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Labor, Trabajo: The Hard Worker's World

Este... Vamos a tratar de explicarles... este... la labor de la artesanía. Este... trabajo que llevamos acabo muchos jóvenes aquí en esta ciudad y...

We're going to try to explain... the... the work of crafts. This... work that many of us, young people carry out in this city and...

Captions 5-6, Javier Marin - Artesano Venezolano

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Nouns Labor (fem.) and trabajo (masc.) both mean "work" -- the opposite of retirement or rest. Venezuelan artisan Javier Marin uses the word interchangeably above to describe his subject: The work of local artisans, like himself, in the city of Coro, Venezuela.

Javier also uses the related verb trabajar ("to work") multiple times in his chat to describe how the work was done. Here, he talks about some of the materials they work with, such as glazed ceramic (el gres) and snail shells (los caracoles):


También trabajamos con el gres.

We also work with glazed ceramic.

Caption 26, Javier Marin - Artesano Venezolano

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También trabajamos un poco con lo que son este... las piezas del mar, los caracoles.

We also work a little bit with... parts of the sea, seashells.

Captions 54-55, Javier Marin - Artesano Venezolano

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When describing the employment history of his father, the verb trabajar pops up yet again. At this point in the video, Javier points to the building where his father worked in the '50s:


Mi padre antiguamente en los años cincuenta este... trabajó acá en este edificio.

Long time ago, in the fifties, my father... worked here in this building.

Captions 73-74, Javier Marin - Artesano Venezolano

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One line later, Javier employs the synonymous (though less common) verb laborar to describe what his dad's job was:


Laboró como telegrafista con el... con el código morse.

He worked as a telegrapher with the... with the morse code.

Captions 76-77, Javier Marin - Artesano Venezolano

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To buy time while thinking of synonyms for oft-repeated words, you'll note that Javier says este... a lot. It's a verbal tic repeated all over Latin America -- on TV talk shows and radio interviews, for example. Non-native speakers who have the habit of saying "um" over and over might want to replace their um's with "este..." if they hope to be mistaken for a native Spanish speaker. You simply can't say "um" in the middle of a Spanish sentence without someone figuring out that you're not speaking your mother tongue.


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Caption 77, 76, 74, 73, 55, 54, 26, 6, 5

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