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06/13/06

Permalink 11:55:13 am, Categories: About JB Translations, Spanish social issues, 267 words  

More about Spanish names

Spanish personal names are very particular and different from English or French names for example. My full name is "Jaime Bonet García". The breakdown of this is one first name (Jaime) plus two family names (Bonet and García). Let me introduce a bit of my family to you so I can best explain how this works:

My parents' names are: José Luis Bonet Izquierdo and Raquel García Linares

Hispanic women don't change their family names when they get married. My mother's name was "Raquel García Linares" before and after getting married. The children of "José Luis Bonet Izquierdo" and "Raquel García Linares" will carry the first family name of each parent. Hence, my full name is "Jaime Bonet García". My father in turn got his first family name from his father and his second family name from his mother:

My father's parents are: Tomás Bonet Moreno and Dolores Izquierdo Casal.

That's why my father's full name is José Luis (a composed first name here to further complicate things) Bonet Izquierdo. So every Spanish or Hispanic person has two family names—the first family name from his/her father plus the first family name from his/her mother.

For practical purposes, when dealing with English or French persons I introduce myself simply as Jaime Bonet. Actually, this is what I would be called even in Spain when talking in a simplified way, and it avoids me being addressed as "Jaime B. García", "Jaime García Bonet" or creating any other misunderstanding because of this difference. But now you know better! ;)

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05/20/06

Permalink 08:25:29 am, Categories: Spanish social issues, 243 words  

Soccer, Barcelona, Catalonia and Spain

Two social issues to highlight from the previous post:

- Soccer is extremely popular in Spain, and way more important than bullfighting is, especially for the new generation. Yes, indeed, you should check out your outdated stereotypes!

- Some Catalans would say that FC Barcelona's victory doesn't add up to Spanish glories, but to Catalan ones. Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia (Cataluña), a significant region in the north-east of Spain and one of Spain's richest regions. They have a language of their own, Catalan, which comes directly from Latin and is not derived from Spanish, though it has many similarities with it.

Catalans speak both Catalan and Spanish as native languages. The fact that they share a language and certain culture features that are different from Spanish mainstream gives many of them a sense of being their own nation. In other words, a good deal of them would want Catalonia to become independent from Spain. This drive was greatly reinforced by Franco's oppression to their culture and language, which was most regrettable.

Franco died in 1975. Spain has remarkably recovered from his dictatorship and become one of the world's leading nations through democracy, but the autocrat's long shadow somehow still reaches to the present in Spain, a lot of times through overcompensation.

Barcelona is the second most important city of Spain after Madrid, Spain's capital. Madrid and Barcelona sustain a great rivalry and a love and hate relationship in soccer and most other areas.

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05/18/06

Permalink 11:01:35 am, Categories: Spanish social issues, 118 words  

Barcelona is the winner

So FC Barcelona won yesterday the European Champions League's soccer final against Arsenal, from London. The Champions League is Europe's most important soccer competition and it determines the best European soccer club. Real Madrid CF is the one team that has conquered more of these cups over the years (9), while Milan AC is second with 6. FC Barcelona has now two of them. Considering that just last week Sevilla FC won the UEFA cup, the other important European soccer competition for club teams, we could say that this has been a brilliant year for Spain at soccer! Now we just need to win the upcoming World Cup as a national team, though this one is going to be tough. :)

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