What is the difference between cascada and catarata as translations for the English "waterfall"? Are they synonyms, or is there a difference?
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In some way are synonyms, but
¿Son las cataratas del Niágara cascadas? Sí.
Catarata refers to a large, rushing MASS of falling water. Cascada refers to a more gentle falling of water, usually broken up into smaller units called "waterfalls."
What passes for a waterfall can be classified into many different subtypes, not just casacadas y cataradas.
One doesn’t usually think of a “rapid” as one, but in a way it is. Indeed, Wikipedia mentions that:
Don’t confuse corridas de agua with corridas de toros, though. :)