Stuff Catalans Do: Zumzeig


Aka the joy of research.  To tell you the truth, I was stumped. There aren’t that many Z-words in Catalan, at least not native words. Most are international ones from Greek and other languages – like zebra, zènit, zoo, zombi,  zona  – and country names and their adjectives like Zàmbia and zambià, Zaire and zairès. (If you’re a real word nerd there’s a list here). There’s also Zona zàping, a weekly roundup on Catalan TV of sports fails – people falling off bikes, skiing into trees… you know the kind of thing.

And then, right at the bottom of the list,  was zumzeig (zoom-ZEDGE). Aha! The delightful onomatopoeic counterpart to xiuxiueig. I discovered it’s from the verb zumzejar which means to oscillate or move up and down (like waves). And, more colloquially, zum-zum is a humming noise – as of bees or a crowd of people.

And then I found something new and interesting, a fitting way to end this blog series:

Zumzeig is Catalonia’s first cooperative cinema. “A committed, activist, non-profit cultural project, with an original version program along with other cultural activities.” I translated that for you from their webpage, but from now you’re on your own.  Enjoy!

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