Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mujer = Girl?

I got a letter from the girl in Nicaragua I sponsor, and was struck by this sentence: "Soy la unica mujer en mi familia ya que tengo 2 hermanos." I have to say, I've never seen mujer translated to mean 'girl.' I wonder if this is a Nicaraguan Spanish thing, or maybe a mistake? I just thought it was interesting, and perhaps am proving I live under a rock, because for all I know, mujer is quite commonly used to mean 'girl' in certain parts of the Spanish-speaking world.

5 comments:

  1. Kelly, I was thinking we used it that way in my Spanish class in Gillette. I'll have to check.

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  2. I say I've "never" seen it, but maybe I have at some point in time. At the end of the letter, it refers to her as 'niña,' which, given her age (6), makes more sense, but every country/region is different in their usage. She was helped with the letter by her teacher, and the letter itself has adult penmanship. That's not unusual though, since she's so young and is just developing her writing skills, she's naturally gonna have some assistance.

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  3. I wonder if it might be just quite a casual thing to interchange this usage like this, maybe in a semi-jokey manner. I can imagine a situation where the mother went away for a while and someone saying to the little girl, 'you are the woman of the house now'.
    Jim

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  4. It's been months since this was posted, but...

    In that sentence, "mujer" doesn't translate to "girl". She uses "mujer" to express that she is the only female in the family. The words mujer/hombre can refer to gender regardless of age.

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  5. Oh okay, thanks. That does make sense. :)

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