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Nareed
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September 28th, 2011 at 4:19:40 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

That is something I've been meaning to bring up. In English we have good: morning,afternoon,evening,night.

In Spanish, as far as I know, we have buenos: días, tardes, noches.



Días/mañana means morning
Tardes/tarde means afternoon
Noches/noche means night.

You see the lack of a word for evening. Now, I take evening to be almost interchangeable. that is, if I say "let's meet at 8 pm this evening," or "let's meet at 8 pm tonight," I'm pretty much saying the same thing.

In Spanish you say "buenas noches" as a greeting from sunset til dawn. It's also used to wish someone a good night when they're going to bed.

Lately I've ben catching myself greeting someone at 9 pm saying "Buenas tardes."

Anyway, tarde/tardes only emans fternoon, that's the period from noon to sunset.

Some people use the term tarde-noche for 1) ambiguous periods like 7-8 PM in summer, or 2) to denote a period spanning both afternoon and night, like an event that runs from 6 pm to 9 pm, for example.
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pacomartin
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September 29th, 2011 at 1:04:16 AM permalink
Quote: Nareed

Not to mention the incredible confussion between "good evening" and "good night."



On December 26, in Mexico City
Civil twilight is 23:55, nautical twilight is another 27:24 and astronomical twilight is 27:04 (times in minutes and seconds)

On December 26, in London
Civil twilight is 40:16, nautical twilight is another 43:10 and astronomical twilight is 40:47 (times in minutes and seconds)

In addition to the times being longer, nautical twilight would not be as important in Mexico. Plus the day (sunrise to sunset) is only 8 hours in London,while it is 11 hours in Mexico. That would make twilight much more important to get things done. I doubt that you even have the term "Harvest Moon" in Mexico.

Also, keep in mind that the English language has it's roots in Scandinavia and Germany where the days were even shorter. In Stockholm sunrise to sunset is only 6 hours on December 26, and each of the three twlight periods are almost one hour apiece. We went as far north as Gävle from Stockholm, and it's very spooky.

I am not surprised that æfnung would be a much more important concept in English than in Spanish and particularly in Mexican culture.


Definitions
Civil twilight: Under civil twilight circumstances, the horizon is clearly visible, and terrestrial objects are easily perceptible without artificial light.
Nautical twilight Nautical twilight ends when navigation via the horizon at sea is no longer possible. During nautical twilight, sailors can take reliable star sightings of well-known stars, using a visible horizon for reference.
Astronomical twilight From the end of astronomical twilight in the evening to the beginning of astronomical twilight in the morning, the sky (away from urban light pollution) is dark enough for all astronomical observations.
pacomartin
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September 29th, 2011 at 1:04:19 AM permalink
Stockholm at twilight
Nareed
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September 29th, 2011 at 6:56:44 AM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

Definitions



Do I need to quote Penny again? :)

Here's the thing. In English the terms night and evening are almost interchangeable. You can chose to say either "this evening" or "tonight" and mean the same time period. That's not the problem for Spanish speakers.

The problem is Spanish doesn't have a word for evening. So the subtle distinction between "good evening" and "good night" is hard to grasp.

Let's say you address a room at night. You begin by saying "good evening" to the audience. In Spanish you begin by saying "buenas noches." When you're leaving work in the evening and are saying good bye to your coworkers, you may say "good night." In Spanish you'd say "buenas noches." See the point?
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Nareed
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September 29th, 2011 at 7:00:57 AM permalink
In lieu of saying "double post" I'll attempt today's word.

29 de Septiembre de 2011
Palabra del Día: Reloj

This deceptively simple noun means clock, but also watch. Ok, it is simple. The curiosity lies in the fact that Spanish uses the same word for fixed and wearable time pieces, while English has two separate words.

That's it. I don't suppose an example is needed.
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Wizard
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September 29th, 2011 at 7:19:27 AM permalink
Quote: Nareed

Palabra del Día: Reloj

This deceptively simple noun means clock, but also watch.



I call a watch a relojito. Usually this is met by a confused look, but I don't see why. It seems to me Spanish speakers add ito/a and isimo/a at the end of just about any noun.
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Nareed
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September 29th, 2011 at 7:38:36 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I call a watch a relojito. Usually this is met by a confused look, but I don't see why.



It's not customary. While mexicans in particualr use diminutives way too much, and baby talk to boot, in some cases their use is seen as disparaging. This would be so if you referred to someone's very expensive watch as a "relojito."

