Entertainment

11 Spanish Words That Will Trick You

English and Spanish have a long history together. Today, more people than ever are sitting down in the U.S. to learn Spanish in schools and casually. But things are not as simple as they might seem. The Spanish language is full of false cognates that can easily trick you if you don’t look closely enough. We’ve got some of the trickiest Spanish words to use as an English-speaker together here. You might want to keep this before your next slip up!

11. Embarazada

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What it sounds like: Embarrassed

What it actually means: Pregnant

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There you are in Spanish class, reading from some written exercise your teacher assigned you, and you stumble. You describe being embarrassed at something your mother said or did in public, but instead, the classroom hears something else: you became pregnant. Don’t let the way the word sounds fool you: the real word you should use is “avergonzada” if you want people to know you were embarrassed. And of course, you’ll have plenty of chances to use the word to describe how you feel in the near future.

10. Éxito

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What it sounds like: Exit

What it actually means: Success

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Sure, sometimes getting out of something is a form of success, but we’re guessing that’s not always what you mean to say. Having great “éxito” in your Spanish language journey will require knowing the difference. The word you really want is “salida.” You’ll need to find that shortly.

9. Excitado

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What it sounds like: Excited

What it actually means: Aroused

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You might be very excited to see someone, but you very much do not want to sound like you’re that kind of excited to see them. The word you are looking for is “animado” to describe your feelings of excitement that are distinctly not sexy. 

8. Actualmente

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What it sounds like: Actually

What it actually means: Currently

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We all know someone who loves to start their sentences with “Actually – ” before launching into a definition or factoid that we didn’t know. Now it’s our turn. Actually – “actualmente” does not mean actually, it means currently. The phrase you are actually looking for is “en realidad,” which roughly translates back to “in reality.” 

7. Decepción

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What you think it means: Deception

What it actually means: Disappointment

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It’s easy to feel deceived by this false cognate. Deceptive as it might be, the word you are looking for is “engañar.” It’s a standard mishap but you’ve got this – and we’ll make sure you remember especially since you’ll be really disappointed with the response you get from Spanish speakers if you keep misusing this tricky word.

6. Constipación

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What you think it means: Constipation

What it actually means: A cold

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Now trying to explain to your doctor why you’ve had a cold for several days while he asks if you are sure that’s the word you mean to use may sound funny, but it probably won’t be when you realize you’re getting more vapor rub instead of prune juice. If you really find you’re stuck, the word you’re looking for is “estreñimiento.”

5. Fábrica

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What you think it means: Fabric

What it actually means: Factory

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One of these is where the fabric is created, and the other is the fabric itself. Why must these words sound so similar? You’ll be able to keep them separate in your head by remembering that the Spanish word that you’re looking for is “tela,” which is (somewhat) closer to the English word for textile. If you’re still feeling stuck, just remember you often find yourself wrapped in fabric (if you get dressed regularly) but might not want to be in a factory every day.

4. Delito

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What you think it means: Delete

What it actually means: Felony

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Trying to undo something you didn’t mean to type isn’t that complicated, but if you find yourself surrounded by people shaking their heads and looking frightened when you talk about how you deleted something last week and need help, it might be because everyone thinks you just told them you committed a felony. Save yourself the awkwardness and learn the word for “erase” which is pretty close to the English word “delete”: “borrar.”

3. Molestar

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What you think it means: To molest

What it actually means: To bother

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Imagine this:

You approach a cashier at a store and say “sorry to bother you, but does this store carry paperclips?” The cashier stares at you and shakes their head asking you to leave them alone. What’s the matter? Is it not okay to ask for paperclips? Oh wait, maybe you just suggested that you were molesting the cashier and they handwaved you away because they’re not getting paid enough to do all that. Bothering someone is infinitely less serious. If you really want to describe something as serious, the word you are looking for is “abusar.”

