Archive for October, 2009

Spanish Noun: Dolor

Friday, October 30th, 2009 | Permalink

Spanish Noun: Dolor

Pronunciation: Doh-lohr

Translation: Pain

Function: Noun

Sometimes it is very important to get across your feelings, especially when you have to do it in a foreign language, and it is about some pain you are feeling. It is a good thing to know if you need to tell a foreign doctor.

You should know how to convey at least three different intensities, as in ‘dolor’ [pain], ‘molestia’ [bothersome,] and ‘sensación’ [feel], all three going from a high to a low discomfort. They all accept to be qualified with ‘intenso’ [intense] or ‘leve’ [mild], in case you want to emphasize.

Example:

Tengo una molestia en la pierna

Translation:

I have a bothersome pain in my leg

Spanish Word: Buen día

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009 | Permalink

Spanish Word: Buen día Pronunciation:

Booayn deeah Translation:

Good day Function:

Salutation

If you can´t remember the right time of day to use ‘buenos días’, ‘buenas tardes’ or ‘buenas noches’ [good morning, good afternoon, good evening] you can always use the orthographically correct ‘Buen día’ [Good day] at any time of the day (it can be used on writing too, as an introduction for all kinds of e-mail, formal or not)

If you don´t want to sound that formal, you can say the colloquial that locals use: ‘buenas’. They say it at any time of day, but mostly to their acquaintances

Example: Buen día tengan todos ustedes

Translation:

Good day you all

Spanish Word: Endocrino…

Monday, October 26th, 2009 | Permalink

Spanish Word: Endocrino…

Pronunciation: Ayn-doh-kree-noh

Translation: Endocrinologist

Function: short for

Don’t be confused when you hear Spanish speakers’ medical talk full of truncated words when referring to specialties, as in ‘endocrino’: short for ‘endocrinólogo’ [endocrinologist]. These apocopes are often used simply to save time or just because the speaker doesn´t really know the final part.

In most of the instances the missing part is ‘-logo’ [-logist], as in ‘cardio’ [for cardiologist], ‘procto’ [for proctologist]. Sometimes the missing part is huge, as in ‘otorrino’, for otorhinolaryngologist!

Example:

Endocrino

Translation:

Endocrinologist


Spanish Noun: Joven, Señorita (tratamiento)

Friday, October 23rd, 2009 | Permalink

Spanish Noun: Joven, Señorita (tratamiento)

Pronunciation: Hoj-bayn

Translation: <!– /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:”Cambria Math”; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:roman; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-1610611985 1107304683 0 0 159 0;} @font-face {font-family:Calibri; panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:swiss; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-1610611985 1073750139 0 0 159 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:”"; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-ansi-language:ES;} .MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; font-size:10.0pt; mso-ansi-font-size:10.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.0in 1.0in 1.0in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} –> Waiter, Maid (treatment)

Function: Noun

<!– /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:”Cambria Math”; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:roman; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-1610611985 1107304683 0 0 159 0;} @font-face {font-family:Calibri; panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:swiss; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-1610611985 1073750139 0 0 159 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:”"; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-ansi-language:ES;} .MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; font-size:10.0pt; mso-ansi-font-size:10.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.0in 1.0in 1.0in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} –> When trying to get an attendant´s attention, using his or her job’s name could be considered impolite. Usage in most of Spain and Latin-America calls for a general name to be used instead, such as ‘señor’ or ‘señora’, instead of ‘mesero’ or ‘mesera’ [waiter] or any other attendant job name.

<!– /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:”Cambria Math”; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:roman; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-1610611985 1107304683 0 0 159 0;} @font-face {font-family:Calibri; panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:swiss; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-1610611985 1073750139 0 0 159 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:”"; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-ansi-language:ES;} .MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; font-size:10.0pt; mso-ansi-font-size:10.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.0in 1.0in 1.0in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} –> If the attendant is a young man or woman, then you can also use ‘joven’ [young man] for a male, or ‘señorita’ [miss], for a female (just remember never to call a male attendant with archaic ‘señorito’, as it is only used these days in a pejorative sense)

Example: <!– /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:”Cambria Math”; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:roman; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-1610611985 1107304683 0 0 159 0;} @font-face {font-family:Calibri; panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:swiss; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-1610611985 1073750139 0 0 159 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:”"; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-ansi-language:ES;} .MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; font-size:10.0pt; mso-ansi-font-size:10.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.0in 1.0in 1.0in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} –> ¡Señorita!

Translation: Maid!

