Wednesday, July 15, 2015

My favorite Spanish words

Recently I took on a major project. Having read the entirety of Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Heroes of Olympus in just over a week, I decided to go back and read them again... in Spanish.

For the most part, I've been doing just fine. Sometimes I know what's being said only because I remember what the English version said, but that's fine, that's expanding my vocabulary. That's the reason I went and started reading in Spanish, to practice and get better. But I've found a couple times that I can figure out the words by breaking them into parts. Spanish is big on compound words and prefixes and suffixes, I'm finding; and it's actually very easy to figure out their compound words if you have a basic vocabulary. Here are my favorites.

boquiabierto/a, adj. "openmouthed". This is just fun to say. It's pronounced "boh-key-ah-BYEHR-to", which if you can figure out that stressed syllable sounds hilarious. It's also nearly identical to the English translation. "Boca" means "mouth". "Abierto" means "open". "Boquiabierto" means "openmouthed". The only change is the a to i and the spelling change to accommodate it.

arodillarse, v. "to kneel". This word makes about ten times more sense in Spanish than English. I knew it meant "to kneel" because I remembered the scene in English, but I could confirm it by looking at it. This is how it breaks down:

  • a means "to" or "at"
  • rodilla means "knee"
  • -ar is a verb ending
  • se means "oneself"
So "arodillarse" literally means "to put oneself on one's knees", or in other words, to kneel.

I love Spanish.

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