History UsefulNotes / SpanishLanguage

17th Aug '16 5:42:26 PM TomSFox
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One thing that ''does'' present occasional problems (for English speakers primarily) is the gender. It's mostly an arbitrary attribute of the noun (''el palo'', "stick," masculine; ''la mesa'', "table," feminine; it depends on usage, too: a hair dryer is masculine ("secador de pelo"), while the clothes dryer is feminine ("secadora de ropa"). However, when it comes to things that have actual gender they cling to that. A male cat is "un gato", while a female cat is "una gata". Not all names of gendered creatures have gendered forms, though, but in those cases the gender is easily identified by the article and/or adjective (i.e.: "bobcat" would be "el lince" and "la lince", respectively). In any case, you don't have that ridiculous business like in [[GermanLanguage German]] where the word for "girl" is neuter. Spanish actually doesn't have a neuter gender at all; everything is either masculine or feminine.

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One thing that ''does'' present occasional problems (for English speakers primarily) is the gender. It's mostly an arbitrary attribute of the noun (''el palo'', "stick," masculine; ''la mesa'', "table," feminine; it depends on usage, too: a hair dryer is masculine ("secador de pelo"), while the clothes dryer is feminine ("secadora de ropa"). However, when it comes to things that have actual gender they cling to that. A male cat is "un gato", while a female cat is "una gata". Not all names of gendered creatures have gendered forms, though, but in those cases the gender is easily identified by the article and/or adjective (i.e.: "bobcat" would be "el lince" and "la lince", respectively). In any case, you don't have that ridiculous business like in [[GermanLanguage German]] where the word for "girl" is neuter. Spanish actually doesn't have a neuter gender at all; everything is either masculine or feminine.
respectively).
17th Aug '16 1:52:18 PM DaNuke
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* S: In Latin America this sounds just like in English, while in European pronunciation it may sound like "sh" at first, but it actually is a sound between "s" and "sh" that takes some time to learn to make. However, in most Latin American dialects (Mexico, Guatemala and Costa Rica being notables exceptions) as well as in southern Spain, "s" is often turned into an "h" sound, or even omitted entirely, when it comes before a consonant or at the end of the a word.[[note]]As in, "[[Disney/TheLittleMermaid Tú cre' que en otro' lado' lah alga' ma' werde' son...]]"[[/note]]

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* S: In Latin America this sounds just like in English, while in European pronunciation it may sound like "sh" at first, but it actually is a sound between "s" and "sh" that takes some time to learn to make. However, in most Latin American dialects (Mexico, Guatemala and Costa Rica being notables exceptions) as well as in southern Spain, "s" is often turned into an "h" sound, or even omitted entirely, when it comes before a consonant or at the end of the a word.[[note]]As in, "[[Disney/TheLittleMermaid Tú cre' que en otro' lado' lah alga' ma' werde' son...]]"[[/note]]]]", or in Andrés Manuel López Obrador's famously attributed quote, "¡Ehto é un compló!"[[/note]]
17th Aug '16 3:09:58 AM DaNuke
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Added DiffLines:

Decimal separators also depend on the region. In Spain, the thousands separator is a period and the fractional separator is a comma (ten thousand and a half in Spain = 10.000,5); in Latin America, just like in American English, the thousands separator is a comma and the fractional separator is a period (ten thousand and a half in Mexico = 10,000.5).
17th Aug '16 3:05:01 AM DaNuke
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Another difference of Spanish punctuation is their disuse of quotation marks. Dialogue is denoted by long "em" dashes (—), and quotes and phrases are surrounded by ''comillas angulares'', or angular quotes, used in most Romance languages, which look like this: «Se usan las comillas angulares para marcar las citas.». This might come as a bit of a surprise for you, because despite being the actually correct ones as specified by the RAE, «angular quotes» are in practice pretty much exclusive to Spain; in Latin America, everybody uses American English "quotation marks".

to:

Another difference of Spanish punctuation is their disuse of quotation marks. Dialogue is denoted by long "em" dashes (—), and quotes and phrases are surrounded by ''comillas angulares'', «comillas angulares.», or angular quotes, used in most Romance languages, which look like this: «Se usan las comillas angulares para marcar las citas.». This languages. If you're from the Americas this might come as a bit of a surprise for you, because despite being the actually correct ones as specified by the RAE, «angular quotes» are in practice pretty much exclusive to Spain; in Latin America, everybody uses American English "quotation marks".



