Word for the Travel Wise (02/09/06)

SpainFlagThis shouldn’t come as a major surprise
to film lovers and lovers of film, but there are some very happening things going down at the Lincoln Center in NY. To be just a tad more specific, the Walter Reade Theater has
a program bound to knock the socks off Spanish language fanatics, especially those into the Catalan language which as
you may already know has a very interesting history. There was a point in time when the use of Catalan was forbidden by
the Franco government in any type of public discourse. Any language considered a forbidden language is worth speaking in
my book and definitely worth watching on the big screen. Another Spanish Cinema: Films in Catalunya1906-2006
features The Burned City (La ciutat cremada), The Cherry Tree (L’arbre de les cireres), Fata Morgana
and Diamond Plaza (La Plaça del Diamant) which can all still be seen on select dates. The program
runs until February 14, 2006 when lovers of the this Romance language will have to find love in cinema elsewhere.

Today’s word is a Catalan word used in Spain:

sisplau – please

On my
past travels through Spain I had a most difficult time in Madrid with Spanish and  finding friendly English
speaking individuals. Luckily things went a lot smoother in Barcelona and Ibiza. Romance langs usually don’t like to
cooperate with my tongue and for those of you like myself who have a tough time with Spanish or French, add Catalan to
your list. While a good boot camp and extended stay in the country would do anyone really wishing to learn some good
we’ll have to settle for this very simple and common word for now.

Resources on the web are many for
Catalan. Check out Ominglot first for history and a fantastic
list of links to keep you chugging along in your studies. Some of the best in my own opinion include this Intercat site which has a University conversation guide with
audio, a section titled " 30 Tips Catalan
in Catalonia,"
and other additional tools. BBC has a short summary about
Catalan and a few helpful phrases.