Jordi Pujol Ferrusola’s Active Translation SL is a real estate business allegedly used for money laundering, but that’s OK, idiot

Although the Pujol clan’s little problems are being leaked via the those parts of the Spanish-language media not on its payroll, you all finally have reason to learn Catalan: follow the consternation of some of the Plain People as they realise that when CiU told them to look up at the flag, it was merely in order to steal their wallet; observe the madness of others, still unable to acknowledge that the photographer’s birdie was a ruse, not a flyer; place bets on who’s going to get hurt when it all goes wrong this autumn. You won’t have had so much fun since the day your dog Rover got run over.

I feel pretty sure now that either everyone will go to jail – including zombies like Felipe González and José María Aznar (the Pujols were paying off the FAES, right?) – or no one will. But while that great and predictable drama plays out, there’s a wealth of great micro-scripting to keep even people like us interested and entertained.

The nerds seem to have established that both Pasqual Maragall (3%) and Josep Carod Rovira (5%) were correct, but check the linguistic meat: one of the devices of Jordi Pujol and Marta Ferrusola’s eldest is a holding called Active Translation SL, whose business is said to be:

Operaciones Sobre Inmuebles en General. Compraventa; Administracion y Explotacion de Valores Mobiliarios Con o Sin Contizacion en Mercados Secundarios Oficiales. Realizacion de Estudios y Prospecciones de Mercado

Now, you and I’ll be thinking that rich dimwit Jordi’s got hold of a false friend of trasllat/translat/traslat in Catalan, but not at all. Translation can mean (OED):

A transfer of property; spec. alteration of a bequest by transferring the legacy to another person

Now we’ll complain that that may well be so, but that he’s deliberately pulling the wool over our eyes. The natural assumption from its name is that the agency will have been engaged in rendering the dreary meanderings of Ausiàs March into Macedonian, because that meaning emerged in the 14th century (along with the use of the word to describe removals of live bishops and dead saints), and is dominant, while his meaning first appears in the late 16th and is unknown even to fucking galactic genii like ourselves.

But that’s just us envying his superior intelligence and education. And envy, according to Rome, is still a deadly sin, whereas I think monstrous embezzlement may be excused if it is found to serve noble human ends, such as the purchase of flags, and birdies, thus maintaining Chinese manufacturing’s grasp on the Yankee throat.

Sometimes I wonder about the commission assigned to devise the post-Francoist constitution. Simply from its composition it was evident that its proposals would favour a state dominated by regional barons, but as well as discussing the division of turf, did they also discuss who was to get how much?

Similar posts

Last updated 02/09/2014

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.

Spain (1881):

Spanish language (504):

Translation (788):


  1. I'd be surprised if anyone goes to jail. The entire system of governance in Spain is designed to permit this kind of thing. That's the poisonous inheritance of the dictatorship. And apparently everyone from the 2 main parties, plus CiU, and I guess their homologues elsewhere, has always been involved. Including, quite clearly, the current leadership of the PP and the prime minister.

    My favorite story at the moment is of the 'ex-spy' 'La Araña' who claims he precipitated the king's downfall. It's out there. Literally. But this is what people chatting in bars like to believe when the truth is, if you threaten to dish the dirt on someone nicking €30bn, and they did it, you'll be dead pretty quickly.

    That and the story that Pujol was 'saving up for independence' and lives in relative austerity, something is son's ex-squeeze claims she couldn't understand. She's obviously too thick to come up with the two obvious truths: 1 – the rich like to get richer; 2 – he may be corrupt but he's a skinflint. Oh and there's the fact that she didn't seem too worried about any of this while her snout was in the trough but then who can blame her?

  2. She looks splendidly poisonous and I'm sure had no doubt what she was getting in to. Bad investment on her part.

    Lots of people still wonder about the sudden death in Milan of Generalitat's young and apparently healthy anti-corruption tsar David Martínez Madero, and whether it was really Joan Cogul who was cremated on the Philippines, just in time to prevent him answering questions re Pallerols.

    But they are all motivated by envy and hatred, and we will have none of that here.

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