Sunday, July 4, 2010

Idiomasyncracies: La Portería y La Porquería

Yesterday at halftime Germany was ahead of Argentina 1-0 in the Copa Mundial Quarter Finals. Both teams played well and the first half just flew by. 

The goalie is called EL PORTERO. From the Velázquez Spanish-English dictionary it means gatekeeper, porter, doorman.

I'm not sure if LA PORTERÍA refers only to the net itself, or the rectangular area in front of the goal that the portero protects.  The dictionary didn't help me with this one, it defined a portería as the principal door of a convent or other large building.

What I do know is that the announcers mention LA PORTERÍA time and time again during the fast paced matches.  I can't understand these Spanish speaking announcers. First, there are many accents, the Latin American accents and the Spanish FROM SPAIN accent. Second, the announcers are full of excitement and adrenaline, the game is fast, and they talk so fast that all I can do is occasionally pick up a few words.

My ears perked up during the Germany game when they constantly spoke of PODOLSKI,   their Polish superstar.  My ears also perked up every time I heard the announcers talking about LA PORTERÍA.

I'd look up at the TV and ask Moka(who watched the game with me until I started yelling)....."Who's a PORQUERÍA?  What was a PORQUERÍA?"  This is a term very commonly heard here in the Yucatán and in fast-speak it sounds just like PORTERÍA.

The dictionary has many definitions of PORQUERÍA, which should be a sign that it is a commonly used colloquialism that serves many purposes:
1.  Nastiness, uncleanliness, filth
2.  Hoggishness, brutishness, rudeness
3.  Trifle, thing of little value
4.  A dirty, ungenteel action
5.  Nuisance, dirty trick

(Since it is in the dictionary, I'll clarify that hogsty in Spanish is PORQUERIZA.)

You can't imagine how many conversations involved PORQUERÍAS.  Shopkeepers mutter "pura porquería" as rude non-spending tourists depart their shops.  I've heard the owner of my corner store refer to both gringos(mostly) and locals in our neighborhood as PORQUERÍA.  But he is an angry old man.

Last week's rain and gloomy ten days: a PORQUERÍA.  And the new batch of cluster storms sitting off Honduras and Belize, just like two weeks ago, increasing their chances of tropical formation as the hours pass, that is a PORQUERÍA.

I think it is fair to say if you are from Argentina or Paraguay, you feel yesterday's games were PORQUERÍAS.  Bottom line is, you have to have a strong PORTERÍA to win in fútbol!


Merida Mikey said...

I'm a big fan of your idiomasysncracies blog!

I am very familiar with the word "porqueria" from going to the local casinos! (Definitely not from watching futbol in any way, shape or form!) When the bonus from a slot machine is on the meager side, the little old ladies beat and pound on the machines repeating the term "porqueria" several times!

Obviously, I hang with a rough and rowdy crowd! (Just like at a futbol game!)

Linda Dorton said...

Glad you liked the post.

I received another comment from someone who thought they were hearing:
por quería

or "what do you want?"

See how easily we can misunderstand? We smile our way through, stumble around with the Spanish, and still buy something from the vendor, while he is insulting us!