And on top of that, we have ''region-specific false friends'': "bizarro", according to the RAE, doesn't means "bizarre", instead it means either "brave" or "generous"... but that's only in Spain, because in Latin America, which is directly influenced by the United States, "bizarro" ''is'' usually taken to mean "bizarre".

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And on top of that, we have ''region-specific false friends'': "bizarro", according to the RAE, doesn't means "bizarre", instead it actually means either "brave" or "generous"... but that's only in Spain, because in Latin America, which where the language is directly influenced by the United States, American English, "bizarro" ''is'' usually taken to mean "bizarre".
"bizarre"!
9th Aug '16 3:58:01 PM DaNuke
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And on top of that, we have ''region-specific false friends'': "bizarro", according to the RAE, doesn't means "bizarre", but it means either "brave" or "generous"... but that's only in Spain, because in Latin America, which is directly influenced by the United States, "bizarro" ''is'' usually taken to mean "bizarre".

to:

And on top of that, we have ''region-specific false friends'': "bizarro", according to the RAE, doesn't means "bizarre", but instead it means either "brave" or "generous"... but that's only in Spain, because in Latin America, which is directly influenced by the United States, "bizarro" ''is'' usually taken to mean "bizarre".
9th Aug '16 3:57:39 PM DaNuke
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Added DiffLines:

And on top of that, we have ''region-specific false friends'': "bizarro", according to the RAE, doesn't means "bizarre", but it means either "brave" or "generous"... but that's only in Spain, because in Latin America, which is directly influenced by the United States, "bizarro" ''is'' usually taken to mean "bizarre".
9th Aug '16 3:51:42 PM DaNuke
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Another difference of Spanish punctuation is their disuse of quotation marks. Dialogue is denoted by long "em" dashes (—), and quotes and phrases are surrounded by ''comillas angulares'', or angular quotes, used in most Romance languages, which look like this: «Se usan las comillas angulares para marcar las citas.». This might come as a bit of a surprise for you, because «angular quotes» are actually pretty much exclusive to Spain; in Latin America, they use American English "quotation marks".

to:

Another difference of Spanish punctuation is their disuse of quotation marks. Dialogue is denoted by long "em" dashes (—), and quotes and phrases are surrounded by ''comillas angulares'', or angular quotes, used in most Romance languages, which look like this: «Se usan las comillas angulares para marcar las citas.». This might come as a bit of a surprise for you, because despite being the actually correct ones as specified by the RAE, «angular quotes» are actually in practice pretty much exclusive to Spain; in Latin America, they use everybody uses American English "quotation marks".
5th Aug '16 3:34:22 PM DaNuke
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* ''Pendejo''= "pubic hair", roughly idiot or jackass, with an added connotation of willful incompetence. Rarely used in Spain, and much, much stronger in Puerto Rico. Also a derogative word for a young person in Chile and Argentina.There was a scandal in Venezuela when the late politician and intelectual Arturo Uslar Pietri used the word on a TV interview in 1989 to refer to honest everymen., not because the meaning but because at the time the word was considered too strong for broadcasting (while in real life it is relatively mild).

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* ''Pendejo''= "pubic hair", roughly idiot or jackass, with an added connotation of willful incompetence. Rarely used in Spain, and much, much stronger in Puerto Rico. Also a derogative word for a young person in Chile and Argentina.Argentina, and for a particularly dumb or mean person in Mexico. There was a scandal in Venezuela when the late politician and intelectual Arturo Uslar Pietri used the word on a TV interview in 1989 to refer to honest everymen., not because the meaning but because at the time the word was considered too strong for broadcasting (while in real life it is relatively mild).



* ''Chingar'' = Fuck. Almost an exact synonym for joder, but used more often in Mexico, whereas joder is practically a comma for the Spanish.

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* ''Chingar'' = Fuck. Almost an exact synonym for joder, but used more most often in Mexico, whereas joder is practically a comma for the Spanish.



* ''Pajero'' = Wanker/douchebag/jackoff. Mitsubishi fortunately avoided [[BiteTheWaxTadpole biting the wax tadpole]] on this one. In Chile it's also a pejorative term for a lazy and/or slow person: "Apúrate, pajero!" would mean "Hurry up, stupid slouch!"

