Posted by: janecronin | June 26, 2011

Spanish/English translation – I’ll hit you with my carpet!

The great thing about false friends is that they work both ways.  In other words the Spanish trip up with them in English as well.  In another life I used to teach Spanish children English and at the beginning of every year they were all given a folder with the academy logo on.  The idea was that they would swan around the village with their folders and become the envy of their friends who would instantly sign up as well.  Needless to say, they found a much better use for their folders, which was to hit each other over the head with them.

The false friend here is the word “folder” which in Spanish is “carpeta”.  Despite regular correction, the most recalcitrant students remained convinced that the word in English must be “carpet”.  Hence the title of this blog.

By the way, a hit with a folder/carpet was referred to as a “carpetazo” which is untranslatable – a “folder-bash” is the nearest I can get.

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