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What are YOUR Favourite Spanish Words?

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
Prior to our last Camino, I thought it might be useful to learn some more Spanish.

The aim was to build on my already impressive vocabulary of about 20 words, that dealt mainly with food and drink!

The big goal this time, would be to achieve the ultimate in flexibility and independence…

To be able to book a room over the phone!

So I enlisted the help of Jose who lives in our hometown, and who originally hails from Ponferrada.

Whilst we started with the aim of telephone room booking we soon progressed onto other essentials, such as calling the police, or an ambulance. As well of course as understanding pilgrim menus…

Now my better half came to the first lesson and promptly decided that I should be the linguist for this trip. European languages not being her strong suit. She would merely take on the role of trip ‘ supervisor’…

So the language training amounted to about 6 one hour lessons all up. Much of it taken up with revision. Homework not being My strong suit….

So let’s just say that progress was minimal. A term my school teachers would find very familiar…

So all was going well. I was coping with basic pilgrim menus. Asking for extra pillows and even making hotel bookings on the phone!

And then the cracks started to appear…

I think it was a visit to a rather upmarket restaurant. No pilgrim menus here! The menu was a struggle to say the least…

I could see it coming. “How much did we spend on Spanish lessons”? Thankfully the waiter helped out.

The next major obstacle was a visit to the medical centre in carrion. This whole episode warrants a post of its own! But let’s just say, for now, Jose’s excellent teaching did not stretch to the more intimate parts of a ladies anatomy!

“We should get a refund on those lessons,” exclaimed the patient!


But I digress. My favourite words.

Vale. Pronounced like Barlay. Often repeated in quick succession. Means OK. I love the way it rolls off the tongue.

Huevos y bacon. I made sure Jose taught me this. And soon realised my previous attempts to order eggs and bacon amounted to asking for a plate of Thursdays… No wonder I never got any!

Because huevos (eggs) is, of course, pronounced Webos. Who would have thought! One of my all-time favourite Spanish words. Designed no doubt, to confuse the hell out of foreigners.

SOS. Now this one I started hearing from hotel staff. I thought it must be some type of slang or code… So I plucked up the courage to ask what it meant… “That’s it.”

Then the penny dropped….

Eso es. Not SOS!

So what are your favourite Spanish words, or words that you later found out you were using in completely the wrong way ? :eek:
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (Spring '17)
Primitivo (Spring '18)
Madrid (April '19)
Many (most?) non-native Spanish speakers have the same favourite word, because it has all the vowels, sounds really cool, and is so much more interesting than the English equivalent. And the magic word is...

murciélago (bat, as in the flying mammal)

Not incredibly useful on camino though, desafortunadamente.
 
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jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (Spring '17)
Primitivo (Spring '18)
Madrid (April '19)
SOS. Now this one I started hearing from hotel staff. I thought it must be some type of slang or code… So I plucked up the courage to ask what it meant… “That’s it.”

Then the penny dropped….

Eso es. Not SOS!
:D

Furthermore, have you also noticed that for some reason they like to spell out items of clothing in English for no apparent reason? Like, they’ll just say S-O-C-K-S in the middle of a Spanish conversation!

———

(Eso si que es)
 
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C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
Many (most?) non-native Spanish speakers have the same favourite word, because it has all the vowels, sounds really cool, and is so much more interesting than the English equivalent. And the magic word is...
Not incredibly useful on camino though, desafortunadamente.
I didn't know that was so, but it was the first word that popped into my mind. I have no idea where or when I learned it - probably it was suggested to me years ago for that reason and I'd forgotten the reason but not the word. Once or twice I have even managed to work it into a conversation! It is fun to say and has that stress in the middle.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Many (most?) non-native Spanish speakers have the same favourite word, because it has all the vowels, sounds really cool, and is so much more interesting than the English equivalent. And the magic word is...

murciélago (bat, as in the flying mammal)

Not incredibly useful on camino though, desafortunadamente.
I kind of like desaparecido, mostly because I can actually pronounce it. Also inmobiliaria, which took me longer to get right.
But I have a hard time with euro.
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
@trecile sure nailed it, but here is my second: Jámon Serrano! :D

Being my daily languages English and Portuguese, one word I think is very funny is "Embarazada".
In English, "embarassed" kinda means feeling 'shy' or 'ackward'.
In Portuguese, 'embaraçada' means 'tangled'.

