Making sense of language…..

Sometimes it feels like each day I experience some sort of “language moment.” And sometimes I can’t always put my finger on why I have to stop and think about what was said and why. One way I try to make sense of a word or phrase is by trying to equate a Spanish word with an English words, vice versa.

For instance, yesterday as I wishing my Godfather a Happy Fathers Day and at one point he said, “Tengo catarro (I have a cold).” I hadn’t heard that word in what seems like a long time. My husband learned Spanish in Colombia, so I guess I have gotten used to a more “formal” Spanish. He, of course, had never heard of “catarro”….probabaly another “mexicanismo”, he said. Well I went ahead and did some brief research on the word. This is what I found:

http://www.wordreference.com/es/en/translation.asp?spen=catarro:

catarro m (common) cold

– Diccionario Espasa Concise: Español-Inglés English-Spanish
© Espasa-Calpe, S.A., Madrid 2000

Forum discussions with the word(s) ‘catarro’ in the title:

Catarro
catarro nasal + estado catarral + catarro
catarro vs. resfriado
tengo catarro/tengo un catarro – grammar

catarro‘ also found in these entries:Spanish:despechugadadespechugadoresfriadaresfriadosi

English:catarrhcoldcommon coldcureshake offsniffstinkingstubborn

The overarching theme that resolves any “language moment” I have always seems to go back to individuals perception or philosophy about language and its use or as in this case the country an inidividual learned Spanish.