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Espanol - theory vs reality!

Espanol - theory vs reality!

Old May 9th 2010, 11:07 pm
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Default Re: Espanol - theory vs reality!

To the OP:
I wouldn't be too concerned about the correct use of the spanish tenses (subjuntivo and the like). There's far more redundancy (in terms of phonetics and grammar) built into spanish (and latin derived languages) than in english, therefore most people should be able to understand you even if you use a 'regularized', incorrect verbal form.

In fact, quite a big chunk of spanish population have problems with the 'subjuntivo'...

guido
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Old May 11th 2010, 1:34 pm
  #92  
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Default Re: Espanol - theory vs reality!

The historian Paul Preston, speaking in Spanish. I have also heard others British speaking Spanish (I think that the few who speak it) in perfect Spanish, without accent

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Old May 11th 2010, 1:50 pm
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Default Re: Espanol - theory vs reality!

Originally Posted by Relampago
The historian Paul Preston, speaking in Spanish. I have also heard others British speaking Spanish (I think that the few who speak it) in perfect Spanish, without accent
http://youtube.com/watch?v=ucEAc4HqWXw
Practice, practice and practice. No more mystery
He speaks very, very well, but I can just about catch his British accent, just in some vowels

He has less of an accent than Michael Robinson though, who can be a bit difficult to understand at times (although not in this interview).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7NeWtmEhs8

Btw, nothing wrong with having an accent as long as you can be understood!

I dont quite agree with guidoman, knowing the spanish tenses are very important otherwise you can get in a real mess when speaking (you have to choose one of the 50 or so variations!). The only exception is the subjunctive which you can get away with. Although people will be very impressed if you do always use it correctly!
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Old May 11th 2010, 2:30 pm
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Default Re: Espanol - theory vs reality!

Originally Posted by cricketman
He speaks very, very well, but I can just about catch his British accent, just in some vowels

He has less of an accent than Michael Robinson though, who can be a bit difficult to understand at times (although not in this interview).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7NeWtmEhs8

Btw, nothing wrong with having an accent as long as you can be understood!

I dont quite agree with guidoman, knowing the spanish tenses are very important otherwise you can get in a real mess when speaking (you have to choose one of the 50 or so variations!). The only exception is the subjunctive which you can get away with. Although people will be very impressed if you do always use it correctly!
Evidently, the accent is irrelevant

Last edited by Relampago; May 11th 2010 at 2:42 pm.
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Old May 16th 2010, 4:16 pm
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Default Re: Espanol - theory vs reality!

One of the things that really irritates me is the way than many of the contributors to Fora in Spain denigrate the efforts of their fellow countrymen to speak a foreign language. They often finish their diatribe with, "The Brits must be the worst in Europe at speaking a foreign language". Well my experience this morning was different.

This morning I was in the Parque Genovese in Cadiz at the small outdoor cafe and there were two cruise liners at the dock and the park was overflowing with passengers taking in the sights and hoping to get a drink.

The two Spanish waiters were almost totally overwhelmed with people shouting at them in English, the Germans were counting upwards, Ein-zwei-drei etc.......in cadence until they got to the number of coffees they wanted. If the waiter didn't understand they started again.

There were four women sat next to us who one would swear were Spanish but they weren't and kept shouting at the waiter in English. In hindsight they may have been speaking Portugese one of the liners had come from South America.

The only man who kept a level head and got what he wanted was a Swiss architect with his wife sitting next to us. We had a cordial discussion with him and went on our way.

When we returned after lunch the passengers had gone back to their ships and sanity prevailed. The cafe had been taken over again by the Spanish who were having lunch so we sat down had a coffee and returned home.

And the moral is that Brits who speak Spanish are no different from other groups in the world some are good some are bad and the rest somewhere in between.

Jim
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Old May 16th 2010, 4:21 pm
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Default Re: Espanol - theory vs reality!

