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How to Translate the Word ‘Popcorn’

September 7, 2009 1 Comment »

Regionalisms are words or phrases that give a language its local color. They are common in one area, while rare, out of place or non-existent in another area. Some English examples of these would be the “lieu vs. bathroom,” “lift vs. elevator,” “ankle biter vs. rug rat,” etc. Native speakers will be familiar with some of these words, but not even the most astute English scholar can learn every slang term from South Island, New Zealand to Dallas, Texas to Liverpool, England…

This is of course not limited to English. Suppose you were to take a trip from Madrid, through Havana, south to Buenos Aires and then to Mexico City. Apart from the accents, dialects, etc., the differences in vocabulary you’d encounter would be astounding. As a small example of the variety that exists in the Spanish language, here are a few different ways to say the word ‘popcorn’ in Spanish.

  • palomitas de maíz (most widespread)
  • pochoclo parts of Argentina and Uruguay
  • pororó parts of Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay
  • pururú
  • pororopo in Guatemala
  • pipoca in Brasil, Bolivia, Portugal
  • cotufas in Venezuela
  • cabritas or palomitas Chile
  • crispetas Colombia
  • rositas de maíz Cuba
  • rosetas de maíz Puerto Rico
  • poporocho
  • cancha or canchita
  • cotumitas
  • roscas
  • gallitos
  • cocaleca
  • pajaretas
  • crispetas or crispetes
  • esquites
  • bufes
  • flores
  • rosas
  • tostones
  • canguil
  • ancua
  • alepa
  • millo

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