What was my surprised when I learned that in Spanish it means PREGNANT!
Imagine tripping/falling on the Camino, someone helps and asks if you are ok and you say "I'm not hurt, just feeling a bit embarazada". Then everyone celebrates the news of a camino baby!
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (Spring '17)
Primitivo (Spring '18)
Madrid (April '19)
The words I tend to use most: "Estoy perdido... donde es ...."
[I'm lost. Where is ......"] ;)
It's a bit counterintuitive, because a building's location would appear to be permanent (thus making the ser form of to be the logical choice, as you used here), but they actually use the estar (temporary) form of to be for location. So the correct way to ask the location of something is ¿Donde está...? See Using estar with locations for more. Hope this helps.
 
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Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
Many (most?) non-native Spanish speakers have the same favourite word, because it has all the vowels, sounds really cool, and is so much more interesting than the English equivalent. And the magic word is...

murciélago (bat, as in the flying mammal)

Not incredibly useful on camino though, desafortunadamente.
All of us walk jubilosamente to Santiago.
5 vowels
 

Roger0704

Let's walk the talk.....
Camino(s) past & future
I did CF April/May 2018...
Gonna Do Camino Norte April 2019
Just simpel..
Dos vino tinto por favor !😁
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Santiago, Norte (2016)
Camino Portuguese, Coastal (2018)
Caña, por favor. Our tradition upon arriving at our destination and before checking in to our accommodation, was to have a beer or two. I learned from my walking partner that at bars and cafes "cańa" was a small beer.
 

Phil71

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese (2014,2016),Primitivo (2015), San Salvador (2017), Norte (2018), Ingles (2018)
Probably not very politically correct so I apologise up front. "Esposas".
Looks like the plural of esposa (wife) but translates to handcuffs......
 

Gareth Griffith

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago de Compestela in May(2016)
Pronounced Boyo but written Pollo. Chicken. Patatas Fritas = chips.

Gratuito is a useful word to know. It means free.

Un vino tinto = one red wine
Dos vinos tintos = two red wines.

My favourite "Hablas inglès por favor?" You always get "Un poco" ( little) or "un poquito" (a tiny little bit) as a response but generally their tiny bit of English it far better than my ten years on/off study of Spanish.

Here endeth the first lesson.
 

QuailHiker

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino del Norte y Primitivo (2018)
Because of how they sound:
autobus
calcetines (as in “los calcetines huelen mal!”
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
I forgot another: In my first lesson in Spanish school (www.enforex.com , a very good way to learn Spanish), I was taught that when having an argument with my better half, for the sake of peace in the house, I should always remember to end the argument by saying:

"Si, senora..."

It works...
 

Gareth Griffith

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago de Compestela in May(2016)
Actually, it's pronounced Poyo, with a P. Bollo (pronounced boyo) is a different word. Fortunately nothing rude, but if you order bollo instead of pollo you will get a bread roll. You can buy them at a bollería (bakery).
Sorry to contradict but listen to the staff on the butchery dept at Carrefour in Torrevieja or the market traders in Playa Flamenca market and you will definitely hear boyo!
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
Pronounced Boyo but written Pollo.
I think that P-B sound varies by region (as well as by individual, probably). As an English speaker, I just try to soften them both - don't pop so much air when you pronounce the P, and then it comes out closer to a B.
 

mylifeonvacation

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Inglés (from Ferrol June 2014)
Camino Portuguese (from Tui May 2015)
The initial “P” and “B” are quite similar in how they are pronounced. When I finally took a Spanish pronunciation class (6 years into my studying!) we learned that an initial “P” should be pronounced with no air leaving the mouth; you should be able to say it without blowing out a match placed right in front of your lips. Similarly, “B”s are also pronounced without being exaggerated. They end up very close in how they sound.

https://studyspanish.com/pronunciation/listen-and-repeat/letter_p

This site has good listen and repeat pronunciation exercises for all of the Spanish sounds.
 

