Spanish Language

Kip (Sarah) McMillan

February 26, 2013

Learning Spanish through immersion is one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. Not that I’m done, but it’s pretty amazing to be doing. You notice more about your own language, too. For example, English is pretty rigid, sentence structure-wise. In Spanish, you can put words all over the place and it still makes a decent sentence. It’s great for me, as I’m learning it and would rather not think about what order to put my words in. In English, you just can’t mix stuff up. I also feel so much quicker to understand the world in general. This may be completely unrelated, but since learning Spanish my chess playing has significantly improved. Correlation? No se.

Here are some interesting Spanish quirks I’ve noticed. I feel like they reflect parts of the society.

The word to hope and the word to wait are the same, which makes sense to me. Esperar.

The word for flirt and to annoy is the same. And is ironically similar to molest. At first, I was like, this doesn’t make any sense. Why, in any language would the word for flirt be interchangeable with annoy? After a month of cat calls, way-too-old-for-me men on the bus calling me princess and ridiculous I-love-you-marry-me-baby confessions from guys I just met, I understood. It’s because the way they flirt is really annoying. Molestar.

There’s no word for “to stare” in Spanish. There’s to look at and to watch but no equivalent of to stare. Maybe because there’s no cultural understanding of staring here. They just think of it as looking or watching. People aren’t going to act like they’re not watching you. Mirar.

I love you in Spanish is te amo. But there’s a less strong version of I love you that’s sometimes used to refer to a family or friend love. It literally translates to I want you, which really confused me for a while but I like that there’s kind of an in-between option of to like and to love. Te quiero.

Kip (Sarah) McMillan