121204-graceBienvenido a todos to Grace’s On Location Spanish Update. Here in Valencia our beachwear is slowly giving way to wooly jumpers and sensible shoes as we find ourselves in the rainy season. Although I am assured by my friend John that as we move on through December we will see the return of the dry weather. Nevertheless, I’ve been to the Corte Inglés to buy myself un paraguas (“an umbrella”) just in case.

With the winter weather setting in, an unmistakable quiet has replaced the normal buzz that occupies our tree-lined streets. On any given Sunday, or indeed any week day between two and four, the siesta state of mind reigns supreme, and no one would blame you for thinking you’d woken up post-apocalypse. Struck by the same eerie quiet as I strolled down Passeo de Russafa with a few other ingleses (“English people”, UK dwellers beware that to distinguish yourself as anything other than English in Spain is to tacitly enter into a debate about Independence and Spain’s Autonomous Communities) it became all too clear that during the colder months the average Spaniard takes to indoor pursuits.

Following suit, we all decided to take refuge from the rain by visiting the cinema on the same Passeo de Russafa. Gazing upon a wall of posters, whose English-Spanish translations were of a varying calibre, we argued among ourselves as to which blockbuster we should select for our first Spanish cinematic experience. For my part, I had hoped that Continental Europe would spare me the James Bond hysteria that’s taking the English-speaking world by storm. No luck. Not only is the franchise very popular in Spain, but Spanish-born Javier Bardem’s appearance as the latest villano de Bond (“Bond Villain”) has only served to increase the hype. With some embarrassment I must admit that this would be my first James Bond film. Now not only am I a fanatic, but I would thoroughly recommend a visit to the cinema for anyone learning a language.

Once I came to terms with an hispanohablante (“Spanish speaking”) Dame Judy Dench, I was encouraged by how much of the plot I could follow without recourse to the dictionary. Intently following the narrative I noticed that Daniel Craig’s character is referred to as Zero Zero Siete (“007”) and not the Doble Zero Siete (“Double 0 Seven”) with which we are more familiar. Another phrase which we might associate with the franchise is “007 Reporting for Duty”, an idea which arguably looses its sentiment when translated for a Spanish audience. Replaced by the words…

Zero Zero Siete, listo para el servicio.

… this literally translates as “007 Ready for Service”,  which is definitely a moot point for those of us who have had the pleasure of seeing the latest installment.

Before my next blog post, I hope to have broadened my horizons to Spanish film. Nonetheless I hope you’ve still enjoyed the little Spanish insight into British film. Join me again soon for more On Location Spanish. ¡Hasta la vista!

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