Joodle

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF May 10th- June 21st 2016
VDLP March-April 2017
CF coming up April-May
It was quite disheartening when after speaking my best Spanish and asking for two beds for two female pilgrims, por favor (and I was quite proud) the lady cocked her head, hands on hips, and looking up at me, asked “ Are you speaking Spanish? I laughed and replied “apparently not!” She patted my hand and suggested we speak English. 😂😂
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
The initial “P” and “B” are quite similar in how they are pronounced. When I finally took a Spanish pronunciation class (6 years into my studying!) we learned that an initial “P” should be pronounced with no air leaving the mouth; you should be able to say it without blowing out a match placed right in front of your lips. Similarly, “B”s are also pronounced without being exaggerated. They end up very close in how they sound.

https://studyspanish.com/pronunciation/listen-and-repeat/letter_p

This site has good listen and repeat pronunciation exercises for all of the Spanish sounds.
There's that, and also V's are pronounced with B sound.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
There's that, and also V's are pronounced with B sound.
Yes that one surprised me when I took lessons!

Vino is pronounced Bino ;)
And Por Favor is pronounced Por Fabor !

According to my rather amusing Spanish teacher, only Julio Iglesias pronounces it Por Favor as he thinks it sounds cool :cool: Thankfully the Spanish understand what we are trying to say though :oops:
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
Vino is pronounced Bino ;)
And Por Favor is pronounced Por Fabor !
One needs to simplify the huge challenges of learning Spanish. I suggest not fussing too much about the distinctions between Bino, Vino, and Pino. It might be better to stop substituting different English letters to try (imperfectly) to explain the difference. It is easier to just visualize the P, B or V as written, and mute the pronunciation. Then hope that the context takes care of the rest. You need to be aware of the "problem" when you hear others, and use context then, too.

For that matter, try muting/softening all the consonants in Spanish - including D and T in the middle of words.

That's what I do and it generally works fine. I say that as someone who learned Spanish pretty well as a young adult, then didn't use it for 30 years, and now travel to Spain for one month each year. I well remember the struggles to get where I am. I still get frustrated and sound very much like a foreign visitor, but am almost fluent in that I don't need to translate. Being able to use my Spanish is one of my great pleasure on the Camino.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
One needs to simplify the huge challenges of learning Spanish. I suggest not fussing too much about the distinctions between Bino, Vino, and Pino. It might be better to stop substituting different English letters to try (imperfectly) to explain the difference. It is easier to just visualize the P, B or V as written, and mute the pronunciation. Then hope that the context takes care of the rest. You need to be aware of the "problem" when you hear others, and use context then, too.

For that matter, try muting/softening all the consonants in Spanish - including D and T in the middle of words.

That's what I do and it generally works fine. I say that as someone who learned Spanish pretty well as a young adult, then didn't use it for 30 years, and now travel to Spain for one month each year. I well remember the struggles to get where I am. I still get frustrated and sound very much like a foreign visitor, but am almost fluent in that I don't need to translate. Being able to use my Spanish is one of my great pleasure on the Camino.
I agree. It's often very hard to write phoenetically to get the right sound.
I struggle the same with Thai! (we live and work there a bit)
There are just sounds that most Western people are not used to making! It takes a bit of a mouth 'workout' to get the right shape and sound :oops:

But learning a little of another language and trying to get the right pronunciation is fun.
If only to see the delight on the faces of the native speakers when they are surprised that you got it right ;)
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
But learning a little of another language and trying to get the right pronunciation is fun.
If only to see the delight on the faces of the native speakers when they are surprised that you got it right
I agree on the fun part, but honestly I don't ever expect to get the pronunciation "right." I'm just cautioning people against getting stuck and focusing on details that may not be critical or possible to master.