2. Pisar

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What you think it means: To piss

What it actually means: To step

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Step right up and learn the difference! Taking yourself to the bathroom? The word you are looking for is “mear.” “Pisar” is to pace or step on something, like a floor. It’ll be a huge difference to the owner of the floor you are talking about, especially if they don’t want pee on their carpet.

1. Esposas

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What you think it means: Wives

What it also means: Handcuffs

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This one is especially frustrating because it’s not even a false cognate. Esposa is wife. Esposas? Many wives. But esposas are also handcuffs, and handcuffing someone is “esposando.” So the guy who thought just got “wifed up”? Yeah he got arrested. Better make sure you get to county jail before you head to the chapel if you think you got it wrong.

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America Ferrera Celebrates 20th Anniversary Of Working On ‘Gotta Kick It Up’ With Sweet IG Post

Entertainment

America Ferrera Celebrates 20th Anniversary Of Working On ‘Gotta Kick It Up’ With Sweet IG Post

It has been 20 years since America Ferrera’s dream of becoming an actor back true. She took to Instagram to reflect on the moment that her dream started to come true and it is a sweet reminder that anyone can chase their dreams.

America Ferrera shared a sweet post reflecting on the 20th anniversary of working on “Gotta Kick It Up!”

“Gotta Kick It Up!” was one of the earliest examples of Latino representation so many of us remember. The movie follows a school dance team trying to be the very best they could possibly be. The team was down on their luck but a new teacher introduces them to a different kind of music to get them going again.

After being introduced to Latin beats, the dance team is renewed. It taps into a cultural moment for the Latinas on the team and the authenticity of the music makes their performances some of the best.

While the movie meant so much to Latino children seeing their culture represented for the first time, the work was a major moment for Ferrera. In the Instagram post, she gushes over the celebrities she saw on the lot she was working on. Of course, anyone would be excited to see Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt hanging out. Yet, what stands out the most is Ferrera’s own excitement to realize that she can make money doing what she loves most.

“I wish I could go back and tell this little baby America that the next 20 years of her life will be filled with unbelievable opportunity to express her talent and plenty of challenges that will allow her to grow into a person, actress, producer, director, activist that she is very proud and grateful to be. We did it baby girl. I’m proud of us,” Ferrera reflects.

Watch the trailer for “Gotta Kick It Up!” here.

READ: America Ferrera’s “Superstore” Is Going To Get A Spanish-Language Adaptation In A Win For Inclusion

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This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

Entertainment

This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

On a recent episode of ABC’s game show To Tell The Truth, three celebrity panelists were tasked to uncover the identity of a real mariachi singer.

Each contender embodied “non-traditional” attributes of mariachi culture either through physical appearance or language barriers, leaving the panelists stumped.

When it came time for the big reveal, with a humble smile 53-year-old Timoteo “El Charro Negro” stood up wowing everyone. Marveled by his talents, Timoteo was asked to perform unveiling his smooth baritone voice.

While not a household name in the U.S., his career spans over 25 years thriving on the catharsis of music.

Timoteo “El Charro Negro” performing “Chiquilla Linda” on Dante Night Show in 2017.

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Timoteo, born Timothy Pollard, moved to Long Beach, California with his family when he was eight years old. The move to California exposed Pollard to Latin culture, as the only Black family in a Mexican neighborhood.

As a child, he recalled watching Cantinflas because he reminded him of comedian Jerry Lewis, but musically he “got exposed to the legends by chance.”

“I was bombarded by all the 1960s, ’70s, and ’50s ranchera music,” Timoteo recalls to mitú.

The unequivocal passion mariachi artists like Javier Solis and Vicente Fernandez possessed heavily resonated with him.

“[The neighbors] always played nostalgic music, oldies but goodies, and that’s one thing I noticed about Mexicans,” Timoteo says. “They can be in their 20s but because they’ve grown up listening to the oldies it’s still very dear to them. That’s how they party.”

