annoying thing about Spanish #1: I’m always afraid I’m accidentally saying “Thanks for the rabbit!” when I mean “Thanks for the advice!” D:

For me it’s mixing up el consejo and el concilio because of English “counsel” and “council”.

But if it makes you feel any better I once wrote aconsejar “to advise” as conejar …which is a cage where rabbits are kept, I found out later.

Gabriel García Márquez, Literary Pioneer, Dies at 87 - NYTimes.com

Gabriel García Márquez, the Colombian novelist whose “One Hundred Years of Solitude” established him as a giant of 20th-century literature, died on Thursday at his home in Mexico City. He was 87.

His death was confirmed by Cristóbal Pera, his former editor at Random House.

Mr. García Márquez, who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, wrote fiction rooted in a mythical Latin American landscape of his own creation, but his appeal was universal. His books were translated into dozens of languages. He was among a select roster of canonical writers — Dickens, Tolstoy and Hemingway among them — who were embraced both by critics and by a mass audience.

“Each new work of his is received by expectant critics and readers as an event of world importance,” the Swedish Academy of Letters said in awarding him the Nobel.


bless gloria 

Idiomatic Expressions - pena ajena

Literally, (la) pena ajena means “foreign pain” or “alien pain”.

Sometimes seen as (la) vergüenza ajena “alien shame”, the easiest translation that exists for pena ajena is “second-hand embarrassment”, or “embarrassment felt on someone else’s behalf”.

Besides "stupid American" what does gringo mean/ directly translate to?


This is highly inaccurate. Gringo is the phonetic transliteration of “green go!” It was first used when Americans invaded Mexican territory and people told them this for they wore the green uniform. Now we use it to name an “American”.

Actually I’ve answered this before but I’ll copy and paste, but most sources believe it’s griego/a for “Greek” and that “green go” is a folk etymology.

In addition to that, I’ve been told by some of my native followers that gringo/a has been used for not only Americans, but foreigners in general (the example was Brits in Spain), in addition to anything North American (though not necessarily white).

Well, what I found on the RAE was that the etymology was contested. The two main views are the one I said and the one you said. The way they make it sound it’s like, “It’s all Greek to me” like English’s expression


And many others…



Granted this is all from Wikipedia but I’ve looked at many of the sources, and the griego/a thing always comes up in the etymology dictionaries.

EDIT: Also from romancingthelanguages


gringo/a is a corruption of griego/a “Greek”

hablar en griego “to speak Greek” was code for “to speak in a language that is unintelligible”… so gringo/a meant someone who doesn’t speak the language (Spanish)

That’s totally a normal linguistic thing though - to equate language(s) with being gibberish.

In Spanish la barbaridad means “nonsense” but it has to do with the people of the Barbary nations, which was North Africa and the Middle East; places inhabited by the Berbers (the Barbary Coast etc.) So barbaridad was “the unintelligible language of the Arabic/Semitic Berber people” in a way.

And there’s also la torre de Babel or the Tower of Babel from the Bible. It was said that people were constructing Babel to make their way to Heaven. God saw this as an affront and struck the people with multiple languages of the world, making it impossible for them to work together and coordinate. From there, English has the term “babble” which is “to speak unintelligibly”. 

Sometimes it’s not “stupid American” so much as “white foreigner”. It’s almost always pejorative, but there are other terms that mean gringo/a in other places.

There are other words for gringo/a like gabacho/agüero/a and chele and they’re usually MUCH stronger than gringo/a in my mind. Especially chele which is a vesre (revés or “mirrored”) form of leche “milk”… so chele can “whitey” as in saying that someone has milky white skin in a mean way… or to be very vulgar since leche is vulgar slang for “semen” in some places.

…Much like fruits and vegetables, most Spanish-speaking countries have regionalisms for their slurs.

I belive you are right Spanishkulduggery, apart from the obvious reference of the word gringo in the early 1800 and early 1900 where, as wiki says the US army uniform was blue. To speak in Chinese is the most widely used expression nowadays. 

