Saturday, January 04, 2003

Betty from Sin Control is going to dar a luz--give birth--to a baby within a couple of weeks. Congratulations! Here are some more colloquial terms she uses in her blog that you might want to know. These are, again, standard Spanish "respectable" slang, known and used by everyone. As you know, this is a more or less weekly feature; this is the third installment.

alucinar--to marvel at something, to be, like, "Wow". Aluciné cuando vi el nuevo Ferrari de Pepe "El Quinqui".
pegarle una paliza a alguien--literally, to beat someone up. El polícia le pegó una paliza al okupa. Figuratively, to bore someone to death. ¡Deja de pegarme la paliza con tus historias de la mili!
trabajar como un negro--To work very hard. Literally, to work like a black man. El jefe me hace trabajar como un negro. This is not considered racist in any way in Spain and they don't mean anything pejorative by it. Spanish sensibilities toward race are not at anywhere near the fever pitch they're at in the PC Anglophone world. Another example can be seen these days on the streets of Barcelona. The Three Wise Men, the "Wizard Kings", bring children toys on January 6, and various stores have "real" Wise Men whose laps kids can sit on and whom children can ask for presents from. Traditionally, one of the Wise Men is black, and if they can't find a real black guy, they paint up a white guy in blackface. That is by no means considered racist, either.
montárselo bien--to get yourself fixed up with a good situation. Se lo ha montado bien--sólo trabaja tres días a la semana.
un/una cotilla--a gossip. Pili es una cotilla, siempre contando todo lo que sabe. Cotillear is "to gossip".
estar líado--to be busy. Estoy líado con mi nuevo proyecto. Also, to be romantically entangled. Paco y Maruja se han líado / están líados. Pepita tiene un lío--Pepita has a (casual) boyfriend.

Betty's blog is great for people who have an intermediate level of Spanish. She makes no errors (unlike most people do on the Internet), she's obviously careful to proofread, and she uses standard language with a lot of common colloquialisms that are pretty easy to figure out from the context. Reading her is like listening to a college-educated Spanish woman just chatting about everyday things, like real people do in everyday life. This is the most difficult thing to reproduce in a foreign language text--authenticity. Conversations in textbooks just never sound real. Betty is real. People working on their Spanish should check it out.

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