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


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?

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Carpeta sounds like a rip-off from English to me. In Spain, we call it moqueta. The RAE dictionary says moqueta is a kind of cloth used for carpets, but we certainly use it to mean a "whole room carpet". – MikMik Jul 10 '13 at 5:48
Keep in mind that Mexican Spanish and U.S. Spanish are distinct dialects. – Flimzy Jul 10 '13 at 6:36
I don't think there is a specific term in mexican spanish for that. I have heard moqueta and alfombra. I haven't lived in mexico though so I'm not in a position to know. @Flimzy should know! :O) – Joze Jul 10 '13 at 9:07
Does he call his truck a camión or a troca? – Walter Mitty Jul 10 '13 at 12:20
@WalterMitty, I've heard the Spanglish term Vacunar la carpeta to mean Vacuum the carpet (not vaccinate the folder which is what it would mean in Spanish), among NYC Puerto Ricans. – deStrangis Jul 11 '13 at 10:05
up vote 8 down vote accepted

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

I think that if any Mexican Spanish 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 Spanish and such words are actually wrong said:

Parkear or parquear To park the car
Troca Pick up

These would be typical examples,

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No, the word for what is asking would be "moqueta", spanning the entire room. – JoulSauron Jul 12 '13 at 8:48
I never heard that word in my life, not in 3 mexican places I've lived for 21 years since I was born – diegoaguilar Jul 12 '13 at 13:46
@JoulSauron I've never heard moqueta. – Alfredo Osorio Jul 12 '13 at 20:24
"moqueta" is used (wrongly) in some parts of Spain. – Leonardo Herrera Jul 13 '13 at 18:02
Interesting! Where exactly @LeonardoHerrera? Andalucía? – diegoaguilar Jul 13 '13 at 18:39

In México you say "alfombra". Greetings

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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.

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I am from Monterrey a northern city of Mexico and the preferred term is "alfombra". "carpeta" is used as a synonym of a folder. – Alfredo Osorio Jul 10 '13 at 18:59

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)

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The language used by your contractor is not Spanish (be it Mexican Spanish 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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Mexican Spanish is not a dialect. – c.p. Jul 26 '13 at 17:26
@c.p. Unless you want to argue that it's instead a collection of dialects, you're completely wrong. – Michael Wolf May 9 '14 at 22:37
@MichaelWolf You're quite funny :D (I should consider the possibility you're statement is serious, though. In that case, care for providing the list of dialects you think there exist?) – c.p. May 11 '14 at 8:31

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.

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