Sunday, 21 August 2016

Misnomers, mistranslations and visits to spas.

Out and about I have been collecting the ubiquitous English names for places, many of which are usually wrong in some way, often it's not a specific grammar mistake, nothing you can really pin down, just something that we would never actually say. 

There's "Bestdrive", the car repair place I have commented on before. It makes Phil splutter with indignation every time he goes past it. There's a whole chain of carwash places called "Coffee and Wash". The other day we saw a new restaurant, offering vegetarian options and lots of healthy food. Its name was "Feelfood"! Where did they get that from? 

Sometimes, however, it is a case of pure mistranslation. At Pontevedra's nicely refurbished railway station you have to go through a particular door to get to the platforms. This leads you to the X-ray machine that you have to put all your bags through before you continue to the platform. Except, that is, for when you arrive for one of the mid- to late-evening trains and they have already turned it off. On those occasions you can clearly blow trains up with importunity. Come to that, maybe that's what happened to the mysterious platforms 1 and 2, which seem not to exist. It's quite true: the platforms are numbered 3 to 8 and so far nobody has managed to explain this to me. 

Anyway, on the door from the platforms onto the main station area - the door you would normally go through if it were not for the X-ray machine - is clearly labelled "No Pasar". This is nicely mistranslated into "No Trespassing". Which is a different thing altogether! 

But at least they make a token translation. and the announcements on the trains are in Castellano, Gallego and English. The only time I heard of the Manchester trams making announcements in Spanish as well as English was when one of the big Spanish football teams was plying Manchester City. 

On top of he foreigners making mistakes, you get English speakers, and writers, who get the language wrong through over correction. I have come to accept "me and Susie are doing this or that" but I still get rather fretted when someone asks me to do something "for Susie and I". Here's another overcorrection to add to the list: "Whomever invented elastic should be added to Mount Rushmore, as they have done more for Americans than any politician in history." From the Guardian the other day. 

Meanwhile, we have spent the day in Mondariz, where Phil has been playing chess and, indeed, will continue to do for the next few days. We travelled slowly in a bus from Vigo bus station. To call it a bus is actually an exaggeration. So few people appear to come here by public transport that they just put on a little minibus. And the driver seemed to know half of the passengers and where they wanted to go before they said anything. 

We had a nice lunch: ensalada mixta, calamares, croquetas, tortilla - the list goes on - for just over €50 for five of us! Then we walked down from Mondariz to Mondariz Balneario, the spa, with its splendid bath buildings. Phil tried the disgustingly smelly spa water: probably very good for him. Here are a few photos. If you look carefully, in one of them you might just make out Phil pulling faces at the bad taste of the water! 

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