Spanish Noun: Joven, Señorita

Friday, October 23rd, 2009 | Permalink

Spanish Noun: Joven, Señorita (tratamiento)

Pronunciation: Hoj-bayn

Translation: Waiter, Maid (treatment)

Function: Noun

When trying to get an attendant´s attention, using his or her job’s name could be considered impolite. Usage in most of Spain and Latin-America calls for a general name to be used instead, such as ‘señor’ or ‘señora’, instead of ‘mesero’ or ‘mesera’ [waiter] or any other attendant job name.

If the attendant is a young man or woman, then you can also use ‘joven’ [young man] for a male, or ‘señorita’ [miss], for a female (just remember never to call a male attendant with archaic ‘señorito’, as it is only used these days in a pejorative sense)

Example: ¡Señorita!

Translation: Maid!

Spanish Interjecciones : ¡Ah!, ¡Eh!, ¡Ojalá!

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009 | Permalink

Spanish Interjecciones (Interjection): ¡Ah!, ¡Eh!, ¡Ojalá!

Pronunciation: Ah, Ayh, Ohhah-lah

Translation: Interjections ¡Ah!, ¡Eh!, ¡God willing!

Function: Interjection

Interjections in Spanish, as in English, are used to show surprise, disagreement, even pain. Generally speaking, you can use ‘Ojalá’ and all the vowels: ah, eh, i, oh, uh (although ‘i’ is not an official one, but is used to show disbelief, just the same as English ‘So?’)

‘Ojalá’ is pretty much used as ‘god willing’ is used in English, but it lacks the religious feeling of its English counterpart. The vowels are followed by an ‘h’ when written: ‘ah’, ‘eh’, ‘oh’ and ‘uh’; they show surprise, estrangement, shock and disbelief, respectively (if you want to sound Caribbean and show an interested surprise, say the one Bart Simpson uses: ¡Caramba!)

Example:

¡Ojalá esté aquí en el verano’

Translation:

God willing, he´ll be here in summer

Spanish Phrase: Esa cosa

Monday, October 19th, 2009 | Permalink

Spanish Phrase: Esa cosa

Pronunciation: Ay-sah co-sah

Translation: That thing

Function: Phrase

What’s a foreigner to do when the Spanish name of something is unknown but -nevertheless- it is part of the conversation? Well, just say “esa cosa”, as locals do when they are talking so fast they don´t want to slow down and remember the exact name of  “that thing”

This phrase is used more frequently in Spanish than in English, so you won’t be taken for someone lazy if you use it, just don’t forget to point it out if you can see “that stuff”.

Example:

¿Cuánto vale eso?… esa cosa que cuelga del techo.

Translation:

How much is that?….that thing hanging from the ceiling.

Spanish Title:Don, Doña

Saturday, October 17th, 2009 | Permalink

Spanish Title:Don, Doña

Pronunciation:Dohn, Donya

Translation:Don, Madam

Function:Title

You will find these courtesy titles almost paired to “Sir” and “Lady”, although you can still find ‘Señor Don” and ‘Señora Doña’ used in Spain… which falls short of queen itself. You will see it used in most written invitations.

You will also find a college degree used instead of “señor” [Mr.] or “señora” [Lady] as in ‘doctor’ [doctor] or ‘ingeniero´[engineer]. If you don’t know whether somebody has a degree or not, be on the safe side and use “Don” freely, as it works both in formal and important occasions.

Example:Sra. Doña Fe Roa Paz

Translation:Madam Fe Roa Paz

Spanish verb: Recordar, acordar

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009 | Permalink

Spanish verb: Recordar, acordar

Pronunciation:Reh-kohr-dahr, ah-kohr-dahr

Translation:Remember

Function:verb

Is it ‘Yo recordé’ or ‘Yo me acordé’? [I remembered] When it comes to remembering, you use the first form if you remembered something willingfully, or the second one if you didn´t mean it, and just came to you because you saw something or it came to your mind by itself.

The pronominal form ‘me recuerdo’ is never to be used, except if you are remembering yourself in some situation, as in ‘me recuerdo en los brazos de mi madre’ [I remember myself in my mother's arms]

Example:Recordar es vivir

Translation:Remembering is living

Spanish verb: Gana

Sunday, October 11th, 2009 | Permalink

Spanish verb: Gana  

Pronunciation:Gah-nah

Translation:Makes

Function:verb

‘Gana’ [wins | makes | will ] is most used when talking about winning: ‘El estudiante más rápido gana’ [The fastest student wins] It is also used in the sense of making money: “Gana doce mil al año” [makes twelve thousand a year]

Yet another meaning for this word is will to do something: ‘lo hizo sin gana’ [he did it unwillingly], in this same context, ‘gana’ can be used as a noun: ‘échale más ganas’ [put more will into it]

Example:Los dos ganan lo mismo

Translation:Both of them make the same

Spanish Phrase: Frase nominal

Saturday, October 10th, 2009 | Permalink

Spanish Phrase: Frase nominal

Pronunciation:Frah-say noh-mee-nahl

Translation:Noun phrase

Function:Phrase

The rule of thumb calls for putting the words right to left when it comes to a string of adjectives, like in ‘el coche nuevo azul marino’ [the ocean blue new car]. But that’s not the case always, as in the example below.

