The Spanish Riveter: FÁLALA (‘But Speak’) by Claudia Elena Menéndez Fernández, translated from Asturian by Robin Munby

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,
or rape,
dine on 					               bugre,
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

Read The Spanish Riveter here or order your paper copy from here.

Buy books from The Spanish Riveter through the European Literature Network’s The Spanish Riveter page.

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.

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