Follow Galician reapers to Castilian labour camps on the St James’ Way

The Dirección General de Turismo of the Junta de Castilla y León writes of “Way from Madrid,” one of the Santiago pilgrimage trails:

Who go along it encounter stretches of Roman road, overcome with joy the mountain’s summit Fuenfría, emulate the Galician reapers along the trails that led them to labor camps in Castilla la Nueva and, ultimately, pay homage to Pilgrim Virgin of Sahagun while are linking to the path that comes by the traditional way which starts at Somport or Roncesvalles in Spain.

The next paragraph establishes a new frontier between metric and imperial measures in the ever-evolving cultural geography of Europe: while the distance from Madrid (which we are helpfully reminded is the capital of Spain) to Sahagún is 325.3km, when in that thriving metropolis we join the French Way French influence mysteriously ends and we are told, in a manner comprehensible only to elderly Anglo-Saxons, that the remainder of the journey is “something over 364 miles.”

Translation is hard work, so the next-but-one paragraph is quite sensibly left in Spanish. Finally, having transported us all this way from the capital of the empire, “only straight horizon which is broken by the verticality of the towers of the churches and trees like protagonists of the banks of rivers and streams,” our guide has a sudden and miraculous change of heart and decides that this is not in fact “Way from Madrid,” but “Way to Madrid,” perhaps as in “All roads lead to…”

Similar posts

Last updated 01/05/2010

This post pre-dates my organ-grinding days, and may be imported from elsewhere.

Barcelona (1399):

English language (462):

Föcked Translation (414): I posted to a light-hearted blog called Fucked Translation over on Blogger from 2007 to 2016, when I was often in Barcelona. Its original subtitle was "What happens when Spanish institutions and businesses give translation contracts to relatives or to some guy in a bar who once went to London and only charges 0.05€/word." I never actually did much Spanish-English translation (most of my work is from Dutch, French and German) but I was intrigued and amused by the hubristic Spanish belief, then common, that nepotism and quality went hand in hand, and by the nemeses that inevitably followed.

Junta de Castilla y León (1):

Spain (1881):

Spanish language (504):

Translation (788):


Your email address will not be published.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