Monday, 15 April 2013


During the hour and a half that I spent sitting in Pontevedra station on Saturday I learnt a couple of linguistic things. 

First of all, the French word “croissant”, which I have seen change to “croisán” in Spanish, has another, even more Spanish spelling, “croasán”. I’m not sure how official it is but it sort of makes sense. 

And it seems that young people speak shortens “fin de semana” – weekend – to “finde”, at least for text speech. 

The last item I got from reports about the young people who trashed a “casa rural” the previous weekend. It was the venue for a 17th birthday party. The parents of the young lady in question rented it for the weekend so that she and about twenty friends could celebrate, presumably so that their own house didn’t get messed up. Quite what the parents were about letting a bunch of teenagers spend a weekend doing what teenagers do is a different question altogether and is certainly none of my business. I’m the one who let a bunch of 15 year olds, our daughter and friends, camp in our garden one summer night and didn’t get a wink of sleep. But at least I was around to keep a sleepless eye on proceedings. 

According to reports in the papers, the young people in the “casa rural” mentioned the party on the social networks and something like fifty people turned up. That sounds like a familiar story. Some of them have been described as “creisis”. (This is another linguistic treasure, apparently and attempt to make “the crazies” into a Spanish word.) 

Whether it was the uninvited “creisis” or the actual friends of the birthday girl is unclear but the house was trashed: furniture smashed, fire extinguishers emptied and graffiti sprayed on walls. It became known as “la fiesta destroyer”. Before reports of the damage were released some of the milder partygoers were tweeting, “se acaba el finde probablemente más extraño de este año” – the end of probably the weirdest weekend of this year. Others were congratulating the hostess on the great “finde” and posting pictures of themselves and birthday girl making victory signs and declaring that you’ve not had a good weekend if you don’t get pursued by the Guardia Civil. 

Now, I’ve heard that sort of thing before. I used to have some teenagers in my tutor group at the college where I worked who said they’d not had a good night if they’d not got into a fight. Similarly, a night out after which you actually remembered what you’d done clearly wasn’t any good. But mostly these were youngsters from the rougher parts of Salford: not an excuse but some kind of explanation. I don’t think their parents could have afforded to rent a gite for the weekend for them. 

The youngsters in the “fiesta destroyer”, on the other hand, were from families who could afford to pay for them to go to a quite exclusive private school in Santiago de Compostela. 

The owner of the house has been hospitalised after a nervous breakdown on discovering that they have done €30,000 worth of damage. The school has suspended some of the perpetrators. Other parents are calling for them to be expelled. As someone pointed out, if you spray paint graffiti on walls in houses you must have gone with the idea of doing so; you don’t as a rule find cans of spray paint in the kitchen cupboards. 

That’ll do for now. I’ll make the next post more cheerful.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Anthea,

    “Croissant” has not been Anglicised; I wonder why?

    Wikipedia is useful in this case. China, India, Germany, Greece, Japan, Hungary and Korea are the English exonyms corresponding to the endonyms Zhongguo, Bharat, Deutschland, Hellas, Nippon (Nihon), Magyarország and Hanguk/Choson, respectively.