Trip to Warsaw
Thanks very much, Silvia, for your detailed account of the relationship between Valencian, Catalan and Spanish.
You use lots of really good phraseology, such as "there's still a lot of controversy over the origins of .....", "the most widespread theory in this field", "What I learned at school is .....", "despite the efforts of the regional government to promote it" .....
Can I suggest a few small improvements?
You missed out 'was' in the question 'Which one was born first?' (But I'm sure you'll realise that when you look at the question again.)
Use 'open' as an adjective, not 'opened':
The door's open - you can go in.
The door's opened at 8.00 every day (i.e. someone opens it at that time).
Later, you refer to two accents in Valencian: one open and one closed. And similarly, a few days ago you wrote "I'm opened to suggestions", and that should be 'I'm open to suggestions.'
People who study languages are linguists, and linguistics is the name of their field of study.
The way you use 'stem from' isn't quite right, for two reasons. One is that it should be in the active form:
Valencian is a language which stems from Catalan.
But apart from that, 'stem from' really means 'be caused by' - e.g.:
The problems with operating the device stem from a fault in the design.
In talking about the histories of words and languages, we often use 'derive from', which can be either passive or active:
Valencian is a language which is derived from Catalan.
Valencian is a language derived from Catalan.
Valencian is a language which derives from Catalan.
A couple more things:
The Valencian language has always existed as a Romance language born after the split of Latin, and the roots of its own linguistic standards date from 1121.
Elche is traditionally a Spanish-speaking city.
Don't put a definite article in front of the names of languages:
Catalan is the most widely-spoken language .....
(Of course you could also talk about the Catalan language.)
Probably some of our blog-readers don't know that the so-called Romance languages are the ones that evolved from Latin. The best-known ones are Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian and Rumanian, but there are others too, as Silvia makes clear. The word 'Romance' is ultimately derived from 'Rome' - it was used as name for a certain type of mediaeval literature, and that was the origin of the modern meanings of 'romance' and 'romantic'.
I'm afraid I don't know any of the famous classical writers you mention - you were quite right about that! In fact, when it comes to Spanish literature, I'm rich in ignorance. In a word, I'm completely in the dark about it. By the way, I'll write more about books and films another time.
I had to go to Warsaw at the weekend, which is why you haven't heard from me for a while. Warsaw's the capital of Poland, as you all probably know, and the contrast with Łeba is immense, as you can no doubt imagine. The city was in the grip of shopping fever in the run-up to Christmas, and it seemed strange to see all the Christmas decorations in the shops because the weather is extraordinarily mild for the time of year, so it's hard to believe that Christmas is only a couple of weeks away.
By the end of the second world war, Warsaw had been mostly reduced to rubble, though here and there you can find buildings, courtyards, or streets that survived the destruction and stand as reminders of what the city must have been like in a previous age. After the war, people got to work and started rebuilding the old town and the Royal Palace, brick by brick. It's an amazing achievement, and nowadays, as you sit in the old town square on a hot summer's day, with a nice cool beer in front of you (lots of tourists do!) you could easily think that the houses around you were several centuries old.
Until recently, Warsaw wasn't a particularly welcoming destination for tourists. But that's changed, and there's now a wide range of hotels, bars, restaurants and so on. And there's a lot to see, although it certainly isn't one of the most attractive of cities at first sight. I like it for the range of shops, the opportunities to go to films and concerts, and to walk around the parks when they turn green in spring.
As I said, folks, you can find the answers to the 'fill the gap' sentences in previous blogs, some by me and some by Silvia. But in case you couldn't locate them, here they are:
Łeba is renowned for its dunes.
It's got a lot in common with Elche.
Mistakes are an essential part of the process of learning.
The "Life and Sole" museum houses a huge collection of boots and shoes of all sorts, shapes and sizes.
It's pouring with rain.
At midnight every clock strikes 12.
Some people have no sense of moderation when it comes to spending money.
I can't single out one film as my favourite.
Tourism is the major source of income.
Climate change is a direct consequence of the way human beings act.
Thanks for pointing out that Spanish Christmas traditions are different.
From reading some of the things you've written, I thought you might find it interesting to do a bit of practice with as and like. So, if you feel like it, just put either as or like into these sentences:
1 For them, Spanish is a second language, ______ English.
2 ______ Silvia, I live near a beach.
3 Languages such ______ Spanish and French derive from Latin.
4 Have you ever worked ______ a shop assistant?
5 It looks ______ an old building, but it isn't.
6 I don't know as much ______ you about Spanish literature.
7 The train was late, ______ usual.
Bye for now.
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