I decided to pick my battles in language learning! For example, I don't do "vosotros" and I don't waste any more time studying the complicated imperatives. I learned versions of the most-needed imperatives and I leave the rest to my clumsy improvisations.

(The fact that I can improvise, even clumsily, is testament to a certain fluency. :D )
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
I agree on the fun part, but honestly I don't ever expect to get the pronunciation "right." I'm just cautioning people against getting stuck and focusing on details that may not be critical or possible to master.

I decided to pick my battles in language learning! For example, I don't do "vosotros" and I don't waste any more time studying the complicated imperatives. I learned versions of the most-needed imperatives and I leave the rest to my clumsy improvisations.

(The fact that I can improvise, even clumsily, is testament to a certain fluency. :D )
Very true. Close enough is often good enough. Being understood is the important part!
I find vocabulary more useful that correct grammar ;)
 

GettingThere

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Roncesvalles-SdC Apr-Jun 2015
Roncesvalles-Sarria Sep-Oct 2017
(Apr -Jun 2019: Roncesvalles-SdC)
Or even more jubilosamente, some of us are jubilados.
Jubilado/a is my favourite Spanish word! :DI love it - so much more positive and life affirming than "retired", "pensioner", etc., and so much more appropriate for all the energetic, active, amazing people I know, including on this forum! Makes me wonder about a collective noun for a group of jubilados - but that may be another thread... :)
 

kdespot

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés SJPP-SdC Sept-Oct 2016
You all have hit so many nails on the head. As a profesora jubilada de español (being jubilant describes the state so much better than being tired again), I celebrate when folks just focus on being understood. Apologies to all for all those bad language programs that overemphasize grammar. The ability to understand spoken Spanish, to speak with a general acknowledgement of sounds, and vocabulary are so much more important. Throw it all together in a sentence with "I" and "yesterday" and the listener will know that you did this thing in the past. As C clearly says, pick your battles and let the little stuff go (and there's SO much little stuff if you get caught up in it).

My favorite word? ¡Ojalá! Let's hope so! It's got such positive energy and is testament to the influence of the Muslim culture in Spain, one of the many that make this place tan interesante.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Sorry to contradict but listen to the staff on the butchery dept at Carrefour in Torrevieja or the market traders in Playa Flamenca market and you will definitely hear boyo!
Drawing upon my university phonetics courses of about 35 years ago, it is an unaspirated voiceless bilabial stop. In English "b" is a voiced bilabial stop and "p" is a voiceless bilabial stop. But at the start of a word "b" is always unaspirated and "p" is always aspirated. You can tell the difference if you put your hand in front of you mouth and say "path" and "bath". You will feel a puff of air with "path" but not "bath". When the Spanish say "pollo" withithout the aspiration it can sound to English speakers like a "b", because they are looking for the aspiration to tell the sounds apart. It is still different from a word starting with "b", though, where the vocal chords are active during the consonant.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
There's that, and also V's are pronounced with B sound.
Again with my ancient linguistics training, not quite. It is just a sound that we don't have in English that is in some ways like our English "b" and in some ways like our English "v".

