circa 2009

The Things We Give Welsh Learners: y Babi Sinsir

So I was going through our bookshelf yesterday, because we’re fast approaching the point where we need a clear-out, and I came across one of my all-time favourite creations ever, probably even beating shit like the wheel and penicillin. Years back, before leaving The Man to pursue his dreams of being a sort of professional clown-thing, my husband used to be a translator for Neath Port Talbot Council; as is often the way with Welsh councils, though, owing to a lack of money and also everywhere is really close to each other (this country is 150 miles wide at its widest point, and about 47 miles at the thin bit. Ver ver small), NPT Council’s translating department was shared by Swansea Council. Thus it was that, in the halcyon days of circa 2009, the two decided to team up and produce a new Welsh language book for learners between them, and thus it got sent through to Steffan to proof read it.

A Thing You May Not Know: Welsh is one of ten indigenous languages to Britain, arguably the oldest, and has been viciously oppressed over the last millennium and a half as part of England’s big If You Destroy Their Culture They’ll Be Glad To Be Ruled By You policy. These days, it’s nonetheless still spoken by approximately a fifth of the Welsh population; a hell of a feat, considering, but the suppression of it continues to this day (just in cleverer, sneakier ways now than whipping people’s children if they’re heard.) But it is classified as Endangered. Thanks to Welsh-language schools now being a thing (though supply is much lower than demand), transmission rates to the younger generation are pretty good; but, Welsh is peculiarly dependent on adult learners.

This means that learner books might have to appeal to both children and adults while using very simple language, which I explain in case it in some way justifies the bewildering weirdness of what I’m about to show you; because at first glance, this book is simply for children. But it’s… Well. 

Well.

I present to you, with translations in bold and commentary by me, Y Babi Sinsir.

Literally, “the Ginger Baby”, but they mean ‘ginger’ as in ‘gingerbread’. Literal ginger. Not the colour.

This is Mr Jones. This is Mrs Jones.

What’s wrong, Mrs Jones? I want a baby.

Note: there will be some confusion in this book about whether the narrator is speaking, or anyone else. It might seem cut and dried here, but there are no speech marks around “Dw i eisiau babi”, whereas later speech marks are used, and also in two pages’ time the narrator will actively pass a value judgement using first person, so… Well.

But, so far so good.

Mrs Jones is making a Babi Sinsir.

… okay, so I like this page because of the capitalisation of Babi Sinsir and the lack of definite article. She’s just making a Babi Sinsir. You know, a Babi Sinsir? Magical baby made of gingerbread that you make if you can’t conceive but can’t afford IVF? Yeah. A Babi Sinsir. That’s right.

Let it be known that this is Not A Thing in Welsh folklore or mythology. What the fuck. How does this work. Where does the magic come from? Do you need a faerie ingredient? Will the next page tell us?

This is the Babi Sinsir. I like the Babi Sinsir.

Nope.

But it is apparently shit-capable and needs a nappy. It’s good that the narrator likes it anyway.

The Babi Sinsir is bad. He’s running.

Uh oh.

“Come back, Babi Sinsir.”

Look how Worried the Joneses are. Funny how they don’t seem to be calling that enthusiastically, though. I’d have expected an exclamation mark at least. Did Mrs Jones always have a massive left arm? I can’t remember.

“Run, run, catch me. I’m the Babi Sinsir.”

Yeah, okay, so that’s the Welsh for “Run! Run! As fast as you can! You can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man!”, but once again, I’m going to have to draw attention to the lack of expressive punctuation here. It really feels like this naughty Babi Sinsir’s heart is just not in this.

“Come and help, Mr Horse.” “Run, run, catch me. I’m the Babi Sinsir.”

Cool, look, a floating horse has come to help.

The pen there, incidentally, was an attempt by the translators to work out who was talking. I can’t imagine why. This dialogue is on fire, everyone can tell.

“Come and help, Mrs Cow.” “Run, run, catch me. I’m the Babi Sinsir.”

Now they have been joined in their high-speed zombie shuffle by a married floating cow who is, if I’m not much mistaken, high as shit.

“Come and help, Mr Goat.”  “Run, run, catch me. I’m the Babi Sinsir.”

I’m starting to suspect the artist only knew how to draw the legs on animals in one way.

“Come and help, Mr Dog.”  “Run, run, Catch me. I’m the Babi Sinsir.”

Yes, that dog is definitely here to ‘help’. Also… the Babi Sinsir is literally within reach of Mrs Jones’ massive left arm now. Why is she not just picking him up?