It’s Greek to me comes from the Latin expression graecum est, non legitur that means “It’s Greek, unreadable” because some copists of the Middle Ages did know Latin but not Greek. 

This is never used today anymore but was used for centuries in Spanish for example Francisco Navarro y Ledesma  writes in 1905 :

" Ved los libros de matrículas en Salamanca y tendréis una guía de los linajes famosos españoles. Allí fue donde se llegó a decir el refrán escolar graecum est, non legitur, con que los cuellierguidos estudiantes daban a entender que, desde la alfa a la omega, les estorbaba lo negro. A singular honra tenía Alcalá el no conocerse en sus aulas tal frasecilla denigrante. (x)”

Cuándo se usa "sentirse" y "sentir". Qué es la diferencia entre los dos?

Both are related to “feeling” and “sensation”.

But the main difference is that sentir has to do more with physical or external sensations; los sentidos “the (physical) senses” which are sight, sound, touch, taste, and hearing…

And sentirse is more related to the intangible and internal feelings; los sentimientos which is often related to one’s “physical or emotional wellness”. 


  • to feel regret
  • to physically feel something (i.e. pain, a push, a fall, a hit, a rush, something break)
  • to sense, to have a sensation [one of the 5 senses - usually hearing, or touch]
  • to notice, to be aware of, to perceive
  • More external

Siento la soledad. - I notice the loneliness/solitude.

Lo siento. - I’m sorry.

Lo sentimos. - We’re sorry.

Mi padre dice que siente una presión en su cabeza. - My father says he feels a pressure on/in his head.

Sienten una presencia en la casa. - They sense a presence in the house.

Siento tu pérdida. - I’m sorry for your loss.

Siento pena por ella. - I feel sorry for her.

Sintieron un dolor agudo. - They felt a sharp pain.

Puedo sentir pasos. - I can hear footsteps.

Se puede sentir la tensión. - The tension can be felt. / You can feel the tension. / A person can feel the tension.

Siento el calor del horno. - I feel the oven’s heat.


  • to feel (about oneself, to feel a personal opinion) - “to feel fat”, “to feel ugly”, “to feel useless”, “to feel good-looking”, “to feel attractive”, “to feel successful” etc.
  • to feel (well or unwell - “to feel ill/sick”, “to feel well”, “to feel terrible”)
  • to feel physical ailments (i.e. dizziness, nausea, faint, drowsiness, tiredness)
  • to feel mental / emotional ailments (i.e. loneliness, guilt, anger, fear, sadness, happiness, shame)
  • More internal

Ella dice que se siente sola. - She says she feels lonely.

¿Cómo te sientes? - How are you feeling? 

El hombre se sintió fatal. - The man felt terrible.

Se sienten nerviosos. - They felt nervous.

Mi hermano me dijo que se sentían felices. - My brother told me they felt happy.

Ellas se sienten obligadas. - They feel obliged (to do something).

Espero que te sientas mejor. - I hope that you feel better.

Siempre me siento muy cansada. - I always feel really tired.

No me siento bien. - I don’t feel well.

¿Te sientes mal? - Do you feel ill? / Do you feel bad?

A good way to remember them is by having a sentence that uses them both in a very distinct way:

Me siento tan mareado que siento como voy a caer. - I feel so dizzy that I feel like I’m going to fall (down/over).

Siento que no te sientas bien. - I’m sorry you aren’t feeling well.

***The expression sentir que as in “to feel sorry…” or “to regret that…” is a subjunctive clause; the same as lamentar que “to feel sorry that… / to lament that…”

…One thing that can be a bit odd is that in some places you can say siento enojo meaning “I feel anger” or “I sense”… and in other places you can say me siento enojado/a “I feel angry”.

I think the difference is perceiving an emotion vs. actually experiencing the emotion. But again, it’s a bit uncommon in regular speech unless you’re a therapist.


33- Añoranzas  #MarioBenedetti


33- Añoranzas