Archive for the Category: Spanish

nu-i asa?

A correspondent would like to know the Romanian equivalent of the tag questions like n’est-ce pas? (French), non e vero? (Italian), ¿verdad? (Spanish), ne pravda? (Czech). I found nu-i asa? via Google translate, and this brings up over 3 million results in Google, so might just be correct. Do other languages use similar tags?

Also posted in French, Italian, Language, Romanian, Words and phrases 39 Comments


galapagar, (noun, m) – sitio donde abundan los galápagos (a place abounding in tortoises). I heard of this word today and it particularly appealed to me for its very specific meaning. It seems to be rare and doesn’t appear in any of my Spanish dictionaries, though it does appear in the Diccionario de la Lengua […]

Also posted in English, Language, Words and phrases 21 Comments


épouvantail (nf) objet, mannequin disposé dans les champs, dans les arbres, pour effrayer les oiseaux et les faire fuir (scarecrow) familièrement personne présentant un aspect extérieur repoussant (bogey, bugbear) quelqu’un ou quelque chose qui effraie sans raison (fright) [source] For some reason we were talking about scarecrows or épouvantails at the French conversation group last […]

Also posted in Chinese, English, Etymology, French, German, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Language, Welsh, Words and phrases 15 Comments


Listening to Raidió na Gaeltachta today I heard the word babysiteáil, in a sentence something like “Tá sé ag Babysiteáil dúinne.” (He babysits for us). This caught my attention because I don’t seem to hear as many English words made into verbs like this in Irish as I do in Welsh. The Welsh equivalent is […]

Also posted in English, French, Irish, Language, Welsh, Words and phrases 6 Comments


William Caxton introduced printing into England, and also translated a number of literary works from French, Latin and Dutch. Within his translations he used words he picked up while learning and practising his trade in Germany and Belgium, including spincop, from the Dutch spinnekop (spider), and okselle, from the Dutch oksel (armpit). The English word […]

Also posted in Dutch, English, Etymology, French, German, Italian, Language, Latin, Welsh, Words and phrases 9 Comments

Win a Trip to Learn Spanish in Argentina

The makers of Bueno, entonces…, a new Spanish language learning software, are trying to build their Facebook cred by reaching 10,000 Fans by March. If they get there, one lucky fan and a friend will win a trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina, for 10 days of intensive Spanish lessons, a chance to meet the cast […]

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Word of the day – ortzikara

Today’s word, ortzikara, is Basque and means “time when a storm is brewing” or in Spanish “tiempo amenazado por la tormenta”. Do any other language have a single word to express this meaning? This word comes from a book I’m reading at the moment – Mother Tongues – Travels through Tribal Europe, by Helena Drysdale, […]

Also posted in Basque, Language, Words and phrases 9 Comments

De bouche à oreille

Last night we were discussing how to encourage more people to come to the French conversation group and we concluded that word of mouth is probably the most effective way – all the posters we put up around Bangor last Saturday have yet to bring hordes of new recruits. We also thought that the French […]

Also posted in Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Japanese, Language 17 Comments

Word of the day – ig

The Welsh word ig (plural: igion) means hiccough. The verb, to hiccough / sob, is igian, igio or igion. When I’m singing or playing the tin whistle or other wind instruments I often get hiccoughs, and the other day I was trying to explain this to a Welsh friend in Welsh, but didn’t know the […]

Also posted in Czech, English, French, Irish, Italian, Language, Welsh, Words and phrases 20 Comments

Languages and jobs in Spain

According to an article I found the other day, a knowledge of languages is required for 27% of jobs in Spain, and the language most in demand is English. So if you speak English and Spanish and would like to work in Spain, there should be plenty of jobs you could apply for. The article, […]

Also posted in English, French, German, Italian, Language, Portuguese, Welsh 1 Comment