I was thinking this morning how odd language is. You can study it, practice speaking religiously, but if you don’t learn it at your mother’s knee, there are some things you will just not get.
You can’t just look words up in the dictionary, either. I’m speaking specifically of Spanish here, but I’m sure it’s true of all languages. You remember when your teacher used to tell you “look it up!” ?? Well, I look up words here, and never really know if it will be correct to use it as the dictionary indicates, or if I’ll get it all wrong.
This blog was brought to mind by the word for “young”, which the dictionary says is “joven”. So, for example, if someone dies earlier than one might expect, the dictionary would tell you to say they were “muy joven”, or “very young”.
Well, how wrong can you be. Here, they would say the person was “muy neuvo”, which is “very new” as opposed to “very young”. I don’t know if that is a Yunquera thing, or is general usage, but either way, it is not what you would expect.
Then there is “hacer”, which means to make or to do. But if you want to say “it’s hot”, you would say “hace calor” – literally, “it makes hot”.