The carpet I am referring to is a large cloth that spans the entire room. It is not an area rug.

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I have a Mexican contractor that is renovating my house. When referring to carpet, I always say to him alfombra, but he always says back to me carpeta. It sounds like a spinoff of the English equivalent. It is strange that Google translator says carpeta is not carpet but rather a folder. Am I saying carpet wrong or is my contractor saying it wrong?



The only usual word for "carpet" in Mexican is alfombra.

I think that if any Mexican speaker says carpeta is beacause either he lives in the North border or he"s been raised in a multicultural enviroment, in this case with American culture.

So, there are many "words" Mexican people from borders or people living in USA which they use in their daily life adapting English words to and such words are actually wrong said:

Parkear or parquear To park the car Troca Pick up

These would be typical examples,




Besides alfombra it"s not uncommon in northern Mexico (at least in Chihuahua) to use tapete (while that mostly refers to rug it"s also a valid word for carpet)

I believe the term carpeta is used primarily in the U.S., and likely in northern regions of Mexico. Alfombra is the preferred term in most of Mexico.

Carpet = alfombra

I am Mexican and grew up in Tijuana. I have been living in USA for about 8 years and found out that a lot of Mexican people use carpeta to refer to a carpet. But that"s wrong....

Carpeta in Mexico is a binder.

In the state of Veracruz, alfombra is used less than tapete. Tapete is thinner and more affordable. Alfombra is thicker and more luxurious. It is probably more elegant looking and the tapete is more rustic looking. Also, the tapete is probably smaller than the alfombra.

I never heard carpeta. It may be that this workman picked it up from other workmen. He might have gotten it from a so-called bilingual employee at the local Home Depot. He might have gotten in the habit of using it because it made communicating with anglo clients easier. Maybe he"s from a region in Mexico where that term is generally used for carpets and rugs.

The language used by your contractor is not (be it Mexican or a dialect), but rather Spanglish.

In fact this is the very example used in BBC article describing the phenomenon.

"Tienes que vacuumclinear la carpeta en la yarda porque tiene un damage".

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I lived for 20 plus years in Cd. Juarez, Chihuahua. From what I remember "carpeta" was the three-ring binder (not the "folder". In Juarez the "folder" was just called a "folder"). "Alfrombra" it was given to both the "carpet" and "area rug". But DarkAjax is right. In Chihuahua the "area rug" can also be called "tapete". At the same time the "welcome mat" or "doormat" was also called "tapete". Like I said before, that was back when I lived in Cd. Juarez......Damn, I didn"t know it was this hard to be bilingual.

I"ve heard "carpeta" (yes, literally "folder," but used to mean wall-to-wall carpet) commonly in the Denver area. I"d consider it to be a Spanglish term, typical not just among contractors, but maybe any who live someplace in the USA where wall-to-wall carpet is popular. For what it"s worth, "alfombra" seems to sound like "rug" to some around here. To some extent, usage defines meaning, in my opinion, as much as I dislike certain trends.

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