Tag Archives: linguistics

Pouf, Jumper, Panty, Slip: More Linguistic Giggles

Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, in coronati...

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Pouf, jumper, panty, slip, and cueca all have in common? No…whatever it is you’re thinking… just stop right there! It’s cross-culture language confusion time again folks!

A guy friend from England said, “You left your jumper in my car,” and I stared at him in disbelief. I haven’t worn a jumper since I was about 14, and I most certainly never left one in ANY guy’s car! Continue reading


Damned Diphthongs!

Vectorized version of Image:Cardinal vowel ton...

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I’m coming up on 20 years in Chile, and I speak Spanish all day, every day. Sure, I still have an accent, but it rarely gets in the way—except when a diphthong is involved!

The dastardly diphthong is the sound produced when two vowels buddy up in the same syllable and get so tight they morph into a whole new vowel sound (sounds almost biological, doesn’t it?). Continue reading

The Calendar Trap

Rats, it happened again… all these years and I still stumble into that funky little rabbit hole known as the calendar. Chilean calendars not only start on a different day, they are used differently too. You’d think I’d have that down by now!

Here’s the set-up. I receive an e-mail on Monday the 22 requesting something for next Wednesday. No problem, I zip back, silently applauding the sender for allotting me so much time. But oops… watch that slippery step there sister, a cultural-linguistic trap lies in wait… Continue reading