https://www.duolingo.com/lisa4duolingo

Is your laundry dirty or clean?

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Either way, in Spanish, you’ve got a couple of different ways to say it.
(The neon sign you see in the image above is missing the accent over the “i.”)

A section of the discussion thread for the prompt,

”Mi ropa está sucia,”

piqued my curiosity, prompting me to want to research it further. So I did. In the process, I learned some things I didn’t know before and wanted to share them with a wider audience, so I decided to create a separate post for it. In this thread a couple of users discuss whether or not “la ropa” can be an acceptable translation for “laundry.” The discussion leads the one user to finally write:

… every dictionary I checked gives laundry for la ropa, …

The user in opposition to “la ropa” as an acceptable translation mentioned checking Ultralingua (a resource I hadn’t heard of before) and Langenscheidt (a resource with a good reputation). Naturally, I was curious to see if such a discrepancy actually existed. My first instinct was to turn to my usual resources: Word Reference and Tureng. I’ve also recently begun using Reverso which is turning out to be a very useful resource. (I had initially snubbed it because I liked Word Reference and Tureng so much, but Reverso offers some features those other two don’t.) The image below shows you what I found:


**Note how far down the list "ropa sucia" is on the list of translations at Tureng.

Other sources, as was mentioned by the one user, do not include it as a translation. See below:


Though Langenscheidt does list “ropa sucia” as a translation for “dirty clothes,” laundry doesn’t always have to be dirty.

Then I decided to see what might be returned if I did a search for "laundry" using Reverso's context search engine. In the process, I discovered that "laundry" is sometimes the word used in Spanish (but it appears this use is restricted to references to a "laundry room.") For evidence of this, click on the link below:

laundry

Somehow I suspect that the Real Academia Española would not be too keen on the word “laundry” entering the Spanish language. In fact, it tells me:

Getting back to whether or not "la ropa" can be used to convey "laundry," it appears some are using it in that way (as well as "colada"). In fact, translations of "laundry" with "ropa" are the second most commonly used according to this source (Reverso):

Hope you find that interesting, useful, and helpful. And, as always, if you have something to contribute to this topic, please post a comment!

2 years ago

13 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/J.R.Nogal
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If you are talking about a room where the clothes can be washed and/or ironed, then you are talking about a 'lavanderia' or a 'cuarto de lavado'.

If you are talking about clothes to be washed you are talking about 'ropa' ('ropa', 'ropa para lavar' or 'ropa sucia'). The process of washing that clothes is 'lavar la ropa'.

If you are in Spain and you are washing some clothes that clothes are 'la colada'. And the process of washing that clothes is 'hacer la colada'.

Washing machine is 'la lavadora'. Clothes dryer is 'la secadora'. Clothes iron is 'la plancha' or 'la plancha para ropa' or 'la plancha de ropa'.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lisa4duolingo
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Muy, muy informativo, J.R. Nogal. Muchas gracias para su conocimiento. I gave Lento_Rodriguez a lingot for his answer, but you deserve one, too.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LICA98
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  • 709

lol I misread laundry as language at first

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lisa4duolingo
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That would definitely start a different kind of conversation.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/VaughnJarvi

Ha!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lento_Rodriguez
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Excelent post.

In the third episode of Extr@, which is set in Spain, Lola tells Sam to do the laundry- "haz la colada," later after doing it he says "he hecho la colada"

The FSI Basic Spanish Course Unit 10 teaches the following...

the cleaner's shop - la tintorería
the laundry - la lavandería

Where do you send your laundry?
¿Dónde mandas tu ropa?

I send my suits to the cleaner's across the street.
Los trajes los mando a la tintorería que está enfrente.

And my shirts to the laundry on the corner.
Y las camisas a la lavandería de la esquina.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lisa4duolingo
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Muy interesante, Lento_Rodriguez, and gracias for sharing. More than anything, I really enjoy the diversity of resources this topic has brought my attention to.

Again, gracias for your knowledge (and your sunshine)!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lento_Rodriguez
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De nada. I don't know that I really added anything, I just happened to be studying the 10th unit of FSI this morning and I've been studying the third episode of Extr@ for the past few days as well. Perfect timing...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/emilyconlin11

thanks this helped alot

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kidfury101

cool way to explain about laundry

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/boncey
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This discussion reminds me of my recent trip to Cuba.

I was staying in a "casa particular" and the owner (who spoke no English) asked me to translate the review of her casa from my English guidebook.

I started to read and translate one sentence at a time when I got to the line "the house was very clean".
I realised that I can never remember the correct Spanish words for dirty and clean and often mix them up.
I really didn't want to make a mistake and say to her that her house was very dirty!

In a panic I skipped over that line and luckily she didn't notice.
She seemed very happy that her casa made it into the Lonely Planet guide book anyway.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/___AKian47___

Where did they get that word from anyways? Sounds like they just added an I and an A.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Nina127004
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Gracias por tu investigación - es muy útile.

2 years ago
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