I switched my Facebook language to Spanish today, because I was typing Spanish lyrics and wanted the spell-check to make sure they were correct. Anyhow, I’ve left it up since then because it’s a nice reminder of when I took Spanish and it helps to bring it back a bit so I can understand some minor things again.
Something that really struck me is that in English, Facebook just says “Person 1 and Person 2 are now friends,” or “Person 1 is now friends with Person 2 and X other people.” (Sorry for the generics, but you understand the concept.) In Spanish, however, it says “Person 1 y Person 2 ahora son amigos.”
The interesting part of this is the word “son.” It comes from the verb “Ser” which means “to be.” There is also another Spanish verb which means “to be.” That verb is “Estar.” The difference is that Ser refers to things which are generally seen as permanent. You use it to describe someone’s nationality, their personality characteristics, their profession. Estar is used for things which are more temporary, such as moods, and locations. I found it really interesting that friendship, in Spanish terms, is considered a permanent or lasting state of being. That is such an impressive concept to me.