Lecciones de Español

Temas

Talking About Thanksgiving in Spanish

Let's learn some vocabulary to talk about the North American holiday el Día de Acción de Gracias (Thanksgiving) in Spanish! 

banner PLACEHOLDER

When Is Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving takes place cada año (each year) on el cuarto jueves de noviembre (the fourth Thursday in November), which is, of course, la estación de otoño (the fall season). For a plethora of fall-related words, check out this lesson on Spanish Vocabulary for the Autumn Season.

 

The History of Thanksgiving 

La historia (the history) of Thanksgiving is polémica  (controversial). Although many of us learned about a harmonious festín (feast) between los peregrinos (the pilgrims) and los nativos de América del Norte (the Native Americans), the previous and subsequent bloodshed have led many to rethink the way Thanksgiving is taught or whether they should celebrate it. In fact, many Native American tribes observe Thanksgiving as a day of luto (mourning).

 

That said, the idea of dar las gracias (giving thanks) is una costumbre (a tradition) that predates the so-called first Thanksgiving in mil seiscientos veintiuno, or 1621 (See this lesson on saying the years in Spanish!). It is a federal holiday in the United States that is cherished by many for the purpose of juntarse (getting together) with one's seres queridos (loved ones) to darse un banquete (feast) and festejar (celebrate) the things for which they feel agradecidos (grateful).

banner2 PLACEHOLDER

Traditional Thanksgiving Feast

Although the pilgrims probably didn't eat Turkey at the first Thanksgiving, it has become the staple of many Thanksgiving meals:

 

Un pavo real como los peregrinos

A real turkey like the pilgrims.

Caption 60, Calle 13 Cumbia de los Aburridos

 Play Caption
 
Let's take a look at the words for many additional components of the traditional Thanksgiving feast that appear in videos from the Yabla Spanish library:
 

de puré de patata suave, entonces... eso es lo que vamos a perseguir.

smooth mashed potatoes, so... that's what we are going to seek.

Caption 14, Cómetelo Crema de brócoli - Part 4

 Play Caption
 

Es solomillo ibérico, relleno

It's Iberian tenderloin with stuffing.

Caption 72, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 6

 Play Caption
 

Podéis utilizar también cualquier otra verdura que os guste, como calabaza o judías verdes

You can also use any other vegetable that you like, such as pumpkin or green beans.

Captions 16-17, La cocina de María Cocido Malagueño

 Play Caption
 

¡Ah! -...arándanos rojos. -¡Arándanos rojos

¡Ah! -...cranberries. -Cranberries!

Caption 34, Cleer y Lida Picnic

 Play Caption
 

Y el dulce de batata también.

And the sweet potato jam also.

Caption 17, Muñeca Brava 2 Venganza - Part 4

 Play Caption

 

Here are some additional Thanksgiving food words that might come in handy:

 

Apple pie: el pastel de manzana, la torta de manzana

Brussels sprouts: los coles de Bruselas, los repollitos de Bruselas

Dinner rolls: los pancitos, los panecillos, los rollos

Corn: el maíz

Gravy: la salsa de carne, la salsa espesa, la salsa

Pecan pie: la tarta de nuez pecana, la tarta de pecana

Pumpkin pie: el pastel de calabaza

Yams: los ñames

 

Thanksgiving Activities and Symbols

In addition to comer (eating), many people congregate to watch fútbol americano (football) or view the famous desfile (parade) the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, be it on TV or en persona (in person).

 

They might also decorate their homes with such Thanksgiving símbolos (symbols) as las velas (candles), el maíz criollo (Indian corn), las calabazas (gourds), and los cuernos de la abundancia (cornucopias or horns of plenty). 

 

However, the most important Thanksgiving activity (and indeed every day!) is giving thanks, which we think Claudia Montoya sings quite nicely about this in this clip:

 

Por eso cada día quiero dar las gracias Por todo lo que yo tengo, también lo que no tengo

That's why I want to give thanks every day For everything I have, what I don't have as well

Captions 12-13, Claudia Montoya Volverte a abrazar

 Play Caption

 

Some other ways to talk about being grateful and giving thanks in Spanish include:

 

agradecer: to thank, to express gratitude/thanks

estar agradecido/a por: to be grateful for

sentirse afortunado/a: to feel fortunate/blessed

sentirse bendecido/a: to feel blessed

sentirse agradecido/a por lo que uno tiene:  to count one's blessings (literally "to be grateful for what one has")

las bendiciones: the blessings

 

On that note, les agradecemos mucho (We thank you very much) for reading this lesson on Thanksgiving terms in Spanish. We hope you've enjoyed it, and don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments

banner4 PLACEHOLDER

Vocabulary

Top 10 False Cognates in Spanish

In a previous lesson, we focused on the Spanish verb pretender (to hope, expect, try, etc.). Although this word closely resembles the English word "pretend," its meaning is totally different, putting it into the category of false cognates in Spanish. Also known as "faux amis" or "false friends," English-speakers often misuse these types of words for obvious reasons! Let's take a look at some of the most common false cognates in Spanish so we can be on the lookout for them in everyday speech. 

