Friday, May 26, 2006

A few vagaries of the Spanish language

Five days and 20 hours of Spanish later, the realization that learning a language includes re-learning your grammar, can be rather daunting to say the least. See, the language seems quite straightforward - but the minute you have rules, everything gets spoilt.

Verbs: regular, irregular, reflexive, infinitive, 1st person, 2nd person, 3rd person, tenses, participles and the list goes on. Do you remember this stuff from school?

To further explain the problem here: Every verb form (and there are 6 basic forms of every verb) has a different way of using a word before and after the verb. In short, there are 36 ways of using every verb, dependent on situation. And that’s just for the verbs. Need I say more?

Add to that the fact that I cannot say the Spanish alphabet properly and that my vocabulary is 17 words, I have a bit of a task on my hands. However, one of the comforting factors is that Spaniards speak at the rate of 4 words a second, so if can put enough words together quick enough, no matter what they are, I think I can wing it! :) Apparently, Español is one of the easiest languages to learn.

Another interesting thing about the language, is how its similarity and dissimilarity to English is extreme.

Por ejample: (For example)

Similar = Similardo
Clear = Claro
Different = Differente
Patata = Potato
Tomate = Tomato
Cola = Cacoa
Experience = Experiente
Football = Futball
Equal = Egual

And on the other hand:

Bread = Pan (?)
Chair = Sila
Cucumber = Pepino
Blue = Azul
Bathroom = Lavabo
Prawns = Gambia

Drink = Beber
Us = Nosotros (!)
Them = Vosotros (!!)

Also things like:
Pero = But
Perro = Dog!

Anos = Year
Anus = Ass!

Por que= Why; Porque (one word) = Because ......How are you supposed to know the difference when someone speaks!?

ANNNDDD, to add to all of this, the books we have are entirely in Spanish. Not a word of ingles, and no existence of any translations. *sigh*

I have no doubt I will pick up the language. I just wonder if I will pick up the right form of the language! Comprendo?

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