Ilivetolearn's Blog

December 2, 2005

happily ever after

Filed under: Spain — ilivetolearn @ 11:10 am

Yesterday, I learned two things from reading an item in a Spanish newspaper. (Part of my daily lesson with Jose Luis.) The substance of the article was the fact that George Michael (who? says Bill) will be marrying his boyfriend in England, where homosexual unions will be officially allowed as of Dec. 21st. Spain is proud to be the second country in the EU (after Holland) to legalize gay marriage, so the papers like to report on others following suit. Jose Luis was very puzzled by my explanation (in halting Spanish) that in the US it is legal in some states, not legal in others, and in one was legal briefly but now is not…all depending on the vagaries of the justice system.

Anyway, what interested me was not the gossip about George Michael but the fact that the Spanish version of “I do” is “Si, quiero” (yes, I want to) and the local equivalent of “and they lived happily ever after” is “y fueron felices…y comieron perdices” (and they were happy and ate partridges). This struck me as curious—partridge?—so I looked it up on a website that explains proverbs and sayings and found out, curiouser and curiouser, they sometimes add “y a mi no me dieron porque no quisieron” (and to me they gave none because they didn’t want to). I can only suppose that rhyming is key in the world of Spanish bon mots and that perdices goes well with felices…and dieron/quisieron is an irresistible, if nonsensical, addition.

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