llama vs. llama
How do I know the difference between llama (the animal) and llama (name) when reading in Spanish? Is it by using the context of the sentence or is there a discernable difference otherwise? I am trying to read a children's book without an English translation. Silly as it sounds, I am not sure if the book Tu mama es una llama' is asking if Your mama is a llama (the animal) or if it is asking Your mama is the one called/named . . . '
If it is a children's book, it is probably refering to the animal.
Llama doesn't mean name. Name is nombre. Llama comes from the verb llamar (to call). When talking about someone's name it also has a reflexive pronoun before it because It comes from the reflexive verb llamarse (to call oneself).
¿Cómo se llama ella? Literally, "How does she call herself'"
¿Cómo te llamas ? Literally, "How do you call yourself'"
Me llamo Enrique. I call myself Enrique.
Its all in the context of the word. For example in English we could say "The dog flies" which could mean that you have a magical pet that is able get up off the ground. Yet when we say "the dog's flies" we will assume that the dog is followed around by a group of insects. Now if you add more reference like "The dog grew wings and now the dog flies" you confirm the first statement by adding information that supports it.
The same holds true here with 'Llama'. In one case it could mean an animal from South America. In the second case it might mean a 'flame'
So depending on what your reading you could assume that since its a children's book, it is more than likely the animal as Cherry suggested. Otherwise the connotation of calling someone a flame (as was already said by Eddy) might not be a suitable subject for a children's book.
To fully appreciate this statement you must take it into context with all the surrounding information.
Hi sue, if I read this I would think of the animal.
Eddy is right, llama may mean flame, but here it would sound really strange.
it is the context of the sentence because llama also means a flame, and where love is concerned it also has a passionate meaning. tu mama es una llama could be saying your mother is passionate.