sogas

Todo aquello que intenta separarnos nos une cada vez más. No se dan cuenta que entre más imposible se mira algo, más lo deseamos con nosotros. Y por imposible que fueras, no me eres inalcanzable.
—  Desatar la soga que nos separa, Joseph Kapone
Spanish False Cognates

A false cognate or “false friend” is a word that looks like something in your language that you think is the same word, but it’s totally different. And a partial false cognate is one that could be the same word you think it is, but also might not be.

A common false cognate for Spanish is la ropa which is “clothes/clothing” and not “rope” (la soga); a common partial false cognate is el elevador which in Mexico could be “elevator” but most of the Spanish-speaking world uses el acensor… where el elevador tends to mean “hoist” or sometimes “dumbwaiter” or “electrical amp”


  • abandonar = doesn’t always mean “to abandon”, sometimes it means “to vacate” or “to leave (a room/area)”
  • el acta / las actas  = does NOT mean “act”; el acta means “the minutes (of a meeting)”, “a certificate”, or in legal situations can mean “contract/accord”
  • actual = in Spanish actual means “current” or “happening now” or in art situations it’s “contemporary”, similarly actualmente means “recently” and actualizar means “to update”
  • adicto/a = in some situations adicto/a means “an addict”… in some contexts it means “fan” like a fan of a celebrity, really it’s used more along the lines of “fan” as in “fanatic”
  • la advertencia = la advertencia means “warning” or “advisory”, the verb advertir is usually “to warn”; an “advertisement” is el anuncio and “to advertise” is anunciar 
  • americano/a = can be used for American (from the US) but it more literally means “from the Americas”… meaning North OR South America; technically Mexicans, Argentinians, Canadians, and people from the US are americanos… for “from the US” the more accurate word is estadounidense meaning from los Estados Unidos
  • aplicar = usually aplicar means “to apply” as in “to stick on”; it doesn’t mean “to apply for (a position)” which is solicitar and an “application” for jobs etc. is la solicitud
  • apreciar = doesn’t really mean “to appreciate” the way we mean it; apreciar is usually “to put a price on” or “to measure value”. You tend to say agradecer “to be grateful for” as in te lo agradezco “I appreciate that” more literally “I am grateful to you for it”
  • aprobar = can mean “to approve” or “to pass a test”
  • el argumento = el argumento is more usually “the plot (of a story)”, but it can be “argument” in the sense of “point of view” or “stance (on an issue)”… usually an actual fight/argument is la pelea or la disputa
  • el arsenal = in some cases it means “arsenal” for artillery; it sometimes means “navy yard” or “shipyard”
  • asistir = usually means “to attend”; occasionally means “to assist” but it’s better to use ayudar “to help”
  • la audiencia = in some cases it does mean “audience” but usually that’s in the sense of someone listening; la audiencia means “audience” more usually as “meeting” or a “hearing” with someone… while el público is what gets used for “crowd/audience” although some places use la audiencia more 
  • la aventura = means both “adventure” and “(love) affair”
  • avisar = avisar is “to warn” and el aviso is “warning”; to “advise” is aconsejar “to counsel”
  • el binomio = in mathematics it’s “binomial”; in most everyday discussions el binomio is the term for a name with a hyphen in it like arte-poesía or something like that, it gets used for the “joining of two names”
  • bizarro/a = in some places it means “bizarre” or “odd”, but it usually is “gallant” or “courageous”; saying it’s “bizarre” is extraño/a or raro/a 
  • bravo/a = doesn’t really mean “brave” it means “reckless” or “easily angered”, occasionally it means “soldier”… in Spanish “brave” is normally valiente and “bravery” is usually el valor
  • el campo = in Spanish el campo is “field” or “countryside”; a “camp” is el campamento 
  • cancelar = sometimes means “to erase”, but it also means “to settle (a debt)” or “to pay (a bill)”
  • el/la canciller = sometimes it means “Chancellor”, but it tends to have a wide usage for any foreign minister or ambassador
  • capable = in Spanish “capable” is capaz… saying capable in Spanish means “able to be castrated”
  • la carpeta = in Spanish this means “folder” or “portfolio”… a “carpet” is la alfombra
