Shortcuts to Learning español

False friends.

buscar


What a Gringo thinks it means... hybrid motor vehicle.

What it really means... to look for.


miles  MEE-lace

What a Gringo thinks it means... U.S. gauge for distance.

What it really means in Spanish... thousands.

"One thousand" is un mil.


pozo

What a Gringo thinks it means... Bozo the Clown's less-famous brother.

What it really means... a well.

A calabozo is a dungeon.

False friends.

muelle
  MWEL-yay

What a gringo thinks it means... beast of burden.

What it really means... dock or pier.


sin

What a Gringo thinks it means... boozin', gamblin', gettin' down with a partner who is not your spouse.

What it really means in Spanish... without..

The English word "sin" is translated as pecado.


hay

What a Gringo thinks it means... food for horses.

What it really means in Spanish... there is or there are.
   
    Hay un caballo grande en ese campo.
    There's a big horse in that field.

Hay is pronounced like the English word "eye."

False friends.

estrechar


What a Gringo thinks it means .. to stretch.

What is really means... to narrow.

Secondary meaning... to hug, embrace, hold tight.

Estirar means "to stretch."


hombro

What a Gringo thinks it means... man.

What it really means... shoulder.

Hombre means "man."


fin

What a Gringo thinks it means... part of a fish.

What it really means in Spanish... the end.

A word for fin of a fish is aleta.


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False friends.

mayor
   my-AWR

What a Gringo thinks it means .. hizzoner.

What it means in Spanish .. more advanced in age or seniority.

   mi hermano mayor    my older brother

   el agente mayor        the senior agent


teniente

What a Gringo thinks it means... the guy who rents your spare room.

What it really means... lieutenant.


tendero

What a Gringo thinks it means... tender one.

What it really means... shopkeeper.

The word for "tender"(adj.) is tierno or tierna.


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False friends.

domino


What a Gringo think it means... pizza in less than 30 minutes.

What it means in Spanish... I control or dominate.

Accent on the middle syllable.


rato  RAH-toh

What a Gringo think it means... a rate.

What it really means .. while.

Preferiría descansarme por un rato.
I would prefer to rest for a while.

Rata means "rat."

Ratón means "mouse."


mora

What a Gringo thinks it means... opposite of less.

What it really means... a blackberry.

Más means "more," menos means "less."

False friends

rodé


What a Gringo thinks it means... what someone did on a horse.

What it means in Spanish ... I rolled...or I filmed.

From the verb rodar.

La bola de nieve rodó hacia la casa.
The snowball rolled toward the house.


usa

What a Gringo thinks it means... the world's most famous country.

What it means in Spanish...he or she uses.

"USA" in Spanish is Los Estados Unidos (de América).

Of or pertaining to the USA... estadounidense.
    eh-STAH-doh-oo-nee-DEN-say


trampa

What a Gringo thinks it means... a female hobo.

What it really means... a trap or a trick.

A common word for "hobo" is vagabundo.

False friends.

grabar


What a Gringo thinks it means... to grab.

What it really means... to film or record.

Agarrar means to grab or to catch.


el amo

What a Gringo thinks it means... the bullets.

What it really means... the master.

Una bala is a bullet.


gana

What a Gringo thinks it means... a country in Africa.

What it really means... he or she wins.

From the root verb ganar.

cccmedia :

gana

What a Gringo thinks it means... a country in Africa.

What it really means... he or she wins.

From the root verb ganar.

Also note the colloquial use tener ganas meaning attitude or disposition:
Tengo ganas de comer pizza u otra comida italiana.
I feel like eating pizza or other Italian food.

No tengo ganas de ir, ya está tarde para llegar antes de la medianoche.
I don't feel like going, it's already too late to arrive before midnight.

