I have bad news for all of you trying to learn a new language to broaden yourself beyond hanging out with Australians at Irish Pubs around the world: languages other than English aren’t cool. Well, at least in the case of places like Spain where English is regarded as ‘tan cool’. The ‘hip’ thing to do in titles and other promotions is to toss in an English word or two, just to sound cool. You know how we like to say ‘savoir faire’ instead of ‘know how’ (among other fancy Frenchery)? Well, you can see such lovely things around a place like Barcelona. For instance, there is a chain restaurant called, ‘Pans and Company’. There is also the airline, Vueling who can’t sleep unless at least one of their ads says something like, ‘Las Rebajas Llegan Flying!’
In another instance, there is this new ad campaign that the city of Barcelona has decided to run to promote their fashion side. While there are a number of good designers in Barcelona, I think that they’re still under the delusion that they’re some sort of Milan after America’s Next Top Model was based there for a season.
Something else they’re under the delusion of is the fact that they can write proper English. Spread far and wide around the city are all these signs that were created in a Communist propaganda style which read, “I’m Citizen of Barcelona Nation – The Nation of Fashion”. No, that’s not a typo on my part. They happened to leave out the ‘a’ between ‘I’m’ and ‘Citizen’. An honest mistake as in Spanish this reads, ‘Soy ciudadano de Barcelona’ or in Catalan, ‘Sóc ciutadà de Barcelona’. I know I’m prone to the typo from time to time that #1 Fan dutifully catches, but you would think that given the stoned, dreadlocked slurry of expats living in Barcelona that someone might have thought to run this phrase by a native English speaker before pasting it around the city for said expats to stare at and wonder if they’re “Really that stoned…” which of course they are, but that’s a different issue. I’m sure if pressed for an answer, the Ministry of Defense & Super Cool Language Spellings would state that this was done on purpose, although the translation hiccup proves otherwise so, neener neener neener Barcelona. (My thumb was on my nose while I was doing that by the way…)