  • la casualidad = in Spanish this means “luck” or “chance”; por casualidad is “by chance”
  • catedrático/a = this has nothing to do with cathedrals, in Spanish it means any professor at a university who has tenure. The connection is probably to the idea of la cátedra which is “podium”, but churches were very much centers of learning so maybe?
  • el charlatán / la charlatana = means both “charlatan” but it can also be “talkative” or “chatterbox” from charlar “to talk”
  • el colegio = most places use el colegio to mean “high school / secondary school” but it’s usually a private school; la secundaria tends to be public, and la universidad is “college / uni(versity)”… and el colegio is occasionally used to mean “group of intellectuals / group of theory”
  • colorado/a = does not mean “colored” which is usually tener color (or gente de color for “people of color” in antiquated settings)… the term colorado/a almost always means “red” as in the state Colorado or one of the expressions for “to blush” ponerse colorado/a …makeup “blush/rouge” is el colorete
  • el compromiso = sometimes means “agreement”, sometimes it means “dilemma”… and in some settings compromiso is “engagement” as comprometido/a can be “fiancee” (as can prometido/a without the com)
  • la concentración = means “mental concentration”, or “concentration (chemistry)” but it also means “gathering of people” and sometimes “protest” although you sometimes see manifestación for that
  • la conferencia = typically la conferencia means “lecture / presentation” or another word for “conversation”… it can be “a conference” but for “conventions” you usually say el congreso since la conferencia is very… person standing at the front of a lecture hall giving a seminar with powerpoint kind of vibe
  • constipado/a = means “to have a cold”… saying “constipated” is estreñido/a
  • conveniente = sometimes “convenient” but normally conveniente means “proper” or “practical” as in “something that is advisable, wise, or just”
  • la convicción = does mean “conviction” for beliefs; does not mean “conviction” in the legal sense, “to convict” is condenar “to condemn” 
  • la copa = la copa exclusively refers to “wine glass / goblet” or “the cup (of a sports/prize cup)”… el vaso is used for “water glass”, and la taza “coffee cup / teacup”
  • la criatura = sometimes means “creature”, sometimes means “infant/baby” which can be a jarring partial cognate trust me
  • correspondiente = is used as an adjective meaning “matching” or “corresponding”… a journalist/reporter “correspondent” is el/la corresponsal 
  • la cuestión = this means “the matter” as in “the question of (something)”… a “question” you ask is la pregunta
  • el curso = means “course of events” or something that follows/runs like the “course” of a river, but in school terms la materia is “course / subject” and sometimes la asignatura… but some places do use el curso to mean “course” for school, it’s just not always like that
  • cínico/a = means both “cynical” and “irresponsible” in Spanish, though you normally see it as “cynical”
  • la decepción = ALWAYS means “disappointment”; “deception” or “deceit” is la mentira “lie” or el engaño “deception”
  • demandar = usually doesn’t mean “to demand”; in legal cases demandar is “to sue”, while exigir is “to demand”… and la demanda is “a legal case / suit”
  • deshonesto/a = sometimes means “dishonest” but occasionally means “lewd”… sort of like how we say “honest work” which is a nice way of saying “not illegal or indecent”
  • discutir = usually means “to argue”… “to discuss” is usually just hablar because discutir can have a combative tone to it, you also see debatir “to debate” or parlar / charlar “to chat”… formally platicar “to discuss”… and “discussion” is often la conversación or el debate depending on context
  • el disgusto = means “displeasure” or “a tough situation”; in Spanish “disgust” is el asco as in asqueroso/a “disgusting” or dar asco “to disgust / to gross out”
  • el dormitorio = in some places it means “bedroom”, but it does always mean “dormitory” as in college/uni… literally it’s “sleeping room”
  • la droguería = in Spanish this is actually a lot of different things; “paint store”, “hardware store”, sometimes “pharmacy” or “convenience store”… most of the time if you’re at the drug store that’s all medicine you say la farmacia or la botica… or older things would be la botica / el boticario “apothecary”
