Old November 16, 2021, 06:15 AM
Tyrn Tyrn is offline
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What is it, really? The dictionary says it's either a "vine arbor", whatever it is, or a vineyard, or an earthenware jar. When a town is called Parral, which meaning is "natural"?
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Old November 16, 2021, 03:05 PM
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Spanish is a world language covering a vast area and perhaps a billion native speakers, and because of this, some vocabulary words change from country to country. The word parra means grapevine. It would make sense that parral would mean grape arbor. RAE backs this up, but this doesn't mean that in some countries, parral may mean other things.
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Old November 16, 2021, 07:56 PM
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I would say that 'vineyard' would be the 'natural' meaning of a town or city named Parral, but cities by that name are rare.
Did you have a question about a particular town or place?

Originally Posted by poli View Post
Spanish is a world language covering a vast area and perhaps a billion native speakers ...
According to a few websites that keep track of the languages spoken around the world, the number of native Spanish speakers globally is 460 million. Adding 74 million non-native speakers, the total world population speaking Spanish is 534 million. Ranking-wise, they are in fourth place, after English, Mandarin, and Hindi. (Berlitz figures quoted.)

The number of native speakers of English worldwide is 379 million, but there are 753 million non-native speakers of English in addition to that amount. So, English ranks first place, with 1.132 billion speakers globally.

Mandarin is close behind English, with 918 million native speakers and 199 million non-native speakers (totaling 1.117 billion speakers of the language worldwide).

Hindi comes in third, with 615 million speakers overall (341 million native and 274 million non-native speakers).

Languages are often ranked by number of native speakers. Mandarin has the highest number of native speakers in the world. Spanish is in second place. English comes in at third, and Hindi is in fourth place.
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Old November 17, 2021, 05:04 PM
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AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is offline
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The ending "-al" often means a place where many of the plants in the root of the word grow, either because someone planted them or because they are wild plants happening naturally in the area:

- Parral = plantío de parras (plantas que dan uvas) -> place where there are grapevines
- Maizal = plantío de maíz -> land where corn is cultivated
- Jaral = tierra donde han crecido muchas jaras -> land where wild plants named "jaras"
- Mezquital = región donde hay mezquites -> region where the tree-shrub called "mezquite" abounds

Some plants, because of their common use, like corn or grapevines, are obviously cultivated, some others are understood in context as being wild plants.

Al this said, the names of the cities or towns, don't mean anything special just because they became names of an inhabited place where there is no trace of those plants in sight.
There may be lots of reasons why this place would have been called Parral: it could have been the name of a town where the founder was originally from, a name he arbitrarily fancied, he started with a vineyard and over time it grew into a city, the main activity in the region is or was growing grapevines, the terrain where it lays has the shape of a clay pot...
The particular case of Parral, Chihuahua, according to Wikipedia it's called so because the father of the founder was born in a city in Spain called "Parral". In the case of Spain, it's likely that, at least in its origins, it was called like that because they produced grapes for making wine.
Piece of advice: avoid overthinking proper names; sometimes it's sheer haphazard happenings that give a place (or even a person) a name.
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