Seasons, Forecasts, the Weather and Change

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In this section we explore the notion and experience of change, efforts to predict or forecast changing circumstances, and that very English preoccupation with the weather.

Forecasts and seasons

The industries of hospitality, leisure, tourism and events are intimately tied up with change – changing seasons, changes in the weather, changing staff and product, the variability of experiences and fluctuating business fortunes.

This has never been so clearly demonstrated as during the current (at time of writing) coronavirus pandemic, where the experience industries have been hard hit by a previously unforeseeable event. Yet to recover, and gain greater resilience, managers and service providers must learn from the past and forecast what may happen in the future. We plan for scenarios, prioritise investments, and all this is about informed processes of analysis, planning and change management.

Sport too is seasonal, and change in the performance of teams gives rise to the excitement and passionate following that sport uniquely engenders. As a business, sport must take the same steps to manage change, whether in investment and financial return, player transfers or plans for alternative use of seasonal sports facilities. Coaches and team managers employ sport scientists to help analyse, predict and support performance. Change is inherent in inevitable. The only constant, it’s said, is change.

Seasons are clearly experienced differently around the world, and the characteristic weather you can expect to experience in Southern, Central or Northern Spain at different times of year can be markedly different, but so is the variety of different words associated with our (English) use of the word ‘season’. Spring (primavera), summer (verano), autumn (otoño) and winter (invierno) are of course the four seasons (cuatro estaciones) of the year, but the word for ‘season’ in sporting terms is temporada. When food is ‘in season’ such as summer fruits, winter vegetables, this is described as en sazon. ‘Seasonal’ is estacional , so ‘seasonal variation’ in tourism terms would be la variación estacional. A sporting ‘season ticket’ is abono, and I won’t confuse things by going into ‘seasoning’ for food!

Seasonal activities and weather

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Festivities and celebrations

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  • Christmas – Navidad    ;     Christmas Eve – Nochebuena  ;  New Year’s Eve – Nochevieja   ; New Year – Año nuevo   ;   
  • Easter (a very important time for festivities in Spain) – Pascua and Semana Santa (Holy Week), Good Friday – Viernes Santo
  • For more on events and festivals see the separate section on Meetings on this site.

Summer and Year-long Sports

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Summer sports or those taking place throughout the year include:

  • football   el fútbol    ;  basketball  el baloncesto  
  • volleyball  el vóleibol   ; gymnastics la gimnasia
  • golf   el golf  ;  tennis   el tenis   
  • badminton  el badminton    ;  squash el squash [not the drink – that’s contrado]
  • Swimming   la natación (nadar)   ; sailing  la vela (navegar a vela)     
  • water-skiing el esquí acuático
  • (to go) windsurfing (hacer) windsurfing 
  • canoeing  el piragūismo             
  • cycling     el ciclismo

Winter and Mountain Sports

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  • (to go) hiking  (hacer) senderismo             
  • Mountaineering  el montañismo
  • Rockclimbing       el alpinismo                 
  • Mountainbike      (la) bicicleta de montaña
  • Skiing                       el esquí(esquiar)                   
  • Cross-country skiing   el esquí de fondo

The weather

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Describing the weather can be either straightforward (it’s raining’) or metaphorical (‘it’s raining cats and dogs’) and can be used as a metaphor in non-weather situations (‘a storm in a teacup’), but beware of idioms alike these which rarely translate!

For example nunca llueve a gusto de todos  translates as ‘you can’t please everyone’ although literally it means ‘it never rains to everyone’s liking’, which I guess still works but the saying isn’t limited to the rain! Anyway, let’s start with some of the words you need to know about the weather:

  • How’s the weather?  ¿Qué tiempo hace?                     
  • Weather forecast    el parte meteorológico
  • The weather is bad   Hace mal tiempo                     
  • The weather is good     Hace buen tiempo
  • It’s sunny hace sol ; It’s hot hace calor   
  • How hot! / what heat! ¡Que calor!                
  • It’s cool hace fresco ; Its cold hace frio
  • It’s very cold, isn’t it?  hace muy frio, ¿no?
  • Snow – el nieve  ; It’s snowing  está nevando
  • Rain – la lluvia              It’s raining llueve
  • Too hot/cold – demasiado calor / frio
  • Too much raindemasiada lluvia

So, a weather forecast is el parte meteorológico but a ‘forecast’ or prediction as such is un pronóstico.  This brings us briefly to looking into the related issues of gambling, luck, chance/probability and statistics, so important to sport but also to business analysis. The future tenses and how they are used are outlined in the Future section.

Luck, Probability and Statistics

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‘Good fortune’ translates in Spanish as suerte and to wish someone ‘good luck’ is ¡buena suerte!. Suerte also translates as ‘chance’ in the sense of fortune or fate, but ‘chance’ (or opportunity) is la oportunidad.  A ‘game of chance’ is un juego de azar, while ‘by chance’ is de improviso, e.g. when something occurs ‘by chance’ or ‘by accident’.

Probability is la probabilidad and the theory of probability (or probabilities) is la teoría de probabilidades, and if something is probable (or likely) it is probable.

Statistics either in general or scientific terms is estadística (a singular noun) whilst the adjective or adverb ‘statistical’ is estadístico/a.    So ‘statistical analysis’ is análisis estadística as análisis is a feminine noun;  whilst  estadística descriptive is/means‘descriptive statistics’.

An average or ‘mean’ is un promedio and ‘average’ as an adverb or adjective is medio.

In gambling terms, gambling is a game – juego; to gamble is the same as to play – jugar  and to ‘gamble away’ (e.g. an advantage or one’s money) is  jugarse. To win is ganar either in the context of a game, contest  or election, and this is also the verb ‘to earn’. To lose is perder  whilst to ‘break even’ is salir sin ganar ni perder – literally to e without either winning or losing.

Change

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Changes can be described in many ways as you’ll see below, and these terms can apply to all sorts of situations, including forecasting or predicting changes whether in business, the economy or the fortunes of your favourite sports team. The general verb ‘to change’ is cambiar and a change is un cambio.

Increases

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  • To increase     aumentar
  • to rise crecer, subir
  • An increase   is   un aumento / crecimiento or una subida

To add is añadir in general, but in maths it is sumar or totalizar. Aumentar is used for adding to something.

  • to develop (skill) perfeccionar                  
  • to develop (e.g. a region) desarollar
  • to develop (a plan) elaborar   
  • to develop ( a habit)  contraer
  • Growth    el crecimiento, desarrollo, aumento [see above for the contexts]

Development  (the noun)  also depends on what is being developed:      el desarollo in general,   la perfeccion for a skill,  la formación for a development in character. 

  • To improve   mejorar   (in general)
  • to improve (knowledge) perfeccionar  
  • improve on… superar
  • Improvement is la mejora    in general, or in a skill is perfeccionamiento 

Decreases

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  • To decrease          disminuir                     
  • reducir decrease in size
  • bajar  decrease in temperature
  • (price) decrease – una disminución / una reducción
  • to weaken menguar

To take away or remove is quitar but for food and drink, e.g. a coffee, it is llevar. For example un café para llevar is ‘ a coffee to take away.

  • decline    el deterioro (deterioration) or  la disminución (decrease)
  • to fall (in general) is   caer but of price or temperature bajar     
  • a fall is una caída or una baja accordingly

Staying the same

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The same is el mismo ,  la misma or lo mismo.

Without change is sin cambio

Equal is igual. and por igual is the adjective or adverb ‘equally’.

The phrase me da igual means ‘it’s all the same to me’, while ‘never mind’ is simply da igual.

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