Originally Posted by Bigger Jim
One of the things that really irritates me is the way than many of the contributors to Fora in Spain denigrate the efforts of their fellow countrymen to speak a foreign language. They often finish their diatribe with, "The Brits must be the worst in Europe at speaking a foreign language". Well my experience this morning was different.

This morning I was in the Parque Genovese in Cadiz at the small outdoor cafe and there were two cruise liners at the dock and the park was overflowing with passengers taking in the sights and hoping to get a drink.

The two Spanish waiters were almost totally overwhelmed with people shouting at them in English, the Germans were counting upwards, Ein-zwei-drei etc.......in cadence until they got to the number of coffees they wanted. If the waiter didn't understand they started again.

There were four women sat next to us who one would swear were Spanish but they weren't and kept shouting at the waiter in English. In hindsight they may have been speaking Portugese one of the liners had come from South America.

The only man who kept a level head and got what he wanted was a Swiss architect with his wife sitting next to us. We had a cordial discussion with him and went on our way.

When we returned after lunch the passengers had gone back to their ships and sanity prevailed. The cafe had been taken over again by the Spanish who were having lunch so we sat down had a coffee and returned home.

And the moral is that Brits who speak Spanish are no different from other groups in the world some are good some are bad and the rest somewhere in between.

Jim
Perhaps your moral should be that cruise liner passengers are least likely to know a foreign language...

I agree though, I think there are more Brits around now who make the effort. It's always going to be difficult for older people to learn a new language nevertheless.
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Old May 17th 2010, 5:23 pm
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Default Re: Espanol - theory vs reality!

Originally Posted by steviedeluxe
Perhaps your moral should be ....
....... avoid where the tourists go
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Old May 17th 2010, 7:42 pm
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Default Re: Espanol - theory vs reality!

Originally Posted by steviedeluxe
Perhaps your moral should be that cruise liner passengers are least likely to know a foreign language...
Quite the opposite really they all seemed to know a foreign language but it wasn't Spanish.

Originally Posted by missile
....... avoid where the tourists go
Bit difficult on the Costa del Luz as this part seems to be where most Germans go and I can't blame them. Spent 5 years in Germany and Berlin and found they were some of the nicest people you could meet but they seemed to change when they went on holiday and some could be really obnoxious. Bit like us I suppose.

Learnt my Spanish in Gib in the early fifties where we were taught by the Christian Brothers who used to flick a leather strap out of there cuffs when you made a mistake. But seemed to work, on me anyway.

Jim
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Old May 18th 2010, 10:35 am
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Default Re: Espanol - theory vs reality!

Originally Posted by Bigger Jim
One of the things that really irritates me is the way than many of the contributors to Fora in Spain denigrate the efforts of their fellow countrymen to speak a foreign language. They often finish their diatribe with, "The Brits must be the worst in Europe at speaking a foreign language". Well my experience this morning was different.

This morning I was in the Parque Genovese in Cadiz at the small outdoor cafe and there were two cruise liners at the dock and the park was overflowing with passengers taking in the sights and hoping to get a drink.

The two Spanish waiters were almost totally overwhelmed with people shouting at them in English, the Germans were counting upwards, Ein-zwei-drei etc.......in cadence until they got to the number of coffees they wanted. If the waiter didn't understand they started again.

There were four women sat next to us who one would swear were Spanish but they weren't and kept shouting at the waiter in English. In hindsight they may have been speaking Portugese one of the liners had come from South America.

The only man who kept a level head and got what he wanted was a Swiss architect with his wife sitting next to us. We had a cordial discussion with him and went on our way.

When we returned after lunch the passengers had gone back to their ships and sanity prevailed. The cafe had been taken over again by the Spanish who were having lunch so we sat down had a coffee and returned home.

And the moral is that Brits who speak Spanish are no different from other groups in the world some are good some are bad and the rest somewhere in between.

Jim
Agree.

I have seen on many occasions non-Brits using English to berate Spanish checkout girls/bad drivers or whatever - it really pisses me off.

