Lições Espanhol

Temas

Lessons for topic Vocabulary

Pretender: Beware of False Cognates

Lo que pretendemos es sembrar en la gente la actitud de reducir...

What we seek is to instill in the people the attitude of reducing...

Caption 1, De consumidor a persona - Short Film

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It's easy enough to guess the meaning of some Spanish verbs. Take the environmentally helpful trio reducir, reutilizar and reciclar, for example. If you guessed the three verbs mean "to reduce," "to reutilize" and "to recycle," respectively, you're right on. Because Spanish and English share so many Latin language roots, many words sound similar–in other words, they are cognates. But watch out for false cognates, also known as false friends. Two examples are the verbs atender and asistir. In Spanish, atender does not mean "to attend," but "to serve." Meanwhile, asistir does not mean "to assist" but "to attend."

Which brings us back to the quote above. False friend pretender commonly means "to try,"
"to seek" or "to be after." So, the sentence above can be translated as: "What we seek is to instill [literally, "to sow"] in the people the attitude of reducing...."

While pretender and "pretend" have common Latin roots, the use of the word in English to mean "to seek" or "to undertake" fell out of use many moons ago. (Note the archaic definition still stands in some English dictionaries, like
this one.)

El gobierno pretende proteger los derechos de los trabajadores.
The government seeks (or tries) to protect the rights of the workers.

 

Este decreto en el cual el gobierno de España pretende cobrarnos un impuesto injusto, no tiene validez.

This decree, in which the government of Spain is attempting to charge us an unfair tax, is invalid.

Captions 12-13, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 9

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No pretendo ser tu dueño.
I don't want (or aspire) to be your master.

 

Yo no pretendo tener ninguna relación con ningún hombre después de Tomás.

I don't intend to have any relationship with any man after Tomas.

Caption 31, Yago - 11 Prisión

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¿Y qué pretendes que haga yo? Como si pudiera cambiar algo.
And what do you want me to do? As if I could change a thing.

 

¿Pretendes que vaya hasta allá a buscarla desnuda?

Do you expect me to go over there and get it naked?

Caption 27, Yago - 1 La llegada

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Note: the Spanish equivalent of "to pretend," as it is commonly used in modern English, is commonly fingir.

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Ganas: What We Want to Do

Pensamos que el agua, que el aire, que el suelo es nuestro y podemos hacer lo que nos dé la gana. No es cierto.

We think that the water, the air, the land is all ours and we can make what we feel like. That's not true.

Captions 10-13, De consumidor a persona - Short Film - Part 2

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Gana, meaning "wish" or "will," is a noun that plays a key role to express wishes or desires in Spanish. The expression darle (a alguien) la gana means "to feel like" or "to want to."

lo que me dé la gana
what I feel like

lo que te dé la gana
what you feel like

 

...y te puedes venir aquí cuando te dé la gana, ¿yo te voy a perdonar?

...and you can come here whenever you feel like it, I am going to forgive you?

Caption 22, Yago - 11 Prisión

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lo que le dé la gana
what you feel like / what he-she feels like

 

¡Salte de alegría cuando le dé la gana!

Jump for joy whenever you feel like it!

Caption 4, Kikirikí - Animales

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lo que les dé la gana
what you [pl.] feel like / what they feel like

 

¿Hasta cuándo van a seguir haciendo lo que les dé la gana?

Until when are you guys going to keep doing whatever you [pl.] feel like?

Caption 42, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 3

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Even more common is the pairing of the verb tener ("to have") with the plural ganas, as in:

 

Tenía ganas de hacer algo, con eso y...

I wanted to do something, with it and...

Caption 68, Biografía - Natalia Oreiro

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Natalia is saying: "I wanted to do something with this." The word-for-word translation might have you thinking she had the will to do it, but common understanding is simply that she felt like it, or wanted to do it.

 

Tengo muchas ganas de aprender español.
I really want to learn Spanish.

 

A mí... yo tengo muchas ganas.

I... I really want to.

Caption 21, Amaya - Teatro romano

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No tengo ganas de parar ahora.
I don't want to stop now.

 

Gracias, Merycita, pero no tengo ganas de jugar.

Thank you, Merycita, but I don't feel like playing.