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

List of False Cognates in Spanish: Yabla's Top Ten 

 

1. embarazada 

While English speakers might be tempted to say Estoy embarazada when attempting to say "I'm embarrassed," this could lead to a very serious misunderstanding! Let's take a look: 

 

Si estuviera embarazada, me hubiera dado cuenta. ¿No le parece?

If I were pregnant, I would have noticed! Don't you think?

Caption 71, Muñeca Brava 44 El encuentro - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

While we can see that estar embarazada means "to be pregnant," there are many ways to express the idea of being embarrassed in Spanish, such as tener vergüenza or dar(le) pena (a alguien). Let's look at some examples:

 

Es que me da pena.

It's just that I'm embarrassed.

Caption 42, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 8 - Part 3

 Play Caption

 

En este momento, duda porque tiene vergüenza de ir a la escuela,

At this moment she hesitates because she's embarrassed to go to school,

Caption 49, Con ánimo de lucro Cortometraje - Part 4

 Play Caption

 

2. actual

The Spanish adjective actual is very confusing since it is spelled exactly like the English word "actual." However, actual is a false cognate in Spanish that "actually" means "current," as in the following example: 

 

Creo que realmente hay que buscar otra vía, otra solución a... la situación de ahora. -A la situación actual.

I think that you really need to find another road, another solution to... to the situation now. -To the current situation.

Captions 43-44, 75 minutos Gangas para ricos - Part 5

 Play Caption

 

If you do want to speak about the "actual situation" in Spanish, you might say: la situación verdadera or la situación real. Let's check out these two words in action:

 

Pero esta es la verdadera isla

But this one is the actual island

Caption 26, Cholito En la playa con Cholito - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

Nadie sabe el nombre real de esta ciudad,

Nobody knows the actual name of this city,

Caption 37, Querido México Teotihuacán

 Play Caption

 

3. éxito

The Spanish noun éxito might look like "exit," but its actual meaning is "success," while the Spanish verb tener éxito means "to be successful": 

 

Bueno, ha sido un éxito, ¿no, Jesús?

Well, it has been a success, right, Jesus?

Caption 88, Animales en familia Un día en Bioparc: Cachorro de leopardo - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

El brut ha tenido mucho éxito.

The brut has been very successful.

Caption 51, Europa Abierta Champagne en Andalucía

 Play Caption

 

On the other hand, in order to talk about an actual "exit" in Spanish, la salida is the way to go: 

 

Tiene una salida al patio de atrás para su ventilación.

It has an exit to the back patio for your ventilation.

Caption 12, Ricardo La compañera de casa - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

4. fábrica

Although it might seem like la fábrica would mean "the fabric," its true translation is "the factory." 

 

un tipo que tenía una fábrica de alcancías ¿no? Y la gente dejaba de ahorrar y el tipo se va a la quiebra.

a guy who had a piggy bank factory, right? And people stopped saving and the guy goes bankrupt.

Captions 32-33, Muñeca Brava 47 Esperanzas - Part 3

 Play Caption

 

As we see in the following example, the Spanish word for "fabric" is tela:

 

Aquí, tengo un cárdigan liviano. La tela no es muy gruesa,

Here, I have a light knit sweater. The fabric isn't very thick,

Captions 30-31, Natalia de Ecuador Vocabulario de prendas de vestir

 Play Caption

 

As a side note, although the verb fabricar occasionally means "to fabricate" in the sense of lying or making things up, the more common verbs for describing those actions are mentir and inventar, whereas the most typical translation for fabricar is "to make" or "manufacture":

 

la cuarta generación de una empresa familiar que fabrica diferentes variedades de zumos, sidras, sopas y mermeladas.

the fourth generation of a family business that manufactures different kinds of juices, ciders, soups and jams.

Captions 28-29, Europa Abierta Empuje para Pymes

 Play Caption

 

That said, let's take a look at some additional verbs that fall into the "false friend" category.

