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Spanish in a british accent

Spanish in a british accent

Old Oct 2nd 2009, 9:38 am
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Default Spanish in a british accent

This morning I had to get some petrol for my gas guzzling car. The one I go to in town is attended by guys who do the filling up for you.

I go there loads of times and each time, I have to say the amount at least three times. This morning I said "veinte" - a word I say quite easily.

Now I know I have an accent but it gets me down that I can't be understood easily. Or it could be that they are being "funny" with me.

Think I have to go to a different one which I can fill up myself.

Thought I would just have a moan.

Last edited by manamama; Oct 2nd 2009 at 9:40 am. Reason: mixed up my words
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Old Oct 2nd 2009, 9:41 am
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Default Re: Spanish in a british accent

Know the feeling! I'm OK saying "veinte" - for me the problem is "cuatro" (because I have difficulty with the letter "r") and it sometimes allegedly sounds like "ocho"....
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Old Oct 2nd 2009, 9:47 am
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Default Re: Spanish in a british accent

The word I had most trouble with was "clara" as in the Spanish equivalent of a shandy. It wasn't helped by the fact I'd be served by a Pole or Rumanian who didn't know what a clara was, even if they understood the pronunciation.
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Old Oct 2nd 2009, 9:50 am
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Default Re: Spanish in a british accent

I think this so much depends on the person you're speaking to - not only their attitude to foreigners speaking Spanish, but also maybe such trivia as whether they've just been a bit p'd off by a Brit for whatever reason, or pmt, or a row with the wife, or stuff like that. I think the instances of that are decreasing for me (being misunderstood, that is!) but I still have to repeat myself in circumstances when I think I've said something very clearly. Actually, around here it's probably cos I'm not dropping half the consonants & word endings like the locals

... yes, drinks seem a popular problem - say nube grande & they'll reply doble, ask for bocadillo de jamon y queso & they'll say mixta (even though jamon isn't jamon cocido, which you get in a mixta) ... oh, and off topic but while with drinks, it irks me that some places think cos you're not local, without asking they'll give you a cup & saucer rather than a glass for your coffee!
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Old Oct 2nd 2009, 9:56 am
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Default Re: Spanish in a british accent

I get the same kind of trouble. I think some petrol stations employ some fairly stupid people. I usually buy 40 euros worth of fuel at a time. The conversation very often goes like this.

Me: Quarenta (hands over 50 euro note and this is where the confusion begins).
Them: Cinquentas?
Me: No. Quarenta.

Even with my accent neither of those words sound similar.
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Old Oct 2nd 2009, 9:59 am
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Default Re: Spanish in a british accent

Originally Posted by fionamw
I think this so much depends on the person you're speaking to - not only their attitude to foreigners speaking Spanish, but also maybe such trivia as whether they've just been a bit p'd off by a Brit for whatever reason, or pmt, or a row with the wife, or stuff like that. I think the instances of that are decreasing for me (being misunderstood, that is!) but I still have to repeat myself in circumstances when I think I've said something very clearly. Actually, around here it's probably cos I'm not dropping half the consonants & word endings like the locals

... yes, drinks seem a popular problem - say nube grande & they'll reply doble, ask for bocadillo de jamon y queso & they'll say mixta (even though jamon isn't jamon cocido, which you get in a mixta) ... oh, and off topic but while with drinks, it irks me that some places think cos you're not local, without asking they'll give you a cup & saucer rather than a glass for your coffee!
yes, you're probably speaking way too clearly!


accent is something my students worry most about - I tell them not to worry, Spain is huge & there are many different spanish accents, just think how many different ones there are in the tiny UK!


I know a lovely scottish lady who has lived here half her life. She's totally fluent in spanish, married to a local policeman who speaks no english, 2 kids, speaks spanish at home

I suddenly noticed the other day that she speaks spanish with a really broad scottish accent!!
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Old Oct 2nd 2009, 10:10 am
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Default Re: Spanish in a british accent

Lived here many years now and like to think that my Spanish is ok. Took granchild to doctors yesterday (born here) and he spent the 10 minutes in the surgery correcting me in front of the doctor . He can get himself to the medical centre by himself next time!!
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Old Oct 2nd 2009, 10:19 am
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Default Re: Spanish in a british accent

