2008-10-01

tricky words (a few false friends)

Many words in Papiamentu are recognizable at first sight. When you see fórmula, notabilidat or simbolismo for the first time it is not hard to figure out the meaning especially in context. But there are some words that have tricked me into making wrong guesses and now I'm starting to keep a list of these.

firma means a firm, a business, a company in German, Swedish and Dutch. But in Papiamentu it means signature or to sign one's name. (In Spanish firma can mean either signature or a firm, according to Langenscheidt's New College Dictionary.)

kontestá : I assumed this meant dispute or compete but it actually means reply.

krusada sometimes means a religious crusade (as I assumed at first glance) but it can also mean crossroad, intersection.

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1 comment:

Carlos said...

As i say in the other comment, these words can be tricky for you if you're english speaker, but it's not the case for spanish speaker, as my case.

Firma means the same in spanish
Kontestá means Contestado/Contestada, like the past time of verb answer/reply
Krusada has immediate similarity with Cruzada which refers to crusade, but also with Cruce that means crossroad...

A great understanding of Spanish and the roots of Papiamentu will clear you the path to the understanding of Papiamentu language...I can say, that I, languages lover, could understand almost every new i read in Papiamentu newspaper when i went to travel to Aruba.