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Nareed
Nareed
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August 29th, 2011 at 8:16:12 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

When there is discussion about "crop circles" in Mexico, what term do they use?



I can't tell you, sorry. I didn't follow the "controversy" at all. I'm sure it was in the papers, but that was long ago and I probably wasn't paying attention.

Quote:

Is "alien" a commonly understood term now in Mexico?



Not really. For most people it means the monster of the Alien and Alien vs Predator movies.

Quote:

I could be wrong, but I think at the time that movie came out the word "alien" pretty much just meant different/strange/not from around here. The movie itself cemented the meaning as an intelligent life form from another planet. Maybe the older folks can comment.



I think so, too. And that's ironic because the monster isn't particualrly intelligent. I mean, it is very bright for a wild animal, but it is a wild animal. Very much like an orca, as a matter of fact.


Quote:

When the movie Jaws came out, did they call it tiburon (shark) in Mexico, because mandíbulas (jaws) didn't sound as good?



I suppose so.

You won't believe how many poeple figured Jaws was the English word for shark, too :)
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pacomartin
pacomartin
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August 29th, 2011 at 4:19:31 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

First there is Chapala Street, a major downtown street you hear of all the time there. I have no idea what it means.



Mexicans would all recognize Lago de Chapala as the largest freshwater lake in the country. It is just south of the Guadalajara airport, and is a major retirement destination for Northern American retirees.

Northern American is the politically correct term for Anglos from USA or Canada. It does not take away the term American from Latin Americans.

The word is probably a variation of chaparejos which is a combination of chaparral and aparejos . Chaparral refers to scrub land that you see in Baja or near deserts. Aparejos refers to the gear on sail boats. So the name is a romantic name for a lake where you can sail across the scrub land.

Despite the name the southern border of Lake Chapala is pretty dense forest and is a popular vacation spot.
pacomartin
pacomartin
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August 29th, 2011 at 4:32:39 PM permalink
An important word is "parilla" or grill. Very useful in Argentina as you will want to eat one of these as often as possible.

Wizard
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Wizard
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August 30th, 2011 at 11:49:14 AM permalink
Palabra del día: VENIR

Let's put the calles (streets) of Santa Barbara on the back burner until I get that book I mentioned yesterday.

One of the frustrating things about learning Spanish for the English speaker is they often use two words where English uses one. The appropriate word depends on the context, and the rules can get complicated. For example IR and ESTAR, PARA and POR. Today I'll look at an easier pair of similar words: IR and VENIR.

Briefly ir = go, and venir = come. However, there are many situations in English where either word could be used interchangably. Like I will go/come to the party. However, in Spanish you would ir in that situation, unless the person saying it is already at the location of the party.

As I understand it, the simplest rule to determine whether IR or VENIR is appropriate is whether the location of the speaker is the same as the place being discussed. Consider the following phone conversation:

Maria: Are you able to come to my party?
Jose: Yes, I am able to go.

If the party is at the place where Maria is calling from then VENIR would be approropiate. Since Jose is not at Maria's house at the time of the call, he would use IR. So, it should go like this:

Maria: ¿Puedes venir at mi fiesta?
Jose: Sí, puedo ir

If Maria were not at the location of the party when she made the call then she would use ir as well.

A question for the better Spanish speakers: Which word would Maria use if she were sending an invitation in the mail. Would it matter where she wrote the invitation, mailed it, or would she use IR no matter what, because by the time Jose read it, the invitation itself would no longer be at Maria's house.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
Alan
Alan
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August 30th, 2011 at 12:19:35 PM permalink
According to my counterpart here at work, who is a Mexican national, with a written invitation no matter where it's written, sent or received, you always use VENIR or VEN(which may be slang-ish for VENIR).

She doesn't hang out on your site, but I invite her over to my cube for this thread when it's updated with something new.
Wizard
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Wizard
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August 31st, 2011 at 8:57:48 AM permalink
Palabra del día: PROPINA

Alan, my thanks to your compañera for her help with my question on Ir/Venir.

