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spanish question

 
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jotham



Joined: 16 Nov 2006
Posts: 509

PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:48 pm    Post subject: spanish question Reply with quote

A poster who is familiar with Mexican and Venezuelan Spanish wanted to advertise for personal tutoring in spoken Spanish and in his ad he says, "Gracias por su atención, ¡espero conocer te pronto!" Another poster from Spain criticized him for using inconsistent pronouns, "su" and "te," which is textbook Spanish.

From what I've learned in linguistics, if a linguistic pattern is common among all strata of a society, such as in Venezuela or other country, it wouldn't do to call it a mistake by someone of another dialect or country. Some mentioned that it is common to mix up pronouns in Latin American countries. I'm just curious if anyone knows this to be true, and if this would be an issue that would qualify or disqualify someone from being a Spanish tutor.

It just seems to me like a British person saying my English wasn't proper because I say trunk instead of bonny. But I don't know how it stands in Spanish. Any thoughts?
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JulietHuynh



Joined: 01 Feb 2017
Posts: 9
Location: Texas, USA

PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a great question. I'm not a native speaker (I have a concentration in Spanish so I know very formal Spanish), but I did a quick corpus search using http://www.corpusdelespanol.org/web-dial/. I looked for "gracias por su atención", and I actually didn't find any instances of the informal second person use with the "su" within the first couple hundred hits. I'm sorry I'm not much help, but I hope this helps at least a little.

I do agree that if the only criticism is that the poster isn't using formal Spanish, then that's not much to complain about. Like English, we want learners of any L2 to be able to communicate effectively, and if that's an accepted form, then use it. Native speakers make errors all the time. Why does it have to be so glaring when non-native speakers do it?
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jotham



Joined: 16 Nov 2006
Posts: 509

PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JulietHuynh wrote:
This is a great question. I'm not a native speaker (I have a concentration in Spanish so I know very formal Spanish), but I did a quick corpus search using http://www.corpusdelespanol.org/web-dial/. I looked for "gracias por su atención", and I actually didn't find any instances of the informal second person use with the "su" within the first couple hundred hits. I'm sorry I'm not much help, but I hope this helps at least a little.

Thanks for your help, especially as I've never used a corpus before and not sure how to research it myself. Let me ask about your search, are you saying that "gracias por tu atención" is not common output according to the corpus? If so, that might imply if the poster had used the tu form to keep pronoun consistency, it might sound weird as it is uncommon in that particular phrase? Perhaps because such phrase might only be used in formal situations; one wouldn't normally say it among friends, for instance?

Quote:
I do agree that if the only criticism is that the poster isn't using formal Spanish, then that's not much to complain about. Like English, we want learners of any L2 to be able to communicate effectively, and if that's an accepted form, then use it. Native speakers make errors all the time. Why does it have to be so glaring when non-native speakers do it?

I don't think the complaint was for using formal Spanish (or informal) per se, but just the mixing of formal and informal when the audience is the same. It was an ad, and I thought perhaps he did that unconsciously to give the appearance of dignity, respect, yet kick it off with warmth and friendliness; not too distant. But I'm not a native speaker at all, I wouldn't have any idea how that comes off to native speakers, except that a native speaker from Madrid called it out as a mistake. Is it still a mistake in Latin America?
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