Spanish Language Questions

Dec 27th, 2012, 05:44 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 98
Spanish Language Questions

During my upcoming visit to Spain, I hope to speak as much Spanish as possible. I have obtained a few phrasebooks, and am also working through the Pimsleur audio language course. There is conflicting information and pronunciations between the sources, and I hope to resolve the issues, so I can learn correctly. Might there be someone fluent in the European Spanish language, who could help with occasional questions?
lamogood is offline  
Dec 27th, 2012, 05:56 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 272
I speak some Spanish and my experience has been that if your Spanish is clear, although not necessarily of the local pronounciation, you are usually okay. For example, my Latin Spanish says "gracias" but in Spain it would be pronounced like "grathias", yet everyone knows what was said.

I apologize that I'm not really answering your question, but I hope it provides encouragement.
CubFanAlways is offline  
Dec 27th, 2012, 06:13 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 46,089
It depends to some extent on what part of Spain you are traveling to. There are many online pronunciation guides for all languages. Google.
StCirq is online now  
Dec 27th, 2012, 06:27 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 13,439
what CubFan said
Do not worry....
danon is online now  
Dec 27th, 2012, 08:27 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,911
The Berlitz phrase books use a pronunciation guide for the British tongue. The Barron's series is American oriented.
spaarne is offline  
Dec 28th, 2012, 02:59 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 16,628
Just note that Spanish is only one of the local languages spoken in Spain by the locals.
bilboburgler is online now  
Dec 28th, 2012, 09:03 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,469
I wouldn't worry about pronunciation that much if you can actually say something. They are used to various accents. I believe Pimsleur has people from South America on their Spanish tapes, and they pronounce words differently than people in Spain. At least that's what I remember, they had a very strong accent that sounded Argentinean or something, as I recall. And some words are different, of course, such as the word commonly used for "to drive" or car or toilets (as in public rest rooms).
Christina is online now  
Dec 28th, 2012, 09:16 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 34
If you've got Skype, sign up to a free conversation exchange site like this one: http://www.conversationexchange.com/...nguage=Spanish
Xircal is offline  
Dec 28th, 2012, 09:17 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
There are tremendous differences in pronunciation between various areas of Spain - never mind other Spanish - speaking countries.

When my mother (91) took Spanish in high school they were taught Castilian Spanish (that spoken in the area around Madrid - with the "th" sounds). Her brother spoke that on a visit to the south of Spain and was told he had an aristocratic (not sure if this is good or not) accent.

When I went to high school we were taught Mexican Spanish as the standard (no "th" sounds). And I had no trouble being understood anyplace in Spain (well, at least my accent, although my vocabulary could have used some help).

So as long as you speak clearly and slowly - people should be able to understand you.
nytraveler is offline  
Dec 28th, 2012, 11:02 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,568
They may understand me, but I seldom understand them when they answer in their rapid, locally accented Spanish.
kayd is offline  
Dec 28th, 2012, 11:22 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 12,574
I learned Spanish in California from a combo of high school and college courses, speaking it to Mexicans and Central Americans, and then brushing up with a Berlitz audio course. I didn't have any trouble making myself understood in Spain, even with my non-Spanish pronounciation.
november_moon is offline  
Dec 28th, 2012, 11:34 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,326
Loads of Latin Americans live and work in Spain, so locals are used to various accents, pronunciations and vocabularies.
Alec is offline  
Dec 28th, 2012, 11:48 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
The key is "mas despacio, por favor".

Always works for me.
nytraveler is offline  
Dec 28th, 2012, 12:02 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,522
My few spainish phrases were commenrted on by a cab driver and in english..Senora your Spanish is very tijuana!!! LOL I did, however get by, being understood and understanding using what I had/have and lots of hand gesturing and smiles.. Not to worry!!!
amer_can is offline  
Dec 28th, 2012, 12:03 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,522
Is spainish a Spanish word. HAHAHA.., Don't use it!!!
amer_can is offline  
Dec 28th, 2012, 01:28 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 716
The Spanish are very warm and forgiving when you try to speak Spanish.

And in Spain it is not HAHAHA but jajajaja.

And wifi is pronounced wee-fee.
Golemtoo is offline  
Dec 28th, 2012, 01:35 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 11,811
There may be variations in vocabulary as well as in pronunciation. In Mexico, "computer" could very well be "computadora," whereas in Spain it would be "ordenador." But that's just in a few words.

My Spanish teachers have mostly been South Americans or Americans. (My best teacher was an American who had learned her Spanish in Mexico.)

Spaniards had no difficult understanding my Spanish, and I didn't have much problem understanding them, as long as they didn't speak too fast.

In 2011 was heading out to the Madrid airport in a taxi. The driver was telling me something he was hearing on the radio. He was quite excited, and I finally understood enough to learn that he was telling me the American forces had killed Osama bin Laden. For some reason it was especially gratifying to me to know that the information had been communicated to me in Spanish.
Pegontheroad is offline  
Dec 28th, 2012, 01:37 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,449
They may understand me, but I seldom understand them when they answer in their rapid, locally accented Spanish.>>

that's not restricted to spanish. it's common with whatever language you are trying to learn. but after a while somehow it just "clicks" - even if you don't understand every word, you'll start to get the gist. The trick is to go with the flow and to smile a lot!
annhig is online now  
Dec 28th, 2012, 01:37 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 11,811
One of my favorite Spanish signs was one that said "liquidación bestial." I finally figured out it mean something like "monstrous sale." But it sure did look funny at first glance.
Pegontheroad is offline  
Dec 28th, 2012, 01:41 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,449
love it, peg.

there's an english road sign that always makes me look twice: "heavy plant crossing"; I wonder what non-english speakers make of that!
annhig is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:44 AM.