martes, 25 de febrero de 2020

El prefijo inglés UN-




Image result for prefix un-
Un- es prefijo que implica la forma negativa, u opuesta, de nombres y verbos: unhappy, infeliz, unpleasant, desagradable, unscrew, desatornillar, unable, incapaz.
Consideremos los siguientes ejemplos:

                                 
American                      Un-American             
Answered                      Unanswered              
Avoidable                      Unavoidable              
Baked                            Unbaked                    
Bearable                       Unbearable
Believable                     Unbelievable
Bend                             Unbend
Decided                        Undecided
Equal                            Unequal
Faithful                         Unfaithful
Grateful                        Ungrateful
Happy                           Unhappy
Important                      Unimportant
Interesting                     Uninteresting
Pleasant                         Unpleasant
Más en mi GRAMÁTICA INGLESA PARA TORPES de Anaya Oberón, 2013.

domingo, 23 de febrero de 2020

OF VS OFF

OF
(se pronuncia “ov”, no como "f") De. The leg of the chair, la pata de la mesa. The hair of the dog, el pelo del perro.
Of good family, de buena familia.
He died of old age, murió de vejez.
A dress of silk, un vestido de seda.
The city of Philadelphia, la ciudad de Filadelfia.
The Queen of England, la reina de Inglaterra.
One of them, uno de ellos.
She is tired of working, está cansada de trabajar.
It was terrible of him, fue terrible de su parte.

OFF
(se pronuncia “of”)
Fuera de, alejado de, de. Off duty, fuera de servicio. 

Off course, fuera del rumbo. 
A day off, un día libre.
Off también es apagado, como on es encendido: The TV set is off but the radio is on, la televisión está apagada pero la radio está encendida.

jueves, 20 de febrero de 2020

Inglés SELF- y castellano AUTO-


SELF-
Prefijo que puede traducirse por auto:
Self-taught, autodidacta.
Self-appointed, autoproclamado.
Self-adhesive, autoadhesivo.
Self-criticism, autocrítica.
Self-destroy, autodestruirse.
Self-control, autodominio.
Self-deception, autoengaño.
Self-analysis, autoanálisis.
Self-portrait, autorretrato.
Self-operating, automático.
Self-analysis, autoanálisis.
No siempre podemos traducir por auto, como en self-contradictory, contradictorio. Self-denial, abnegación. Debemos seguir nuestra intuición lingüística siempre... y consultar diccionarios, que para eso están. 

miércoles, 19 de febrero de 2020

Nombres hipocorísticos en inglés


 Image result for nicknames

Diminutivos familiares de nombres propios como en castellano:
Pepe de José,
Paco, Pancho, Curro, de Francisco,
Mayte de Maria Teresa,
Rafa de Rafael,
Moncho de Ramón,
Lupe de Guadalupe
Manolo de Manuel
Quique de Enrique
Lola de Dolores
Nacho de Ignacio
También en inglés son petnames, diminutives, short forms of names, nicknames, que se emplean mucho:
Caroline -Carrie
Richard-Dick
Robert-Bob
Dorothy-Dolly
Lorraine-Lory
Sarah-Sally
Mary-Moll
Ellen-Nell
Margaret-Mag, Peg
Peter-Pete
Sandra-Sandy
Edward-Ned, Ed, Ted, Teddy
Ann-Nan
Alfred-Fred
Charles-Charlie, Chuck
Harry-Hal
Vincent-Vince
Joseph-Joe
James-Jim
Patricia-Pat
Theresa-Terry
Delfin Del
William-Bill
Teddy Roosevelt... que dio nombre a los "Teddy bears", osos de peluche.

martes, 18 de febrero de 2020

Verbos y sustativos II



Estos nombres (sustantivos) diferentes a los verbos debemos memorizarlos: 
Laugh, reír, laugh, laughter, risa
Live, vivir, life, vida
Long, largo, length, largura, longitud
Please, complacer, pleasure, placer
Poor, pobre, poverty, pobreza
Proud, orgulloso, Pride, orgullo
See, ver, sight, vista
Short, corto, escaso, Shortage, escasez
Strong, fuerte, strength, fuerza
Think, pensar, thought, pensamiento
Wide, ancho, width, anchura
Young, jovenyouth, juventud