Caption 58, Club 10 - Capítulo 1

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Dar: It's the Land Giving

Y sembrar sus cositas por ahí... lo que da cebolla, tomate, al pimentón, el ají y otras cosas pues, por ahí.

And planting their little things around here... producing onion, tomato, red pepper, chili and other stuff, around here.

Captions 29-31, José Rodríguez - La Finca

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Have you noticed that the verb dar, which we usually take to mean "to give" seems to be used a lot in reference to the growing of fruits and vegetables. Well it turns out that what is doing the "giving," and sometimes it is implied, sometimes more explicit, is la tierra, "the land." Here we find José Rodríguez talking about people in the area "planting their little things around here... producing onion, tomato, red pepper, chili peppers, and other things, around here."

It's not the first time we find dar used in this way. If we check back with our friend Rafael discussing Guatemala:

 

La tierra... la tierra de las verduras... porque ahí hay'... da buenas... verduras, como repollo, zanahoria, cebolla... tomate...

The land... the land of vegetables... because there are'... it [the land] produces good... vegetables, like cabbage, carrot, onion... tomato...

Captions 14-16, Rafael T. - Guatemala Hermosa

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Digamos en la costa, también da buenas frutas como la naranja, la sandía, la papaya, el melón... el coco.

Let's say in the coast, it also produces good fruit like oranges, watermelon, papaya, melon... coconut.

Captions 18-20, Rafael T. - Guatemala Hermosa

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Another example:

Este año, mis tierras no han dado una buena cosecha.
This year, my lands didn't produce a good harvest.

 

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In all of the examples above, dar takes a direct object ("cabbage", "oranges", etc.). However, the reflexive darse can be used as well, with no direct object, and the meaning is "to grow," or "to come up." (This "reflexive" usage, as per the examples below, is somewhat more common in Spain than Latin America.)

He plantado aquí tomates, pero no se dan.
I planted tomatoes here, but they aren't growing (or "aren't coming up").

Las palmeras no se dan en Noruega.
Palm trees don't grow in Norway.

 

Estas papayas no se dan en todo lado.

These papayas don't occur everywhere.

Caption 10, Otavalo - Conozcamos el Mundo de las Frutas con Julia

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Zafar: Getting Out and Getting By

¡Ay, pero por Dios, me va a ver! ¡Yo de ésta no puedo zafar!

Ay for God's sake, he's gonna see me! I can't dodge this one!

Caption 76, Provócame - Piloto

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Later, in the same scene, our heroine Ana has another breathless exclamation worthy of a closer look. In it, she uses the verb zafar, which can mean "to escape," "to free" or "to untie," according to the authoritative Spanish dictionary from the La Real Academia Española. Along these lines, a current popular song by the Uruguayan band La Vela Puerca is titled Zafar, in the sense of "To escape." The song discusses the fumes and smells of the city and is punctuated by the refrain: ...estoy zafando del olor ("...I am escaping from the smell").

In neighboring, Argentina, you hear the verb zafar all the time on the city streets, with a more modern, slangy meaning: "to get by." For example, if you ask an Argentine how he's doing, he may answer, estoy zafando, meaning "I'm hanging in there."

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Bien: Well, OK

Bueno... está bien, Tere.

All right... Tere, OK.

Caption 30, Verano Eterno - Fiesta Grande

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Bien, usually meaning "well" or "OK," has a plethora of uses that can change slightly in meaning depending on the context. Here, Tere's mother tells her that "it's OK" for her to take piano lessons with Juan. "OK" is a fairly typical translation for bien.

 

Es ahora bien buena madre con los hijos adoptivos

Now she is such a good mother with the adopted children

Captions 42-43, José Luís Acacio - Simón Bolívar

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The word bien, when placed before an adjective, tends to emphasize the meaning of that adjective. Here, that emphasis is perhaps best translated as "very" or "such a" to give us "Now, she's a very good mother" (or "such a good mother").

Note that when it's not used to describe your mother, bien buena, on it's own, most often means "really hot" or "really fine," (in the colloquial sense) and is used referring to some sexy thing.


¡Mamacita, estas bien buena!
Girl, you are damn fine!

 

Entonces que nosotros, pues, tenemos una... tenemos un dialecto que es bien bonito.

