Saturday, January 17, 2015

(before) sunrise + 70 names for rain

The skies are mostly cloudy here this january, but yesterday evening the stars were out. they brought back the memory of the before-sunrise skies of January, with Venus showing as "morning star".

Here's another before-sunrise moment, with moon and Venus:

And a sky story: the current issue of Asymptote magazine features a rain story: "Rain is a thing that happens in the past" by Martina Bastos, a Spanish writer from Galicia, where they have more than 70 names for rain:
We have more than seventy words for "rain" in Galicia. Froalla if it falls alongside sunshine, corisca if it comes down with snow, arroia if it fills up ponds, poalla if it's slow to soak, sarabia if it rains hailstones, chuvasca if it brings the wind, treboa if it comes with thunder, orballa when it's light, babuña when it's vicious, pingota if the drops are fat, mera if there's dense fog, batega if it's fleeting and barruña if it persists. It's logical: language adapts according to its environment and the rain is a frequent guest in our lives. 
Galicians treat the rain with a confidence of a friend—one who we forgive everything. We worry if it's late and implore it not to leave. ...Galicians feel less alone in the rain. It's an accomplice with whom we share both terrain and emotional memory: a relative with a spare set of keys to the house, free to turn up unannounced precisely because we're always expecting him.
Here in Germany, we have several words for rain, too. Rain is "Regen" in German, which works both as verb and noun. Depending on the intensity and length, a "Regen" can be a "Schauer" (short rain), "Nieselregen" (long light rain),  "Wolkenbruch" (strong rain, literally a "cloud break"), a "Guss" (heavy short rain)... To specify the rain, there often is a word added to it: snowy rain is "Schneeregen", rain during a storm is "Gewitterregen",  and there are also names referrering to certain rainy seasons with their own typical rain: "Sommerregen" (summer rain), "Aprilregen" (with April being the typical month of weather swings).
"Regen" also has a second meaning in German: it means "movement" or "to move".

For more sky moments from around the world, visit skywatch friday, and/or photo friday, which is all about "sunrise" this week.


Anonymous said...

Wow - gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

Wow! so nice pics. I like it

Anonymous said...

Excellent post. I love it when landscape affects language. So fun, all the movement-rain names:-)