Wednesday, September 16, 2009

In Spain legally, you cannot be fired for calling your boss a son of a bitch.

Thanks to Guanabee - one of my top favorite blogs ever - for linking up to this story from Spain about a ruling that an employee should not be fired for calling his boss an hijo de puta. Don't miss the video linked to the news story, a profane collage of futbolistas, government ministers, TV characters, and everyday people using the insult/term of endearment.

This reminds me of another charming particularity of Spanish as it's spoken in Spain, the recurrent use of the words vale and venga in conversation. Vale meaning literally worth but also colloquially OK and venga from the verb venir to come. The latter of course as in English has varied meanings. But in casual conversation it also means OK or let's go as in let's do it. So when I was living in Madrid and a US-born friend visited me, I demonstrated the ways in which one could carry on an entire conversation with a Spaniard, particularly a madrileño, using just these two words.

Me Hola.

Friend Hola. Te apetece quedar? (Do you want to meet up?)

Me Venga.

Friend En el Circulo? (At the Circle of Fine Arts Cafe Bar?)

Me Vale.

Friend Vale. Quedamos alli.

Me Venga.

Friend Venga. Vale.

Me Venga.

Friend Hasta luego. (pronounced talowgo)

Me Venga.

Friend Venga.