The recient discovery of a very old document in an Italian village has shaken the foundations of Spanish language’s pride. According to a birth certificate found in the ruins of an ancient church, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was born in Castelnuovo Berardenga, in the province of Siena. During the demolition of the temple, a worker saw a bundle of papers, which were supposed to be hidden inside a blank wall.

The certificate is clear, Michele di Cervanti Savedara was born and lived for a few years in Italy. The linguistic community is devastated. Cervantes was the symbol of our literature and Spanish is associated with this genius.

Keep on reading to find out all the reactions and comments.

Did you really believed that news? Inocente, inocente. With this words in a proper entonation that sounds like a mockery, we call people who believe an astonishing but false news in the 28th of December. Today, we celebrate el Día de los Inocentes (Innocents Day), when we commemorate the massacre of all young male children by Herod the Great. This tragic event is now celebrated in Spain with the inherent feature that a child has: la inocencia (innocence) or the possibility of being fooled by a prankster.

Many newspapers highlight in their front page these unbelievable news; some of them clear up the situation inside the paper, but others wait until the following day to admit that all was a prank.

We have different ways to name these actions in Spanish that can be confused by English speakers:

  • Chiste: it’s a joke we tell somebody. They are often short stories with a funny but ambiguous ending we have to understand before starting to laugh.
  • Broma: it’s a joke or prank we make somebody: we execute an action that can fool that person. If that broma is not well received by the victim we call it broma pesada (practical joke).
  • Travesura: it’s the classical mischief we have to bear if we are around kids, not malicious but annoying. We call these boys traviesos (naughty).
  • Acoso: if these bromas pesadas or travesuras remain in time and the victim feels more hounded than fooled, we enter in dangerous situations: el acoso escolar (bullying), el acoso laboral (mobbing) or el acoso sexual en la red (grooming) are felonies that no tenemos que tomarnos a broma (we must take seriously).
  • Engaño, ardid, argucia: tricks in general; ways to fool or cheat somebody. Engaño is more general, ardid is more formal and obsolete and finally argucia is more used in legal jargón.

Our intention with this post today is not engañar nor acosar (of course) our students on, but just laugh together. If you want an idea for a good new year resolution you could book a free trial lesson here to study Spanish via Skype: esto no es una broma.

¡Feliz Día de los Inocentes y Feliz Año Nuevo 2017!