 

5. molestar

The Spanish verb molestar does not mean "to molest" (for which you might say abusar or acosar sexualmente), but rather "to annoy" or "bother":

 

Vine a decirte que te quedes tranquilo, que mi hijo no te va a molestar más.

I came to tell you to not to worry, that my son is not going to bother you anymore.

Captions 1-2, Muñeca Brava 46 Recuperación - Part 8

 Play Caption

 

Once again, substitution of the word this verb sounds like in English could result in a very serious misunderstanding. 

 

6. enviar 

Just because it sounds like "envy," don't mix up the Spanish verb enviar, which means "to send," with envidiar (to envy). Let's take a look at examples of each of these verbs: 

 

Como ya tengo su dirección de correo, le puedo enviar el contrato.

As I already have your e-mail address, I can send you the contract.

Caption 37, Negocios Empezar en un nuevo trabajo - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

¡Ay, cómo envidio esa sartén! No sabe.

Oh, how I envy that frying pan! You don't know.

Caption 1, Muñeca Brava 7 El poema - Part 7

 Play Caption

 

7. introducir

The most common translations for the Spanish verb introducir are "to put" or "insert." Let's look: 

 

Ahora lo que tenemos que hacer es introducir todo en la olla.

What we have to do now is put everything in the pot.

Caption 43, La cocina de María Cocido Malagueño

 Play Caption

 

Ahora introduces la esquina izquierda en este doblez,

Now you insert the left corner into this fold,

Caption 48, Manos a la obra Separadores de libros: Charmander

 Play Caption

 

It is worth noting that the Spanish verb introducir can occasionally be translated as "to introduce," most often when speaking about the introduction of some item or concept. However, the most frequently employed verb to describe the idea of "introducing," say, people to one another, is presentar

 

Les quiero presentar a Pedro, un experto en la Calle Ocho.

I want to introduce you guys to Pedro, an expert on Calle Ocho.

Caption 21, La Calle 8 Un recorrido fascinante

 Play Caption

 

8. asistir

Let's examine a typical use of the Spanish verb asistir:

 

y me fascinaba perderme entre sus calles y asistir a la innumerable cantidad de eventos culturales que la ciudad tiene para ofrecerte.

and it fascinated me to get lost in its streets and attend the countless number of cultural events that the city has to offer you.

Captions 11-13, Latinos por el mundo Gio en Barcelona

 Play Caption

 

Although the Spanish verb asistir can indeed mean "to help" or "assist," this verb and its counterpart asistir a are included in the category of false cognates in Spanish due to their alternative meaning, "to attend."

 

9. recordar

Although the Spanish false cognate recordar certainly seems like it would mean "to record," it actually means "to remember" or "remind," as in the following captions:

 

empiezan a hacer su ritual de movimientos y sonidos, si hace falta, para recordarte que es la hora de su comida.

they start to do their ritual of movements and sounds, if necessary, to remind you that it's their mealtime.

Captions 58-59, Fermín y los gatos Mis gatas vecinas

 Play Caption

 

¿Recuerdas cuál era la copa para servir vino?

Do you remember which cup was the one for serving wine?

Caption 36, Ana Carolina El comedor

 Play Caption

 

"To record," in turn, is conveyed with the Spanish verb grabar:

 

Utiliza video o audio para grabarte mientras lees o improvisas un pequeño diálogo,

Use video or audio to record yourself while you read or improvise a little dialogue,

Captions 51-52, Ana Carolina Mejorando la pronunciación

 Play Caption

 

10. soportar

Rather than "to support," the Spanish verb soportar often means "to tolerate," "endure," or "bear":

 

No lo pude aguantar, no se puede soportar eso.

I couldn't stand it, that can't be tolerated.

Caption 50, Yago 7 Encuentros - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

Although "soportar" can also mean "support" in the sense of bearing weight, the more common verb for talking about the notion of "supporting" someone or something, especially in figurative senses such as emotionally, economically, etc., is apoyar:

 

La abuela estaba loca si pensaba que la íbamos a apoyar.

Grandma was crazy if she thought that we were going to support her.

Caption 9, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 3 - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

These are just a few examples of the many false cognates in Spanish. For additional examples of false cognates in Spanish, you might enjoy our lessons on the verbs realizar (to carry out) and falta (shortage, foul, offense, etc.). In the meantime, we hope our list of false cognates in Spanish will help you to identify and understand them when you run across them— and don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments

 

Vocabulary

Regístrate para recibir las lecciones de Español gratis enviadas por correo electrónico



A ti también te puede gustar