The English "b", as I just finished writing in another post, is a voiced bilabial stop. The English "v" is a voiced labio-dental fricative. So a "b" is made with the two lips and a "v" is made with the teeth and lower lip. A "b" brings the lips together to momentarily stop the airflow and then releases it (that's why it is called a stop and why you can't extend the sound). A "v" brings the lip and teeth almost together to create friction in the airflow (that's why it is called a fricative and you can extend the sound). The Spanish "v" in "vino" is a voiced bilabial fricative. Because it is bilabial it can sound like a "b" to English speakers. But it isn't quite a "b" because it is a fricative and can be extended.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
In terms of favourite words, I really like a lot that have been offered by others. But as someone who grew up in North America and was used to hearing Spanish from the Americas but really learned Spanish in Madrid, I've always been fond of recepcion because of the lovely "c"s.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
I find vocabulary more useful that correct grammar
Apologies to all for all those bad language programs that overemphasize grammar
I am a fan of grammar and like to study my languages that way (not that I have many, but that is my inclination!). Personality matters - extroverts may be happy to just start talking and mimicking but I was more self-conscious and wanted to analyse everything before opening my mouth. An overview of Spanish grammar is important so that we can recognize different forms, even if we can't produce them properly. In order to put vocabulary to use, you need an ability to use the basic verb forms - I still think drills are the fastest way to learn that.
 

RelEngOz

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
el Camino Frances, Sep 2016
My Chilean wife-to-be had a 3 yo girl when I first met her. Sometimes I would have to help partially undress her before bath or bedtime. My Spanish was at the stage where I would confuse pairs of words, in this case calzoncillos with calcetines. The little girl would cry to her mother that I was asking her to take her knickers off when it should have been socks. Luckily it was easily explained and accepted.

No foreigner should be blamed for hearing the wrong word amongst these 3:
ovejas (sheep),
abejas (bees) and
arvejas (peas)
especially as "v" and "b" are indistinguishable.
Only context can help.
In a panic situation you rapidly learn that very few people are allergic to the bite of a sheep.
 

RelEngOz

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
el Camino Frances, Sep 2016
Oh, one other comes to mind:
When one feels hot due to the day's high temperature one should say "tengo calor" ie I have heat (in the temperature sense).
Not to use when travelling alone in the front seat of the taxi is "jo soy caliente" ie I am hot (sexually aroused). I don't know whether it's worse with a female or male taxi driver.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
For me, learning to speak Spanish is closely connected with being a pilgrim in Spain. When I am home (alas, for more than a year now) I say my morning and evening prayers in Spanish when I pray alone. Thanks to @SYates, I have downloaded the Spanish daily office, as prayed in Spain. So I practice my Spanish by praying out loud and gradually become more confident in my pronunciation of castellano, if not necessarily of my grammar and vocabulary. My instructors in Spanish have never been from Spain, so that is another challenge. But I persevere and am coming to love the language, although I am still far from fluent. Perhaps my least favourite word in Spanish is ¡Ojalá! because it signals an immediate switch into subjunctive verb forms, which I can follow when reading but not really speak. My favourite word in Spanish is necessito, a useful word and the first word that I used in a conversation with a Spanish speaker in Spain and was understood. He was offering me something and I dug around in my very basic Spanish and replied with "No necessito." I was delighted to be understood.
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (Spring '17)
Primitivo (Spring '18)
Madrid (April '19)
Perhaps my least favourite word in Spanish is ¡Ojalá! because it signals an immediate switch into subjunctive verb forms, which I can follow when reading but not really speak.
Oooh, I love ojalá (although no one likes the subjunctive, of course :p). I like how it's derived from the Arabic inshallah and I have a special fondness for the Silvio Rodriguez song Ojalá. I once saw him perform it in Havana.
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
Again with my ancient linguistics training, not quite. It is just a sound that we don't have in English that is in some ways like our English "b" and in some ways like our English "v".