So it's that we, well, have a... we have a dialect that is quite beautiful.

Captions 47-48, Rafael T. - La Cultura Maya

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Sometimes that emphasis that the word bien gives to the adjective it precedes seems to be best translated as "quite," which in this case gives us: "We have a dialect that is quite beautiful."

Bien is used for emphasis in a variety of sayings that are common among younger speakers often prone to exaggeration:

Cantas bien mal.
You sing really badly.

 

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Keep your eyes open for many more interesting uses of bien!

Yo no me acuerdo pero bien pudo ser.
I don't remember but it well could have been (or, easily may have been).

 

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Amamantar, Mecer y Arrullar: Motherly Words

Y después de amamantarlos tanto a unos como otros

And after nursing them each one like the other

Captions 45-46, José Luís Acacio - Simón Bolívar

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José's patriotic tune personifies Venezuela as a mother and in so doing introduces us to some great words for motherly attention.

Amamantar means "to nurse" or even more literally "to breast feed" (coming from the root for mammary glands, mama), and so here we have "And later to nurse them...". This really reinforces the notion of amor carnal ("bodily love") that Madre Venezuela shows her people.

 

Con ese amor tan carnal meciéndolos en su hamaca

With such a carnal love rocking them in her swing

Captions 47-48, José Luís Acacio - Simón Bolívar

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Mecer means "to cradle," "to swing," or "to sway." So here he sings of Madre Venezuela cradling or swinging her children "in their hammock."

 

Los dormía y arrullaba con nuestro himno nacional

She put them to sleep and lulled them with our national anthem

Captions 49-50, José Luís Acacio - Simón Bolívar

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Arrullar means "to lull" or "to coo" (refering to the noise made by pigeons and that made by mothers to lull their babies). Therefore, "She put them to sleep and lulled them."

 

So a late afternoon routine for a mother might go like this:

 

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En la tarde, la madre amamanta el bebe si tiene hambre. Después para que sea quieto, le arrulla en sus brazos. Entonces, cuando ya está más quieto, ella pone el bebe en la cuna ("cradle") y le mece hasta que entra el sueño.

 

In the afternoon, the mother breastfeeds the baby if he is hungry. Then for him to be still, she cradles him in her arms. So, when he is more still, she puts the baby in her crib ("cradle") and rocks him until he falls asleep.

 

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Gustar vs. "to Like": A Difference in Perception - Part 1

The verb gustar, or Spanish equivalent of "to like," tends to confuse English speakers because, in terms of the relationship between a sentence's subject and object, it functions in exactly the opposite way. To better understand this, let's define these two terms:

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Generally speaking, the subject of a sentence is the person, place, thing, or idea that performs an action.

 

The object of a sentence is the person, place, thing, or idea that receives the action of the sentence's verb. 

 

A very simple example of this concept would be: "I threw the ball," where "I" is the subject, or performer of the action, and "the ball" is the object, or recipient of the action. 

 

That said, with the English verb "to like," it is the subject of the sentence that "does the liking." Let's look at a few simple examples:

 

She likes pizza ("She" is the subject who performs the action of liking onto the object, "pizza").

 

Anna and John like dogs ("Anna and John" is the subject; they perform the action of liking onto the object, "dogs"). 

 

We like you ("We" is the subject that performs the action of liking onto the object, "you"). 

 

In Spanish, on the other hand, the subject, or performer of the action, is the person, place, or thing that, in English, is "being liked." To see this in action, let's take a look at some captions from a Yabla video on this very topic:

 

Me gusta mucho este parqueA ti también te gusta ¿verdad? Sí, me gustan las plantas. Sí, a mí me gustan las plantas y las flores y los árboles

I really like this parkYou like it too, right? Yes, I like the plants. Yes, I like the plants and the flowers and the trees.

Captions 9-13, Conversaciones en el parque - Cap. 5: Me gusta mucho este parque.

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In Spanish, este parque (this park), las plantas (the plants), and las plantas y las flores y los árboles (the plants and the flowers and the trees) are the subjects of these sentences, as they are thought to "cause" the implied objects yo (I) and tú (you) to like them. In their English translations, on the other hand, "I" and "you" are the subjects of the sentences, whereas "this park," "it," "the plants," and "the plants and the flowers and the trees" are the objects that receive the action of liking. 

