Spanish for Kayakers / Theme-based Vocabulary Learning

Posted on 6th January 2013 in Learning Strategies, Vocabulary

Spanish for Kayakers / Theme-based Vocabulary Learning

By Russell Sabo

Spanish for kayakers, Kayaking through Hell's Gate, Kettle River, MN

Today I’m writing a vocabulary post about one of my favorite subjects: kayaking! Yes, I’m a kayaker, and as I improve in my sport, I have plans to someday travel down to Ecuador and Chile to try out some of the rivers down there. As the people of Ecuador and Chile aren’t known for speaking English, this means it would be good to know some kayak-related Spanish.

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So do you need to know Spanish to go to Central or South America to go kayaking? No, it’s not necessary because most of the guides and river-running companies there speak English or have employees who speak English. However, to get the most out of your experience there, knowing some Spanish is definitely valuable. You can get the “inside-scoop” on what the guides are saying to each other as well as being able to speak with the locals. And if you’re single, the women are very beautiful and friendly…and chances are they don’t speak much English.

But I’m Not a Kayaker

Now, if you’re not a kayaker, this article will show you a good exercise to learn. Picking a theme or a favorite hobby of yours and learning the Spanish words for your activity’s terminology is a great way to increase your fluency level. I can say I’ve learned a lot just in creating my list below. All it takes is knowing the name of your activity or hobby in Spanish and then searching for that word in Google (in Spanish, of course). Or if you don’t know the name of your activity or hobby in Spanish, then just go to Google Translate and type it in. It takes very little time and it will increase your vocabulary very quickly. You’ll find that being interested in the vocabulary will help it to ‘stick’ much more easily than vocabulary words that you have no interest in. Build more of these lists and soon you’ll find that you suddenly have lots to talk about in Spanish!

Spanish for Kayakers

This is an on-going work and I will update it as I learn new words. If you have any new words to add or if you think something is incorrect, please leave a comment below so that I can update or correct this list as soon as possible. Also, I’d like to give special thanks to Lori Turbes and Abe Herrera for providing me with some of the harder-to-find words. Both are excellent (and professional!) kayakers. If you’d like to learn more, check them out! Lori keeps her own blog here: Dream or Destiny and also here: Team Sundance Blog and Abe’s website is here: Boof Sessions

Bodies of Water

  • the brook – el arroyo
  • the brook – el riachuelo
  • the dam – la represa
  • the estuary – el estuario
  • the lake – el lago
  • the pond – el charco
  • the river – el río
  • the open sea – el mar abierto
  • the reservoir – la embalse
  • the sea – el mar
  • the stream – el arroyo
  • the stream – el riachuelo

Paddlers, Paddling & Boats

  • the boat – el barco
  • the canoe – la canoa
  • canoe or kayak – la piragua
  • canoeing, kayaking – piragüismo
  • the kayak – el kayak
  • kayaker – kayakista (I have also seen “Kayakero”)
  • to go kayaking – andar en kayak
  • to go kayaking – navegar en kayak
  • to kayak – kayakear (Not an official Spanish word, but it seems to have been adopted by the paddling community)
  • to paddle – remar
  • paddler – palista
  • to practice (or go) kayaking – practicar kayak
  • to put in (the river) the boat – meterse el barco
  • recreational kayak – kayak de recreo
  • rodeo kayak or playboat – kayak de rodeo
  • sea kayak – kayak de travesía en mar
  • to surf – surfear
  • to take out (of the river) the boat – sacar el barco
  • whitewater kayak – kayak de aguas blancas
  • whitewater boat – piragua de aguas bravas

Boat Anatomy & Equipment

  • arched hull or rocker – el casco arqueado
  • bow – proa
  • the cockpit – la bañera
  • fiberglass – fibra de vidrio
  • the necessary equipment – el equipaje necesario
  • the paddle – el remo
  • the paddle – la pala
  • very flat hull or planing hull – el casco muy plano
  • polyethylene – polietileno
  • rocker – rocker
  • sharp edges (referring to the boat) – cantos vivos
  • stern – popa
  • V-Hull – casco en V
  • waterline – línea de flotación