Hay mucho más en mi Gramática inglesa (Oberón), que se puede adquirir en Amazon, por ejemplo.
Hay mucho más en mi gramática inglesa

lunes, 17 de febrero de 2020

BIRTH

Image result for birth"
Birth, nacimiento.
Fecha de nacimiento puede ser "date of birth" o "birthdate". Sin embargo "birthday" es el aniversario del nacimiento, o cumpleaños (natalicio). Y podemos desear: "Happy birthday to you" o mejor: "Many happy returns of the day", que es un deseo más amplio.
Lugar de nacimiento: "place of birth" o "birthplace."
"By birth" de nacimiento: "He is a New Yorker by birth. He is a Spaniard by birth."
"A musician by birth", sería un músico nato.
Y como en castellano se dice: Es tonto de nacimiento, en inglés hay que expresarlo: "He’s a born fool". "A born musician."
"To give birth to", dar a luz: she gave birth to a baby girl.

jueves, 13 de febrero de 2020

La memoria / memory


Image result for memory"

Todos hablan de la memoria y hasta escriben sobre ella. Hay quienes dice que no debemos aprender nada de memoria. Lo mejor es comprender las cosas. Y sin embargo esos mismos se saben de memoria el nombre de la calle donde viven, el nombre del padre de su novia, la fecha de nacimiento de su hijo... y por eso yo les digo que somos memoria. Y no sabemos cómo el cerebro retiene información, a la larga, a la corta, y cómo a veces nos falla... en los exámenes especialmente.
No temamos aprender de memoria. En idiomas, la memoria es el pilar básico y único para aprender uno nuevo. Tenemos que aprender vocabulario de memoria: frases, sonidos, dichos, chistes, canciones... todo eso que forma la nueva lengua.
Yo sugiero a mis alumnos que aprendan de memoria poesía en inglés y castellano. La capacidad posible de la memoria es desconocida. Posiblemente sea infinita. Y no nos pesa la cabeza más cuanto más aprendemos.
Aprende idiomas aprendiendo de memoria.
Recientemente Ana y Pablo me han sorprendido aprendiéndose de memoria el soliloquio de Macbeth "Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow..." Congratulations!

miércoles, 12 de febrero de 2020

Language dropouts


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A "dropout" is a student who withdraws from a course of instruction before completing it.
The word "dropout" has very negative connotations in English. A "High School dropout" is someone who never finished and left High School without a Diploma. A person like that is looked down upon by society as a slacker, a loafer, an idler, a good-for-nothing... a "dropout" in short.
There are plenty of "language dropouts": those who start learning a language and somewhere along the road they give up, they surrender and capitulate. The effort is beyond their powers, both intellectual and physical. They finally admit that they are inferior to others, to those who have the strength of character to continue and master the second language as a matter of principle.
Do not be a dropout!  Be bilingual!

martes, 11 de febrero de 2020

English vs. British


Image result for british

Tendemos a confundir los términos "English" y "British".
--"English" como adjetivo se refiere a los habitantes de Inglaterra. "English" como sustantivo se refiere también a la lengua hablada por los ingleses. "The English" significa los habitantes de Inglaterra en plural, distintos a los escoceses, galeses e irlandeses.
--"British" se refiere a los habitantes de Gran Bretaña, Great Britain (Reino Unido o United Kingdom). "British English" (inglés británico) se refiere a la modalidad del inglés hablada en ese reino. Un escocés es "British" pero no "English."
Estos términos no son intercambiables. Tengámoslo en cuenta. 

