Episodio 67: Algunas Palabras Raras en Inglés

No tuve muchísimo tiempo esta semana pasada, (y si, no podía terminar las traducciones de las bibliotecas de recursos de idiomas, ¡lo siento! Pienso que voy a terminarlas en un mes, porque tenemos mucho que hacer con la nueva casa y con familia las semanas que vienen) ¡entonces hoy vamos a discutir cinco palabras raras en Inglés!


Cinco Palabras Raras en Inglés

Las siguientes palabras no se usan con frecuencia, pero si, se usan a veces. Usando estas cinco palabras - ¡correctamente! - le darán vida a tu inglés. No solo te harán sonar como un profesional al hablar inglés, ¡sino que también sonar súper inteligente!

1. Blasé

Generalmente en inglés, no usamos las tildes, o los acentos ortográficos, a menos que una palabra es un extranjerismo. Entonces, blasé tiene un acento agudo porque se origina en francés. Significa que alguien está indiferente o apático sobre algo, o que no está impresionado. Se puede decir nonchalant, o despreocupado y tranquilo, pero con un poquito de aburrimiento también.

Algunos ejemplos:

  • She found the whole thing rather blasé. / Ella estaba apática sobre todo.

  • Even though their business was hugely successful, they acted blasé about it. / A pesar de que su negocio fue un gran éxito, actuaron indiferentes al respecto.

  • What an unimpressive performance! I found it so blasé! / ¡Qué actuación tan poco impresionante! ¡Lo encontré tan mediocre!

2. Stoic

Esta es una palabra interesante, ya que se origina en la filosofía griega del estoicismo (Stoicism en inglés), creada por Zenón de Citio en el siglo IV d. C. La premisa básica era que la pasión estaba mal y debía evitarse, promoviendo en su lugar las virtudes del autocontrol y la resistencia. Hoy en día, la palabra denota a alguien que no muestra mucha emoción, incluso en medio del caos.

Algunos ejemplos:

  • I never know what he's thinking; he's always so stoic! / Nunca sé lo que está pensando. ¡Él siempre es tan estoico!

  • My grandfather was a very stoic man, despite the hardships he suffered in life. / Mi abuelo era un hombre muy estoico, a pesar de las dificultades que sufrió en la vida.

  • She isn't stoic at all! Her emotions are all over the place. / ¡Ella no es estoica en absoluto! Sus emociones están bastante dispersas.

3. Morose

Esta palabra, del latín, se usa para describir a alguien que es melancólico, taciturno o malhumerado. Quizás lúgubre. (Me encanta la palabra inglesa para lúgubre, lugubrious! Me suena ridícula. :D ) ¿Conoces a Eeyore, el burro melancólico de Winnie the Pooh? Es un personaje muy taciturno y pesimista. Eeyore es morose.

Otros ejemplos:

  • After her father died, she became very morose. / Después de la muerte de su padre, se puso muy malhumorada.

  • Normally a cheerful fellow, he became very morose whenever they mentioned her name. / Normalmente un tipo alegre, se ponía muy taciturno cada vez que mencionaban el nombre de ella.

  • It can be miserable to talk to a morose person. / Puede ser miserable hablar con una persona melancólica.

4. Vapid

Según Merriam-Webster, se puede decir VA-pid o -pid. Esta palabra se origina de latín también, para hablar de que el vino está soso, o como se dice en inglés, flat. Vapid se refiere a alguien o algo que carece de algo, lo que lo hace poco interesante, atractivo o aburrido. Podría ser una falta de sabor o una falta de espíritu. Para mí, la palabra denota que algo debería ser interesante, pero no es por esta deficiencia. No es una cosa buena estar vapid.

Algunos ejemplos:

  • I can't stand that woman! She is such a vapid busybody! / ¡No soporto a esa mujer! ¡Es una entrometida tan insípida!

  • The town was quiet and vapid, with hardly anything to do. / La ciudad estaba tranquila e insípida, sin casi nada que hacer.

