History UsefulNotes / SpanishLanguage

23rd Apr '16 2:36:43 AM TrollBrutal
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* ''Gilipollas'' = One of the most common insults in Spain, and nowhere else. It doesn't have a literal translation, but the "-pollas" at the end comes from where you think it comes from. It would be a rough equivalent to "dumbass", although somewhat more offensive. This word also has an UnusualEuphemism version in "gilipuertas", which subtitutes "pollas" ("dicks") with "puertas" ("doors"). In Catalonia (North East of Spain) it's also used the short form ''"Gilí"'', which is considered a kinda "softer" version of the word.

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* ''Gilipollas'' = One of the most common insults in Spain, and nowhere else. It doesn't have a literal translation, but the "-pollas" at the end comes from where you think it comes from. It would be a rough equivalent to "dumbass", although somewhat more offensive.offensive akin to "asshole". This word also has an UnusualEuphemism version in "gilipuertas", which subtitutes "pollas" ("dicks") with "puertas" ("doors"). In Catalonia (North East of Spain) it's also used the short form ''"Gilí"'', which is considered a kinda "softer" version of the word.
22nd Apr '16 7:51:30 AM Eievie
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->''"El idioma -el castellano, el español- llega a ser para nosotros como un licor que paladeamos, y del cual no podemos ya prescindir. [...] Ya somos, con tanto beber de este licor, beodos del idioma."''[[labelnote:translation]]"Our language - [[IHaveManyNames Castilian, Spanish]] - has come to be, for us, a kind of liquor that we savor, and which we no longer can do without. [...] We are now, having consumed so much of this liquor, drunk on the language."[[/labelnote]]

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->''"El idioma -el -- el castellano, el español- español -- llega a ser para nosotros como un licor que paladeamos, y del cual no podemos ya prescindir. [...] Ya somos, con tanto beber de este licor, beodos del idioma."''[[labelnote:translation]]"Our language - -- [[IHaveManyNames Castilian, Spanish]] - -- has come to be, for us, a kind of liquor that we savor, and which we no longer can do without. [...] We are now, having consumed so much of this liquor, drunk on the language."[[/labelnote]]



Spanish is an Ibero-Romance language, and the second most natively spoken language in the entire world (after Mandarin Chinese) due to the enormous expanse of the Spanish Empire in its heyday. It's the national or official language of 21 countries, as well as one of the official languages of the UN and 13 other international organizations. Even in the United States alone there are over 50 million Spanish-speakers, which is more than the entire population of most Spanish-speaking countries, Spain itself included[[note]]And if you look below, there's even a native dialect of Spanish in New Mexico and Colorado![[/note]]. In short, this is a big language. It's the most widely spoken language in the Western Hemisphere. See SpanishLiterature.

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Spanish is an Ibero-Romance language, and the second most natively spoken language in the entire world (after Mandarin Chinese) due to the enormous expanse of the Spanish Empire in its heyday. It's the national or official language of 21 countries, as well as one of the official languages of the UN and 13 other international organizations. Even in the United States alone there are over 50 million Spanish-speakers, which is more than the entire population of most Spanish-speaking countries, Spain itself included[[note]]And if you look below, there's even a native dialect of Spanish in New Mexico and Colorado![[/note]]. In short, this is a big '''big''' language. It's the most widely spoken language in the Western Hemisphere. See SpanishLiterature.



The institution was created in 1714 following the model from the "Académie française" in France and the "Accademia della Crusca" in Italy. Its function is to gather and approve officially all the changes in the Spanish language in all the Spanish-speaking world to preserve and maintain its proper use. Every year they take care of including in the dictionary new words and removing unused ones[[note]]Well, at least in theory. The R.A.E. is infamous for being painfully slow in acknowledging the most recent developments, specially in the colloquial language. There are plenty of words that took DECADES to be approved by the academy just because their members kept refusing to accept them as proper[[/note]].

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The institution was created in 1714 following the model from the "Académie française" in France and the "Accademia della Crusca" in Italy. Its function is to gather and approve officially all the changes in the Spanish language in all the Spanish-speaking world to preserve and maintain its proper use. Every year they take care of including in the dictionary new words and removing unused ones[[note]]Well, at least in theory. The R.A.E. is infamous for being painfully slow in acknowledging the most recent developments, specially in the colloquial language. There are plenty of words that took DECADES '''decades''' to be approved by the academy just because their members kept refusing to accept them as proper[[/note]].