The English "b", as I just finished writing in another post, is a voiced bilabial stop. The English "v" is a voiced labio-dental fricative. So a "b" is made with the two lips and a "v" is made with the teeth and lower lip. A "b" brings the lips together to momentarily stop the airflow and then releases it (that's why it is called a stop and why you can't extend the sound). A "v" brings the lip and teeth almost together to create friction in the airflow (that's why it is called a fricative and you can extend the sound). The Spanish "v" in "vino" is a voiced bilabial fricative. Because it is bilabial it can sound like a "b" to English speakers. But it isn't quite a "b" because it is a fricative and can be extended.
I say "v" in vino exactly the same as "b" in burro. And therefore I have problems on this in my English pronunciation.
 

kdespot

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés SJPP-SdC Sept-Oct 2016
The comments about the subjunctive made me laugh. It's actually the favorite grammar concept for many of us language nerds. It's the grammatical manifestation of a culture (more Latin American than Spanish) that does not live in a black & white world. If you understand the Days of the Dead, you can surely master the subjunctive.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
the subjunctive... it's actually favorite grammar concept for many of us language nerds.
I am one of those, although very much an amateur. Even the English subjunctive is fascinating, although it is well hidden and fading fast. Read Fowler's guide on it.
Oooh, I love ojalá (although no one likes the subjunctive, of course :p). I like how it's derived from the Arabic inshallah and I have a special fondness for the Silvio Rodriguez song Ojalá. I once saw him perform it in Havana.
With the words shown, that's a nice little lesson on the subjunctive.
 

Juanajoanna

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to bike spring 2017
Whenever I travel to a new country I first learn the basics:
Hello - hola
Please- por favor
Thank you - gracias
I believe there should be a test before entry is allowed.
I often think about how intolerant one can be when others do not speak your language. Talking louder does not work.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
The comments about the subjunctive made me laugh. It's actually the favorite grammar concept for many of us language nerds. It's the grammatical manifestation of a culture (more Latin American than Spanish) that does not live in a black & white world. If you understand the Days of the Dead, you can surely master the subjunctive.
Understand it?

What is it? :oops:

This? :eek:

1546983394703.png
 

november_moon

Veteran Member
I know this thread is a few months old, but I just saw it, and I really enjoyed the discussions about pronunciation. I am a Spanish speaker from California, and I learned most of my Spanish from Mexicans. I am not fluent, but I do pretty well. When I speak Spanish in Mexico, pretty much everybody knows I am from California by my pronunciation and the words I use - or at least the US if they can't pinpoint the state. When I speak Spanish in other Spanish-speaking countries, people think I live in Mexico. BUT, when I come home from being in Spain, my family can tell where I have been because my pronunciation changes. Once I didn't even tell my grandma that I had been to Spain, but when I went to visit her after I got back, she knew :)
 

Paladina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Cycled caminos francés, Finisterre, primitivo & del norte (2017); VdlP/Sanabres, ingles et al (2018)
I’m not sure I should be reading this on the eve of my Spanish oral, but I’ve no doubt that the word I would most like to hear tomorrow is aprobado.

*Update*
Muchas gracias to all who wished me well, and to St James for providing me with a chief examiner who is a native of Santiago, I survived the Spanish Inquisition. I was even given the opportunity to talk at length, or at least until I’d exhausted my modest vocabulary, about my previous and forthcoming peregrinations. Who else would listen so attentively to every word - and every mistake - I uttered? Now for the written exam...
 
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Mike Savage

So many friends to meet . . . so little time
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés,Inglés
Muxia/Finisterre
Português Coastal
Português Central
Sanabrés
Very important words for me: Cacahuetes, pulpo, mariscos, gambas, calabacin, rabo de toro . . . okay now I'm hungry and have to go back to Spain.
 
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Mike Savage

So many friends to meet . . . so little time
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés,Inglés
Muxia/Finisterre
Português Coastal
Português Central
Sanabrés
THANK YOU! No need to check it. I don't eat dust! I meant pulpo! I really need to get back to Spain and practice my Spanish!
 

marylynn

Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011-12-14-15-16-17-18-(19) CF
2013 Arles/Aragones
2015 & 2017 HærvejenDK
You said 'your favourite Spanish words - plural - so...here are mine:

cafe con leche, tortilla patata, ensalada mixta, y cerveza grande, por favor

Those words get me through the day on the Camino.
 

