EPISODE 1: Language battle

Soundtrack of this post: “Pongamos que hablo de Madrid – Joaquín Sabina”

For this first session, Fernando came to my apartment at 9:00 ready to start with one of the most difficult topics: the language. During the whole morning we spoke about our languages in general and then we decided to write a list of the TOP 10 words that could not be missing in a conversation with a local person in other not to sound like a stranger or foreigner.due to the fact that grammar is almost common in our languages, we went straight to the vocabulary. And that was the result:

  1. Jeta: face.
  2. Piños: Teeth
  3. Peluco: Watch
  4. Chinar: To make someone angry
  5. Mazo: a lot
  6. Kelly: Home
  7. Tronco: Friend, confident person.
  8. Cerveceo (and many other words ended with –eo): to go to drink beers.
  9. Canteo: a good or bad surprise. Something that is incredible.
  10. Gallumbos: Men’s underwear.
  • Th letter b is not called “b alta”, is called “be” and the letter v is not called “be baja”, is called “uve”.
  • You shouldn’t write “i” as a conjunction; you must use “y”

For the Catalan words I looked for some tricky ones. Some words from Catalan are similar to the Spanish words, but there are some that might sound like Spanish words but mean a completely different thing. Is what we call: False friends.  Is the biggest mistake among the non Catalan speakers. If Fernando wanted to look like a local, he had to learn this list of false friends:

  1. Acostar-se: it sound like “acostarse”. In Spanish “acostarse” means to go to sleep. In Catalan it means to get closer to somebody or something.
  2. Ampolla: it sound like “ampolla”. In Spanish “ampolla” means a rash. In Catalan it means bottle.
  3. Brut: it sound like “bruto”. In Spanish “bruto” means rude. In Catalan it means dirty.
  4. Cama: it sound like “cama”. In Spanish it means bed while in Catalan it means leg.
  5. Escoltar: it sounds like “escoltar”. In Spanish means to escort or guard. In Catalan it means to listen.
  6. Llevar-se: it sounds like “llevarse”. In Spanish it means to take something away. In Catalan it means to wake up.
  7. Pany: it sounds like “paño”. In Spanish it means a towel. In Catalan it means latch.
  8. Vaga: it sounds like “Vaga”. In Spanish it means a lazy girl. In Catalan it means a strike.
  9. Tasca: it sounds like “Tasca”. In Spanish it is a bar. In Catalan it means a task.
  10. Pujar: it is written like “Pujar”. In Spanish it means to ascend. In Catalan it means to go up.
  • The graph “ny” doesn’t sound like “ni”. It sounds like “ñ”
  • The letter “ç” sounds like ”ss”
  • The graph “l·l” sounds like a long “l”
  • The letter “j” sounds like “sh”, and not like “y”
  • The graph “tx” sounds like “ch”

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