too)

Rocket (and if you look carefully you might see spinach poking through too)

Looking carefully amongst the straw and grass I’ve found some radish, rocket and spinach growing! I’m curious (and not a little impatient) to see how they develop.

This afternoon I went into the garden and put some ashes down on top of the garlic (ashes are supposed to be good for garlic, but not for other plants, so I’ll see how that does).  I also put a line of wheat down, with hops that, in the summer, they’ll form a sort of wall to protect the rest of the plants from the excesses of the heat. I put mulch of top of it to protect it from the birds (mmm, big juicy grain!).



Energy Consciousness

I remember the good old days, you know, when energy was cheap and was available all the time. No need for budgets, meters or restrictions on use. Yep, those were the days. That was when energy was leaking black from the ground all over the place and when even the sky wasn’t the limit. I think the limit was somewhere just beyond the moon…

But that was when we took things for granted and frankly just didn’t appreciate what we had; we didn’t notice it until it stopped being so cheap. We’re better off now in a way: we actually have to think about what we do with energy and use it intelligently. It’s cold in winter, but when you’re sitting right next to a warm fireplace you know what it means to have energy to keep you warm, and that to have it takes a bit of brainpower and a real valuing of it. And the earth’s better off; it deserves an intelligent, thinking, appreciative humanity, and it has that now for the most part.

Well, now I come to think of it, really, I suppose, that’s part of the good new days!