It’s So True: Sin Agua, No Hay Vida

Last night we finally got around to watching the first two episodes of Planet Earth, the mind-blowingly well-done series of nature films by the BBC, all filmed in high definition and with the most incredibly complex camerawork I have ever seen. (The snow leopard scenes brought tears to my eyes, and once it started snowing, I was a mess.)

We watched it en espanol, which turned out to be a great idea: It has slow, simple narration in verb tenses we know pretty well (present and simple past), so we never felt miserably lost as we do when we watch most TV in Spanish. And many animals have very similar names in both idiomas: caribou, impala, leopardo,…

A few key vocabulary words that I really enjoyed learning (or re-remembering, as is so often the case for me) while watching La Planeta Tierra:

Arctic stuff:
las focas — seals
los polos — the poles (as in north pole and south pole)
las hojas — leaves
baja tierra — underground
cachorros — pups, for many species
reservas de grasa — fat reserves

Forest stuff:
las girasoles — daisies
las ardillas — squirrels
rayos del sol — sunlight, rays of sunshine
la energia del sol — sun’s energy
los monos — monkeys
los insectos — insects

Watery stuff:
los tiburones — sharks
grande blanco tiburones — great white sharks
las nubladas — clouds

Desert stuff:
huracanes de harina — dust storm (harina is more like flour, but you get the idea)
peligrosos tormentos de polvo — dust storm (polvo is dust and any fine substance)

Stuff that struck me as funny:
unico huevo — one unique egg, as in the penguin’s single egg each year
un banquete por todos los animales
— a banquet for all the animals
un epoca de abundancia — an era of adundance
padres dedicados — dedicated dads (about a type of fish)
los monos no le gustan el agua — the monkey’s don’t like the water, said as a group of monkeys hesitantly, if not prissily, waded through water
empieza el ataque — the attack begins, said each time a predator pounced on some prey

Not so funny:
no dura mucho — won’t last long, in reference to ever-shrinking ice caps
el futuro de la especie –– future of the species. In many cases, bleak.

4 thoughts on “It’s So True: Sin Agua, No Hay Vida

  1. Julie says:

    The documentary seems very interesting, thanks for sharing! Now let me just correct a few vocabulary words for you and your readers:

    – huracanes de ARENA (arena is sand)
    – gran tiburones blancos (in this order. when “grande” is in front of the expression, like in this case, you take out the “-de” and it becomes “gran”. it’s the same in plural)
    – A los monos no LES GUSTA el agua
    – un banquete PARA todos los animales
    – tormentAs de polvo peligrosAs
    – LOS girasoles

    I hope it can help! đŸ™‚ Keep writing and take care Joy!

  2. Bob Mrotek says:

    Algunas cosas de retroalimentaciĂ³n:

    Girasoles son “sunfloweres” y no son “daisies”.

    La palabra para “clouds” es “las nubes”. La palabra “nublado(a)” significa “cloudy”.

    Joy, your suggestion to pick up vocabulary from this documentary is right on and I applaud you for it. I try to do the same thing whenever I can. I see that you are a serious student. So am I! Word by word we are climbing the ladder together đŸ™‚

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