 

While this difference in perception may confuse English speakers, it is useful to note that the English verb "to please" functions similarly to "gustar" in terms of the subject-object relationship. Therefore, it may be a good exercise to substitute this verb for "to like" when translating Spanish sentences with "gustar" or attempting to formulate new ones. Let's take a look at our previous example, this time translated with the verb "to please": 

 

Me gusta mucho este parque. A ti también te gusta ¿verdad? Sí, me gustan las plantas. Sí, a mí me gustan las plantas y las flores y los árboles. 

This park really pleases me. It also pleases you, right? Yes, the plants please me. Yes, the plants and the flowers and the trees please me. 

 

To reiterate this concept, let's take a look at some additional examples where the verb gustar has been translated as "to like" while providing their alternative translations with "to please":

 

1.

Me gustan mucho las chaquetas de piel.

I really like leather jackets.

Caption 32, 75 minutos - Gangas para ricos - Part 14

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ALTERNATIVE TRANSLATION: 

Me gustan mucho las chaquetas de piel

Leather jackets really please me. 

 

2.

Yo te quiero así y me gustas porque eres diferente

I love you like that, and I like you because you're different

Caption 12, Carlos Vives, Shakira - La Bicicleta

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ALTERNATIVE TRANSLATION:

Yo te quiero así y me gustas porque eres diferente 

I love you like that, and you please me because you're different

 

3. 

¿Te gusta trabajar aquí, te gusta? -No, no me gusta, no.

Do you like working here, do you like it? -No, I don't like it, no.

Caption 77, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa - Part 12

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ALTERNATIVE TRANSLATION: 

¿Te gusta trabajar aquí, te gusta? -No, no me gusta, no. 

Does working here please you, does it please you? -No, it doesn't please me, no. 


Note that while the alternative translations are grammatically correct, their primary purpose here is to help us to understand how the Spanish verb "gustar" functions. As in everyday speech, it would be far less common to hear someone say "You please me" than "I like you," the translations with "to like" are preferable in most cases.

 

Now that we are familiar with the different manners in which the English and Spanish languages express the concept of "liking," it's time to learn how to conjugate the verb "gustar," which we'll cover in the next lesson. That's all for today, and don't forget to leave us your comments and suggestions.

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Arrugas: Backing Out--No Wrinkles!

¿No me digas que arrugaste?

Don't tell me you're backing out?

Caption 12, Verano Eterno - Fiesta Grande

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In the same scene, Benjamin rekindles the fire of the apuesta ("bet") to see whether Mauro has won the heart of Violeta. At one point, he asks Mauro if their bet is still on. To do so, he uses the verb arrugar, which means "to wrinkle" or "to crumble" in other contexts. But in the context of their bet, arrugar would mean crumble in a way, but a more straightforward translation is "to back out."

Keep your eyes open in the cosmetics section to find una arruga used as a noun meaning "a wrinkle," and often in the plural as arrugas.

When learning Spanish gets tough, ¡No arrugues!

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Poquitito: A Wee Little Tiny Bit

¿No te parece un poquitito tarde para abrir?

Don't you think it's a bit late to open?

Caption 1, Verano Eterno - Fiesta Grande

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If un poco means "a little," and un poquito is the diminutive form (meaning "just a little bit"), what is un poquitito? Yup, it's the diminutive of the diminutive. It's kind of like saying: "Just a wee little bitty bit" for an exaggerated effect. In the opening line of this installment of Verano Eterno, Benjamin is giving Mauro a hard time. Using a diminutive of a diminutve helps him exaggerate his sarcastic comment for effect.

 

At a travel and tourism exposition in London, we meet Ángela who is from Tarija, Bolivia. She tells us a little bit about a favourite dish of hers from her hometown called "saice."

 

Es parecido al chili con carne, pero como les digo, es muchísimo más sabroso.

It's similar to "chili con carne," but as I tell you guys, it's way more tasty.

Se acompaña con arroz y un poquitito de ensaladita.

It comes with rice and a little bit of salad.