Gender is quite a bit more intuitive than in many languages as well; in most cases, a noun's gender is clear from its ending; ''-o/-an/-aje/-ón'' is almost always masculine, whereas ''-a/-ión/-ad/-ud'' is almost always feminine... not to say that there aren't exceptions[[note]]like ''la mano'' ("hand") or ''el idioma'' ("language").[[/note]]. Masculine nouns are more common than feminine ones, so if you're really lost guess masculine. Plural nouns that contain both masculine and feminine elements are mostly referred to as masculine; ''los gatos'' could mean "the [male] cats" or "the [male and female] cats," while ''las gatas'' can only refer to "the [female] cats."

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Gender is quite a bit more intuitive than in many languages as well; in most cases, a noun's gender is clear from its ending; ''-o/-an/-aje/-ón'' is almost always masculine, whereas ''-a/-ión/-ad/-ud'' is almost always feminine... not to say that there aren't exceptions[[note]]like ''la mano'' ("hand") or ''el idioma'' ("language").[[/note]]. Masculine nouns are more common than feminine ones, so if you're really lost lost, guess masculine. Plural nouns that contain both masculine and feminine elements are mostly referred to as masculine; ''los gatos'' could mean "the [male] cats" or "the [male and female] cats," while ''las gatas'' can only refer to "the [female] cats."



On ''vosotros'' and ''ustedes'' (the plural 2nd person pronouns) meanwhile, ''vosotros'' is used ONLY in Spain, and following the same rule of thumb as with ''tú'' and ''usted'' (as in ''vosotros'' in casual speech and ''ustedes'' in formal speech). If you use it in Latin America, at best it sounds like "tally-ho, guvnah!" in the United States, but for the most part, it will usually sound like saying [[YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe "forsooth, ye art thou!"]] in Modern English. You can get away with it as a nonnative speaker, but try to stick to ''ustedes'' even if you're in full-blown ''ceceo'' mode (more on that later as well). Also in Spain itself people will always understand you (although it may sound a little weird to them if you manage to make friends with them) so it's a safe bet.

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On ''vosotros'' and ''ustedes'' (the plural 2nd person pronouns) meanwhile, ''vosotros'' is used ONLY '''only''' in Spain, and following the same rule of thumb as with ''tú'' and ''usted'' (as in ''vosotros'' in casual speech and ''ustedes'' in formal speech). If you use it in Latin America, at best it sounds like "tally-ho, guvnah!" in the United States, but for the most part, it will usually sound like saying [[YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe "forsooth, ye art thou!"]] in Modern English. You can get away with it as a nonnative speaker, but try to stick to ''ustedes'' even if you're in full-blown ''ceceo'' mode (more on that later as well). Also in Spain itself people will always understand you (although it may sound a little weird to them if you manage to make friends with them) so it's a safe bet.
6th Apr '16 10:26:44 PM TalonsofIceandFire
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On ''vosotros'' and ''ustedes'' (the plural 2nd person pronouns) meanwhile, ''vosotros'' is used ONLY in Spain, and following the same rule of thumb as with ''tú'' and ''usted'' (as in ''vosotros'' in casual speech and ''ustedes'' in formal speech). If you use it in Latin America, at best it sounds like "tally-ho, guvnah!" in the North America, but for the most part, it will usually sound like saying [[YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe "forsooth, ye art thou!"]] in Modern English. You can get away with it as a nonnative speaker, but try to stick to ''ustedes'' even if you're in full-blown ''ceceo'' mode (more on that later as well). Also in Spain itself people will always understand you (although it may sound a little weird to them if you manage to make friends with them) so it's a safe bet.

to:

On ''vosotros'' and ''ustedes'' (the plural 2nd person pronouns) meanwhile, ''vosotros'' is used ONLY in Spain, and following the same rule of thumb as with ''tú'' and ''usted'' (as in ''vosotros'' in casual speech and ''ustedes'' in formal speech). If you use it in Latin America, at best it sounds like "tally-ho, guvnah!" in the North America, United States, but for the most part, it will usually sound like saying [[YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe "forsooth, ye art thou!"]] in Modern English. You can get away with it as a nonnative speaker, but try to stick to ''ustedes'' even if you're in full-blown ''ceceo'' mode (more on that later as well). Also in Spain itself people will always understand you (although it may sound a little weird to them if you manage to make friends with them) so it's a safe bet.
6th Apr '16 10:25:56 PM TalonsofIceandFire
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On ''vosotros'' and ''ustedes'' (the plural 2nd person pronouns) meanwhile, ''vosotros'' is used ONLY in Spain, and following the same rule of thumb as with ''tú'' and ''usted'' (as in ''vosotros'' in casual speech and ''ustedes'' in formal speech). If you use it in Latin America, at best it sounds like "tally-ho, guvnah!", but for the most part, it will usually sound like saying [[YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe "forsooth, ye art thou!"]] today. You can get away with it as a nonnative speaker, but try to stick to ''ustedes'' even if you're in full-blown ''ceceo'' mode (more on that later as well). Also in Spain itself people will always understand you (although it may sound a little weird to them if you manage to make friends with them) so it's a safe bet.

