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Obstante

I don’t know how such a useful word has alluded me for all these years. The word obstante did not come onto my vocabulary radar until recently (after having been a Spanish speaker for 7 years). However, the word obstante is a very useful one.

As a conjunction it can be expressed with the basic English word but. There are many other words that can be translated as obstante: however, nevertheless, nonetheless, albeit and notwithstanding.

As an adverb obstante can be use as in spite of or despite.

There are other Spanish word which may map more exactly to the words listed above, but this list gives you a broad sense of what obstante is trying to express.

Burro de Arranque

A previous entry at DSWU I talked about a marcha as being the word they use in Mexico as the starter motor for a car. In Argentina the same English word is represented by burro de arranque. However, I have also heard people just call it burro.

Seems that the lowly donkey has many uses in the Spanish language. It comes up in many idiomatic expressions as well as being used to describe other nouns.

Calcomanía

» by in: Nouns

At a friend’s bicycle shop one night he gave me a calcomanía with his name on it. The only way I had heard this term used was to indicate branding of an item by placing a sticker with the seller’s product name on it. However, the word calcomanía can be used for any kind of sticker. It is not just used for branding purposes.

The only person I have heard use this word regularly is my bicycle friend and he is closer to 90 years old than he is to 80. From my reading I have discovered that the word calcomanía is an older word that has been replaced by the word pegatina or sticker in Argentina. Yes, that is sticker as in the English word sticker.

Calcomanía then means a sticker of just about any type, but it is apparently more popular with the older generation than it is with younger people in Argentina.

Capot

» by in: Nouns

Capot is the word used in Argentina for the hood of a car (bonnet). At least, that is what one friend told me. Reading around on the web it appears that in Uruguay this word means the trunk of the car (boot).

I have also seen that capó can be used for hood (bonnet).

In México we used the word cofre to mean the hood.

Choosing a Spanish Language School

» by in: Article

Looking to study Spanish in South America or even in your home town? Do you know what to look for in Spanish language schools that will help you choose the right program for you? Here are some ideas of features that may or may not be important to you.

Some of your decision making depends on how much of the language you already know. If you are starting from the very beginning, then following these suggestions will be important. In your case, these should not be taken as suggestions, but rigid rules that should be obeyed. You have to be the one who makes the final choice, but listening to the recommendations of others who have gone through a language program before you will be very beneficial.

If you already have a good grasp of Spanish and are simply trying to hone your skills, you may find some of these suggestions are more flexible. You might even study Spanish online with the help of native language speakers. Depending on your personality, this may be the best way for you to advance in your Spanish language journey. Continue Reading »

Cotización

» by in: Nouns

When looking for an estimate or value of something you may see it called a cotización. It can be used to mean a quote or price of an item.

I have heard it used to talk about the amount of value one item has in the currency of another. For example: The value of the scrap metal was $200. This would translate to something like: La cotización de la chatarra llegó a $200.

Jactarse

» by in: Verbs

Jactarse is to boast or brag. Note that it is reflexive. Therefore it is used like this: “he brags about himself.” Or, “he is a show-off.”

While it is similar to being proud (orgulloso), jactarse has a negative connotation where you can be proud in a negative or positive way.

Jactarse is a verb where orgulloso is an adjective.

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