Captions 22-23, World Travel Market en Londres - Ángela de Bolivia

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There's one other diminutive of a diminutive that's commonly heard: Chico, as in "small" can be made "very very small" by saying chiquitito. (Note that in both cases, the "c" turns to a "qu" to retain that hard c/k sound before "i.")

 

O quizás una barba pequeñita en la barbilla que se llama perilla.

Or perhaps a tiny beard on the chin that's called a goatee.

Es la perilla, solamente aquí, chiquitito.

It's a goatee, only here, very small.

Captions 81-83, Marta de Madrid - El cuerpo - La cabeza

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Darse Cuenta: The Real "Realize"

While there are many words that are identical in Spanish and English (e.g. original, horror, etc.), other words play different tricks on us. This short lesson is about one of those "false friends," or words that are written the same as or similar to words in another language but have very different meanings. 

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An age-old mistake among English speakers is to use the verb realizar as a means of conveying "to come to know" or "realize." Of course, most of you know by now that this is a false cognate as realizar usually means "to achieve," "bring to fruition," etc.

 

In fact, the correct way to say "to realize" is darse cuenta. Let's take a look at a couple of clips in order to see that verb in action:

 

Eh, darse cuenta que... que hay mucha gente, muchos chavales, que han podido perder una familia en'... a sus padres, se pueden quedar huérfanos.

Um, realizing that... that there many people, many young people, who have managed to lose an [entire] family... their parents; they can end up orphans.

Captions 12-13, Iker Casillas - apoya el trabajo de Plan

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Y de pronto te das cuenta de que... de que no quieres estar con nadie más.

And suddenly you realize that... that you don't want to be with anyone else.

Captions 29-30, Cortometraje - Flechazos

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And now, let's see how the Spanish verb realizar is used throughout this El Aula Azul video:

 

Entonces voy a coger los datos para realizar la inscripción.

Then I'm going to take down the information to carry out the registration.

Caption 1, El Aula Azul - Conversación: Los cursos de español

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Y ahí tendrá toda la información para realizar el pago.

And there he'll have all of the information to make the payment.

Caption 31, El Aula Azul - Conversación: Los cursos de español

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Y toda la información que pueda necesitar para... para realizar su curso.

And all the information that he might need to... to take his course.

Caption 32, El Aula Azul - Conversación: Los cursos de español

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As you can see, the verb realizar can be used in many different ways, just not in the way in which a native English speaker might initially expect!

 

That's all for today. We hope this lesson helps you to avoid making this common mistake. And don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions.

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Dejar: Stop Leaving

Tú me quieres dejar, y yo no quiero sufrir

You want to leave me, and I don't want to suffer

Caption 8, Javier García - EPK

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One of the most interesting, and yet also most common, verbs we find in Spanish is dejar. In caption 8 of his EPK (which, by the way, is entertainment industry talk for "Electronic Press Kit"), Javi sings Tú me quieres dejar... and the meaning is "You want to leave me..." However, twelve captions later we find the imperative (command) form of the same verb being sung to a different tune...

 

Deja de correr, tranquila

Stop running, take it easy

Caption 20, Javier García - EPK

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Here, Javi is not telling us to "leave" running but rather the same verb now means "to stop" ("Stop running, take it easy"). The construction dejar de + infinitivo gives us the equivalent in English of "stop" + gerund (the "-ing" verb form).

Deja de mirarme así.
Stop looking at me like that.

Deja de llorar.
Stop crying.

 

Esta rumba, yo te digo, que te deja por el suelo

This rumba, I'm telling you, leaves you on the floor

Captions 1-2, Javier García - La Rumba

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Very similar to a use of "leave" in English, dejar can be used to explain how something effects you. In this case, the rumba is so great and so tiring, it "leaves you on the floor." In a similar vein, you may hear people talking about how an emotional event affected them: La película me dejó sin palabras, or "the movie left me speechless."

La clase de gimnasia me dejó cansadísima.
Gym class left me very tired.

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If you keep your ears open, you will also hear dejar used for giving up something, such as...

Voy a dejar francés.
I'm going to quit French.

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Voluntad: A Wish, A Will

Dice que tenían... mucha capacidad o mucha voluntad, mucha fuerza.

Say that they had... a lot of capacity or a lot of will, lots of strength.

