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Lección Noventa y cuarto (94)

  La langosta The lobster.
1 Rafael. — Simone ¿está muy cara la langosta?
Simone. — Carísima, Rafael (1). Es un pescado inabordable.
Raphael. — Simone, is lobster very dear?
— Simone. — Very dear, Raphael. It is a prohibitive fish.
2 Raf. — La langosta no es un pescado,
Simone. Porque tú, al decir pescado has querido decir en francés poisson, en castellano pez (2).
Raph. — Lobster is not a fish,
Sim. For, in saying " pescado ", you wanted to say " poisson " in French, in Castilian "pez".
3 Sim. —- La langosta es un crustáceo; lo sé perfectamente.
Pero para mí, en la mesa, es pescado todo lo que sale del mar.
Sim. — Lobster is a crustacean, I know it perfectly.
But, for me, on the table, all that comes out of the sea is fish,
4 Raf. — Tienes razón, Simone.
Pero aunque cueste tan cara como tú dices (3), pon alguna vez langosta (4).
Estoy cansado de la merluza, del besugo, y del bonito.
You are right, S.
But although it costs as dear as you say, give [put] me sometimes lobster.
I am tired of hake, red mullet, and tunny.
Believe me.
5 Sim. — Bueno. Tendrás langosta y yo
misma haré la mayonesa; pero hay una cosa que no me explico.
Raf.—¿Cual? (5).
S. — Good, you will have lobster and I myself shall make the mayonnaise. But there's one thing that I can [do] not explain to myself.
— R. — Which?
6 Sim. — Que cueste tan cara en España la langosta.
Raf — Mujer, lo mismo ocurre en Francia;
la langosta es la reina de los mares.
No me digas que en París pagas la langosta al precio del besugo.
S. — That lobster is [costs] so dear in Spain.
— R. — Dear friend [wife] the same thing happens in France, the lobster is the queen of the seas.
Don't tell me that in Paris you pay lobster at the (same) price as [of] red mullet.
7 Sim. — No en París, no. Lo reconozco.
Pero en España no me explico que cueste tanto. La debían de dar de balde (6).
S. — No, not in Paris. I acknowledge that.
But in Spain I cannot explain that it should cost so much. They should give it for nothing.
8 Raf. — Tiene gracia (7). ¿Por qué? R. — Joking aside... [it's funny] and why ?
9 Sim. — Porque a cada rato leo en vuestros
periódicos :
« La plaga de la langosta, la plaga de la langosta... » (8).
Because I read at every moment in your papers : "
The plague of the ' langosta' "...
  (This dialogue is an extract from Mademoiselle Simone in Madrid, a novel by Alberto Insúa.)
  ( Mademoiselle Simone in Madrid, by Alberto Insúa.)

  Platos de Pescado. Fish dishes.
1 ¿Qué pescado nos ponen hoy, María? What fish do they give [put] us today, Mary?
2 Pues como es día de vigilia, tenemos variedad y podrá usted escoger:
hay bacalao a la vizcaína, lenguado frito, anguilas a la marinera, bonito en escabeche y langosta a la vinagreta.
Well, to-day, as it is a fast-day, we have variety, and you can choose :
there is Biscayan cod, fried sole, eel stew, soused tunny and lobster with vinegar sauce.
3 ¿No hay truchas u otro pescado de río? Are there no trout or (any) other river fish?
4 Truchas, me parece que no, pero creo que el menú trae sollo;
mírelo usted por si acaso estoy equivocada.
Trout, I don't think so, but I believe that the menu h0as [bears] pike;
look at it, in case I should be mistaken.
5 Efectivamente lo hay, pero preferiría otro pescado, por ejemplo salmón.
— El salmón sólo lo tenemos en lata.
In fact, there is some, but I should prefer another fish, for instance, salmon.
— Salmon we we have only tinned [in tin].
6 No, no nada de latas; ya que no lo hay fresco, tomaré otra cosa :
¿a ver que tal resulta ese bacalao a la vizcaína? nunca lo probé.
No, no not[hing of] tins; since there is no fresh one. I shall take something else.
Let us see [to see] how it is [results] this Biscayan cod; I have never tasted it.
7 Excelente idea, señor; al parecer está riquísimo. Excellent idea, sir, it is, it seems, succulent.
8 Y cuando haya salmón fresco me avisará, ¿verdad? And when there is (subj.) fresh salmon, you'll let me know, won't you?
    Riquísimo, superlative of rico, rich,
for dishes or drinks, delicioas.

1 Carísima = muy cara.
The formation of the superlative by the ending ísima is very current and popular.
Don't forget to mark the stress on the first í.
Note the spelling : largo, long; larguísimo, very long;
feliz, happy; felicísimo, very happy.
2 Let us remember that : pez means the living fish, in the water;
mudo como un pez, dumb as a fish;
no me gusta el pescado, I don't like fish (as a dish);
pescado is the fish when caught.
3 Notice, cueste tan cara, with the adjective in the feminine cara (dear), as if there was the verb estar :
que esté tan cara, that it should be so dear.
4 Pon, literally : put; the irregular sing. imperative of poner.
The regular form would be : pone.
We know that with usted, we say : ponga usted, put.
To express the idea of serving something at table, one often uses poner instead of servir;
nos ponen merluzas todos los días : they serve us hake every day.
Poner la mesa, to lay the table;
quitar la mesa, to clear the table.
5 ¿Cual?, plur. ¿cuales?, which? (See revision lesson n° 98).
6 Debían = deberían, should, ought to (less. 78, n. 5).
7 Tiene gracia, read again note 1 of less. 80, about "gracia".
8 Simone, who is, in fact, a Parisian, is excusable for not knowing that the Spanish word "langosta" means, as well lobster, a crustacean like the African locust, an insect that is a veritable plague (plaga) in the fields of Southern Spain.