Foods and Wines

Love Glossary

In the global world we live in, it is more common every day to find people from all over the world living in. In Canada the Spanish-speaking population exceeds 400,000. What might be even more surprising to you is that Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world with more native speakers after Mandarin. Yes, worldwide there are more Spanish native speakers than English.

Seeing the importance of this language in the world, it is only natural that on a day like Valentine´s Day, we might want to learn a few basic love-related words to give you the nudge you need to start learning this beautiful language. As Nelson Mandela said: If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.

The true meaning of this day, the thing we celebrate the most and the reason why this day is so special: amor = love. The very word that can scare them away or get them closer. Amor can be used as a pet-name between couples, along with cariño, darling, and corazón, heart.

There are endless adjectives to describe your love interest where appearance is concerned but in Spain guapo and guapa (masculine and feminine) are the most common ones, even though there is a funnier one: mono/a, which literally means “monkey” but which is used to say that someone is cute.

Two Spanish men shake hands as we do but Spanish women greet each other by kissing on each cheek, always starting by kissing the right cheek first. Here comes the fun part: a man and a woman will do the same too when greeting each other. That is why the word beso, kiss, is much more used in Spanish than in English.

Verbalizing a relationship status in front of other people can be a big step. In Spain, you don’t have a committed relationship till your partner calls you their novio, boyfriend, or novia, girlfriend.

Te quiero
The famous three words are only two in Spanish. Te quiero, I love you, can add a whole new meaning to a relationship, so saying it in Spanish will make it go right to their heart if you are having a relationship with a Spanish-speaking person.

The day all girls dream about, the happily ever after and the ultimate commitment. The wedding, la boda, is a tradition just as important in Spain as it is here. But there are a few alterations. The parents of the bride and groom play an important role: the groom is supposed to walk down the aisle with his mother, the Godmother, and the father of the bride, the Godfather, walks her down the aisle and has the role of the best man. However, the important task of bearing the rings is the responsibility of the pages, children who walk before the bride, so there are no bridesmaids. Apart from the rings, they also bear the wedding tokens, coins that symbolize the contract of the union.

There are many Spanish couples, parejas, who have written a line in history, some of the most famous are Isabel and Fernando, the Catholic Monarchs; Hernán Cortés and La Malinche, the Spanish Conqueror and his interpreter; Don Quixote and Dulcinea, the fictional knight and his lady; Carmen and Don José, the lovers of Bizet’s opera; Don Juan and Doña Inés, the legendary heartbreaker and the novice; and even now, Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem, Oscar-winning actors.

Picture: Matías Costa/ICEX (Pix of Spain)

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