“Come and help, Miss Cat.” “Run, run, Catch me. I’m the Babi Sinsir.”

You may be wondering at this point if this is just… the whole book. An ever-increasing flock of floating zombie creatures shuffling after a naughty gingerbread baby in a nappy who is committing the cardinal sin of running. I mean… where can they go from here, amirite? A sheep? A squirrel? A chicken? We can hit a hundred pages this way, easy. The concern is the artist, whom I think was stretched a bit beyond their means on this project anyway.

BUT WORRY NOT! Shit’s about to go down, guys.

Oh no! Here comes Mr Wolf. Mr Wolf runs and catches the Babi Sinsir.

THAT IS A FOX

THAT IS A GODDAMN FOX YOU HEATHEN FUCK

WHAT THE FUCK

AND WHY THE FUCK IS IT WEARING CLOTHES WHEN NONE OF THE OTHER ANIMALS WERE

WHY IS IT DRESSED IN DUNGAREES LIKE A LAZY FARMHAND ON AN AMERICAN RANCH IN THE 1800S

This doesn’t bode well for the -

Half of the Babi Sinsir is left.

WHAT THE

Quarter of the Babi Sinsir is left.

WHY DOES IT STILL LOOK SAD AND HORRIFIED WHY IS IT STILL ALIVE OH MY GOD

The Babi Sinsir has gone! There’s tasty.

What the

Wha

It

I realise this is not the main point to make here, but two pages ago it had eaten half of that nappy, and now it’s whole again and delicately discarded to one side, I just want

I mean

It’s okay, right? This happens in fairytales? Little Red Riding Hood? Someone will eviscerate the fox and out will come the Babi Sinsir…’s pieces, and they can be baked back together…?

No one cares!

Mrs Jones is making another Babi Sinsir.

The new Babi Sinsir loves Mrs Jones.

… 

…okay, so there’s a lot for us all to take in right now, and we’re all going to get through it at different speeds. But I’m just going to draw attention to the fact that Mr Jones is now merely depicted as a picture on the wall, and the new Babi Sinsir apparently only loves Mrs Jones, and…

Okay so they just lost their beloved baby gingerbread son because he got eaten alive by a fox in dungarees calling itself a wolf, right? Mrs Jones apparently couldn’t give less of a fuck if she tried, as long as she has some flour and ginger left over to make another. This one she made to love her.

Mr Jones, I presume, had a total mental breakdown and drank himself to death. At the very least, he’s left her, look. All she has left is the photo.

But does dim ots! Mae’r Babi Sinsir newydd yn caru Mrs Jones.

And that is the story of Y Babi Sinsir, aka the greatest work of literature ever written.

anonymous asked:

So there's this post going around st*ny circles that basically says as a "burn", oh everyone's comparing Steve Trevor to Steve Rogers but "at least Trevor was a real captain" and lmfao what the fuck, do these morons not realize Cap is an actual fucking captain as well. It's not a fucking ~title~ or stage name, it's his goddamn rank, he's O-3 and he earned it because THAT IS HOW WARTIME PROMOTIONS WENT jfc. Ugh. Sorry for the impromptu rant in your inbox, I'm just fed up with this ignorant shit.

I’d be pissed along with you (normally I am whenever I encounter Steve hate) but I’m too amused at their ignorance. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face! LOL! When you try so hard to be a hater, but end up looking like an idiot because you got your facts so incredibly wrong.

In other words, you are 100% correct, Anon, and the people who made and are reblogging that post are 100% wrong. Steve was a legit Captain.

Rank insignia for army officers, including the rank of Captain…

Steve Rogers in full army dress uniform circa Captain America: First Avenger

It’s called a field promotion or battlefield promotion. And when you skip a rank it’s called a jump-step promotion. Very common during WW1 and WW2, in fact, very common right up to the Vietnam War when such commissions were replaced by a centralized promotion system. 

According to the army website: “Battlefield promotions are predicated on extraordinary performance of duties while serving in combat or under combat conditions.”

Which is how Steve was awarded the promotion.

More on the practice of battlefield commissions: “A battlefield commission is awarded to enlisted soldiers who are promoted to the rank of commissioned officer for outstanding leadership on the field of battle. The granting of a battlefield commission has its historical predecessor in the medieval practice of the knighting or ennoblement of a plebeian combatant on the battleground for demonstration of heroic qualities in an exceptional degree.”

