How do Catalans speak to inanimate objects?


Pinyau! Pinyau!
Pinyau! Pinyau!
Pinyau! Pinyau!

Independentista and blogger El Fem Fatal speaks Catalan not only to foreigners like me, but also to the inanimate objects in her home.

Li fas plas!” she explained to me, flailing at her lightswitch. “You’ve gotta really slap this fucker!” is how I would translate that. “Plas” is a Catalan onomatopeia for “smack”, and can be used to describe the treatment of intransigent electronics or people.

The pen name El Fem Fatal is, by the way, a pun; in Catalan it means “we do it all wrong” — and her blog is of course much more about delicious frustration than her own inevitable Catalonian charm). Fortunately for my education in this (soon-to-be-fully-legitimized-in-the-eyes-of-the-world?) language, she is hyperverbal and the inanimate objects in her house are rather uncooperative.

I stayed with her for a few days, and made note every time she spoke to/of inanimate objects.

* This was recently adopted by Catalans in order to keep up with the Galicians, who have long had such a term. Tipsy Pilgrim, however, endorses the Galician version, fuch fuch, for all anglophone fingerbanging.

2 Comments

  1. francesc
    March 6, 2015
    Reply

    El Fem Fatal could also be translated as The Fatal Shit, which you will love as it points the scatological way of living catalans do have.

  2. msjod
    December 15, 2012
    Reply

    funny that plof is also dutch, its even a verb. you can 'plof' into a chair, but it would be the opposite of relaxed and slowly, more like falling into it.

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