Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Spain Spanish kills me

In a good way.

I just didn't think that making the lisp sound would be so hard.

Today, I spent an hour reading out loud to my housemate and having her correct my pronunciation. Without a doubt the hardest words for me were the ones with -gua (ie agua) and the ones with that infamous Spanish lisp: presencia, imprescindible, incandescente. Major props to the Spaniards who actually do the ceceo. My mouth can not move fast enough to pronounce these words and have them sound good. Either I forget to do it, or there is something about having an /s/ in the word that bars me from creating that sound. In any case, sigo intentando. Tomorrow is my Spanish class, so hopefully my teacher will practice these sounds with me. I will speak fluently if it kills me (and it just might).

I love the Spanish accent. It's so crisp. I especially love how the older men talk because they tend to stress the latter part of an utterance in a way that seems uniquely Spanish. Before, I used to claim that my favorite Spanish accent was either that of Cuba, the DR, or PR, but the Spanish one has superseded them all, followed by the Argentinian which is just so melodious.

So as it stands, the differences I've noticed between Spain Spanish and Latin American Spanish are:

-Vale, hombre, vaya, gilipollas, hostia, de puta madre, capullo, menudo, la madre que me pario, madre mia, estar en el quinto pino, majo/a, joder, tio/a

- Dimunitives: In Latin America, diminutives seem to be much more widespread ie playita, camita, mihijito, etc.

- Different terms of endearment: I have yet to hear a Spaniard utter mijo/a. Instead, it's carino.

- Juice is zumo not jugo here. Bocadillo is sandwich, tarta is cake, torta is a slap.

- z and s do not sound the same. The former is an unvoiced interdental fricative like the -th of
thin. The latter sounds the way it does in English.

- Word final d --> unvoiced interdental fricative ie Valladolid --> Valladolith; verdad--> verdath

- Intervocalic d in past participles formed by -ado is usually is lost. Cuidado--> cuidao; dejado--> dejao

- -gua approximates an English w. I do not care what my housemate says.

Oh, and Spaniards seem to talk with the front of their mouth much more than Americans. I'm not sure if this is a Spanish thing, or this is truth in all Spanish speaking places.

That's all I've noticed so far apart from the obvious use of the vosotros in Spain.

1 comment:

  1. I can totally relate to the whole spanish pronunciation thing. 'D's are sometimes pronounced like 'th' and their 'b's sometimes like 'v's.

    When I first started learning spanish in Argentina, I immediately favoured the latin american accent as the pronunciation & other aspects of the language seemed a lot easier than the spanish from spain, especially the fact that they use vosotros in spain but not in latin america.

    But after watching so many spanish sitcoms/soaps from spain, I've become very accustomed to hearing the accent and as a result, more appreciative and interested in spain and its culture.