  • Despite the restaurant's fancy exterior, the food was vapid. / A pesar del elegante exterior del restaurante, la comida era sosa.

5. Superfluous

Esta palabra es un adjetivo, originario del latín, y lo usas para describir algo que es innecesario y extra.

Algunos ejemplos:

  • All of these grandiose plans are a bit superfluous, don't you think? / Todos estos planes ambiciosos son un poco superfluos, ¿no crees?

  • He tried to remove anything superfluous from his room to create more space. / Trató de quitar todo lo superfluo de su habitación para crear más espacio.

  • She always tried to cut out any superfluous words in her writing. / Ella siempre trató de eliminar las palabras superfluas en su escritura.

¡Y ya terminamos! Me encanta la locura que es inglés, entonces si te gustaría que yo discuta otras palabras raras, por favor, ¡dímelas!

(Una nota: para este episodio, mi herramienta principal fue el diccionario en línea de Merriam-Webster, si te gustaría leer más sobre cada palabra.)

Recuerda, aprender un idioma es una travesía para toda la vida.

Embrace it, Enjoy it, and Share it!


Cultural Tip: Ghana

Global National Holidays

Today's cultural tip highlights the national holidays of Ghana! To save on time, and to avoid extreme repetitiveness, here is a quick list of holidays that many other countries also celebrate and/or which we have covered in other episodes, so I won't get into too much detail for these ones (although I have included some interesting tidbits for further context or unique ways they celebrate in Ghana).

  • New Year's Day (01/01a)* (Because it was on a Saturday this year, the following Monday was off.)

  • Good Friday (04/15) (It is always the Friday before Easter)

  • Easter Sunday (04/17), so Easter Monday is 04/18

  • Workers' Day (05/01) (a.k.a. the UK's May Day and the U.S.'s Labour Day, and is always celebrated the first Monday in May) (Prime Minister Nkrumah was given the title "First Number One Worker" when the country observed its first May Day in 1960, as well as the May Day Award. After the military coup, this holiday was suspended for one year in 1966.

  • Christmas Day (12/25a)

  • Boxing Day (12/26) (See Episodio 38 for more information)

*The "a" means that it is always celebrated on this day.

Unique National Holidays

I found the following 7 holidays to be either unique to Ghana or to be holidays we haven't discussed on this podcast yet.

1. Constitution Day (01/07a)

Created as a public holiday in 2019, this relatively new holiday commemorates the creation of the country's 1992 Constitution by the Fourth Republic, which took effect on January 7, 1993. The Fourth Republic has lasted longer than the previous three, which struggled with military coups. On this day, January 7th, new Heads of State are sworn in. Ghanaians are reminded on this holiday of their commitment to uphold the country's constitution and democratic structure.

2. Independence Day (03/06a, although if it falls on a weekend then the following Monday is a holiday)

While under British control, Ghana was called the British Gold Coast. After World War II, there was a growing movement within the country for independence, which the Gold Coast was the first sub-Saharan African country to declare in March 6, 1957, with Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah as its first President and Prime Minister. The country also changed its name to Ghana at this time.

3. Eid al-Fitr (05/03, but it changes every year as it is based on the moon)

While this is not a unique holiday to Ghana, we haven't talked about it at all on this podcast before. Eid al-Fitr is an important Islamic holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, a month-long religious fast that goes from dawn to sunset every day. Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam, as they believe the Qur'an was given to the prophet Muhammad during this month. There are special prayers and sermons for this day, with people wearing new clothes for their visit to the mosque, the giving of money to the poor, family feasts and special Eid greetings. It is also a day to give thanks to the Muslim god, Allah, for help in making it through Ramadan.