It is because “freshly” clearly refers to “ground” first than to the noun “pepper”, that the order is not quite from right to left, as it would have been the case if “freshly” had been “fresh” as in: “ground black fresh pepper”

Example:pimienta negra recién molida

Translation:freshly ground black pepper

Spanish Noun: Baño, servicios

Thursday, October 8th, 2009 | Permalink

Spanish Noun:Baño, servicios

Pronunciation:Bah-nyohs

Translation:Bathroom, services

Function:Noun
It all depends which country you are, so will the local words for bathroom be. ‘sanitario’ [sanitary] being the most universal but perhaps too formal. ‘Servicios’ is very much preferred in Spain, but it is rather incomplete, don’t use it in America as most locals will ask ‘¿qué clase de servicios?’ [what kind of services are you looking for?]

Los servicios sanitarios’ would be the whole, but kilometric form. If you are with family or friends you can always use ‘baño’ [bathroom], which can also has the verbal form ‘bañar’ [to bath], used when talking about some thing being covered with a substance, as in “baño de azúcar” [sugar bath] used in cooking recipes.


Example:
¿Sabe dónde están el sanitario?

Translation:Do you know where the sanitary is?

Spanish: Pronombres al mínimo

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009 | Permalink

Spanish:Pronombres al mínimo

Pronunciation:Proh-nohm-brays ahl mee-nee-moh

Translation:Minimize pronouns

Function:Usage

“Keep the pronouns at a minimum” is a golden rule for foreigners talking or writing in Spanish. Remember that most of the time the verb is enough to tell male from female and plural from singular.

If the subject has been mentioned keep all pronouns and references to it out, until another subject comes around. You just don’t need it and keeps the phrasing from being unnecessarily repetitive.

Example:Gaia, la pequeña niñera, entró en el cuarto con paso ágil, haciendo sonar sus sandalias. Era casi una niña, como atestiguaba su pelo castaño claro y su alegre carita.
Translation:Gaia, the little nursemaid, came briskly into the nursery, her sandals clattering on the floor. She was hardly more than a child, with her light brown hair and merry face.

Spanish: Síncope

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009 | Permalink

Spanish:Síncope

Pronunciation:Seen-koh-pay

Translation:Syncope

Function:Usage

You can make your writing and talk sound more “Hispanic” by joining the typical (and correct) English short sentences with a conjunction, preposition or, like in the example below, with a mere replacement of a period with a comma.

Ritmo con síncopes’ [syncopated rhythm] is the formal description of English writing, where short sentences are not the exception but the rule. Spanish way is just the opposite around: as long as sentences have something in common. On the other side, Spanish is called “a language with runaway paragraphs” by foreigners.
Example:Cuando lo necesite, tome la bolsa entre sus manos y rómpala, la piel entrará en contacto con la crema y así obtendrá el agua que necesita.

Translation:When in need you can take the bag with your hands and break it. The skin will make contact with the cream and will get the water it needs.

Spanish Salutation:Querida

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009 | Permalink

Spanish Salutation:Querida

Pronunciation:Keh-ree-dah

Translation:Dear (female), mistress

Function:Salutation

Querida has several connotations, some of them very different from one another: it is used frequently as an introduction in personal letters written to female members of the family, i.e. ‘Querida madre’ [Dear mother], but when used as a noun, it means “mistress”.

Querida’ (or masculine Querido) can also be used in the middle of the sentence, just as any other adjective: ‘Es una muy querida amiga’ [She is a very dear friend] “Siempre fue un hijo muy querido” [He was always a very beloved son]

Example:Querida doña Olga Ruiz

Translation:Dear Mrs. Olga Ruiz

Spanish Title:Doña

Thursday, October 1st, 2009 | Permalink

Spanish Title:Doña

Pronunciation:Doh-nya

Translation:Mrs.

Function:Title

Just to be on the safe side, you can use this word when talking to -or about- a lady. It works for all-kinds of situations, formal or informal. It is almost like using “madam”.

If you know the marital status, then you can use ‘señora’ for the married woman and ‘señorita’ for the unmarried. ‘Muchacha’ is used only for acquaintances. ‘Nena’ [baby] is supposed just for small female children, younger than a ‘niña’ [girl].

Example:Doña Lydia vendrá a la fiesta

Translation:Mrs. Lydia will come to the party

 

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