You know what the irony of this situation is? Years ago, circa 2009, a movie came out featuring a young soon-to-be Captain who was promoted in a very similar fashion to the way Steve Rogers was promoted by the end of the movie, i.e. skipping rank to be granted the commission of Captain after leading a courageous mission against a serious threat. That character was James T. Kirk, who, incidentally, was played by Chris Pine. And I once defended Kirk’s promotion in a similar way to the way I’m defending Steve’s rank now, as Kirk, like Rogers, is one of my all-time favorite characters.

I think I must be destined to a life of defending young Captains played by actors named Chris from imbeciles who don’t bother to check their facts before making ridiculous posts. :D

Being "The Only" in High School

Growing up, I went to predominantly white schools. I was often the only one at my school who looked liked me. I went to parochial school for kindergarten through 8th grade during which I was the only black girl in my class until 6th grade. And when I entered high school, I was one of maybe 6 black girls total in my class (3 of whom were half white so 1 of 3 completely black girls). High school was a rough time because this was when things like homecomings, dating and proms became relevant.

This is when it began. This is when I realized I would forever feel in competition with non-black women. I didn’t see it coming, I thought high school was going to be an opportunity to meet people who didn’t just see my skin color. I thought high school was going to be a chance to reinvent myself and expand my mind and my circle of friends. Meet boys. Fall in love. Live out my very own Taylor Swift circa 2009 music video. BOY WAS I WRONG.

Not only was I completely ostracized from the other girls at my all girls school (lolz) but boys (at the all boys school school across the street) didn’t take a second look at me. In fact, I had a better love life in middle school (probably strictly for the fact that it was a smaller pool of girls to choose from) BUT REGARDLESS, high school was a lost cause. I didn’t get asked to freshman or sophomore homecoming, and I got asked to my junior prom by my gay best friend (shouts out to Big E tho). I was in a proverbial drought when it came to boys. My white friends? Not so much.

I stood on the sidelines and watched as they got asked to dances, asked out on dates. I listened and gave my poorly grounded advice when they told me their boy problems. All the while waiting for my turn. (Which did eventually come by the way, just not until after high school was over).

The question I’m posing is, are we as black women in a sort of competition with women of other races? In short, I’d say yes and no. Yes on our side, no on everyone else’s. Let me explain.

Black women have been painted in a negative light for centuries. We’re somehow simultaneously overly sexualized and seen as a way for men to live out their fantasies but yet, at the same time viewed as “too strong” and borderline masculine. We’re too loud, too ratchet, not gentle enough, not meek enough. THE LIST LITERALLY GOES ON AND ON. If we twerk, we’re ghetto and a stereotype, but if a white girl does it, it’s a turn on and impressive that she can keep the beat. How this works, I’m not entirely sure. I try to just chuckle at the different expectations but after a while it does get rather irritating.

We see it as a competition (potentially), because we notice that we’re not being noticed. And not even just not being noticed by white men. Not noticed by any men, ever. Not even black men. It sounds dramatic but it really does start to feel like that after a while. So to us, it feels like we have to do so much more to compete with women of other races. But then, it’s not a competition because we’re not really ever in the running. (Such was my experience in high school. If you had a different experience then I’m literally so happy for you real talk).

Here’s what I have to say to you if you’re currently going through what I went through in high school. You are so beautiful and so unique in so many ways that little boys don’t really know what to do about it. At this stage, they want what’s familiar, what’s safe, what isn’t going to attract attention. If I had known this in high school, I would’ve just sashè’d through the halls like Rihanna down the Victoria’s Secret fashion show runway. But I didn’t see how beautiful and unique I was at the time.

Let me just tell you, NOTHING is wrong with you. Yes you are strong, but you are also gentle. You are sweet, intelligent, kind and lovely. Your time is coming.

“Forgotten” Authors

So I just posted a list of popular Dramione authors and their most popular fics for a new ship member, and mentioned that I would make a separate post for few popular fics with authors who are not as popular. The problem with recommending fics that are popular is that when DramioneAsks recommends any fic, people go read it, and like it, and favorite/follow/review it, and then it only increases the fic’s popularity, causing us to recommend the same “Most Popular” fics over-and-over again.

So here I am adding a list of authors who may not be current in the fandom anymore, but who wrote some popular fics (that are at least 5 years old) that we love to read and share. I encourage you to check out the other fics of these authors. 

Also, make sure to check out new fics regularly (we post them from our queue daily), and remember to favorite, follow and review fics as your read them, so that you can help your favorite new authors join the “popular club.” You can also help by submitting recommendations of newer fanfiction for us to share with others.

-Shirlyn

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