Posted by: janecronin | August 18, 2011

Spanish/English translation My parents

Quite early on in our Spanish classes we learn the word for father “padre”, and  mother “madre”.  Perhaps at the same time we learn the curious fact that when you put male and female words like these into pairs, the masculine word takes precedence, so that the word for “parents” is “padres”.   I could now go off on a tangent about sexism in language, a fascinating topic in itself, but I will resist the temptation and just point out a “false friend” that trip us up here – the word “pariente”.

“Pariente” means “relation” or “relative” and not specifically “parent”, as in “tengo muchos parientes en Inglaterra”.  I have a lot of relatives in England (but very few parents). 



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: