July 12th, 2008


False Spanish Verbs

I came across the word pajar today and thought it might be a verb. But to my surprise it was a noun meaning "hayloft/barn/straw loft"! This got me thinking about other nouns that look like verbs in Spanish. I remember the first time I saw taller; I thought it was a verb. But it's not. It means "workshop." Most words that end in -ar, -er, or -ir are verbs in Spanish. But there are exceptions!

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I looked up the suffix -ar and it can be added to nouns to form other nouns that mean "place in which something is abundant". I never knew that. -ar can also be added to a noun to form adjectives that mean a "condition" or "possession/belonging to".

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Can you think of more "false verbs" in Spanish? I don't mean verbs that can be used as nouns, like poder ("to be able to, can," which can also mean the noun "power")

What about other languages? Any nouns that look like verbs but they aren't?
Bear Nuts

213 things Skippy is not allowed to do at translation school

213 things Skippy is not allowed to do at translation school. Improvements and additions wanted

1. "But that's what he *really* meant!" is not a universal justification.

2. Hardcore BDSM porn is not appropriate for a free-choice translation exercise.

3. I may not "keep the original orientation of the text" when translating Arabic, Chinese and Japanese.

4. Finding Shakespearian equivalents for "guns, bitches and bling" is not an appropriate term paper topic.

5. I may not list English as She is Spoke as an "outstanding 19th century achievement in language books."
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20th Century French Literature

I don't like using the word "useful" in regards to any language...but, is there/are there other languages besides French and English that would be considered more "useful"or I guess more apropos for studying 20th Century French Literature?

Any advice from students/scholars in the field would be superb :)

Merci en avance :)

pagar la luz?

In the Spanish of your choice, do you use the word "luz" (lit: light) to mean electricity? I was just listening to the lyrics of Juan Luis Guerra's Niagara en Bicicleta, and he has says "y mi querida, en este hospital no hay luz para un cardiograma" which I take to mean "and my dear, in this hospital there's no electricity for an electrocardiogram."

In Chile, pretty much everyone says "luz" when they mean electricty. Tengo que pagar la luz, me van a cortar la luz, etc (I have to pay the electricity, they're going to cut the electricity, etc.).

Juan Luis Guerra is Dominican, and I pretty much learned Spanish here (Chile). Is this universal, or a peculiarity that somehow leapt from the DR over the ocean, across a continent and landed here?

Does your Spanish do this? And where are you from/ where did you learn it, or who did you learn it from? Thanks.

Receptive and Productive Skills

Hello again everyone!

At the moment I am sitting in a train. I cannot sleep and won't reach my destination for a few hours, so I thought I would start looking up some references for a paper I will need to write next week. Could anyone recommend any good websites/articles talking about teaching receptive and productive skills to (adult) students? I've got Scrivener waiting for me at home, but I need, and would like, to get a few online sources as well (even if they are Scrivener related). When I google I am just getting short definitions of everything or links to books I can buy. Any links with a more in depth look into things that you could offer would be very much appreciated!! :))

Enjoy the rest of your weekend,

PS- Thanks for all the great responses to my "A Pair of Jeans" post. You guys rock!!!!!!!
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