For example, it's common to head off on a coffee break by saying "vamos por un cafecito," which literally means "let's go for a small coffee." A cart or dolly is commonly called "carrito," or, if it's sturdier or bigger, "diablito." But a car, meaning an automobile, is called "coche" or "carro." Affectionally you might reffer to your car as "mi carrito." But if you call someone else's car "su cochecito," he'd assume you don't think much of his car. Conversely it would be a appropriate to call "cochecito" a toy car of any kind used by a boy, even those electric ones they like to ride on.

Quote:

It seems to me Spanish speakers add ito/a and isimo/a at the end of just about any noun.



Not any noun, but in many. It's a common way to make a diminutive.

As I said, it's used too much by mexicans. I'm odd in that respect as I don't use them much. Suppose I want to say I have a craving for tacos al pastor with onions and cilantro. I would say "Se me antojan unos tacos al pastor con cebolla y cilantro." Most other people in this country wuld say "Se me antojan unos taquitos al pastor con cebollita y cilantro."

I've no idea why this is so. I don't use diminutives that much because it strikes me as a childish way of speaking. I guess peole here learn such ways growing up but get stuck with them. I use the term "cebollitas" only to reffer to the small onions with the long green stalks, but only because the propper name "cebollas de cambray" is too long. I like onions of all kinds. I eat them just about every day.
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Doc
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September 29th, 2011 at 7:40:45 AM permalink
Quote: Nareed

The curiosity lies in the fact that Spanish sues the same word for fixed and wearable time pieces, while English has two separate words.


In English, do you refer to the time display on your mobile phone or laptop computer as a "watch" or a "clock"? I personally call it a clock, but that doesn't mean I view it as a fixed item. I think there is more to the word choice than the distinction of fixed vs. wearable, since some time-keeping devices aren't really in either of those two categories, but I'm not sure that I could clearly define the difference.

I agree that things get a little confusing when one language uses the same word for concepts described by several different words in the other language. I suspect the difficulty is greater in moving from the single-word language to the multiple-word language. While English speakers may understand the different concepts of the Greek "philos", "eros", and "agape" (some of which I probably misspelled), we typically use one word to cover all three. We can usually accept the translation to that single English word (perhaps losing clarity), but it must be challenging to translate properly to the Greek, since the intent must be known more clearly in order to select the right word.
Nareed
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September 29th, 2011 at 8:06:30 AM permalink
Quote: Doc

In English, do you refer to the time display on your mobile phone or laptop computer as a "watch" or a "clock"? I personally call it a clock, but that doesn't mean I view it as a fixed item. I think there is more to the word choice than the distinction of fixed vs. wearable, since some time-keeping devices aren't really in either of those two categories, but I'm not sure that I could clearly define the difference.



Sorry, old habits. When I learned English clocks were pretty much fixed in place.

So let's ammend that to say that watch is a time piece you wear, while a clock is one you don't wear, be it fixed or portable or embedded in another device (such as a car, computer or cell phone). In fact I stopped wearing a watch once I realized it was redundant. I mean, I can see the time in my PC, cell, car and TV. Why also wear a watch?

BTW there's another oddity. In english the word chronometer refers to a time piece, too. Usually this is used to refer to a ship's clock, because it was, and for all I know still is, a crucial tool in determining a ship's position. In Spanish the word "cronómetro" means stop-watch, a tool for measuring time intervals with precision.

Still more, the word "timer" in English means a device to activate and/or deactivate appliances or devices at set times. In Spanish the word used is... timer! (commonly spelled phonetically as "taimer").

Quote:

I agree that things get a little confusing when one language uses the same word for concepts described by several different words in the other language.



A little bit. Formally in Spanish a watch is called "reloj de pulsera," or "reloj de pulso." Pulso means pulse, which is the detectable motion of blood through an artery. this is commonly detected at the wrist, so it came to mean wrist in some contexts. Pulsera means bracelet, though the word brazalete is also used. I know in english you also use "wrist-watch" but not very often.

Oh, the word for wrist in Spanish is "muñeca," which for some reason also means "doll".

I'll stop here before I make Spanish seem as an impossible language to learn :P
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Doc
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September 29th, 2011 at 8:25:20 AM permalink
Quote: Nareed

I know in english you also use "wrist-watch" but not very often.

I think that expression started going out of vogue and died a lingering death when hardly anyone was left carrying a pocket watch. I have known a few people who carried them, but not many. I now own a gold one that has long been in my family: it has an inscription inside the case noting that it was given by my great-grandparents to my grandfather on his 21st birthday in 1914. I keep it on display in a curio cabinet in my foyer and wind it every night, but I would never consider carrying it on a daily basis.

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