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Best and Worst Spanish?
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grahamb



Joined: 30 Apr 2003
Posts: 1349

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2004 10:19 am    Post subject: Chicago, Chicago. Reply with quote

Is that anywhere near where Wayne and Garth live?
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MELEE



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2583
Location: The Mexican Hinterland

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2004 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

naturegirl321 wrote:
Another thing I forgot to mention. when people stay away from their country, they tend to get a nuetral accent. For example, i've been away only two and a half years and when I go "Home", people ask me where I'm from.


I think this supports my original post. There is no "pure" Spanish. I live in Mexico now, but I've lived in Chile and Ecuador as well. I started learning Spanish in the US when I was 14 and I learned from a mixed hispanic community that was made up of Cubans, Guatemalans, Colombians, Venezuelans, Chileans, Mexicans, and the odd Spaniard. When I first came to live in Oaxaca, I had to learn a lot of new vocabulary, but I don't think I've picked up a Mexican accent and I hope I never do. I hope that I speak a Spanish any Spanish speaker in the world could understand--in other words with a nuetral accent. I also feel I'm able to understand Chileans and Cubans as well as Colombians and Mexicans. I'm not Mexican, and while I've made this my home, I'm not trying to go native. I don't want my students to speak English like an American(because that's not who they are), but I do want them to understand and be understood by any English speaker (native or not) anywhere in the world.

Oh, and of course I know that not everyone in Spain speaks Spanish, just as there are 52 distinct languages spoken in the state of Oaxaca.
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misterbrownpants



Joined: 04 Apr 2004
Posts: 70

PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 6:23 pm    Post subject: URUGUAY!! Reply with quote

The uruguayan accent is soo screwy!! im not sure if its the same as Argentina.. but maybe..
the y's are pronounced CH
as are the LL ... its way different from any other country.. but its great.. i love it...
im worried tho because im studying in Mexico for a year.. and my spanish is all taught uruguyan like.. soo it may be difficult to intercnage it.. im not sure..
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MELEE



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2583
Location: The Mexican Hinterland

PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2004 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brownpants,

Don't worry. At the end of six weeks (or less) you'll be right in the swing of things. And at least in my opinion, your Spanish will be better off for the variety you've added to it.
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MixtecaMike



Joined: 19 Nov 2003
Posts: 512
Location: Land of Sun, Sand and Sea

PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2004 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The worst Spanish in the world is that spoken by enclaves of ESL teachers who stick together in bunches and only speak Spanish with people who'd rather practice their English!

Where several posters on this forum live there are many English speakers who spend all their time in Spanish classes and still sound little better than the "no-speekee-eis-pan-nyol" parody of a B-movie.

Country-wise Guatemala and Mexico are both fairly straight-forward and easy to understand, but I love listening to tv programs from Argentina "Zho te dije a vos..."

The "best" form of a language is one that the people you interact with speak. That's what I tell my students, but in their hearts they know the best is the way I speak. Razz
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matttheboy



Joined: 01 Jul 2003
Posts: 854
Location: Valparaiso, Chile

PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2004 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ecuadorian Spanish is the purest form i`ve encountered in South America-there`s not too much slang and they pronounce pretty much what is written (it`s pretty much the same in Peru and Bolivia as well). Chilean Spanish is hideous with a slang which borders on the preposterous, ¿cachai? and Argentinian and Uruguayan Spanish are fun, especially the accent and use of `vos`instead of `tu` (with the accompanying change in the verb form as well), but pretty tricky to get a handle on (i learnt in Ecuador then came to Argentina before meeting my girlfiend in Chile so i have a rather bizarre mix of everything. My girlfriend berates me when i use Argentinian Spanish but seeing as i live in Argentina i can`t help but pick it up...)

However, once your Spanish is up to a decent standard however, you should be able to understand everyone. I`ve only been in South America for 8 months and didn`t speak a word before coming out but now have no real problems conversing with Spanish speakers from any country (with the exception of Spain-i don`t understand a word they say!). If you read up on some the differences before heading to other countries then you`ll know what to expect and will be more prepared-it helped me to know that Argentinians pronounced `ll`very differently before i arrived here for instance. There`s almost no preparation for Chilean Spanish though!

People are generally very friendly when you speak Spanish because you`re making an effort and they truly appreciate this. I`ve met people who`ve been travelling for over a year in South America and couldn`t say much more than `gracias` and who got angry with people who didn`t understand them. Truly astonishing and rather shameful. My view is why the hell should they speak English to you in their own country?

Make an effort to learn the language or you may as well live at home, Matt
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8815
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2004 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

matttheboy wrote:


but now have no real problems conversing with Spanish speakers from any country (with the exception of Spain-i don`t understand a word they say!).