domingo, 9 de febrero de 2020

Spanish vs. Spaniard


Image result for spaniard

The Internet, all of it, is plagued with self-appointed teachers of languages: some good, some bad, and some completely out of it. But we have no way of knowing who is going to lead us well and who is going to misguide us. I cannot judge, I can only say that simply being a native speaker is not enough.
Today I have read in Instragram that the word "Spaniard" is "old fashioned." Not so.
--"Spanish" is an adjective which refers to the people of Spain, to their country and language. As a noun it refers to the Spanish people collectively: "the Spanish came to America." It also refers to a language: "He speaks Spanish well."
--"Spaniard" is a noun and refers to a native or inhabitant of Spain. It is the only noun to refer to a person born in the Kingdom of Spain.
--Years ago Spanish-speaking people in the US referred to themselves as Spanish, whether they were from Bolivia, Honduras, Puerto Rico or Mexico. To make the distinction I had to say I was a "Spaniard" which cleared things up.

sábado, 8 de febrero de 2020

Listening / Understanding


Image result for airplane pilots"

Aviators, airplane pilots, never speak of their experience in terms of years. They accumulate experience in terms of flyint hours, actual flying time: 3000 flying hours, 5000 flying hours.
Our experience in a language should also be gauged in terms of exposure hours. But this is difficult, of course. However, time is of the outmost importance, especially in LISTENING, in acquiring sound experience; in giving our brain sound input in the new language. The more the better.
Our brain must get hold of the new sounds, become familiar with them; frequency of input will ease the learning process and familiarity with the "foreign" sounds.
May I suggest you listen to English or Spanish on a daily basis? YouTube is there to offer all kinds of accents and levels and subjects... Please listen to your language of choice 10 or 15 minutes a day, everyday!
You will learn sounds, words, expressions... But listen actively. Do not allow your brain to roam listlessly... Listen!

viernes, 7 de febrero de 2020

Language-learning Gurus


Image result for poliglots

I refer to Lýdia Machová, Steve Kaufmann, Gabriel Wyner, Robin McPherson... as examples of "polyglots" who claim they speak 6, 7, 8, languages fluently and add a new one to the list every two years or so.
Each one of them claims he/she has the right method to acquire a new language. First, the important thing to do is to keep away from "traditional" "boring" methods. They all advise students to learn vocabulary but not "memorize" vocabulary.
All these international poliglots have something in common: they have no idea how the brain works. They are so immersed in learning languages they skip everything else, even reading, which they say is boring.
I have always thought that a language was a tool to open a culture, a history, a way of life, a literature. To me a new language is a challenge to research all that is behind the language of a people. We learn French to do business, to make new friends, to get in touch with its literature, to discover its gastronomy, to find out what makes the French tick and also what the French have contributed to European history and thought. A tall order indeed that requires time.
We cannot pile up language upon language. A passing, surface-knowledge of a language is ok to order a cup of coffee or ask for directions in Peking... but nothing else.
In my case, to keep up two languages is a full-time job which forces me to learn new things every day. But perhaps I have a second-rate brain, second, or third, to the brain polyglots have. But I have no way of knowing how deeply they know the tongues they claim to master.  

jueves, 6 de febrero de 2020

Your secret weapon: the cell phone


Image result for cellphone"

Those who bemoan their lack of language skills forget they have a secret ally in their struggle to master a language: their cell phone.
--The cell phone gives us instant information on the meaning of words and how to pronounce them. Dictionary apps. Download one or two. And use them.
-- Audio books. These apps. allow you to listen to your favorite works of literature in your target language. Check YouTube.
-- You can have "penpals" from any place in the world. Check WhatsAp.
-- Biographies can be read in the original tongue. Check Wikipedia.
-- And you can also speak and converse with anybody in the world without spending a penny! Make an effort, and check WhatsAp.
--- All the above can be used anywhere, anytime!
So, don´t give me the song and dance, please!

miércoles, 5 de febrero de 2020

El cocinero anglosajón



Image result for cooker"
Los hispanohablantes se arman un lío entre “cook” y “cooker”. Este error está tan arraigado que debemos poner las cosas claras:
En inglés corriente y moliente, a cook es un cocinero. Así como suena. Y a cooker, es un aparato, como un pressure cooker, olla exprés, para cocinar.
Los norteamericanos hacen sus guisotes en stoves y los ingleses sus comistrajas en cookers.
A person who paints is a painter, a person who writes is a writer, a person who dances is a dancer … Pero a person who cooks is a cook. ¿Queda claro? "A cook is a person who cooks." "A cooker is an appliance for cooking, a pressure cooker."