Hágalo como le da la gana.  (familiar Hazlo como te dé la gana.)
Do it however you like.

de buena gana  -  with enthusiasm

de mala gana  -  grudgingly, unwillingly

Hi!
My first language is Spanish but have been in gringo land for sooooo many yrs that you forget and you guys help me with my Spanish. Great Job!   Also I am not from EC so the Spanish is different.  A Lady did a post with the different herbs & vegetables.  It will be used,  I only knew in English.   I cant wait to get there & a little nervous.  Thank you.  Have a great evening, Martha

Hi!
My first language is Spanish but have been in gringo land for sooooo many yrs that you forget and you guys help me with my Spanish. Great Job!   Also I am not from EC so the Spanish is different.  A Lady did a post with the different herbs & vegetables.  It will be used,  I only knew in English!  I also like the humor.  I cant wait to get there & a little nervous.  Thank you.   Martha

False friends.

librería


What a Gringo thinks it means... library.

What it really means... bookstore.

Biblioteca is the common word for library.


trote

What a Gringo thinks it means... a kind of fish.

What it really means...(noun) a trot or jog.

Trout in Spanish is trucha.


sano

What a Gringo thinks it means... sane.

What it really means... healthy.

A common word for "sane" is cuerdo.

Another word for "healthy" is saludable.

cccmedia :

sano

What it really means... healthy.

sano is also used in a common phrase in both Spanish and English, translated as safe.

Llegaste tarde, pero menos mal llegaste sano y salvo.
You arrived late, but at least you arrived safe and sound.

Also note that menos mal is very useful, meaning a number of things like:
         it's a good thing
         lucky for me
         luckily
         just as well

Menos mal tuvimos un poco de dinero en efectivo, porque no aceptan tarjetas de crédito.
Luckily we had a bit of cash, because they don't accept credit cards.

http://www.wordreference.com/es/en/tran … enos%20mal

News Headlines, Sunday, October 25, 2015....

Trump Habla de Reducciones en Campaña de Bush:
"El Ni Siquiera Puede Dirigir Su Propia Campaña"


Trump on Bush Campaign Cutbacks:
"He Can't Even Run His Own Campaign"



Bill Clinton:  Quiero Romper la Llave Estranguladora
Que Mujeres Tuvieron en Ser Parejas de Presidentes


Bill Clinton:  I Want to Break the Stranglehold
That Women Have Had in Being Spouses of Presidents



Tormenta Patricia No Tan Malo en México:
Algunas Casas Destruidas en Areas Sin Mucha Población


Patricia Storm Not So Bad for Mexico:
Some Houses Destroyed in Low-Population Areas




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False friends.

salir


Who a Gringo thinks it is... a navy man.

What it really means.... to leave or go out.

A "sailor" in Spanish is marinero.


tripulación

What a Gringo thinks it means...
    a severe trial or suffering.

What it really means... a crew.

"Suffering" in Spanish is sufrimiento.


zarpo

Who a Gringo thinks it is... one of the Marx Brothers.

What it really means... I sail.

False friends.

pisar


What a Gringo thinks it means... to take a leak.

What it really means... to step on.

"To take a leak" is orinar.


como

What a Gringo thinks it means... 20th century crooner.

What it really means in Spanish... I eat.  (from the verb comer)


tribu

What a Gringo thinks it means... tribute.

What it really means... tribe.

The word for "tribute" is tributo.


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False friends

groserías


What a Gringo thinks it means... supermarket haul.

What it really means in Spanish... swearwords.


todo

What a Gringo thinks it is... small dog from Kansas
    that visited Oz.

What it really means... all, every.


calzón

What a Gringo thinks it means... Italian menu item.

What it really means... shorts, briefs, panties.


                    .

cccmedia :

grocerías

What a Gringo thinks it means... supermarket haul.

What it really means in Spanish... swearwords.

Also note that una grosería can mean any thing rude, insulting, disgraceful, disrespectful, showing lack of courtesy, etc.  In some instances you could equate it with the American English expression "gross":

Did you see what he just did?  That's gross, what a disgraceful guy!
¿Viste lo que acabó de hacer?  ¡Que grosería, que tipo tan grosero!

A useful synonym for una grosería is una cochinada which also means filthy language, disgusting behavior, etc., coming from cochino, another word for pig and also meaning dirty, disgusting etc. (see also cerdo, marrano, puerco).

