I'm sorry, I should have spelled it out.
Distrito Federal de México (Mexico City)
Oh OK. Thank you. One of the reasons I refreshed my Spanish is that I expect to retire in Mexico. And I know when I lived in Germany my major problem with listening to the news was all the acronyms in German that I didn't know. So, although I will probably live in Baja, it is information that will be very helpful.
Cologne/colonia -- that's my last name! "van Keuren", formerly "van Keulen", the Dutch name for the city. My ancestors moved from Cologne to the Netherlands in the 1500s, and then to America around 1630 (to what is now Kingston, NY). I'm 9th generation in America.
"colonia" comes from Latin "colonus" ('farmer'), from verb "colo, colere, cultus" ('till, cultivate, worship') and is related to a whole slew of words like column, cycle, cult, cultivate, even wheel.
Emperor Nero's mother Agrippa established a home for Roman war veterans, to keep the border safe, and named it 'Colonia Agrippina' (the Agrippine Colony). Over a millenium later, the city became famous for its "water from Cologne", Eau de Cologne, or Koeln-Wasser, later shortened to just 'cologne'. So yes, it means both colony and perfume.
It's also my last name, from 'Keulen', the Dutch name for the city. My ancestors were the 'people from Cologne', (van Keulen), who migrated from the city to the Netherlands around the time of the Thirty Years' War.
Well... it is correct, that much I can tell. Appropriate... it's out of context (there is no sentence) the global context, I do not know (which "lesson" is it in).
Regarding the value of teaching this word to learners at such an early stage, with the perfume meaning, I would say it's very low. In all European languages you can understand "cologne" in a conversation so it would be very low on my priority list... but above I listed a few words related that might be more useful, at least in my opinion... if all that was started by the word and it is useful... who can complain? ;)
Well, none of them is very appropriate if you are looking for the equivalent of slums.
Suburbio is just a small city very close to a large one or, mostly a neighbourhood far away from the city centre.
Colonia, in Spain, was used for large developments for working class immigrants who came (mostly) from villages to the cities. These developments, though not luxurious where not slums. Normally they sported a name Colonia+ name and still bear it today, even though some have been demolished, the area retains the name.
I actually didn't think about this meaning until you mentioned it, but there you go.
The technical name for slums is "poblado/area/pueblo/barrio de infraviviendas" and commonly referred to as "poblado de chabolas o chabolista". The favelas actually are called favelas too.
In Mexico City colonia is neighborhood. The exact phrase, "colonia Condesa" receives about half a million hits on google. Spanish does vary from region to region; however, Mexico is the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world (by population), and DF is the largest city in the country. Due to large amounts of media from DF being consumed throughout the Spanish-speaking world, this dialect is the most widely comprehended. Boroughs here are referred to as delegaciónes.
It is based on the gender of the noun. All nouns in Spanish are either masculine or feminine. For the most part, those ending in o are masculine and those ending in a are feminine, but there are many exceptions to that rule. Additionally there are some suffixes that indicate gender. For example nouns ending in ción or sión are feminine as are nouns ending in dad. But essentially you have to learn the gender with the noun, although when there is a rule like the o or a ending you can just learn the exceptions like el día and la mano.
In non-DF Mexico, colonia is more for neighborhoods and barrio is for “common folk” settlements (I.e., lower class neighborhood). Similar to “the projects” or areas of cities with associated characteristics of working classes. There is a lot of slang spoken and words/phrases that are specific to the population. It’s like the East End area in London where they speak in phases such as “what’s the lime?” or “he’s brown bread”, which mean what’s the time and he’s dead; a language within itself.