Captions 39-40, Rafael T. - Guatemala Hermosa

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Rafael T. obviously enjoys telling tales of his beautiful (hermosa) country, Guatemala. In this video, he tells us the tale of a mountain called Cerro de Oro that, back in the day -a hundred or so years ago- his ancestors managed to move inland from the coast. How did they manage to accomplish that? "They say they had a lot of capacity or a lot of will, lots of strength..." Rafael explains in captions 39-40. But despite their remarkable fuerza de voluntad ("willpower"), it turns out they were unable to move the mountain as far as they were aiming for. So, as you can see, in legends and reality, voluntad is a word to describe an intention, wish or will, but not necessarily an accomplishment.

On a related note, por mi propia voluntad -meaning "of my own free will"--is a common Spanish phrase that makes voluntad's tie to the English word "voluntary" easy to see.

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Reventar: Exploding, Annoying, and Riding Horses to Death

Reventar
transitive verb
1. (a un caballo) "to ride to death"
2. (una propuesta, huelga) "to break"
3. (molestar mucho, enfadar) "to annoy, bother": Le revienta que le lleven la contraria, "he hates it when people cross him"
4. (un globo, las costuras) "to burst"
Courtesy of
WordReference.com

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As you see in the definitions above, reventar is quite a loaded verb. Depending on the context, it can mean "to ride a horse [or some other beast of burden] to death." It can also mean "to break a strike" or "to burst a seam." But the definition we're interested in here is #3, when Muñeca Brava's housebound matriarch gives her poor son the third degree. Her son responds:

 

Me revienta que me digas "te lo dije."

I hate it when you say "I told you so."

Caption 35, Muñeca Brava - 1 Piloto

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You see, he hates it when his mother says, "I told you so." Really, who doesn't? And guess what mother says right after that? Te lo dije. Them's fighting words.
 

(As an aside: Did you notice that the same actress plays another cranky and bossy matriarch in Provócame? Yes, in our new clip this week she has choice words for just about everyone who enters her sight.)

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Desbordar: While Playing Soccer

Tratá siempre a desbordar y mandar centro, desbordar y mandar centro ¿eh?

Try to always overtake and kick it to the center, overtake and send it to the center, eh?

Captions 2-3, Muñeca Brava - 1 Piloto

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If you clicked on the word desbordar in caption 2 while watching the 10th installment of Muñeca Brava, you saw the most common definition -"to flood"- pop up first from our Spanish-English dictionary. But desbordar doesn't only mean to flood. Not on the soccer field, for example. It also means "to surpass; to overwhelm" -or, even more sports-specifically, "to outplay." Looking at Latin American papers' sports pages (always filled with fútbol), you'll see desbordar is a favorite verb among sportswriters. For example: Desbordar a sus rivales means "to outplay their rivals."

Back to our first scene in Muñeca Brava, the good Father/coach is directing a young player to "always try to overtake your opponent and send the ball to the center, overtake him and send it center, eh?" Sounds easier said than done.

Note: Even our native speakers aren't 100% in agreement if the priest is talking about overtaking the ball, overtaking the player, or simply "outplaying" the opposing player.
One native thought he was talking about "faking" a move, but we can't come to an agreement on that -- the distinction probably wasn't important to the tv writers, who perhaps just were aiming for some "coach talk."

 

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Despiole, Pavadas, and Tomarse el Olivo: A Mess of Olives and Turkeys?

At the estancia in Provócame, there's an obvious and deep class divide between the wealthy landowners and the support staff that takes care of all their horses and messes. Toti, the goofy stablehand sporting a gaucho cap, is definitely of the lower class. He speaks in a way they don't teach you in school. When Toti gossips with a fellow staffer and her daughter, some knowledge of local slang is needed.

 

¿Lo dejó plantado a Mariano? -Sí, se tomó el olivo.

She stood Mariano up? -Yes, she took off.

Caption 22, Provócame - Piloto

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No sabés el despiole que hay en esa casa... ¡Impresionante!

You have no idea what a mess there's in that house... impressive!

Caption 23, Provócame - Piloto

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So, what did he say? Se tomó el olivo literally means "She took the olive," but the slangy significance, which is made clear to all in the context, is that the would-be bride "took off--skedaddled".

