Asturian has some beautiful pallabres words: perguapes: fesoria, llambiotada, migayes … Don’t say in Spanish that the stars brillen, that birds vuelen, that you want to go de marcha; the stars rescamplen, birds esnalen and you’re off out de folixa, or a correla if you like. If your stomach’s rumbling, don’t eat bogavante, almejes or rape, dine on bugre, amasueles or pixín, you know how it is. ‘If you’re going outside, garra your zamarra!’ your nan’ll shout, always fretting over cold and frost. Go to a chigre, drink sidra, freshly poured, or a fervinchu if you’re feeling off. Argue with football fans, Sporting or Uviéu, doesn’t matter which, there’s nothing can’t be sorted over a few cachaes and a game of tute. Don’t run, go at tou meter Don’t jump, blinca take the easy route pelo segao eat a bollu at your xira celebrate the amagüestu or dance the xiringüelu… But, above all, be at home in your llingua, feel it, immerse yourself in it but, above all, speak it, but, above all, fálala.
by Claudia Elena Menéndez Fernández
Translated by Robin Munby
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Claudia Elena Ménedez Fernández is Associate Professor in Classical and Romance Studies at the
University of Oviedo. She is co-director of the literary journal Formientu, and is currently vice-president of Iniciativa pol Asturianu, an organisation that fights for the linguistic rights of Asturians and the status of the Asturian language.
Robin Munby is a literary translator from Liverpool, based in Madrid. His translations have appeared in publications including Wasafiri Magazine, Apofenie, Exchanges, World Literature Today and The Glasgow Review of Books. He works from Spanish, Russian and, more recently, Asturian into English.