Sunday, May 24, 2009

Word of the Day: Naciente

Naciente is correctly used as the cognate of the English adjective "nascent".

In Costa Rica the word takes on a different meaning as a noun, referring to a natural spring that creates a small current of fresh, drinkable water. Much of the potable water in outside of San José comes from natural sources. While hiking through forests in the Costa Rican countryside I have often found nacientes. They serve as a good source of drinking water, especially when you haven't brought along enough of your own.

The Real Academia Española recognizes the noun naciente as a dinsticntly Costa Rican word. The Academy describes the gender of this noun as "ambiguous", but I have most often heard naciente preceded by feminine articles.

3 comments:

John said...

How we can use this in a sentence?
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Thomas Carmona said...

Great question. I assume you want examples in Spanish, so here you go:

La naciente es "el sitio donde nace o brota agua y forma una pequeña corriente". (This was taken from the definition in the Diccionario de la Lengua Española, Real Academia Española.)

Cuando caminamos por el bosque ayer, encontramos una naciente a la par del sendero de donde brotó agua pura. (English: When we walked through the forest yesterday, we found a natural spring from which pure water sprouted.)

Thomas Carmona said...

Correction: The English translation for the last sentence is actually "When we walked through the forest yesterday, we found a natural spring next to the trail from which pure water sprouted".

'A la par de', for those who aren't used to Costa Rican Spanish, is used to mean 'next to' or 'adjacent to' instead of the Spanish 'al lado de'.