to:

On ''vosotros'' and ''ustedes'' (the plural 2nd person pronouns) meanwhile, ''vosotros'' is used ONLY in Spain, and following the same rule of thumb as with ''tú'' and ''usted'' (as in ''vosotros'' in casual speech and ''ustedes'' in formal speech). If you use it in Latin America, at best it sounds like "tally-ho, guvnah!", guvnah!" in the North America, but for the most part, it will usually sound like saying [[YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe "forsooth, ye art thou!"]] today.in Modern English. You can get away with it as a nonnative speaker, but try to stick to ''ustedes'' even if you're in full-blown ''ceceo'' mode (more on that later as well). Also in Spain itself people will always understand you (although it may sound a little weird to them if you manage to make friends with them) so it's a safe bet.
6th Apr '16 10:25:05 PM TalonsofIceandFire
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On ''vosotros'' and ''ustedes'' (the plural 2nd person pronouns) meanwhile, ''vosotros'' is used ONLY in Spain, and following the same rule of thumb as with ''tú'' and ''usted'' (as in ''vosotros'' in casual speech and ''ustedes'' in formal speech). If you use it in Latin America, it will usually sound like saying [[YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe "thou" or "thy"]] today. You can get away with it as a nonnative speaker, but try to stick to ''ustedes'' even if you're in full-blown ''ceceo'' mode (more on that later as well). Also in Spain itself people will always understand you (although it may sound a little weird to them if you manage to make friends with them) so it's a safe bet.

to:

On ''vosotros'' and ''ustedes'' (the plural 2nd person pronouns) meanwhile, ''vosotros'' is used ONLY in Spain, and following the same rule of thumb as with ''tú'' and ''usted'' (as in ''vosotros'' in casual speech and ''ustedes'' in formal speech). If you use it in Latin America, at best it sounds like "tally-ho, guvnah!", but for the most part, it will usually sound like saying [[YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe "thou" or "thy"]] "forsooth, ye art thou!"]] today. You can get away with it as a nonnative speaker, but try to stick to ''ustedes'' even if you're in full-blown ''ceceo'' mode (more on that later as well). Also in Spain itself people will always understand you (although it may sound a little weird to them if you manage to make friends with them) so it's a safe bet.
24th Mar '16 5:09:05 PM TalonsofIceandFire
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On ''vosotros'' and ''ustedes'' (the plural 2nd person pronouns) meanwhile, ''vosotros'' is used ONLY in Spain, and following the same rule of thumb as with ''tú'' and ''usted'' (as in ''vosotros'' in casual speech and ''ustedes'' in formal speech). If you use it in Latin America, at best it will sound like saying "Tally-ho, Guvnah" in the US and at worst they won't know what you're talking about. You can get away with it as a nonnative speaker, but try to stick to ''ustedes'' even if you're in full-blown ''ceceo'' mode (more on that later as well). Also in Spain itself people will always understand you (although it may sound a little weird to them if you manage to make friends with them) so it's a safe bet.

to:

On ''vosotros'' and ''ustedes'' (the plural 2nd person pronouns) meanwhile, ''vosotros'' is used ONLY in Spain, and following the same rule of thumb as with ''tú'' and ''usted'' (as in ''vosotros'' in casual speech and ''ustedes'' in formal speech). If you use it in Latin America, at best it will usually sound like saying "Tally-ho, Guvnah" in the US and at worst they won't know what you're talking about.[[YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe "thou" or "thy"]] today. You can get away with it as a nonnative speaker, but try to stick to ''ustedes'' even if you're in full-blown ''ceceo'' mode (more on that later as well). Also in Spain itself people will always understand you (although it may sound a little weird to them if you manage to make friends with them) so it's a safe bet.
24th Feb '16 7:34:03 AM koldo27
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* ''Cojones''[[labelnote:*]]Not "cajones", although non-native speakers sometimes confuse the two. Saying that someone has a lot of cajones means that they have a lot of drawers.[[/labelnote]]= Balls (likewise)
* ''Carajo'' = An interjection roughly equivalent to damn, fuck, or in some cases hell. In Venezuela, along with the interjection use, is also used as a sightly more vulgar equivalent of "dude", even having a female and a diminutive version to refer to women and small children. "Estar del carajo", however,. means that something/someone is doing very well.

