Monday December 9, 2013
The upcoming update of the Dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy is striking a blow at sexism in language.
According to recent news articles, such as this one in Spain's El País, a 2014 edition of the dictionary is changing numerous definitions and also changing the way it lists various words. Officials at the Academy say the changes aren't about being politically correct — the dictionary will still have plenty of offensive words and definitions — as much as about recognizing that languages changes along with their culture.
Among the definitions slated for elimination or change: Read More...
Saturday December 7, 2013
Here's something to check out if you're teaching Spanish: a brief Christmas-themed Spanish-language article
on poinsettias, which originated in Mexico. The linked-to page is in Spanish only, which you can give to students (or yourself, if you're learning) to see how well they can translate Spanish, or how well they can learn to intelligently guess based on context. Many of the grammatical concepts. which range from beginning to intermediate levels, involved in the article are then explained on a second page, which also provides a line-by-line translation. It's a good way to help students stretch their abilities.
Thursday December 5, 2013
Usually, it is fairly easy to see the connection in meaning between words that share the same stem but have different prefixes. For example, both predecir (to predict) and contradecir (contradict) have to do with saying something, and both convivir and pervivir (to live longer than expected) have to do with living.
But what's the connection between percibir (to perceive) and recibir (to receive)? Read More...
Tuesday December 3, 2013
The h isn't the only silent letter of Spanish — sometimes the initial letter in words of Greek origin such as psicología or gnóstico is also silent.
And in some regions, that's not all. In Spanish, it is common for the consonants to be softer than they are in English, and sometimes they can become so silent as to be unnoticeable. Such is the case with the s and, as one Spanish student learned, even the g.