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* ''Pajero'' = Wanker/douchebag/jackoff. Mitsubishi fortunately avoided [[BiteTheWaxTadpole biting the wax tadpole]] on this one.one and sold their model as "Montero" (mountaineer) in Latin America. In Chile it's also a pejorative term for a lazy and/or slow person: "Apúrate, pajero!" would mean "Hurry up, stupid slouch!"
5th Aug '16 3:28:33 PM DaNuke
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Another difference of Spanish punctuation is their disuse of quotation marks. Dialogue is denoted by long "em" dashes (—), and quotes and phrases are surrounded by ''comillas angulares'', or angular quotes, used in most Romance languages, which look like this: «Se usan las comillas angulares para marcar las citas.». However in recent years, due to the use of computers, English quotation marks are starting to be dominant, since oddly enough Spanish specific keyboards DON'T feature the angular quotes as a key

to:

Another difference of Spanish punctuation is their disuse of quotation marks. Dialogue is denoted by long "em" dashes (—), and quotes and phrases are surrounded by ''comillas angulares'', or angular quotes, used in most Romance languages, which look like this: «Se usan las comillas angulares para marcar las citas.». However This might come as a bit of a surprise for you, because «angular quotes» are actually pretty much exclusive to Spain; in recent years, due to the Latin America, they use of computers, American English quotation marks are starting to be dominant, since oddly enough Spanish specific keyboards DON'T feature the angular quotes as a key
"quotation marks".



The nature of semantic drift naturally ensures that [[InMyLanguageThatSoundsLike "false]] [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_friend friends"]] will arise. Probably the most famous, as shown above, is ''molestar'', which is a perfectly innocent and mundane word in Spanish meaning "bother," but obviously means something more...extreme in English. This really isn't that difficult, but an English speaker who's sort of half-listening may still be caught off guard by a phrase such as, ''Aunque él me molestaba, yo le amaba todavía.'' ("Even though he '''bothered''' me, I still loved him." We're not talking StockholmSyndrome here). Funnily enough, this can also happen with spanish speaking natives when trying to speak english ("Teacher, teacher! He's '''molesting''' me!")

to:

The nature of semantic drift naturally ensures that [[InMyLanguageThatSoundsLike "false]] [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_friend friends"]] will arise. Probably the most famous, as shown above, is ''molestar'', which is a perfectly innocent and mundane word in Spanish meaning "bother," but obviously means something more... extreme in English. This really isn't that difficult, but an English speaker who's sort of half-listening may still be caught off guard by a phrase such as, ''Aunque él me molestaba, yo le amaba todavía.'' ("Even though he '''bothered''' me, I still loved him." We're not talking StockholmSyndrome here). Funnily enough, this can also happen with spanish speaking natives when trying to speak english ("Teacher, teacher! He's '''molesting''' me!")
5th Aug '16 3:23:55 PM DaNuke
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There is a special pronoun that is used in some areas of South America, however, which is amusingly ''derived'' from ''vosotros'', ''vos''. This dialect is known as ''voseo'', and is used primarily in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Colombia, and is popular in some Central American countries. The conjugation of the ''vos'' pronoun is a modified form of the ''vosotros'' conjugation, resulting in ''tú puedes'' becoming ''vos podés'' (compare ''vosotros podéis'')[[labelnote:*]]The stem doesn't change from o->ue here because the stem only changes if the stress is on that syllable; the stress is moved here to the second syllable and thus the stem change doesn't occur[[/labelnote]].

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There is a special pronoun that is used in some areas of South America, however, which is amusingly ''derived'' from ''vosotros'', ''vos''. This dialect is known as ''voseo'', and is used primarily in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Colombia, and is popular in some Central American countries. countries and the southernmost regions of Mexico. The conjugation of the ''vos'' pronoun is a modified form of the ''vosotros'' conjugation, resulting in ''tú puedes'' becoming ''vos podés'' (compare ''vosotros podéis'')[[labelnote:*]]The stem doesn't change from o->ue here because the stem only changes if the stress is on that syllable; the stress is moved here to the second syllable and thus the stem change doesn't occur[[/labelnote]].
occur[[/labelnote]]. (Except in Chile, which uses a different conjugation of ''vos'', with the verb ''poder'' becoming ''vos podí'' or ''vos podéi'')
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