Tag: language

We don’t use that word here.

Unable to secure the pretty-but-pretty-malfunctional wooden doors of the barbacoa (which is an enclosed parillera, or cooking area), given the recent rains and humidity, I decided to abandon the door’s lock and install a hasp and padlock.

I didn’t know the word for hasp, so I looked it up: aldaba. (Fun Spanish fact: if a word begins with “al,” it came from Arabic.)

In the local ferretería, this word drew a blank look from the proprietor. I explained with my hands and a mention of candado (padlock). Aha! He knew exactly what I wanted and reached for it on a nearby display. It’ called [_____________], he explained, but the word went in one ear and out the other when I saw what he had just handed me.

aldaba

Irónico

delivery

You don’t need much knowledge of the Spanish language* to recognize that “delivery” is not part of it.

And you can easily understand the value of a word like parking in place of estacionamiento. But in this case, the English word — with four syllables — is actually, and unusually, shorter than its Spanish equivalent: entrega.

Go figure.


*Castilian, or castellano. There are eight other languages spoken in Spain.