Also, it is true that SOME Brits who have lived in Spain for years haven't learned a single word of Spanish which is pretty poor but I firmly believe that the Brits-are-really-bad-at-languages fallacy is exactly that.

The problem is that the rest of the world speaks English and that makes them able to communicate in a foreign language anywhere in the world. The equivalent of that feat for an English speaker would be to learn every language for every country they visit which just isn't going to happen - and anyway isn't necessary.

I see no evidence that Brits are any worse than any other nationality at learning the language of the country they have chosen to live in/visit.

I suspect a higher percentage of Brits than Spanish speak German and similarly a higher percentage of Brits than French speak Spanish.

The exception to all of this are the Dutch who speak every language including Venusian and Klingon and put the rest of the world to shame.
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Old May 18th 2010, 5:44 pm
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Default Re: Espanol - theory vs reality!

Originally Posted by jimenato
Agree.

I have seen on many occasions non-Brits using English to berate Spanish checkout girls/bad drivers or whatever - it really pisses me off.

Also, it is true that SOME Brits who have lived in Spain for years haven't learned a single word of Spanish which is pretty poor but I firmly believe that the Brits-are-really-bad-at-languages fallacy is exactly that.

The problem is that the rest of the world speaks English and that makes them able to communicate in a foreign language anywhere in the world. The equivalent of that feat for an English speaker would be to learn every language for every country they visit which just isn't going to happen - and anyway isn't necessary.

I see no evidence that Brits are any worse than any other nationality at learning the language of the country they have chosen to live in/visit.

I suspect a higher percentage of Brits than Spanish speak German and similarly a higher percentage of Brits than French speak Spanish.

The exception to all of this are the Dutch who speak every language including Venusian and Klingon and put the rest of the world to shame.
Maybe because they have the option to learn them all at school, where in UK schools you are lucky to have a choice of one language to learn.
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Old May 18th 2010, 6:28 pm
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Default Re: Espanol - theory vs reality!

Originally Posted by jdr
Maybe because they have the option to learn them all at school, where in UK schools you are lucky to have a choice of one language to learn.
Quite, the Dutch go even further a lot of their University courses are carried out almost completely in English.

Jim
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Old May 18th 2010, 9:38 pm
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Default Re: Espanol - theory vs reality!

Originally Posted by Bigger Jim
Quite, the Dutch go even further a lot of their University courses are carried out almost completely in English.

Jim
In the Arabic speaking world, ALL university education is conducted in English (or so I was told when I was working in Saudi Arabia 15 years ago - I have no reason to believe it's changed)
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Old May 21st 2010, 2:15 pm
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Default Re: Espanol - theory vs reality!

Originally Posted by jdr
Maybe because they have the option to learn them all at school, where in UK schools you are lucky to have a choice of one language to learn.
Agree with this sadly, something that needs to change. In my School we had to learn French, when it came time to pick our GCSE's Spanish was an option but only 6 of my year (including me) wanted to learn it and they dropped it.

Being a stroppy teen I took my resentment of this decision out on French and put zero effort into it and regret it now! Been teaching myself Spanish the last few months though and enjoying it immensely! Does anyone have any tips for the rolled R's? I just can't do them.
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Old May 21st 2010, 4:07 pm
  #104  
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Default Re: Espanol - theory vs reality!

Originally Posted by KrisL
Agree with this sadly, something that needs to change. In my School we had to learn French, when it came time to pick our GCSE's Spanish was an option but only 6 of my year (including me) wanted to learn it and they dropped it.

Being a stroppy teen I took my resentment of this decision out on French and put zero effort into it and regret it now! Been teaching myself Spanish the last few months though and enjoying it immensely! Does anyone have any tips for the rolled R's? I just can't do them.
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Old May 21st 2010, 6:20 pm
  #105  
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Default Re: Espanol - theory vs reality!

Thank you very much for the clip, I am finding it very useful brecause I am prrrracticing my Scottish accent......

How arrrre yooou?
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