I always remember grosería in conjunction with porquería which means a dirty nasty mess of garbage (figuratively or literally), trash, filth or an indecent/immoral action.

I don't eat there anymore, not after I saw how dirty, how nasty a filthy mess the kitchen is.
Ya no como allá, después de que vi que cochina, que porquería es la cocina.

False friends.

rehén


What a Gringo thinks it means .. second helping of chicken.

What it really means... hostage.


bigote

What a Gringo thinks it means... someone opposed to people of color.

What it really means... moustache.


saber

What a Gringo thinks it means... dueling weapon.

What it means in Spanish... to know (something).

    Él no sabe su razón para visitar a su tía.
    He doesn't know her reason for visiting her aunt.

Dueling:  a word for "sword" is espada.



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False friends.

hondo


What a Gringo thinks it is... vintage Western movie with John Wayne and James Arness.

What it really means... deep


balde


Who a Gringo thinks it might be... Telly Savalas, Phil Silvers or Gavin McLeod.

What it really means... bucket, or pail.

The word for "bald" is calvo.


porque

What a Gringo thinks it is... famous cartoon pig.

What it really means... because.

Por qué  -- two words with the accent mark -- means "why."

    Ella siempre viene aquí porque la agrada la comida.
    She always comes here because she likes the food.

    ¿Por qué no viene ella los jueves?
    Why doesn't she come on Thursdays?

False friends.

mezquino


What a Gringo thinks it means... half-breed.

What it really means... mean or stingy.

The word for "mixed-race person" is mestizo.


planes (PLAH-nays)

What a Gringo thinks they are... airborne vehicles frequently arriving
in Quito and Guayaquil.

What they really are in Spanish... plans.  (singular: plan.)

The word for "airplane" in Spanish is avión.


irán

What a Gringo thinks it is... world trouble spot.

What it means in Spanish... they will go.  Root verb: ir.

False friends.


toldo


What a Gringo thinks it means... I told.

What it really means... a canopy.


chanteajear


What a Gringo thinks it means... to boo.

What it really means... to blackmail.


mudo
  (MOO-doh)

What a Gringo thinks it means...
    what you find on a dirt road when it rains.

What it really means... I change.

mudar means "to change."
mudarse means "to move."

Él mudó su expresión cuando ella llegó.
He changed his expression when she arrived.

Me mudé aquí de Cuenca.
I moved here from Cuenca.

False friends.

violan


What a Gringo thinks it means ... a stringed instrument in a concert hall.

What it really means... they violated.  From the verb violar.


ropa

What a Gringo thinks it means... product used in hog-tying.

What it really means... clothing.

Cuerda is a word for "rope."



Yo.

What a Gringo thinks it means...
    a greeting between young Italian men.

What it really means... I.

False friends.

nudo


What a Gringo thinks it means... wearing his birthday suit.

What it really means... a knot.

The word for "naked" is desnudo.


vida  (BEE-dah)

What a Gringo thinks it means... popular brand of herring.

What it really means... life.

Nos vemos en la próxima vida.
See you in the next life.


playa  (PLAH-yah)

What a Gringo thinks it means... participant in a game,
    or a playboy.

What it really means... beach.

"Player" in Spanish is jugador.
A word for playboy is conquistador.



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False friends.

desfile


What a Gringo thinks it means... to defile.

What it really means... a parade.


verse

What a Gringo thinks it means... stanza.

What it really means... to look, as in "to appear."

Te ves genial. 
You look great.

Él quisiera verse más joven.
He would like to look younger.


mono

What a Gringo thinks it means... the kissing disease.

What it means in Spanish ... monkey.




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False friends.

mil


What a Gringo thinks it means... a mile.

What it really means... one thousand.

The word for "mile" is milla.
Yo caminaría una millón millas para una de tus sonrisas... Mami.
I'd walk a million miles for one of your smiles... Mammie.



sino

What a Gringo thinks it means... of or related to the Chinese.

