Traveling the world, learning languages, and immersing myself in new cultures.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

14 Más Still Even Yet More Fun Things This American Has Learned About The Spanish Language

Oh, how long has it been since I've written about the Spanish language! I have been working on some videos lately, like the one below, which is partly why I haven't written. But mostly, I've just been lazy. I mean, I did do one, two, three, four, fiveseveneight parts already! Ok, ok. There is still so much more language, nuances, and crazy logic to uncover! So, let's see what else I'm learning about Cervantes' language.

1. Pagafanta is someone who is friend-zoned, and therefore "pays for the Fantas". I find it interesting that once you become a pagafanta, it is your job, not your current state of sadness, as it is used with ser (permanent "to be") and not with estar (temporary "to be"). No seas un pagafanta!

2. The rrRoyal Academy of eSpanish says the prefix re- means "repetition", yet I'm finding many cases where that's not quite the case:
-re + llenar (to fill [cup, hand, bowl]) ≠ rellenar (to fill in [forms and documents])
-re + ir (to go) ≠ reir (to laugh)
-re irse (to go [leave]) ≠ reirse (to laugh [at someone])
-re + volver (to go back) ≠ revolver (to stir)
-re + coger (to take) ≠ recoger (to pick up/gather/collect)
-re + flexionar (to bend) ≠ reflexionar (to reflect)

3. Self-inflicted logic:
-autoestima = self esteem
-automata = suicide (self kill)
-auto = self
-móvil = phone
-automóvil* = self-calling phone?

*automóvil = automobile

4. To know where to buy something specific, simply put the suffix -ería after the word find to where that item is sold. Huh?
-panadería - sells pan - bakery
-carnicería - sells carne - butcher
-zapatería - sells zapatos - shoe store
-tontería* - sells tontos - idiot store
-niñería* - sells niños - human trafficking
-mujería* - sells mujeres - Amsterdam?
-fería* - sells efe's - f store

*tontería = silly thing, niñería = childish thing, mujería doesn't exist, and fería = festival.

5. Are you a sympathetic or empathetic person? Um, I don't know. I just know I'm nice :-)
-empatía = sympathy = empathy
-empatico = empathetic 
-simpatico = nice???
-solidario = sympathetic

6. An easy way to remember the name of a tree is to masculinize the name of it's fruit... except not always.
-manzana (apple) = manzano (apple tree)
-naranja (orange) = naranjo (orange tree)
-oliva (olive, sometimes) = olivo (olive tree)
-pera (pear) ≠ pero (but) [they grow on trees - árbol de pera]
-fresa (strawberry) ≠ freso (I mill) [they grow on bushes - arbustos]
-sandia (watermelon) ≠ sandio (foolish) [they grow on vines - vides]

7. Dad's in Spanish are female. Hold up, what? I mean, the suffix -dad is always a feminine word.
la actualidad (present/current), la cualidad (characteristic/quality), la tranquilidad (tranquility), and a bunch more dads here
Oh, and don't forget la dadidad  

8. So, the word frío has two meaning that are complete opposites. 
-frío = I fry = a hot thing
-frío = cold = a cold thing
-a hot thing ≠ a cold thing (in case you didn't get where I was going with this)

9. Be careful what you hear, because sometimes it sounds the same, but it means something different.
-Spell bañera in Spanish - "te-u-be" = tub = " te-uve" = TV (please don't put water in your television)
-sílabas (syllables) sounds like si lavas (if you wash). Tu nombre, cuántas sílabas / si lavas? Mi nombre no cambia de cantidad si está limpio o sucio. Your name, how many syllables / how much if you wash it? My name doesn't change quantity if it's clean or dirty.
-vara (rod)  barra (bar), but not barra - quiero que barra (I want him to sweep)

10. The @ symbol (arroba) in Spanish is used to talk about the masculine and feminine at the same time, without having to write it twice. Of course there is a Jose Motá video about this that is hilarious!

11. We spoke about the spanish 'c' and 'z' but apparently enzima (enzyme) didn't get the memo and is with *z* instead of *zsth*. Plus, it's masculine and feminine? Like water.

12. Fun with eñe. (Spoiler: It totally changes the meanings.)
-una / uña = one / nail
-cuna / cuña = door stopper / baby crib
-pena / peña = sadness, punishment, pain, feather, pity, penholder / rock, cliff, group, organization
-ano / año = anus / year
-cono / coño = cone / vulgar word for vagina

13. I often hear Spanish students complain that in English we have words that are spelled the same with different meanings... um, hello, it's the same in Spanish:
-mazo - a lot / deck of cards
-piña - pinecone / pineapple 
-cómoda - comfortable / dresser
-gallinero - hen house/ a bunch of women gossiping / nosebleed section
-esposas - wives / handcuffs (I'm sure this one causes a lot of arguments)
-calzada - road / wearing shoes / bird's sound
-pena - sadness / punishment / pain / feather / pity / penholder
-camello - camel / drug trafficker
-antojo - mole / craving
-fantasma - ghost / show-off
-llama = flame / he calls / llama 

14. Be careful with diminutivos. They aren't always logical, even though they are. For instance, the suffix for "small" is -ill@:
-cosas (things) + -illas = cosillas (small things)
-poncho (poncho) + -illo = ponchillo (small poncho)
-caja (box) + -illa = cajilla (small box)
-casa (house) -illa = casilla (small house / great blog posts)
-muletas (crutches) + -illas  ≠ muletillas (filler words [um, eh, like])
-cabra (goat) + -illa  ≠ cabrilla (sea bass)
-gorra (hat/cap) + -illa  ≠ gorrilla (how it sounds to me because many Spanish roll the single 'r' even though it is not supposed to be rolled) it should be gorilla and it means gorilla.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

Thanks for reading! Check out part 1, part 2, part 3part 4part 5part 7 of this series. For more on my life in Navarra, check out VEN con TMax.

(some of the images/videos used in this post are from other sources and not my own)

Location: Pamplona, Navarre, Spain


Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment! It will be reviewed and then posted shortly. See you on the next adventure!

best eBook ever

Subscribe & Travel with the TMax

Popular Posts

Countries Visited



Online Fitness Course

Online Fitness Course
Functional Fitness for ALL Levels

Online Kettlebell Course

Online Kettlebell Course
Kettlebells For You, Me, & Everybody