Toti calls the resulting scene a despiole, which is a slangy way of saying "mess" (lío or desorden). [Note Toti also uses this distinctly Argentine word in Part 6, so it might be a favorite of his.]

 

Buah, era esa pavadita que venía a contar... Chau.

Well, it was that little silliness I came to tell... Bye.

Caption 24, Provócame - Piloto

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Pavo, you may have discovered one Thursday in late November (if you're a Yank), is "turkey," a pavero is a "turkey farmer" and a pavada is a "flock of turkeys," but figuratively una pavada is "a silly thing." So when Toti says "era esa pavadita venia a contar..." he is telling Marisol and Julieta "that was the silly little thing I came to tell." [Che, there's contar again!]

 

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Contar: Counting and Recounting

Y yo te voy a contar todo lo que pienso hacer con el empleo nuevo.

And I'll tell you everything I have in mind for the new job.

Caption 17, Muñeca Brava - 1 Piloto

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Que van a ver este... esta historia que voy a contar.

Going to see this... this story I'm going to tell.

Caption 2, Rafael T. - Viaje al norte

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Contar, such an interesting verb, shows up in three of our videos, but used in different ways. One of the most common meanings is of contar is "to tell" or "to relate." So, in Muñeca Brava, when Federico's cuñado says "...Y yo te voy a contar lo que pienso hacer con el empleo nuevo," we translate it as "and I'm going to tell you what I have in mind for the new job."

Likewise, when our friend Rafael, in his monologue Vieje al norte, says "...este historia que voy a contar," he is talking about relating his tale, "...this story that I am going to tell."

Rafael also consistently uses contar where we might have expected to hear a form of tener (to have), but when he does so he couples it with the preposition con.

 

Cuando uno ya cuenta con familia...

When you already have a family...

Caption 11, Rafael T. - Viaje al norte

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Yo cuento con una... con una farmacia, con una mini-farmacia.

I own a... a pharmacy, one mini-pharmacy.

Caption 18, Rafael T. - Viaje al norte

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When he tells us "cuando uno ya cuenta con familia," he means "when one has [a] family" and when he says "Yo cuento con una farmacia..." we translate it as "I own a pharmacy."

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Of course, the first dictionary definition of contar is "to count," as in contando ovejas when you have insomnio. You can also count on someone or something to perform in a certain way for you, and for this we once again find contar+con. When someone asks "¿Puedo contar contigo para eso?," they don't want to know "Can I have you for this," but rather, "Can I count on you for this?"

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Nena: Not Just for Babies

Nena, nena, nena, nena, nena, yo me voy

Baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, I'm leaving

No te puedo mentir, no me puedo callar

I can't lie to you, I can't shut up

Captions 10-11, Bloque - Nena

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Anyone who sees the video Nena by the Colombian band Bloque, even once, will be quite certain that the word nena means "baby." It can also be translated "babe," as in, "hey babe, get me a beer." Nena is the feminine form of nene, which has the same meaning but is used when referring to a male. Try these out next time you encounter an actual bebé (or when you need un trago.)

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Estudiantil: Catching Authentic Spanish Mistakes

Remember, amigos, we present you with authentic Spanish here at LoMásTv, and Taimur is a second grader auténtico, which means our young friend is entitled to make a grammatical mistake or two himself, ¿verdad? (Not to mention that Spanish is also his second language.)
 

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No y... soy muy estudiantil.

No and... I study a lot. ["estudioso" (studious) would be more correct.]

Caption 18, Taimur - Taimur canta

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In caption 18 of the video "Taimur canta" he says Soy muy estudiantil, and, similarly, you may have noted that in "Taimur habla" he states yo soy muy estudiante. It's clear that Taimur enjoys school and studies hard, and no doubt his teachers and parents notice that él es un estudiante muy estudioso ("He is very studious student").


The word estudiante is the noun for "student," so Taimur probably should have said Soy un buen estudiante, "I'm a good student." Or he might have chosen to tell us Yo soy muy estudioso, "I am very studious."

The word estudiantil is the adjective for "student," so a student run organization is an organización estudiantil, students who travel are engaging in turismo estudiantil, between classes young scholars might relax in a sálon estudiantil, and students who protest, if they have an effective leader, might create a full-fledged movimiento estudiantil.

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