I think that was the first word, aside maybe from Argentine lumfardo (slang), that Nareed didn't comment on, not to mention Paco. Perhaps too academic and boring for fun discussion. Lo siento (I'm sorry).

Entonces (so), let's look at an easy and practical word every gringo should know. The word is propina=tip/gratuity. How much of a propina to leave is always a vexing topic when leaving your own country. In my stories about Panama, I tried to relay as much advice on propinas as I gathered during my week there.

Ejemplo time.

El mozo era lento, así que le di una propina pequeña. = The waiter was slow, thus I gave him a small tip.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
Nareed
Nareed
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August 31st, 2011 at 9:31:29 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I think that was the first word, aside maybe from Argentine lumfardo (slang), that Nareed didn't comment on, not to mention Paco. Perhaps too academic and boring for fun discussion. Lo siento (I'm sorry).



I missed it yesterday. But you worry me. Paco always comments on these things...

Anyway, you must realize learning a native langauge is different from learning a foreign language. Your native langauge is like air: you don't notice it most of the time. Therefore I've never much thought, much less analyzed, the way I use Spanish.

Ir means to go somewhere. Venir means to come somewhere. The problem lies in that conjugations are similar for both verbs. Take Ir:

yo voy
tu vas
ella va
nosotros vamos
ustedes van
ellas van

And venir:

yo voy
tu vienes
ella viene
nosotros venimos
ustedes vienen
ellas vienen

See the problem?

Quote:

El mozo era lento, así que le di una propina pequeña. = The waiter was slow, thus I gave him a small tip.



That's technically correct. In mexico, however, you'd say "mesero" rather than "mozo." The latter means boy or young man and it isn't used much.
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pacomartin
pacomartin
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August 31st, 2011 at 12:19:13 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I think that was the first word, aside maybe from Argentine lumfardo (slang), that Nareed didn't comment on, not to mention Paco. Perhaps too academic and boring for fun discussion. Lo siento (I'm sorry).



I'm not dead, but I am having problems with my internet provider.

If you look on English as a Second Language sites you see that many people have trouble about when to use "come" and "go". At some point in our pre-history they were probably the same word.

In English there are only two verbs "to be" and "to go" that take their past tense versions from entirely different base words. Although the "regular" past tense of "to go" would be "goed", it was originally "eode". In the 15th century it was interchanged with "went" which was formerly the past tense of "wenden". "Wenden" is now archaic but used to mean "to direct one's way". "Wend" is still used in mostly poetic situations.

In Spanish keep in mind that some of the verb tenses of ser are the same as ir. The preterit (a past tense) of "to go" has the same meaning as the preterit tense of "to be" where "to be" has the meaning of "essence" instead of "status".

Apologies to native language speakers who don't ever think about tenses.

Propina from the Greek Propinein, which means "to drink to the health of someone else." This evolved from the ancient custom of buying a drink, toasting to someone's health, drinking half of the cup -- and then giving the other half to him (the person to whose health you are drinking) to drink. Clearly a custom developed before our understanding of communicable disease.

Tip meaning "give a gratuity to" is relatively modern use of an old word, only first seen 300 years ago. The Latin word "gratuitus" meant "free" or "freely given".
pacomartin
pacomartin
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August 31st, 2011 at 12:25:13 PM permalink
Quote: Alan

According to my counterpart here at work, who is a Mexican national, with a written invitation no matter where it's written, sent or received, you always use VENIR or VEN(which may be slang-ish for VENIR).

She doesn't hang out on your site, but I invite her over to my cube for this thread when it's updated with something new.



Ven is not slang, but is the imperative version of venir. In English we indicate imperative with tone of voice or in writing by using an exclamation point. In Spanish they change the spelling of the verb.

In English we often say "Come to the party!" which implies a polite command.
Alan
Alan
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August 31st, 2011 at 12:30:06 PM permalink
Paco,

Thanks for the explanation. I didn't get into details about that word(Ven) with her, she mentioned it and walked away. My comments in the () were obviously a wrong assumption.

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