A flier showed up in our mailbox for the new droguería in town. Start with that: droguería translates as “drug store,” so what’s the one thing you would expect a droguería to not sell? Did you say drugs? Congratulations! They sell industrial chemicals, cleaning supplies, garden products, cleaning and beauty supplies…but not drugs. Here’s the flier:   Deliveries without charge; that’s nice. But if you’re a native English speaker and your brain shuts down halfway through, you can read it as “deliveries without cargo.” Worse,…Continue Reading “Language fun”

Always amusing to spot English words that seem out of place. And the irony: the dog food container was a freebie from Equilíbrio, the same company. It holds only 15 kg. So what to do with the “free” 3 kg? Fortunately, we ended up with two of these containers.  

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…Continue Reading “We don’t use that word here.”

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.