Tag Archives: Spanish


Today’s linguistic curiosities come to you via Wikipedia. I’ve only recently started reading Wikipedia articles in Spanish. It’s so encouraging that I can understand them. They help a lot when I’m studying for my Spanish history class, because my professor lectures in Spanish, and I’ll have to write exams on them in Spanish. Researching in English wouldn’t make sense; I don’t even take notes in English for that class.

Las palabras más largas del idioma español son [The longest words in the Spanish language are:] Hipopotomonstrosesquipedaliofóbicos, esternocleidooccipitomastoideo, anticonstitucionalmente, electroencefalografista y otorrinolaringológicamente.

via Idioma español

I love that section because the words are so neat. The first is some kind of animal with six legs (I think). The second sounds like a body part. The thrid is “unconstitutional.” The fourth is “electroencephalographist,” a.k.a. someone who runs EEGs. The last sounds like an adverb for things related to speech (ENT, possibly).

All of this is making Firefox’s built-in spell check go crazy.

An amusing example of the significance of stress and intonation in Spanish is the riddle como como como como como como, to be punctuated and accented so that it makes sense. The answer is: ¿Cómo “cómo como”? ¡Como como como! (“What do you mean / ‘how / do I eat’? / I eat / the way / I eat!”).

from the English version of the same article: Spanish language

And finally, a similar linguistic riddle in English:

“Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo” is a grammatically correct sentence used as an example of how homonyms and homophones can be used to create complicated constructs.

If you consider “buffalo” a verb, it works. Very cool…for us language nerds.

Premio arte y pico

Premio arte y pico

Despite my most recent blogging drought, I have won an award for my writing: El premio arte y pico! (It means something like the Award for Art/Artistry and a Kiss on the Cheek.) Mara, who lives in Spain blogs at Comenzando a navegar (Setting Sail), has passed on an award that’s circulating among Spanish-language bloggers. Clearly, I blog here in English, but Mara knows enough English and I know enough Spanish that we can understand each other. I hadn’t realized she kept reading my blog after we found each other ages ago, but I’m glad she did.

According to the Arte y pico blog, where the award originated, it is given to blogs “los cuales me nutren y enriquecen el espiritu y la creatividad. En ellos veo dedicacion, creatividad, esmero, compañerismo, alegria y por sobre todo, ARTE, mucho arte. Quiero que con este premio, se agasaje a todas aquellas blogueras y blogueros que dia a dia comparten este espacio y lo enriquecen cada dia un poco mas.”

[In English: The award is given to blogs “which nourish and enrich my spirit and creativity. In these blogs, I see dedication, creativity, care, companionship, joyfulness, and overall, ART, so much art. With this award, I want to give attention to those bloggers who day after day share this space (the blogosphere) and enrich every day a little bit more.”]

At first, I wondered how on Earth to pass it along, because I don’t read any other Spanish blogs. The rules make it easier, though (in English, retranslated by me):

  1. Pick 5 blogs that you consider deserving of this award on the basis of creativity, design, interesting material, and contributions to the blogger community (or blogosphere), regardless of language.
  2. Post the name of the authors and links to their blogs so that everyone can visit.
  3. Display the award on your blog and include the name and link of the blog that gave it to you.
  4. Link to this post at the Arte y pico blog, so everyone will know the origin of the award.
  5. Display these rules.

Therefore, I offer the Premio arte y pico to:

  1. Kim, at Transitus Tiber [now Bearing Wrongs Patiently], for her graceful way of sharing her everyday struggles to reach holiness and sustain joy.
  2. Nick, at PhatCatholic Apologetics, for his relentless and bold defense of Holy Mother Church.
  3. Lyzii, at dreamlit, for being such a great friend and for the way she, like I, tries to understand the world and our God through writing.

I think quality is more important than quantity, so I’m only naming 3 recipients. Pass it on, guys! Let’s make this award bilingual!

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