Here’s a short example of the many ways I’m constantly learning Spanish.

I met more of the extended family, and they gave me some tips on places to travel after my classes have ended. As they left from visiting over the weekend, I shared a kiss on the cheek with the aunt (which is how you greet and say goodbye to women). When I tried to say, “Thanks for your advice,” I said, “Gracias para tu aviso.”

When words are similar across languages, they are called cognates (such as “lamp” and lámpara). When they sound similar but mean different things, we encounter false cognates. A notorious example is “embarrassed.” If you’re in a restaurant in a Spanish-speaking country and you knock over the table when standing to go to the bathroom, and the entire restaurant is looking at you, you do NOT say that you are “muy embarazado.” They will all laugh at you, because you just told them that you are very pregnant. False. Cognate.

When I looked up aviso, here’s what I learned.

aviso: warning.

Oops. Not quite what I wanted to say.

advice: consejo.

But this still seemed odd, because it reminded me of a different word.

conejo: rabbit.

Yep, that one.

After my research, I will now remember how to correctly thank someone for their advice.

But, I can’t feel too bad. On the bright side, sharing a kiss and saying, “Thanks for your warning,” was probably better than saying, “Thanks for your rabbit.”

Any thoughts?

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