The beauty of living in another country is the daily opportunity to learn new things. Between the culture, the people and the language, there are always new things to discover. However, like with anything, there can be growing pains along the way. Here are ten of the most painful Spanish vocabulary words I’ve learned in Chile:
1. Hinchado/a: I learned this little beauty of a word back in May when my board popped me right in the face during a surf lesson. I got this nice fat lip (pictured above) as a souvenir and the word “hinchado” (swolen or, in this case, fat) as a long-term reminder of what a kook I was am in the water.
2. Multa: This unknown vocabulary word kept popping up on our itemized lists of gastos comunes (shared community charges that pretty much every apartment building in Chile charges) at our old place. One day, we got the brilliant idea to look it up and found out that we were being charged a “multa” (fee) for paying those gastos comunes late…almost every month. Lesson(s) learned.
3 & 4. Asangrar & Toser: I never really found the need to know either of these words until Jeff arrived to Chile and began doing both of them at the same time. A nasty case of strep throat (his second week in Chile) brought us to the infamous Clinica Iquique with a little scrap of paper that held our very important new vocabulary words: “toser” (to cough) and “asangrar” (to bleed).
5. Riñón: Although I had the basic body parts down before moving to Chile, I never made it around to the internal organs. It wasn’t until I had a triple dos of terrible in the form of e.coli, salmonella and an infected “riñón” (kidney) that I learned this little gem of a word.
PS. I still don’t know the names of any of my other internal organs, including my liver; although I’ve put her through quite a lot here.
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