Spanish subtitles: Alchemy

Again a new post in the series dedicated to Spanish videos with Spanish subtitles (in my opinion, one of the best ways to “train the ear”). This time, I present to you a new video from the Spanish TV program Cuarto Milenio (many thanks for pointing out your preferences in this respect in you comments!).

The topic of this video is the ancient philosophical, proto-scientific practice known as “alchemy” (in Spanish: alquimia). What is alchemy? What is its relationship with modern chemistry? What were the alchemists looking for?

About the accent: it’s Castilian Spanish, easy to recognize, as you may know, due to the differentiated pronunciation of /s/ and /z/ (or “soft” /c/). For example, in Latin American Spanish the words cien (100) and sien (temple) have the same pronunciation, while in Castilian Spanish the letter c in the word cien sounds like the th in “think”.

What’s the meaning of…?

  • Adeptos: initiated, adept.
  • Antecesor: predecessor.
  • Nada que ver con: nothing to do with.
  • Principios (in this context): principles.
  • Las oscuras tierras de Egipto: the dark lands of Egypt.
  • Alquimista: alchemist.
  • Centrarse en: focus on.
  • Piedra filosofal: philosopher’s stone.
  • Consecución de: achievement of.
  • Estado superior de existencia: higher state of existence.
  • Legajo: bundle of papers.

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