Jun 15 2004

Romance (Latin) Language Cognates

The following is a list of common “Romance Language Cognates” which exist in Spanish, Italian, French and Portuguese with exact or similar spelling. However, pronunciation differs greatly according to language. They include (Spanish spelling):

chao (bye), vino (wine), toilet, mañana (tomorrow), romántico (romantic), amigo (friend), super, delicioso (delicious), centro (center), café (coffee), clima (climate), lago (lake), montaña (mountain), península (peninsula), sol (sun), cuerpo (body), estómago (stomach), diente (tooth), elefante (elephant), insecto (insect), león (lion), serpiente (serpent), tigre (tiger), fruta (fruit), tomate (tomato) (ex. It.), consulado (consulate), biblioteca (library), mercado (market) (ex. Fr.), teatro (theater), torre (tower), universidad (university), divorcio (divorce), esposo(a) (spouse), familia (family), moda (fashion), balcón (balcony), baño (bathroom), puerta (door), casa (house), (ex. Fr.), petróleo (oil), cuarto (room) (ex. Fr.), ensalada (salad), salsa (sauce), sal (salt), botella (bottle), cafetera (coffee pot), autor (author), comerciante (businessman/ businesswoman), farmacia (pharmacy), dentista (dentist), funcionario (functionary, employee), maestro (teacher) (ex. Fr.), expreso (express), minuto (minute), segundo (second), contacto (contact), frontera (frontier, border), grupo (group), número (number), objeto (object), cortesía (courtesy) (ex. Fr.), problema (problem), producto (product), progreso (progress), raza (race), sexo (sex), sorpresa (surprise), sistema (syistem), comercio (commerce), común (common), completo (complete), directo (direct), histórico (historical), interesante (interesting), máximo (maximum) and all the seasons and months of the year (ex. Fr.)

Comments Off on Romance (Latin) Language Cognates

Jun 14 2004

Universal Cognates

The following is a list of “Universal Cognates” most derived from English, that are understood in just about every corner of the earth:

auto, bus, taxi, airpplane (nearly universal), motorcycle, bicycle, airport, train, hotel, cinema, football, bank, dance, music, whiskey, beer (nearly universal), dollar, telephone, television, radio, program, menu, passport, sport, post, kaput, central, photo, soda, aspirin, police, hospital, restaurant, chocolate, tea, rock ‘n roll, tourist, ambassador, embassy, jeans, Nike, Coca-Cola, CNN and the most commonly known of all expressions in the world, “OK.” These words will be much better understood if they are pronounced according to the local accent.

Comments Off on Universal Cognates

Jun 13 2004

Bad Habits of Americans Attempting to Speak Spanish

“No hable español señor.” It is “No hablo español, señor,” not hable when referring to oneself. It is the same for comprendo(e). Placing the ‘e’ at the end of both words makes the subject incorrect . Mispronounced, it refers to the other person. Also, it is muchas gracias not muchos. It is wrong to say “No savey”. It is “No sabe” and it means “You do not know” not “I don’t know.” Finally, it is wrong to say “No problemo.” The correct Spanish pronunciation is “No problema.”

Comments Off on Bad Habits of Americans Attempting to Speak Spanish

Jun 12 2004

Very Basic Spanish Terms that Americans Know

hola (hello), ¿Cómo está? (How are you?), bien (well), gracias (thank you), mucho (much), muchas gracias (many thanks), buenos días (good morning), buenas noches (good evening), comprendo(e) (I/You understand), dónde (where), baños (bathroooms), calle (street), restaurante (restaurant), cerveza (beer), por favor (Please), (Yes), no, señor (Mr.), señora (Mrs.) and señorita (miss). Taco Bell Terms: taquito, enchilada, fajita, and gordita.

Comments Off on Very Basic Spanish Terms that Americans Know

Jun 11 2004

Common Geographical Terms

Arizona, Boca Raton, Alcatraz, El Camino Real, El Dorado, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Tierra del Fuego, Baja, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Ventura, Las Vegas, Mesa Verde, Montana, Florida, Nevada, Puerto Rico, San Antonio, (José, Francisco, etc.), Mesa Verde, Buena Vista, and Sierra Madres. Texas Cities: Amarillo, Del Rio, El Campo, El Paso, Port Lavaca, Victoria, Cuero, San Marcos and Corpus Christi (Latin).

