Tuesday, February 17, 2009

You have not lived until you attempt to read Xenophon's Anabasis in the Catalonian language,

"Darius i Parisatis tingueren dos fills: el més gran, Artaxerxes; elmés petit, Cirus. Darius havent caigut malalt i pressentint la fi dela seva vida, volgué tenir els dos fills vora seu. El gran s'esqueiaa ser-hi; i Cirus fou enviat a cercar de la província de la quall'havia fet sàtrapa, nomenant-lo també general de totes les tropesreunides en el pla del Castol. Cirus, doncs, puja, acompanyat deTissafernes, a qui tenia per amic, i seguit de tres cents hoplites." Of course you might try reading Shakespeare, instead of Xenophon. Las Festas dels Reis is a treat. It bristles with exes in suxh a wonderful way, one dreams of working a bit of it into daily conversation. For example,


Un gentilhome així...
(Eructa)Mala pesta de sardines escabetxades!... Què hi ha, ase?"

I only understand sixty percent of it without a dictionary but that is enough to make me feel ambitious. Why not learn more? Why stop at Catalan? Why not learn, say, Maori, Nahuatl, Gamilaraai? How would Sir Tobias sound in Iloko, Napoletano-Calabrese, Inuktitut? Stick with Catalan and if you speak Portuguese or Spanish you are half way there. If you have a bit of Latin and a dash of French you will underastand as much as I do, sixty five percent. Enough to know that the Gutenberg Project typist rendered insolencia into indolencia. Shakespeare would have approved.

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