Hilarious

Hilarious
Camino(s) past & future
Planning stage Camino Frances from SJPdP (Sept. 2019)
Again with my ancient linguistics training, not quite. It is just a sound that we don't have in English that is in some ways like our English "b" and in some ways like our English "v".

The English "b", as I just finished writing in another post, is a voiced bilabial stop. The English "v" is a voiced labio-dental fricative. So a "b" is made with the two lips and a "v" is made with the teeth and lower lip. A "b" brings the lips together to momentarily stop the airflow and then releases it (that's why it is called a stop and why you can't extend the sound). A "v" brings the lip and teeth almost together to create friction in the airflow (that's why it is called a fricative and you can extend the sound). The Spanish "v" in "vino" is a voiced bilabial fricative. Because it is bilabial it can sound like a "b" to English speakers. But it isn't quite a "b" because it is a fricative and can be extended.
Thank you David for this detailed explanation - I think!
 

Hilarious

Hilarious
Camino(s) past & future
Planning stage Camino Frances from SJPdP (Sept. 2019)
I have been learning Spanish for about 12 months for my Camino in September. At last night’s lesson I learned maravilloso(a) - wonderful! So I will be aiming to use this as much as possible on my Camino. I absolutely love it as I feel it is magical and distinctly Harry Potteresque!
 

Ivan_Prada

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés-(septiembre 2018)
Portugués-(en planes 2021)
Pronounced Boyo but written Pollo. Chicken. Patatas Fritas = chips.

Gratuito is a useful word to know. It means free.

Un vino tinto = one red wine
Dos vinos tintos = two red wines.

My favourite "Hablas inglès por favor?" You always get "Un poco" ( little) or "un poquito" (a tiny little bit) as a response but generally their tiny bit of English it far better than my ten years on/off study of Spanish.

Here endeth the first lesson.
This post is just really funny.🤤. Really enjoy it.....

My native language is “Spanish “ correctly said: Castellano. As all the languages spoken in Spain (Galician, Vasque, Catalan, etc) are Spanish. The one common is: Castilian. AKA Spanish.

Because Castilian was used by the Canquistadors when they to new world and came from Spain, the language was called Spanish. That’s why .in Latin America all speak Spanish with their word variants and accents. I live in South Florida, and here you can taste all those differences of this rich language.

Please don’t take my comments on the wrong side; even being a”Spanish “ speaker since the crib, I had my communication barriers due to The variants of the Spanish language.

The funny of all is that when I meet people here at home and talk Spanish, they try to match my accent to certain country and always fail; when in English, they think I’m French-Canadian. 😲🤤. So keep it coming, Lets have fun.

Let me make some points, as mentioned; “Boyo” is with double L . Is loaf of bread. The sound of the P is more explosive by the lips (same as in English).

My favorite was : Membrillo. A desert made of fruit paste.

Here in S. Florida we have kind the same but mostly done with Guava and served with cream cheese. Cubans make a sandwich of it with French bread and is know as: Pan con Timba..... 🤤

Buen Camino,

Ivan
 
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Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
Don't think that "polvo" will satisfy your hunger so well as the others!

.
Don't think that "polvo" will satisfy your hunger so well as the others!
Polbo with b is the Galician word for pulpo. Polvo has a very popular second meaning in European Spanish that I don't dare to put here.
 

Ivan_Prada

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés-(septiembre 2018)
Portugués-(en planes 2021)
Very important words for me: Cacahuetes, polvo, mariscos, gambas, calabacin, rabo de toro . . . okay now I'm hungry and have to go back to Spain.
How about: Raxo con patatas. Una cerveza y una torta De Santiago......
😲🤤😁
 

Raggy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
Albergue
Acogida
Verdad
Edificio
Bellota
Estibadores
Aljibe
Jefe
Gazpacho
Andalucia

It may seem like a random list, but these words make me happy when I come across them since they evoke memories of when and how I learnt them. I think that's probably why so many people have chosen food and drink words.
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
The Frances from Pamplona and part VF, first-aid helper and hospitalera
Hi Robo and Pat - what a beautiful thread and such lovely responses from everyone. Thank you all.

