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Old 16th October 2010, 05:09 AM   #9
xan
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 163
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drew21close View Post
They usually use suelo for floor but it really means soil or ground.
I expect it really means both things. Itīs just one of those interesting cases where one language habitually makes a distinction that the other one doesnīt, or where one language thinks more generically than the other.

A few other similar cases that have struck or surprised me:
  • puerta is both "door" and "gate"
  • escalera is both "stairs" and "ladder"
  • puerto is both "pass" (as in a mountain pass) and "port" (as in seaport)
  • manija, mango, manivela, asa are all just "handle" in english
  • mochuelo, buho, lechuzo, autillo are all different kinds of owl in english. There is not really a generic word "owl" in spanish. You would have to say something wordy like ave rapaz nocturna to capture the meaning.
  • querer is both "want" and "love"
  • seņor is both "mister" and "lord" as in "our lord jesus"
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