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* ''Cojones''[[labelnote:*]]Not "cajones", although non-native speakers sometimes confuse the two. Saying that someone has a lot of cajones means that they have a lot of drawers.[[/labelnote]]= Balls (likewise)
The more profane word for balls, the usual ones being ''huevos'' (which is also the word for eggs) and ''pelotas''. Quite a few expresions arise from this one: the verb ''acojonar(se)'' means "to (get) scare(d)" and is genrally used to remark how much of a coward the guy who got scared is. ''Cojonudo'' roughly translates to "fucking good". The expression ''tocar los cojones'' (literally "touching the balls") can either mean "to be a lazy fuck" or "to piss someone off" depending on whether the metaforical balls belong to the person touching them or not. Calling someone a ''mosca cojonera'' (balls-y fly) implies that they are as annoying as, well, having a fly in the balls.
* ''Carajo'' = An interjection roughly equivalent to damn, fuck, or in some cases hell. In Venezuela, along with the interjection use, is also used as a sightly more vulgar equivalent of "dude", even having a female and a diminutive version to refer to women and small children. "Estar del carajo", however,. means that something/someone is doing very well. May or may not also mean dick in some places.



* ''Cagar'' = The verb form of "shit". Often used to construct colorful oaths like ''¡Me cago en la leche!'' ("I shit in the milk!"), ''¡Me cago en la puta!'' ("I shit in the bitch!"), or even more colorful (only in Spain, and not commonly used), ''¡Me cago en la puta de oros!'' (which is a reference to Spanish playing cards, and when adapted to English cards, it would be something like "I shit in the Jack of Diamonds!"). ''Cagada'' means "shitty" or "full of shit". In some countries also a slang word for "reprimand", ex: "''El profe me cagó por lo del comedor''" meaning "The teacher reprimanded me for the cafeteria incident". In Spain, a ''cagada'' is something embarrassing, normally used to describe something someone has said with the intention of being funny (but isn't). This is different from "''cagarsele a alguien''" which literally means "to shit on someone" and which basically means to insult somebody with all you've got, and also from "''cagarse''" which is slang for being scared in some countries. ''Me cago en Dios'' ("I shit in God") is still heard in certain areas of Spain, even by religious people, but it's better not to say it if you're in front of someone who is really religious and might get seriously offended.

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* ''Cagar'' = The verb form of "shit". Often used to construct colorful oaths like ''¡Me cago en la leche!'' ("I shit in the milk!"), ''¡Me cago en la puta!'' ("I shit in the bitch!"), or even more colorful (only in Spain, and not commonly used), ''¡Me cago en la puta de oros!'' (which is a reference to Spanish playing cards, and when adapted to English cards, it would be something like "I shit in the Jack of Diamonds!"). ''Mecagüen!'' and ''Me cahis en la mar!'' are the GoshDangItToHeck versions of this. If you want to use these oaths to insult a person in particular, you can use ''me cago en la cara de tu padre!'' ("I shit in your father's face!"), ''me cago en tu puta madre!'' (I shit in your fucking mother!") or ''me cago en todos tus muertos!'' ("I shit in all of your dead relatives!"). ''Cagada'' means "shitty" or "full of shit". In some countries also a slang word for "reprimand", ex: "''El profe me cagó por lo del comedor''" meaning "The teacher reprimanded me for the cafeteria incident". In Spain, a ''cagada'' is something embarrassing, normally used to describe something someone has said with the intention of being funny (but isn't). This is different from "''cagarsele a alguien''" which literally means "to shit on someone" and which basically means to insult somebody with all you've got, and also from "''cagarse''" which is slang for being scared in some countries. ''Me cago en Dios'' ("I shit in God") is still heard in certain areas of Spain, even by religious people, but it's better not to say it if you're in front of someone who is really religious and might get seriously offended.
24th Jan '16 2:15:03 PM TheDiego908
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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.)

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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.)
here). Funnily enough, this can also happen with spanish speaking natives when trying to speak english ("Teacher, teacher! He's '''molesting''' me!")
6th Jan '16 2:11:35 PM JudgeSpear
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Added DiffLines:

Also used is the letter "ü", with the diaeresis. It is used to distinguish between "gue"/"gui" and "güe"/"güi", where in the latter, the "u" is not silent. Compare ''guitarra'' (guitar) and ''pingüino'' (penguin), and ''guerra'' (war) and ''nicaragüense'' (of or from Nicaragua).
20th Nov '15 7:50:30 AM DeisTheAlcano
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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")).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.



* '''Llanas (Graves)''': They have the accent on the second-to-last syllable. Are marked when they end in consonant different than ''n'' or ''s''. Examples. Guerra, Gato, Radio, Flores, Lápiz, Árbol, Cárcel, Difícil, Azúcar.

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* '''Llanas '''Llanas/Graves (Graves)''': They have the accent on the second-to-last syllable. Are marked when they end in consonant different than ''n'' or ''s''. Examples. Guerra, Gato, Radio, Flores, Lápiz, Árbol, Cárcel, Difícil, Azúcar.
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