What’s a rebeca?

If anyone had asked me this morning what the Spanish word for cardigan was, I would’ve professed ignorance and suggested the closest word I could think of: suéter. However… according to the automated email Spanish word of the day, the translation is rebeca, coming from Daphne Du Maurier’s famous book, Rebecca, whose young heroine was particularly fond of wearing a cardigan. The email also noted that the phrase used by Latin American Spanish speakers is different: la chaqueta de punto (literally, knitted jacket). ETA: as Rosario points out, there really is no such thing as a universal Spanish or even a Latin American version of Spanish; that may be what some Spanish speakers use for cardigan, but it’s not what everyone uses.

On the Arabic front, class started last week only to break for the holiday. Okay. I managed to get myself organized and read the written passage, translating and transliterating before class. Three pages of text in the text book reduce to considerably less when I handwrite or type…but still created ~3 hours of work. Still, it’s getting a little better. The latest lesson is all about schedules and school, introducing some (a lot of) new vocabulary.



Filed under arabic, spanish

4 responses to “What’s a rebeca?

  1. Chaqueta de punto? Nah, not really. See, there is no Latin American Spanish. Mexican Spanish is as different from Uruguayan Spanish as it is from the Spanish used in Spain, and there are all kinds of variations in the middle. And clothing and food are the worst… those categories really vary wildly throughout Latin America. Hell, they vary wildly within *countries*! We here would say “saco” or “cárdigan”.

  2. jmc

    Yeah, chaqueta de punto seemed kind of strange, but that’s the alternative given by dictionary.com.

  3. The best resource for this kind of thing is WordReference.com. The English-Spanish and Spanish-English dictionaries are good (and free), but the best part is the forums. They are quite active and frequented by mostly translators from all over the Spanish and English-speaking worlds. Whenever you search for a word in the dictionaries you also get links to discussions about that subject in the forums which might illuminate things further. There’s one here about cardigans:http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=174533

  4. jmc

    Thanks for the link!

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