4. African Unity Day (05/25a, a.k.a. Africa Day or African Freedom Day)

This day, which is only a commemorative holiday, not a public holiday, celebrates the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) on May 25, 1963. This included 30 original African countries, who wanted to bring freedom and change to Africa. While several countries have it as a national holiday (including Mali, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and The Gambia), we haven't talked about it before in this podcast. One of the original focuses of the OAU was to get rid of apartheid and to decolonize in African countries. In 2002, the OAU launched its successor, the African Union (AU), whose main goal is economic growth and peace and cooperation across Africa. The AU is a bit like the European Union (EU), in the sense that both organizations were created to connect their respective continents and bring economic stability and strength to the region. If you would like to do a deeper dive into what the AU is, check out their website here.

Overall, the holiday celebrates African achievements.

5. Eidul Adha (07/10, but it changes every year as it is based on the moon. It is the 10th day of the last month within the Islamic calendar, Dhu al-Hijjah) This is the most important Muslim holiday, and another one that we haven't yet discussed. Lasting for four days (although the public holiday is just for one), it celebrates Ibrahim - who is considered an important Prophet - and his willingness to sacrifice everything for Allah, including his son Ishmael. But before he sacrifices him, a voice from heaven stops him and says he may sacrifice something else. (As an interesting note, in the Christian and Judaic beliefs, Abraham is an important figure who was willing to obey God in everything, including sacrificing his son Isaac. He was not an prophet, although he is considered to be the Father of Israel. An angel stops him from sacrificing his son, and God instead provides a ram. Ishmael was the son Abraham had with his wife's handmaiden, Hagar, but was not the son God promised he would have with his wife Sarah. To read more of the history here, check out the book of Genesis, chapters 12, 16, 17, 18, 21, and 22, or in Spanish: 12, 16, 17, 18, 21 y 22.)

On this holiday, giving charity to the poor is an important tradition, as is re-enacting Ibrahim's obedience with a cow or ram sacrifice. Only about a third of the meal will be eaten by the family, however, as the other two thirds are given to friends and family and to the poor.

6. Founders' Day (08/04a, although if it falls on a weekend then the following Monday is a holiday)

This holiday is celebrated on August 4th to commemorate two important Ghanaian events: the foundation of the Aborigines' Rights Protection Society on August 4, 1897 by John Mensah Sarbah and the establishment of the political party United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) on August 4, 1947 by George Alfred Grant and J.B. Danquah. The UGCC was focused on gaining independence and making constitutional reforms, and played a key role in the country gaining its independence.

7. Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day (09/27a, although if it falls on a weekend then the following Monday is a holiday)

This day celebrates Dr. Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's first President and Prime Minister. While this used to be Founder's Day, an amendment was passed in 2019 that changed Founders' Day to August 4th and made September 27th specifically for Kwame Nkrumah. Dr. Nkrumah created the Convention People's Party (CPP) after he split from the UGCC. He was a key force in Ghana gaining its independence. While he became the first President of Ghana in 1960, it was only 6 years later that he was overthrown by the military while on a state visit to China and Vietnam.

Interestingly enough, he also designed Ghana's national flag, basing it on Ethiopia's. The green represents agriculture and beauty, yellow stands for mineral wealth, red represents their struggles and bloodshed, and the black star symbolizes African freedom.

8. Farmer's Day (12/02, it is held on the first Friday in December, unless it is an election year. Then they have the public holiday on the first Friday of December, but they celebrate it on the first Friday of November)

This celebration, introduced back in 1988 by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, is declared every year to be a statutory Public Holiday by the Minister of the Interior. It pays homage to the farmers and fishermen for their contributions to Ghanaian economics and in feeding Ghana. Prizes are given to fishermen and farmers for production and best practices.

While this might seem like a strange holiday, keep in mind that agriculture is about 20% of Ghana's GDP and employs more than half of the country's workforce. To put this in perspective, in the United States, agriculture only comprises about 0.7% of the labor force and 0.9% of the country's GDP. While agriculture is key to any society, it is clearly even more so for Ghana.



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Música de la transición para el Consejo Cultural editada de la canción por Tim Moor de Pixabay.

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