What it means in Spanish... except.

Él comió todo en su plato sino la espinaca.
He ate everything on his plate except the spinach.


fin

What a Gringo thinks it is... part of a fish.

What it means in Spanish... end.

El fin está cerca.
The end is near.




                     .

cccmedia :

fin
El fin está cerca.
The end is near.

Fin is also used in several idiomatic expressions, among them:

por fin - finally
Por fin llegaron.
They finally arrived.

al fin y al cabo - after all, finally, when all is said and done, at the end of the day, anyway, etc.
Al fin y al cabo lo que más importa en la vida es su salud.
When all is said and done the most important thing in life is your health.

Some phrases translate poorly or inappropriately between Spanish and English.

For instance, Tyson Chicken Tenders sponsored Red Zone plays on the DirecTV Latin America broadcast of Monday Night Football last night.  In the fourth quarter, as the Buffalo Bills entered this area  -- which is the 20 yards near the end zone -- a lower-screen graphic sequence was initiated.

The final graphic flashed Tyson Chicken's ad slogan that would be too racy if translated to English for USA television....

          ! Muerde el Grande !

                Bite the Big One !

KFC outlets in Quito including the one upstairs at Megamaxi Six are promoting an iPods raffle in December.

In the meantime, chicken-lovers may contribute to the promotion's beneficiaries, kids, by putting 50 centavos into a box on the KFC counter.

The "Add Hope" sign says....

Con Esperanza el sabor es aún mejor.... Ayuda a un niño hoy!

With Hope the flavor is even better.... Help a child today.

Con tu aporte voluntario de podrías participacion en un sorteo de iPods Nano and Mini iPods,  $0,50

With your voluntary support you can take part in a raffle of Nano and Mini iPods.

Reglas y condiciones en Facebook.com/kfcecuador

Rules & Regulations at Facebook.com/kfcecuador.



                    .

False friends.

quito


What a Gringo thinks it means ... South American capital city.

What it means, uncapitalized... I remove ...
   from the verb quitar -- to remove, take or steal.

Cuando ingreso en una iglesia, quito mi sombrero.
When I enter a church, I remove my hat.


cara

What a Gringo thinks it means... compact car.

What it really means... expensive.

Esa cartera se ve cara.
That purse looks expensive.

masculine:
Este sombrero está mas caro que lo suyo.
This hat is more expensive than yours.

A word for "car" is carro.


pera

What a Gringo thinks it means... a female dog.

What it really means... a pear.

A female dog is una perra.


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False friends.

fingir


What a Gringo thinks it means... one of ten digits attached to hands.

What it really means... to pretend.

The word for "finger" is dedo -- DEH-doh.


ordeñar

What a Gringo thinks it means... to order or request.

What it really means... to milk.

A word meaning "to order" is similar:  ordenar.

Ordené una docena de botellas de leche a esa tienda.
I ordered a dozen bottles of milk at that store.

Granjero Brown suele ordeñar a sus vacas durante la madrugada.
Farmer Brown is used to milking his cows during the overnight.


colegio

What a Gringo thinks it means... college.

What it really means... secondary school (high school).  It can also mean simply "school" ... or "school building."

Universidad is typically used for "college" or "university."



                      .

False friends.

cucharada


What a Gringo thinks it means... cockroach.

What it really means... spoonful.

Cucaracha, which seems similar, means "cockroach."


corregir

What a Gringo thinks it it... Filipino war zone from the 40's.

What it really means... to correct.

The venue in the Philippines is Corregidor.


taxista

What the Gringo thinks it means... IRS collection agent.

What it really means... taxi driver.

False friends

ten


What a Gringo thinks it means... a number between 9 and 11.

What it means in Spanish... (you) have.
It's short for tenga.

Ten un buen día.
Have a good day.



prestó

What a Gringo thinks it means... a magician's 'reveal' word.

What it means in Spanish... He or she loaned.

Ella me prestó este libro.
She loaned me this book.


coser

What a Gringo thinks it means... that which is not further away.