  • educado/a = most often means “polite”, not “educated”… to say “educated” you tend to say tener buena formación or standard inteligente or listo/a … you do get a good pun out of la buena educación “good education / good manners” and la mala educación for “bad education / bad manners”
  • efectivo = in Spanish en efectivo normally means “in cash”; eficaz is “effective / efficient”
  • embarazada = means “pregnant” (embarazado is technically accurate but usually shows up when talking about seahorses); saying “embarrassed” is avergonzado/a, apenado/a, humillado/a… things like that. You can say embarazoso/a for “embarrassing / awkward”; and note el embarazo is “pregnancy”
  • escolar = means “related to school” or “scholarly”… “a scholar” is normally erudito/a or estudioso/a or occasionally licenciado/a meaning “graduate / has a degree / titled”
  • la estampa = is a religious icon and/or a card with a picture on it; normally use la estampilla for “stamp” or el sello “seal / stamp”
  • el éxito = means “success”; an “exit” is la salida or in theater terms “an exit” is el mutis
  • experimentar = means “to experiment” as in try out, but “to experience” is normally sentir “to feel”
  • la fábrica = means “factory”; la tela is “fabric/material”
  • la firma = means “signature” as firmar “to sign”; it does not mean “a firm” which is often la oficina or la empresa or la compañía
  • fiscal / el/la fiscal = means “fiscal” in the sense of money, but in law el/la fiscal means “prosecutor”
  • gentilmente = is archaic now but it means “with kindness” or “courteously”… it means “genteel” not “gentle” which is suave, so “gently” is suavemente
  • la gracia = means both “grace” and “funny/joke” as in tener gracia ‘to be funny”
  • la granada = is “pomegranate” and “grenade”
  • la grosería = means “rudeness” or “grossness”; a “grocery” is normally la tienda (de comestibles) or el mercado, and “groceries” is sometimes la comida / los comestibles or sometimes los abarrotes
  • humano/a = is both “human” and “humane”
  • ignorar = can be “to not be aware of” which is not as strong as “to ignore” in a way
  • ilustrado/a = means “illustrated” and “enlightened”
  • intervenir = means “to intervene”, “to obstruct”, “to operate on”, “to bug / to tap (phones/homes)”, or “to bail out”
  • intoxicado/a = has a bunch of meanings; it can mean “upset stomach” / “vomiting” / “food poisoning”… in addition to “poisoned” (envenenado/a) and good old “intoxicated”, although you can go into whether that’s borracho/a “drunk” or drogado/a “on drugs” if you want… intoxicado/a really means “some substance has a negative reaction with your body” whether it’s food or drugs or alcohol
  • invertir = means both “to invert” and “to invest”
  • la jornada = rarely means “journey”, la jornada means “work day” or “a day’s worth of (something)”… occasionally it’s “business trip”
  • introducir = means “to insert”; “to introduce (someone) to (someone)” is presentar
  • la lectura = means “reading” or “passage”; a “lecture” is normally la conferencia 
  • la lujuria = means “lust” as in the sin; “luxury” is el lujo
  • el mandatario / la mandataria = means “executive” or “chief” or “person who calls the shots”, usually in a governing sense… occasionally “head of state” or “representative [someone who was sent somewhere]”; saying something is “mandatory” is obligatorio/a
  • el matrimonio = means both “matrimony/marriage” and “a couple / married couple”
  • molestar = means “to annoy”, it has no sexual connotation in Spanish; you would say acosar “to stalk” or abusar “to abuse”, or violar “to rape”
  • moroso/a = doesn’t mean “morose”, it means “someone who hasn’t paid” as in “defaulting”
  • la noticia = usually in plural, las noticias “news” and la noticia “a piece of news” or “new event” is different than “a notice” which is usually el aviso for a “warning”
  • la ocasión = means “occasion” or “event”… in some contexts it means a “big sale” or “bargain”
  • la ocurrencia = means “an idea” but more usually means “a snarky comment”; an “occurrence” is el suceso or el evento usually
  • el oficio = is not “office” as in a physical place (la oficina), but el oficio means “occupation” or “vocation”… usually it’s a skill you do by hand like physical labor so think plumbers, electricians, carpenters, masons…
