Thursday, 7 February 2013


Today's WOTD is: "carta" = letter
Image source: Google images

In Spanish, “carta” is a feminine noun of Latin origin, which means letter.

The noun “carta” is also often used to refer to:
  • The menu in a restaurant.
  • Each one of the cards in a pack/ deck of playing cards.
  • A marine navigation chart/ map
Some commonly used expressions with the word “carta” are:
  • A la carta (a la carte);
  • Carta abierta (open letter);
  • Carta administrativa (formal statement letter);
  • Carta a los Reyes Magos (letter to the three Wise Men*);
  • Carta astral (astrological chart);
  • Carta blanca (carte blanche/ complete freedom);
  • Carta circular (circular letter);
  • Carta comercial (business letter);
  • Carta convite (invitation letter- to some celebration);
  • Carta de aceptación (acceptance letter);
  • Carta de agradecimiento (thank you letter);
  • Carta de ajuste (TV test card);
  • Carta de amor (love letter);
  • Carta de apoyo (support letter);
  • Carta de autorización (authorisation letter);
  • Carta de aviso (notification letter);
  • Carta de baja voluntaria (resigning letter);
  • Carta de ciudadanía (citizenship charter);
  • Carta de ciudadanía (certificate of citizenship);
  • Carta de condolencia (letter of condolence);
  • Carta de despedida (farewell letter);
  • Carta de despido (dismissal letter);
  • Carta de envío (confirmation of dispatch of goods letter);
  • Carta de excusa (letter of apologies);
  • Carta de intención (letter of intent);
  • Carta de invitación (invitation letter- to support visa application/ immigration);
  • Carta de marear (nautical chart);
  • Carta de pago (payment record/ receipt);
  • Carta de porte (waybill);
  • Carta de postulación (cover letter);
  • Carta de presentación (letter of introduction/ cover letter);
  • Carta de préstamo (loan document/ “IOU”);
  • Carta de referencia (reference letter);
  • Carta de reclamo (complaint letter);
  • Carta de recomendación (reference letter);
  • Carta de renuncia (letter turning down a job offer);
  • Carta de renuncia (letter giving notice of leaving employment);
  • Carta de responsabilidad (letter of acceptance of responsibilities);
  • Carta de retiro (letter giving notice of leaving employment);
  • Carta de retiro de servicio (letter giving notice cancelling a service);
  • Carta de solicitud (application letter/ request letter);
  • Carta de vecindad (certificate of abode);
  • Carta de vinos (wine menu);
  • Carta denuncia (incident reporting letter);
  • Carta formal (formal letter);
  • Carta informal (informal letter);
  • Carta magna (written constitution);
  • Carta memorando (memorandum letter);
  • Carta memorandum (memorandum letter);
  • Carta oficial (official letter- formal letter to a public institution);
  • Carta ordinaria (ordinary/ non-urgent letter);
  • Carta pastoral (pastoral letter);
  • Carta poder (authorisation letter);
  • Carta urgente (urgent letter);
  • Cartas credenciales (diplomatic credentials/ letter of credence);
  • Conocer las cartas a alguien (to know what someone's is up to);
  • Dirigir una carta a alguien (to address a letter to someone);
  • Echar las cartas (fortune telling- with cards);
  • Enseñar las cartas (to lay the cards on the table);
  • Escribir una carta (to write a letter);
  • Poner las cartas boca arriba (to lay the cards on the table);
  • Irse de una buena carta (discard the wrong card/ to make a wrong choice);
  • Jugar a cartas vistas (to avoid risks/ to try to be in control/ to leave nothing to chance);
  • Jugarse todo a una carta (to face an all or nothing effort/ decision);
  • Jugárselo todo a una carta (to face an all or nothing effort/ decision);
  • No saber a que carta quedarse (to be undecided);
  • Tomar cartas en el asunto (to do something about it);

*NB Similar to letter sent to Santa.

Some examples of the use of the word "carta" or related words are:
  • Yo prefiero comer a la carta (I would rather eat 'a la carte');
  • Enviamos una carta abierta a la prensa (we sent an open letter to the press);
  • Tenemos carta blanca y podemos hacer lo que queramos (we have complete freedom and can do as we wish);
  • Cuidado, que te conocen las cartas (be careful, they know what you are up to);
  • Dirigiste la carta al director de recursos humanos, ¿verdad? (you addressed the letter to the HR Director, didn't you?);
  • ¿Trae mala suerte echar las cartas sin pagar? (is it unlucky to have your fortune told for free?);
  • Si no tienes nada que ocultar, enseña las cartas (if you have nothing to hide, lay your cards on the table);
  • Si no tienes nada que ocultar, pon las cartas boca arriba (if you have nothing to hide, lay your cards on the table);
  • Creo que te has ido de una buena carta y has perdido una gran oportunidad (I think you made the wrong choice and missed out on a great opportunity);
  • Tratándose de la familia prefiero jugar a cartas vistas (in matters relating to my family I would rather not take risks);
  • Creo que Pedro sabe que de esta vez se lo está jugando todo a una carta (I think Pedro knows that this time, it is all or nothing);
  • La verdad es que no sabemos a que carta quedarnos (the truth of the matter is that we don't know what to do);
  • Si siguen sin pagarnos, voy a tener que tomar cartas en el asunto (if they persist in not paying, I will have to do something about it); loves the word "carta" in the YouTube clip: Carta a los Reyes Magos 

For more on the word "carta", visit: Carta*

*NB 'Click' on the speaker icon next to the word “carta” in the link to hear the word pronounced.

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