Monday, June 27, 2011

Aqui estoy ... con palabras

I've learned a lot of new words this semester, from simple to complicated, universal to Lima slang.

Above is just a smattering of them.

(The list I was writing in Incas class when my professor was tangenting about Chile having something to do with Siberia. Shhh)

I like words in general. (If I didn't already have two majors I'd study linguistics too) I like figuring out their multiple meanings and nuances and who uses which ones when.
Some interesting tidbits:

- Lots of Peru-specific words start with ch-. I'm not sure if this is a quechua/aymara influence or just coincidence. Chompa, chalina, chevere, chichon...I could go on.

- Oveja, oreja and abeja are very different things (sheep, ear, bee), despite the fact that the three words can de difficult to distinguish on the fly. Just try to avoid saying the sheep stung you instead of the bee. Or that the ear stung the sheep of your bee. ;)

- The sound similarity difficulty happens in English too. We spent several minutes explaining the difference between live (I live here) and live (a live show) to a Peruvian friend only to find out she was trying to say life and live.

- I'm still figuring out nuances, outerwear for example. Chompa is apparently more of a sweater or fleece. Casaca is of windbreaker fabric. Chaqueta varies. There was also something to do with the having or not of buttons but I've already gotten in confused.

- I will never again forget chalina because I ended up "it" in a musical chairs sort of game for not moving for wearing a chalina. Woops.

- It actually felt a little strange to speak only English to my family rather than Spanish or Spanglish. I think my brain officially functions in Spanglish. (Just wait until I try to learn a third language. Then we'll have something attractive like Sp-ital-ish or Spa-germ-ish)

Hasta la proxima

PS: word cloud thanks to Wordle

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