lunes, 3 de febrero de 2020

Our "cookie" policy


Image result for cookie"

A cookie is a baked small cake. But it has many different meanings, some even funny:
A cookie is a person: a smart cookie, "un listillo."
A pretty young woman: Mary is a cookie, "un bomboncito."
Cookie is a term of affection, "chatita." (Un poco condescendiente ahora.)
A cookie is a computer code to trace what you are looking at (We use cookies...)
In the UK "biscuit" (bískit)  is prefered to "cookie", although the two might be different.
Tough cookie, un tipo peligroso.
Cookie jar, donde las guardamos."Be caught with your hand in the cookie jar" pillar a uno con las manos en la masa.
Fortune cookie, galleta que nos dan en restaurantes chinos.
That's the way the cookie crumbles, "así es la vida."
And the best of the very best: Chocolate-chip cookies!

viernes, 31 de enero de 2020

A sad day: 31st Jan., 2020


Image result for brexit"

I have expressed my dislike for the English many times. I have no liking for the English at large, for private reasons. I say English, not British, mind you. And yet, a paradox, I admire them. They have character traits that leave me in awe: they have a boundless curiosity for everything, they have discipline, they are hardworking, they have created the best universities and scholars in the world, a wonderful educational system, the Oxford English Dictionary, a riveting literature, and the language. What else could we ask for?
Today is a sad day because the English are leaving the European Union, and dragging Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland along with them. A pity. We cannot congratulate ourselves.
Today Europe is the less, as John Donne put it: "... every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less..."



jueves, 30 de enero de 2020

Hoy las ciencias adelantan...


Image result for verbena de la paloma"

El 17 de febrero de 1894 se estrenó el sainete La Verbena de la Paloma, del compositor Tomás Bretón. Una frase se ha hecho proverbial: "Hoy las ciencias adelantan que es una barbaridad." El libretista Ricardo de la Vega no sabía lo lejos que iban a llegar las ciencias, y cómo, por eso, el lenguaje cambiaría o evolucionaría. Como ejemplo podemos hablar de la oficina, del despacho, que no es ni sombra de lo que era.

El oficinista se sentaba a la "escribanía", "bureau" o "writing desk",  sacaba unos "pliegos de papel" o "foolscap" y echaba mano del "tintero", "inkwell", no sin antes elegir un palillero, "penholder", y buscar una "plumilla" o "penpoint" adecuada. Antes se aseguraba de que tenía el "papel secante", "blottin paper" a mano por si echaba un "borrón", "splotch" o "stain".
Como los lápices se empleaban mucho, tenían "sacapuntas" o "pencil sharpeners" preparados, así como "gomas de borrar" o "erasers" que los británicos llaman "rubbers."
Los más modernos tenían "máquinas de escribir", "typewriters" con "papel carbón", "carbon paper" para hacer copias, empleando "papel cebolla" o "onion-skin paper." Algunas secretarias usaban la "taquigrafía", "shorthand" para escribir al dictado con rapidez.
Y a pesar de toda esa parafernalia los negocio funcionaban, y la civilización avanzaba y nosotros podemos repetir, en 2020, la famosa frase: "Hoy los tiempos adelantan que es una barbaridad."  Y es que hoy, con un ordenador o computadora, vamos que ardemos.

martes, 28 de enero de 2020

-holic y las adicciones


Image result for workaholic"


-holic: sufijo que tiene muchas posibilidades, ahora que todo el mundo parece ser adicto a algo:
Alcoholic, alcohólico                     
Chocoholic, adicto al chocolate
Computerholic, adicto a los ordenadores (computadoras)
Drinkaholic, bebedor
Foodaholic, adicto a la comida, comilón
Golfaholic, jugadores de golf empedernidos
Shopaholic, compradores cumpulsivos
Sugarholic, adictos al azúcar
Workaholic, adictos al trabajo
Yo confieso ser un recalcitrante bookaholic y readaholic, amén de linguaholic. También soy algo worryholic (!).
Más sobre sufijos en mi: