When the Japanese ruled Spain

Linguistic evidence for Japanese domination, with several field reports of a more general nature.

The other night I met a mad-drunk Japanese chef from down south. He said that, while the Javans never invaded Spain, and the Muslims will never get a second chance, the ease with which Japanese are morphing into framenco stars …

…. and flied fishermen shows that they ruled here before and will do so again. His substitution in Spanish of /l/ by /r/ according to one of the standard Spanish-Andalusian transformation rules caused considerable hilarity and was, he said, yet more evidence of Japanese influence: they behave as two allophones pertaining to one phoneme, just as they do in Japanese.

My first encounter with Japanese in Spain was when, stony broke and grubby after an unfortunate incident with some ladies in Casablanca, I got into completely the wrong carriage of a Granada night train, looked at my ticket, entered the compartment indicated, and, without considering that paying cattle class would probably not have entitled me to such luxury, climbed into bed with the Japanese couple inside and went to sleep. They seemed a little perturbed but waited politely for the conductor to turf me out.

I redeemed myself later in Ávila, where I became aware that the young Japanese man next door never left the hostel, and in fact seemed to be suffering from severe stress. It transpired that he was extremely timid and lacking in basic vocabulary, such that he had been unable to obtain any food at all for the past five days. Before I left I drew him pictures of some standard dishes and of a train for when he felt he had eaten enough. I still don’t understand how he got there, unless it was flying in the company of an eagle and a winged horse like Baron Sakendher in the Javan legend.

Similar posts


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *