Our Favourite Unique Galician Words

Galicia (the Spanish one that isn’t Spanish but wants to remain Spanish, not the Polish one that doesn’t exist) has much in common with Scotland. Possible common Celtic heritage. Bagpipes. The flag of St. Andrew. A hundred different words for “rain”. Haggis. An embarrassing big brother it keeps trying to disassociate itself with. We’re joking of course; no-one associates themselves with haggis except the Scots. The Galicians have “cocido galego” instead, which is arguably just as delicious.

Linguistically however, Galician has more in common with Portuguese than it does with Spanish, so in continuation of our theme on interesting words in other languages, here’s a few we’ve cherry-picked from Galician:

Afouteza: Galicians are a determined bunch. “Afouteza” is one’s sole endeavour to act or commit to any undertaking without fear of danger or difficulty.

Morriña: is the feeling of melancholy and longing triggered by missing one’s homeland. It’s not quite “homesickness” – it’s more complex a concept than that as it implies an almost spiritual connection to the land that is intensified when far away from it. Morriña is the quintessential word for Galician alleged sentimentality, known as “saudade” in the Portuguese speaking world.

Foliada: a bustling and noisy evening gathering of people to have fun, sing and dance, it involves Galician bagpipes and Galician tambourines.

Aturuxo: high-pitched shout or scream that is uttered to convey happiness, during festivities and foliadas or during the harvest.

Esmorga: another party word – it means boisterous and exaggerated/over the top party/social event. The title of the classic Galician book “A esmorga” was translated in English as “On a bender”.

Luscofusco: when Galicians aren’t celebrating, they are being creative. Luscofusco (note the repetition of sound) is the moment of the day, between day and night, in which light fades away almost completely and things are perceived as shadows.

Enxebre: the Galician word for something very peculiar from a country or region, well rooted and embedded in the local culture, that is authentic, genuine, pure and unpolluted. Like Haggis.

Madia leva: a phrase to acknowledge the other speaker is right.

Garatuxeiro: someone who praises others excessively.

“Chegar e encher” (lit. Arriving and getting filled up): one of the most iconic Galician idioms. It means that your afouteza has worked well and you have been successful on doing something very easily, without any hassle.

Got a favourite Galician word to share with us? Leave a comment below and let’s see if we can find some new words to add!

For more fascinating facts about Japanese translations, click here.

[original URL: https://www.geolanguages.co.uk/blog_and_social/our-favourite-un…e-galician-words]

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