  • oficioso/a = does not mean “officious” (entremetido/a), it means “blue collar” or “diligent”… in some cases oficioso/a means “unrecognized” but in a lot of older contexts it kind of means “working class” or “chipper/energetic”
  • paralizar = means both “to paralyze” and “to halt”; some places use it as “to freeze (assets)” though I see suspender or congelar more for that
  • el/la pariente = means “relative” and los parientes are “relatives”… the “parents” are los padres (or las madres where applicable)
  • particular = means “private”, “individual”, “limited access”… or it means “peculiar”; it isn’t said of people who are “finicky”, they use exigente “demanding” or something regional like tiquismiquis
  • perfeccionar = usually means “to perfect / to improve” not always “to make perfect”… you see it a lot with languages or acquired training/skills perfeccionar means mejorar “to get better” in a sense
  • plantear = means “to state an opinion”; “to plant” is plantar or sembrar 
  • la populación = tends to mean “the act of populating/inhabiting”, while “population” is la población 
  • el partido = means “political party” or “a match (in sports)”… while la fiesta is “party”
  • precioso/a = means both “precious” and “cute / good-looking” for people or things like es un vestido precioso “it’s a pretty dress” or ella es preciosa “she’s cute”… precioso/a for people tend to be younger people or kids, otherwise you tend towards guapo/a
  • preciso/a = means “precise” and “necessary”
  • pretender = doesn’t really mean “to pretend” which is fingir “to feign”, usually pretender means “to attempt” or “to reach for”, in more formal or older settings pretender means “to court / woo”, and los pretendientes are “suitors” in romance. You can use pretender as like “pretender to the throne”; this is because it’s someone “reaching” for something they haven’t earned, but you may see mentiroso/a “liar” or farsante “liar / imposter” for this too.
  • el preservativo = means “condom”; preservatives in food tend to be los conservantes
  • privado/a = doesn’t exactly mean “private” but more “personal”, so el correo privado means “personal mail” not specifically private or hidden; think “private property”
  • la promoción = used to refer exclusively to “store promotion” or “news / something published”… today it can mean el ascenso “job promotion” too but some places prefer el ascenso
  • realizar = means “to finalize” or “to make a reality”; “to realize” as in “to have a realization/sudden thought” is darse cuenta
  • recordar = means “to recall” or “to remind”; but grabar is “to record” and registrar is “to record / to make a record of”
  • el refrigerio = means “a snack”, it’s kind of like “a nibble” or a small midmorning/midday snack; there are lots of regionalisms for “refrigerator” like el refrigerador or la nevera (which is literally related to nieve “snow”)
  • regalar = means “to give a gift” (el regalo), people use agasajar for “to regale” though it’s a showy word by itself
  • regular = means “regular / ordinary” but can be used as estar regular “to be fine” or “to be so-so”
  • relevante = means “relevant” but also means “important” or “noteworthy”
  • el resorte = in Spanish el resorte is “a metal spring”
  • la reunión = very often means “a meeting/gathering”, not a “reunion”
  • salvaje = means “savage”; but “salvage” is usually salvar or salvaguardar or as a noun el salvamento 
  • sano/a = means “healthy”; cuerdo/a means “sane”… la sanidad means “sanitation”, while la cordura is “sanity”
  • sensible = in Spanish sensible means “sensitive”; sensato/a means “sensible”
  • la sentencia = means “sentence” as in “jail sentence”
  • la sopa = means “soup”; el jabón is “soap”
  • el suburbio = can mean “suburb” but in many Latin American countries it means “slums/shanty towns” not the US idea of “suburb”
  • el tipo = means both “a type” but is slang for “a guy/dude”
  • vago/a = means both “vague” and “lazy”
  • el voto = means “a vote” but also means “a vow”

Merry Christmas, @futomiko (https://futomiko.tumblr.com/) !! The Taoists are having fun and I hope you do too!

I loved Ten Desires (a lot) and I’m glad being able to finish this on time! Thanks again for @touhousecretsanta, @amemenojaku and @purple-scales for managing the event! 

PS: never question futo’s artistic direction, the placement and the aesthetics, all according to the feng shui