Originally Posted by Sharon B
Lived here many years now and like to think that my Spanish is ok. Took granchild to doctors yesterday (born here) and he spent the 10 minutes in the surgery correcting me in front of the doctor . He can get himself to the medical centre by himself next time!!
of course kids will absorb a spanish accent - my kids take the pi$$ out of my accent all the time (but even they admit my pronunciation is good - they have to - spanish people have commented that my pronunciation is good - though they can't quite place my accent!)

dd1 even admitted that my accent is getting more 'spanish' yesterday though
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Old Oct 2nd 2009, 11:11 am
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Default Re: Spanish in a british accent

Originally Posted by lynnxa
of course kids will absorb a spanish accent - my kids take the pi$$ out of my accent all the time (but even they admit my pronunciation is good - they have to - spanish people have commented that my pronunciation is good - though they can't quite place my accent!)

dd1 even admitted that my accent is getting more 'spanish' yesterday though

I get really annoyed with my kids! They are constantly "knocking" my accent. If I ask them a particular word and repeat it after them, they always, without fail, keep trying to correct me. When I'm trying to speak spanish in shops, my kids will automatically laugh and correct me! I hate it! Sometimes I wonder why I even bother. I sound alright to me !

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Old Oct 2nd 2009, 11:23 am
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Default Re: Spanish in a british accent

Originally Posted by jojojojojojojojojojojojo
I get really annoyed with my kids! They are constantly "knocking" my accent. If I ask them a particular word and repeat it after them, they always, without fail, keep trying to correct me. When I'm trying to speak spanish in shops, my kids will automatically laugh and correct me! I hate it! Sometimes I wonder why I even bother. I sound alright to me !

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I have to say it makes my day when one of my 2 asks..........'how do you say............ in spanish!!


it doesn't happen often though
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Old Oct 2nd 2009, 11:56 am
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Default Re: Spanish in a british accent

Originally Posted by jojojojojojojojojojojojo
I get really annoyed with my kids! They are constantly "knocking" my accent. If I ask them a particular word and repeat it after them, they always, without fail, keep trying to correct me. When I'm trying to speak spanish in shops, my kids will automatically laugh and correct me! I hate it! Sometimes I wonder why I even bother. I sound alright to me !

Jo xxx
My eldest daughter does with me too. Especially when I say "ocho" or most words ending in an "o".

It's embarassing enough to speak spanish to someone without being sniggered at!

All part of the fun!!! Or is it?
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Old Oct 2nd 2009, 11:59 am
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Default Re: Spanish in a british accent

Originally Posted by lynnxa
I have to say it makes my day when one of my 2 asks..........'how do you say............ in spanish!!


it doesn't happen often though
I get my own back when my kids have french homework!!! I spent a lot of summers in France when I was growing up and I'm (I was) pretty much fluent!! In fact I blame my being able to speak french on a lot of my problems with speaking Spanish, I very often get confused "in situ" and come out with a kinda french, spanishy sort of nonsense!! Any excuse!!!

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Old Oct 2nd 2009, 12:03 pm
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Default Re: Spanish in a british accent

Originally Posted by manamama
My eldest daughter does with me too. Especially when I say "ocho" or most words ending in an "o".

It's embarassing enough to speak spanish to someone without being sniggered at!

All part of the fun!!! Or is it?
Yes, mine critise my "O"s. Its O not OH! and as for the spanish word for "now", according to my kids, I never get that right !!! ow-or-a???

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Old Oct 2nd 2009, 12:05 pm
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Default Re: Spanish in a british accent

What is odd is that the only people that seem to understand my spanish are the British LOL

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Old Oct 2nd 2009, 12:16 pm
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Default Re: Spanish in a british accent

Originally Posted by jojojojojojojojojojojojo
Yes, mine critise my "O"s. Its O not OH! and as for the spanish word for "now", according to my kids, I never get that right !!! ow-or-a???

Jo xxx
no, it's a-or-a

a as in hat

or as in more

then

a as in hat


put cuatro on at 3.30 today if you have spanish TV - fama a bailar!!

one of the choreographers is english & can't speak spanish

he say's a lot wrong - but he's trying at least

my pet peeve is his 'ahora' - he says ay (like in pay) - so it's ay-ora

they all keep correcting him - but he still says it his way - the important thing is he tries & they understand him!
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