If I think about my favourite Spanish words, "Que Tal?" is always what always comes to mind. The reason why is personal ... it's what a very special person on the Camino always says after we hug each other - both of us in tears - after not seeing each other for a year or two. That person is Susannah in her shop in the wonderful village of Rabanal. Susannah's English isn't fluent and my Spanish is absolute rubbish, but we share such warmth when we see each other - gosh it's special.

Here's a photo of Susannah and me last July in her shop - I was volunteering as an Hospitalera at Refugio Gaucelmo at the time and I visited Susannah most days. Susannah is kindness personified and truly is a Camino Angel.

IMG_5345.JPG

Cheers from Oz -
Jenny
 

CdnDreamer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2015 & 2018) San Salvador (2018)
My favourite Spanish word is "independiente". I just love to say it. It doesn't get me food or a bed though.
 

Mike Savage

So many friends to meet . . . so little time
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés,Inglés
Muxia/Finisterre
Português Coastal
Português Central
Sanabrés
I saw many Spanish Plane trees too (Platanus hispanica)
 

danielle aird

La vie est belle
Camino(s) past & future
May (2018); September (2018); May (2019)
Prior to our last Camino, I thought it might be useful to learn some more Spanish.

The aim was to build on my already impressive vocabulary of about 20 words, that dealt mainly with food and drink!

The big goal this time, would be to achieve the ultimate in flexibility and independence…

To be able to book a room over the phone!

So I enlisted the help of Jose who lives in our hometown, and who originally hails from Ponferrada.

Whilst we started with the aim of telephone room booking we soon progressed onto other essentials, such as calling the police, or an ambulance. As well of course as understanding pilgrim menus…

Now my better half came to the first lesson and promptly decided that I should be the linguist for this trip. European languages not being her strong suit. She would merely take on the role of trip ‘ supervisor’…

So the language training amounted to about 6 one hour lessons all up. Much of it taken up with revision. Homework not being My strong suit….

So let’s just say that progress was minimal. A term my school teachers would find very familiar…

So all was going well. I was coping with basic pilgrim menus. Asking for extra pillows and even making hotel bookings on the phone!

And then the cracks started to appear…

I think it was a visit to a rather upmarket restaurant. No pilgrim menus here! The menu was a struggle to say the least…

I could see it coming. “How much did we spend on Spanish lessons”? Thankfully the waiter helped out.

The next major obstacle was a visit to the medical centre in carrion. This whole episode warrants a post of its own! But let’s just say, for now, Jose’s excellent teaching did not stretch to the more intimate parts of a ladies anatomy!

“We should get a refund on those lessons,” exclaimed the patient!


But I digress. My favourite words.

Vale. Pronounced like Barlay. Often repeated in quick succession. Means OK. I love the way it rolls off the tongue.

Huevos y bacon. I made sure Jose taught me this. And soon realised my previous attempts to order eggs and bacon amounted to asking for a plate of Thursdays… No wonder I never got any!

Because huevos (eggs) is, of course, pronounced Webos. Who would have thought! One of my all-time favourite Spanish words. Designed no doubt, to confuse the hell out of foreigners.

SOS. Now this one I started hearing from hotel staff. I thought it must be some type of slang or code… So I plucked up the courage to ask what it meant… “That’s it.”

Then the penny dropped….

Eso es. Not SOS!

So what are your favourite Spanish words, or words that you later found out you were using in completely the wrong way ? :eek:
The most important words:
Hola, buenos días
Gracias
Muy amable (it’s a nice way of saying thank you; it means ‘that’s very nice of you’ for example when someone does extra for you such as filling your water bottle at thei restaurant.
Con permiso is a nice expression which means please but the literal translation is ‘with your permission ‘ for example if you have to interrupt someone
And btw Albergue is pronounced with a hard g.
 

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