Comments Off on Common Geographical Terms

Jun 10 2004

Words that have crept into use in American English

barrio (neighborhood), bronco, cabellero (gentleman), dama (lady), casa(ita) (house/little house), coyote, cantina, hacienda (ranch), chicano(a), corral, gorila (gorilla), incomunicado (incommunicado), junta (meeting), contra (against), loco(a) (crazy), machete, machismo (male chauvinism), macho (male, tough), matador (killer, bullfighter), toro (bull), nada (nothing), número uno (number one), padre (father), madre (mother), peso, político (political, politician), pronto (soon), pueblo (town), rodeo, sombrero (hat), vigilante (guard, watchman), laso (lasso), fiesta (party), siesta (nap), salsa picante (hot sauce), piñata (hollow figure filled with sweets which children break open at parties), pina colada (strained pineapple), vino (wine), tequila, chile con carne (chile with meat) and vámonos (let’s go).

Comments Off on Words that have crept into use in American English

Jun 09 2004

Some Popular Phrases from Movies and Music

arriba (up), ándale (let’s go) adelante (go ahead), Casablanca, Feliz Navidad (Merry Christmas), Qué será, será. (Whatever will be will be.), Rio Bravo, una paloma blanca (a white dove), Vaya con Dios. (God be with you.), amigo (friend), ¿Qué pasa? (What’s up?), gringo (Yankee), hombre (man), compadre (friend), Hasta la vista. (See you later.), La Bamba, Macarena, Mambo, cucaracha (cockroach), Guantanamera, amistad (friendship), and amor (love).

Comments Off on Some Popular Phrases from Movies and Music

Jun 08 2004

The Importance of Non-Verbal Communication

Facial expressions and hand gestures are extremely important when speaking Spanish. Words that absolutely require appropriate hand gestures include: un poco or un poquito (a little), un momento or un momentito (one moment), vete (get lost), ándale (let’s go), ven acá (come here), no gracias (no thank you), por favor (please) and lo siento (I’m sorry). Most Spanish gestures mimic English expressions, just with much more emphasis.

Comments Off on The Importance of Non-Verbal Communication

Jun 07 2004

Common Spanish Words

Español (Spanish), Castellano (Castilian), armadillo, perro (dog), llama, burro , chicle (chewing gum), cha, cha, cha, chico(a) (boy/girl), chiquito(a) (little), muchacho(a) (boy/girl), niño(a) (boy/girl), mamá (mom), papá (dad), Nicaragua, Guatemala, Panamá, Cubano (Cuban), Ricky Ricardo, tango, salsa picante (hot sauce), margarita, guacamole, tortillas, fajitas, Corona, Dos Equis (XX), zorro (fox), plaza, chupacabras, excelente, fantástico, fabuloso, maravilloso (marvelous), perfecto, ¡Caramba! (Good heavens!) and olé.

Comments Off on Common Spanish Words

Jun 06 2004

Natural vs. Written Accents

Natural Accents

If a word ends in a vowel, or the consonants “n” or “s,” the natural accent or stress of that word falls on the next-to-last syllable. For example:

pi-can-te, accent on can
, accent on nu
mu-chas, accent on mu
ha-blan, accent on ha

If a word ends in any other consonant other than “n” or “s,” the natural accent or stress of that word falls on the last syllable. For example:

a-zul, accent on zul
di-ez, accent on ez
sin-gu-lar, accent on lar

Written Accents

Accents are written in Spanish when the stress of the word does not follow the previous two rules. For example:

rápido, automático, dirección, histórico, café, etcétera

There are also a few words in Spanish that have written accent marks to differentiate them from words of like spelling, but different meaning. For example:

él (he) vs. el (the), (I know) vs. se (reflexive pronoun), (yes) vs. si (if), más (more) vs. mas (but), sólo (only) vs. solo (alone).

Comments Off on Natural vs. Written Accents

« Prev - Next »