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Old November 14, 2021, 03:52 AM
Tyrn Tyrn is offline
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Countersign

Hi,

Password is contraseña . What's countersign in Spanish? The dictionary is not very clear about it.
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  #2  
Old November 14, 2021, 07:14 AM
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In English, countersign has two uses.
One is a signal, usually given in reply to another signal (and possibly just a sign that must be given for entry to some place).
The other is a signature on a document or check.

I suppose, since you've written contraseña as the word for 'password' in Spanish, that you're noticing that it's a cognate of 'countersign,' but turns out to be 'false friend.'

The signature one puts on a document or check is 'refrendo' or 'contrafirma' in Spanish.
The other Spanish word for the first meaning I gave for 'countersign' is 'señal'.

Last edited by Rusty; November 14, 2021 at 11:28 AM.
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Old November 14, 2021, 09:29 AM
Tyrn Tyrn is offline
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Señal, then. One has to be careful about the context.
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Old November 29, 2021, 04:40 AM
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we also use contraseña for entry to some place.
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Old December 01, 2021, 02:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBINDESBOIS View Post
we also use contraseña for entry to some place.
Of course you do. The question is, what do you call a response to contraseña, if one is required. In English it's countersign . In Spanish must be something else, inevitably.
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Old December 01, 2021, 10:02 PM
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When you want to enter a place and you have to say a code word to be let in, it's "santo y seña".

-Para entrar al cuartel hay que dar santo y seña.
-Si no dan santo y seña, no dejes pasar a nadie.

As far as I know, this came from the army. The secret words were the name of the saint of the day and some other word or expression. That way a group of soldiers recognized each other.


Side note: In Mexico, we also use "santo y seña" to express that someone told you a story with every little detail.
-Me contó santo y seña de la boda.
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Old December 06, 2021, 02:14 AM
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There must be also a correct reply to santo y seña...

The question turned out to be really complicated
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Old December 06, 2021, 10:54 PM
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It's not complicated when one is aware that context is everything, and that there are no isolated universal translations.

The RAE gives both expressions as synonymous, but as far as I've seen, the usage of two interactions is usually made by a "santo y seña" with a reply, which would be the "contraseña". This is why we use as translation of "password" too, I guess.

- ¿Quién anda ahí?
- Soy el cabo López. Quiero entrar.
- La casa azul.
- El perro verde.
- Puedes pasar.

Here are the dictionary's meanings of "contraseña". That may make things clearer.
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