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Episode 68: Some More False Friends!

Ready to go over some more false friends in Spanish? Here are 7 more words to help you avoid any embarrassing blunders or miscommunications. :) And in our cultural tip, we'll highlight three unique festivals in Chile!


I'm so sorry this episode is so late! I had planned to get everything done before we had guests visit, but then my poor daughter got sick and those plans went out the window! Thankfully, she is feeling much better now and we were able to have a blessed time with family. My next episode should be on-time, Lord willing! :D Thank you for your patience and understanding!

7 More Spanish False Friends!

If you don't remember what a cognate or false cognate are, then check out our last episode on Spanish False Friends, Episode 45! Otherwise, let's jump right in to these 7 new words! :)

  1. Asistir - This does not mean to help or to assist, as you might assume, but rather to attend. For example: Asistí a la conferencia el mes pasado. I attended the conference last month. In Spanish, you would use ayudar for help, unless you were asking to be rescued. Then it's socorrer.

  2. Suavamente - No, this adverb does not mean to do something suavely, but rather to do something gently. For example: Ella acarició suavemente al gato. She gently petted the cat. To do something suavely in Spanish is to do something de forma encantadora.

  3. Travesía- This word means journey, not travesty. For example: Frodo emprendió una larga travesía. Frodo went on a long journey. To talk about something being a travesty, you would call it una parodia.

  4. Un Delito - This word is not the equivalent of English's delight, but rather crime. For example: Había cometido 16 delitos en tres días. He had committed 16 crimes in three days. If you wanted to say something was a delight, you would use un placer or un deleite.

  5. Un Constipado - No, this is not constipated. It's actually a noun for the common cold. For example: No puedo jugar hoy porque tengo un constipado. I can't play today because I have a cold. If you want to tell someone you are constipated, you use estreñido/a.

  6. Bizarro/a - This adjective means brave, gallant, or valiant, not bizarre. If you use it as a noun, la bizarro, it means mettle or bravery. You might also see la bizarria, which can mean either lavishness and opulence or generosity. For example: ¡Ese perro es increíblemente bizarro! That dog is amazingly brave! If you want to call something bizarre, you could use extraño/a or estrambótico/a.

  7. Un Nudo - This noun means knot or climax (like the climax of a play or book). It can also mean lump. Interestingly, nudoso/a (which can also be pronounced/written ñudoso/a) means knotty or gnarled. It does not mean nude. For example: Esta cuerda tiene muchos nudos. This rope has a lot of knots. If you want to say that someone is naked, you would use desnudo/a.

That's all for our list today! If you want to learn even more False Friends, check out these articles from FluentU, Real Fast Spanish, and Lawless Spanish (they provide a HUGE list, alphabetized)! For a few resources in Spanish, try these lists by Babel and Verbling.

Remember, learning a language is a lifelong journey.

¡Aprovéchalo, Disfrútalo y Compártelo!


Cultural Tip: Chile

Unique Traditions

Chile has a lot of cool and unique traditions, but today we'll focus on three really interesting festivals!

1. Fiesta de la Tirana

This annual festival takes place in mid-July, lasting for 10 days, in the town La Tirana in northwestern Chile, in the Tirapacá region, close to the Atlantic Ocean. While the tiny town of La Tirana only has about 1,500 occupants, La Fiesta de la Tirana is one of Chile's largest religious festivals that brings in about 250,000 visitors! As part of the area's means of handling this large influx, no alcohol is allowed during the celebrations.

The actual festival celebrates Chile's patron saint, the Virgen del Carmen, or the Virgin Mary, with visitors making promises and thanksgiving while also seeking the Virgen's blessings. Yet the festival also commemorates La Tirana, an Incan princess called The Tyrant due to her brutality towards Europeans and Christians in her territory. Her name was Ñusta Huillac (although I suspect this is the Spanish version of her name; not positive though), or Huillac Humu, and her people loved her, for she managed to keep them from being conquered by the Spanish when they came to the area in 1540 AD. But then she fell in love with one of her Spanish captives, a man named Almeyda, and decided she wanted to marry him and convert to Christianity. This was seen as an act of treachery by her people, so they killed both lovers. Around 1650, a hermitage was built next to her grave, and then later in the 18th century a small town and church.

Beginning July 11th through July 14th, about 200 dance groups dance before the Virgen statue in her temple. Each group gets 20 minutes to dance in front of the statue, although prior to that they dance at the town's entrance plaza in front of the Calvary Cross statue, or the Cruz del Calvario, where they are welcomed and blessed by a priest. Then, starting at midnight on July 16th, the groups begin their goodbye dances for the Virgen. Just as with the first dances, the dancing continues at all hours until July 19th (with breaks for Mass, of course). Once the groups go home, they'll dance one more time at their own city's fiesta chica, in order to bring back home the joy and religious commitment from La Tirana Festival.

To see some of the dances, you can check out this clip from Teleclases Chile or the video below from Sernatur Tarapacá.

2. La Fiesta de la Vendimia

Also known as the Grape Harvest Festival, this celebration highlights Chile's wine culture in central Chile. Curicó is in the middle of wine country, and so has one of the biggest festivals. They host a religious ceremony to bless the first pulverized grapes, and other activities include a parade, music with important musicians, and even electing a Queen. They then weigh her on a large balance with bottles of wine (why not? :D). There is also a contest between grape stompers, with the teams stomping about 20 kg of grapes in 10 minutes. Whichever group gets the most juice wins! That sounds like it would be fun to watch!

Check out the video below by TVCentro to see what it's all about, as well as to hear what Chilean's think of this festival (it's completely in Spanish, so you can practice your Spanish skills as well!).

Or if you would rather watch a video in English, Alfredo de la Viñita has a nice short one.

3. Tapati Rapa Nui

This is an important cultural festival for the Rapa Nui of Easter Island (did you know that Easter Island belonged to Chile? I did not!). It lasts two weeks in early February and highlights traditional dress, dance, songs, and stories. They even select a festival Queen, based on the most "points" won between the two competing families. Festival participants are known for their Takona, or body paint, which decorates almost completely their bodies and the symbols mean different things. There are competitions, such as swimming, canoeing in reed rafts, horse racing, and surfing. And of course there is the Haka Pei competition, a traditional sport where you slide down a hill via banana tree trunks. It is a fast competition! And it looks awesome!!

Curious about this festival? You can see some of the activities in a short video from Mana Tv Rapa Nui or check out the video below by Chile Travel!



Intro and Closing Music by Master_Service from Fiverr

Cultural Tip Transition Music edited from song by JuliusH from Pixabay

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