Words in a Language Vocabulary and pronunciation
create the distinguishing characteristics between dialects.
Word meanings have been adapted throughout history. The result
of this language blending has led to differences in words
and word meanings among the various Hispanic cultures. For
example, to a child from Puerto Rico, the word for bus is
‘guagua’. A Colombian child however, would call
the same vehicle a ‘buseta,’ and in Chile a bus
would be called ‘la micro’.
In addition, the same word in Spanish can have differences
in meaning depending upon the culture in which it is being
used. For instance, the word ‘china’ means orange
to people from Puerto Rico. In Colombia, ‘china’
is an endearing term that refers to a young girl. In other
parts of South America, ‘china’ refers to people
who are from China. Although there are many differences in
word use among Spanish-speakers in various regions of the
Hispanic world, it should be noted that Latinos or Hispanics
do quite well in communicating with each other.
friends are words that exist in two languages which, despite
looking or sounding similar to one another, differ in meaning
(English-Spanish false friends, 2005). False friends cause
confusion and difficulty for learners of English as a second
language. Below are a few examples of false friends for Spanish
False friends in English - Spanish:
Adapted from: English-Spanish false friends.
(2005). In UniLang Wiki.