What it really means... to sew.

False friends.

bondad
  bohn-DODD

What a Gringo thinks it means... at liberty, but awaiting trial.

What it really means... goodness.

Ten la bondad para permitirme a telefonar a mi esposa.
Be good enough (have the kindness) to let me phone my wife.


ganga

What a Gringo thinks it means... a gang.

What it really means... a bargain.

Una pandilla is "a gang."


alemán  ah-lay-MAHN

What a Gringo thinks it means... guy who drinks Stout.

What it really means... (adj.) German.

Female form:  alemana.





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False friends.

disfruta


What a Gringo thinks it means... out of fruit.

What it really means... he or she enjoys,
    from the verb disfrutar.

Ella disfruta de visitar el mercado de frutas.
She enjoys visiting the fruit market.


mentir

What a Gringo thinks it means... to take under your wing at work.

What it really means... to lie.

El ladrón mintió a la policía.
The thief lied to the cops.


mayorista

What the Gringo thinks it means... elected leader of a city.

What it really means... wholesaler.

The English word "mayor" is alcalde in Spanish.

False friends.  Animals edition....

rato


What a Gringo thinks it is... a small rodent that likes cheese and pizza.

What it really means... a while.

Bajaré en un rato.
I'll come down in a while.


barco

What a Gringo thinks it means... sound a dog makes.

What it really means... a ship.

A dog bark is ladrido.


focas

What a Gringo thinks it is:  clarity through a camera lens.

What it really means... seals.

Ël miró a tres focas andando en la costa fría.
He watched three seals moving around along the chilly coast.


                     .

False friends

soy


What a Gringo thinks it is... a dark sauce commonly used on Chinese food.

What it really means in Spanish... I am.


anular

What a Gringo thinks it means... once per year.

What it really means... to call off.

Su club anuló su fiesta navideña.
His club called off its Christmas party.


ruido   roo-EE-doh

What a Gringo thinks it means... crass or brutish.

What it really means... noise.



                    .

False friends.

casco


What a Gringo thinks it means... name of a low-price megastore.

What it really means...helmet.


duchas

What a Gringo thinks it means... someone Prince Charles would know.

What it really means... showers.

Prefiero a darme dos duchas al día.
I prefer to take two showers a day.


éxito

What a Gringo thinks it means... the way out.

What it really means... success.

A word for "exit" is salida.

False friends.

desean


Who a Gringo thinks it is... Pro Bowl wide receiver for the Eagles, now with the Redskins.

What it really means in Spanish... they desire.


saber

What a Gringo thinks it is... flat-edged sword used by the cavalry.

What it really means... to know.


taquilla  tah-KEE-yah

What a Gringo thinks it is... liquor from Mexico.

What it really means... box office.

Tequila is a spirit distilled from agave plants in Jalisco, Mexico.



                     .

News Headlines, Sunday, December 27, 2015....

Líderes de Evangelistas Franklin Graham y Pastor Choco Abandonan a Partido Repúblicano

Evangelicals' Leaders Franklin Graham and "Pastor Choco" Quit Republican Party


Quito, Ecuador:  Una Docena de Ministros Nuevos y Secretarias de Estado
    Toman Juramiento a Palacio Carondelet


Quito, Ecuador:  A Dozen New Ministers and Secretaries of State
    Sworn In at Presidential Palace



Stephen Curry de los Guerreros de la NBA
    Nombrado Atleta del Año Para Prensa Asociada


Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry
    Named AP's Male Athlete of the Year

False friends.

cavernícola


What a Gringo thinks it means... underground soft drink.

What it really means... caveman.


beber

Who a Gringo thinks this is... teen idol who runs into trouble with egg-tossing and other antics.

What it really means...  to drink.


poca gente    POH-ka HEN-tay

Who a Gringo thinks this is... 17th century Indian girl who got tangled up with
    John Smith in Virginia.

What it really means... few people.

Poco (or) poca means few or a little.

Solo probaría poco vino.
I would just try a little wine.

New topic