For as long as he can remember, Pollard “was born with the genetic disposition to love music,” knowing that his future would align with the arts.

After hearing Vicente Fernandez sing “Lástima Que Seas Ajena,” an awakening occurred in Pollard. While genres like hip-hop and rap were on the rise, Pollard’s passion for ranchera music grew. It was a moment when he realized that this genre best suited his big voice.

Enamored, Pollard began to pursue a career as a Spanish-language vocalist.

El Charro Negro
Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

At 28, Timoteo began learning Spanish by listening and singing along to those artists he adored in his youth.

“When I decided that I wanted to be a mariachi, I didn’t think it was fair to exploit the culture and not understand the language,” he says. “If I’m going to sing, I need to be able to communicate with my audience and engage with them. I need to understand what I’m saying because it was about honor and respect.”

Pollard began performing local gigs after picking up the language in a matter of months. He soon attracted the attention of “Big Boy” Radio that adorned him the name Timoteo “El Charro Negro.”

Embellishing his sound to highlight his Black heritage, Pollard included African instruments like congas and bongos in his orchestra. Faintly putting his own spin on a niche genre, Pollard avoided over-saturating the genre’s sound early in his career.

Embraced by his community as a beloved mariachi, “El Charro Negro” still encountered race-related obstacles as a Black man in the genre.

“There are those [in the industry] who are not in the least bit thrilled to this day. They won’t answer my phone calls, my emails, my text messages I’ve sent,” he says. “The public at large hasn’t a problem with it, but a lot of the time it’s those at the helm of decision making who want to keep [the genre] exclusively Mexican.”

“El Charro Negro” persisted, slowly attracting fans worldwide while promoting a message of harmony through his music.

In 2007, 12 years into his career, Pollard received a golden ticket opportunity.

El Charro Negro
Pollard (left) seen with legendary Mexican artist Vicente Fernandez (right) in 2007. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In a by-chance encounter with a stagehand working on Fernandez’s tour, Pollard was offered the chance to perform onstage. The singer was skeptical that the offer was legit. After all, what are the chances?

The next day Pollard went to his day job at the time and said, “a voice in my head, which I believe was God said, ‘wear your blue velvet traje tonight.'”

That evening Pollard went to a sold-out Stockton Area where he met his idol. As he walked on the stage, Pollard recalls Fernandez insisting that he use his personal mic and band to perform “De Que Manera Te Olvido.”

“[Fernandez] said he did not even want to join me,” he recollects about the show. “He just was kind and generous enough to let me sing that song on his stage with his audience.”

The crowd applauded thunderously, which for Pollard was a sign of good things to come.

El Charro Negro
Timoteo “El Charro Negro” with Don Francisco on Don Francisco Presenta in 2011. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In 2010, he released his debut album “Me Regalo Contigo.” In perfect Spanish, Pollard sings with great conviction replicating the soft tones of old-school boleros.

Unraveling the rollercoaster of relationships, heart-wrenchingly beautiful ballads like “Me Regalo Contigo” and “Celos” are his most streamed songs. One hidden gem that has caught the listener’s attention is “El Medio Morir.”

As soon as the track begins it is unlike the others. Timoteo delivers a ’90s R&B love ballad in Spanish, singing with gumption as his riffs and belts encapsulate his unique sound and story.

Having appeared on shows like Sabado Gigante, Don Francisco Presenta, and Caso Cerrado in 2011, Timoteo’s career prospered.

Timoteo hasn’t released an album since 2010 but he keeps his passion alive. The singer has continued to perform, even during the Covid pandemic. He has high hopes for future success and original releases, choosing to not slow down from his destined musical journey.

“If God is with me, who can be against me? It may not happen in a quick period of time, but God will make my enemies my footstool,” he said.

“I’ve continued to be successful and do some of the things I want to do; maybe not in a particular way or in particular events, but I live in a very happy and fulfilled existence.”

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