- Sim­ply Span­ish - On the Road

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aguja — “nee­dle,” or a bar next to a guard house that stops cars from en­ter­ing alto/siga — stop/pro­ceed — signs com­monly held up where road­work is go­ing on, usu­ally help­fully col­ored in red or green car­ril — lane ceda/ceda el paso — yield right-of-way (used at onelane bridges and lanes that have to merge into traf­fic on high­ways) choque — crash con­travía — go­ing the wrong way on a one-way street derecha/dere­cho — “derecha” usu­ally means right and “dere­cho” usu­ally means straight, but just to tor­ture Span­ish learn­ers, “dere­cho” also means right when ap­plied to a mas­cu­line noun. “Toma el car­ril dere­cho, siga dere­cho, y luego gira a la derecha” — “Take the right lane, go straight, and then turn right.” met­ros — me­ters, the uni­ver­sal way of de­scrib­ing short dis­tances. Re­mem­ber that “100 met­ros” means one block, so one kilo­me­ter is roughly 10 blocks. muerto — “dead per­son,” a slang word for a speed bump (prop­erly a “re­duc­tor,” or in some coun­tries, “topes”) par­quear — to park; more prop­erly, in some coun­tries, “esta­cionar” par­queo — park­ing lot peaje — toll­booth presa — traf­fic jam. “Vieras qué presa había en el cen­tro hoy” — “You wouldn't be­lieve what a traf­fic jam there was down­town to­day.” ride — ride, as in “¿Quieres un ride?” — “Do you want a ride?” In some coun­tries, this is called “un lev­an­tón” or “un aven­tón.” ro­tonda — round­about, traf­fic cir­cle ró­tulo — sign (of­ten called a “le­trero” in some coun­tries) trán­sito — traf­fic. You might ex­pect “trá­fico,” which is widely used in other coun­tries to mean road traf­fic, but in Costa Rica “Trá­fico” usu­ally means the po­lice who reg­u­late traf­fic. “Hay mu­cho trán­sito hoy en Es­cazú” — “There's a lot of traf­fic to­day in Es­cazú.”

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