Make an effort to learn the language or you may as well live at home, Matt


Hmm, I studied in Spain, hope I can understand the people in Peru. Rolling Eyes
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Gringo Greg



Joined: 19 Jan 2003
Posts: 251
Location: Everywhere and nowhere

PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2004 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I live in southern Thailand and I can get TV from Malaysia. They run a lot of telenovelas from Latin countries. I have managed to keep my listening up, though my speaking skills have dropped considerably. I find it easiest to understand the Mexican telenovelas and the hardest to understand was one from Venezuela. Just my opinion...
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moonraven



Joined: 24 Mar 2004
Posts: 3094

PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2004 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For mister brownpants:

Don't fuss about Uruguan Spanish not being understandable and/or accepted in Mexico. Eduardo Galeano always speaks to standing room only crowds in Bellas Artes when he comes here. No one minds at all that his "Ss" are invisible. We love him!

I find that how one relates to particular accents, pronunciations and modisms has a lot to do with how much you read. I would have had a hard time understanding the Spanish in Argentinian films if I had not read everything written by Borges and Cortázar. A lot also has to do with social class--in the Colombian film, "La vendedora de rosas" in many scenes they put subtitles--in SPANISH--as they were afraid that the audience wouldn't understand the street kids' lingo.

What pleases one person's ear may not be music to someone else's. I find Ecuadorean Spanish--especially on the coast--to be one long whine, and I couldn't wait to get away from that sound. Venezuelans probably speak more rapidly than other nationalities--and they certainly swallow more letters--and they don't understand Mexican modisms at all--despite the popularity of Mexican soap operas....Go figure.
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MELEE



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2583
Location: The Mexican Hinterland

PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2004 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

matttheboy wrote:
Chilean Spanish is hideous with a slang which borders on the preposterous, ¿cachai?



I love Chilean slang. It's great(or shall I say SUPER) to see a people take a colonial language and make it their own!

Do they still say me tinka (=pienso)?
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Weona



Joined: 11 Apr 2004
Posts: 166
Location: Chile

PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2004 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MELEE wrote:
Do they still say me tinka (=pienso)?


Yep! The lolos y lolas still say that... although I was under the impression that it was synonymous with the verb "querer". Like, "te tinkas ir al teatro esta noche?" Something like that... I don't know! Anyway, I don't hear too much slang from older generations... and I even had a Chilean host mother a while ago tell me she disliked speaking Chilean slang because it made her sound "uneducated". I thought that was interesting.

Anyway, I love Chilean Spanish, too! At first I found it very frustrating as they not only dropped a lot of consonants and even vowels but also just made up words. The slang, however, was the most difficult part... me cachai? Razz
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Jdub



Joined: 01 Jun 2004
Posts: 2
Location: Clemson, SC

PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bakan! Some peeps are familiar with the Chilean slang. This is a pretty cool topic. Chilean spanish is mad hard to understand. There is no real preparation for it. I like it though. I think like somebody else said, if you can understand the Chileans you can understand any country's Spanish.
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Munchen



Joined: 29 Apr 2003
Posts: 76

PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 1:13 am    Post subject: Accents Reply with quote

One Chilean gentlemen I met here in WDC area had absolutely dreadful Spanish. Think he told me he was from Northern Chile. He was around 60, but his 20ish aged sones were much easier to understand.

When I attended the Hispanic Studies program at the University of Valencia in Spain years ago, I remember our young, attractive grammar instructor came into class with her high boots and looked sharp. Of those memories, I recall the instant correction when anyone pronounced anything in LA Spanish. Like Cerveza, our instructor said, no, "thervetha"!!

Sort of like Oxford English in some circles would look down on US pronunciations. Same sort of snobbery, I suppose.

The finest Spanish, I thought, was around Salamanca, home of the prestigious university.
I was invited to participate in a radio discussion in which the station was located in a building at the Plaza Mayor. I was really impressed with the accent of the radio announcer who conducted the program. Had a truly great voice and crystal clear to understand.
Usually one will hear the finest examples anywhere from those in the media professions.
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8815
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 9:49 am    Post subject: Re: Accents Reply with quote

Munchen wrote:
I recall the instant correction when anyone pronounced anything in LA Spanish. Like Cerveza, our instructor said, no, "thervetha"!!

The finest Spanish, I thought, was around Salamanca, home of the prestigious university.
I was invited to participate in a radio discussion in which the station was located in a building at the Plaza Mayor. I was really impressed with the accent of the radio announcer who conducted the program. Had a truly great voice and crystal clear to understand.
Usually one will hear the finest examples anywhere from those in the media professions.


Oh you bet, that's where I studied, loved the accent in Salamanca!
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frijolita



Joined: 06 May 2004
Posts: 35
Location: Madrid

PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2004 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guatemalans speak pretty clear Spanish though I agree I think Colombia has the best accent. As for the worst, I would say maybe Dominican or Puerto Rican. They mix in a ton of English and make up new words. My roommate is from Argentina and she speaks reallly fast with an Italian accent it is sometimes hard to understand.
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