Personal Wear

  • the footwear – el calzado
  • the helmet – el casco
  • life vest, life jacket, PFD – el chaleco salvavidas
  • neoprene – neopreno
  • neoprene boots – escarpines de neopreno
  • skirt – pollera
  • spray skirt – el cubrebañeras
  • spray skirt, cockpit cover – cubrecockpit
  • spray skirt – faldón
  • water sandals – sandalias de agua
  • wetsuit – traje de neopreno

Water and Land Features

  • against the current – contra la corriente
  • the beach – la playa
  • big hole – huecaso
  • the cave – la cueva
  • the cliff – el cantil
  • the cliff (that overlooks the sea) – el acantilado
  • Class 1, Class 2, Class 3 – grado1, grado 2, grado 3, etc…
  • the current – la corriente
  • downriver, downstream – río abajo
  • eddy – vado
  • eddy or backwater – remanso
  • the flood – la inundación
  • to flow – fluir
  • good lines – buenas líneas
  • the gully – la barranca
  • hole, souse hole, hydraulic – hueco
  • hole, sticky – stiky (pegajoso)
  • the line – la línea
  • obstacles – obstáculos
  • the rapid – el rápido
  • the ravine – el barranco
  • the river basin – la cuenca del río
  • the riverbed – el lecho del río
  • river right – la derecha del río
  • river left – la izquierda del río
  • the rocks – las rocas
  • the shore – la orilla
  • strainer – coladera
  • strainer (log) – tronco
  • strainer (stick) – palo
  • strainer (tree) – arbol
  • vertical, swirling water (a hole or hydraulic) – arremolinada vertical – I don’t think one would hear this in Latin America, but more-so in Spain (just a guess)
  • waterfall – cascada
  • waterfall – la catarata
  • the watershed – la cuenca
  • the wind – el viento
  • whirlpool – remolino
  • whitewater – las aguas blancas
  • whitewater – las aguas bravas

Safety & Rescue

  • aggressive swimming style – estilo de natación agresivo
  • a boat capsize, overturned boat – un vuelco
  • boat pin – corbata
  • dangerous – peligroso
  • deep – profundo/profunda
  • drownings – ahogamientos
  • defensive swimming style – estilo de natación defensivo
  • floating – flotando
  • foot entanglement – el enredamiento de los pies
  • foot entrapment – pie atrapado en las piedras
  • hypothermia – hipotermia
  • knife – cuchillo
  • lost equipment – equipaje perdido
  • maneuverable – maniobrable
  • rescue from the shore – rescate desde la orilla
  • rescue with the assistance of a boat – rescate con el auxilio de un barco
  • to rescue – rescatar
  • risk – riesgo
  • safety – seguridad
  • self rescue – autorescate
  • stable – estable
  • swimmer – nadador
  • a swimmer in distress – un bañista en apuros
  • throw bag, throw rope – la bolsa de rescate
  • throw rope – cuerda de rescate
  • throw rope – cuerda de salvamento
  • water pressure – la presion del agua

Commands & Signals

  • to turn – girar
  • remain calm – mantén la calma
  • continue, keep paddling – siga
  • follow me – sigueme
  • paddle hard – rema duro
  • go over there – vaya allí
  • go over there – anda alla
  • go there – ve por ahi
  • we’re going through here (said while pointing where we’re going) – vamos por aquí/acá
  • wait here – espera aquí
  • stop – alto
  • stop – pare
  • go back – atrás
  • to the right – hacía la derecha
  • to the left – hacía la izquierda
  • swim left – nada a la izquierda
  • swim right – nada a la derecha
  • if you swim – si es que nadas
  • meet up – reunión
  • help – ayuda
  • I’m okay – Estoy bien – Are you okay? – ¿estás bien?
  • you have buggers on your face – tienes mocos en la cara

Misc.

  • adventure – aventura
  • bridge – puente
  • highway – ruta
  • party – fiesta/carrete
  • small town – villa

 

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