Do you speak Spanish?

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Do you speak Spanish?

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Sep 18, 2016 3:26 pm

If your instinct is to answer "No" to that question, not even that is wholly true, since the word "No" has the same meaning in either language!

There are a number of Spanish words that are immediately comprehensible to a native English-speaker, and many which are quite easy to guess. So just for fun, see what you make of these:

Adios / Hola

Aeropuerto

Agua

Amigo

Bueno

Casa / (Mi casa es tu casa)

España / Español

Inglés / Francés

Limon / Melon / Patatas

Mañana

Madre / Padre

Parasol

Pasaporte / Por favor / Grácias

Restaurante / Menu / Paella / Tortilla

Sí / No

Siesta

Señor / Señora

Sombrero

Un, dos, tres ...

Vino / Blanco / Tinto


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oftenwrong
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Re: Do you speak Spanish?

Post by boatlady on Sun Sep 18, 2016 5:13 pm

And yet --- visited a tapas bar with friends the other night and my (university educated, well travelled) companion purported not to understand the  items on the menu - apparently, being writ in  foreign is enough to make even familiar words incomprehensible
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Re: Do you speak Spanish?

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Sep 18, 2016 10:42 pm

Oh, dear me, yes! How I remember during a mis-spent youth consorting with student pals who spoke always in "inverted commas" to demonstrate quotation. Odd words of French, Latin or Spanish would ventilate their conversation to suggest a polyglot vocabulary. But on a day trip to Calais they would become tongue-tied mutes.

The converse is also true. In remote parts of Spain we could enter a bar and it would be obvious that we were foreign, meaning that the barman would just know that we would be talking foreign to him and he didn't understand foreign so looked like a rabbit caught in the headlights when we asked for a beer, "Pongame dos San Miguel, por favor." However the standard tourist communication by pointing would eventually achieve the desired outcome, despite the potential misunderstanding of two raised fingers.
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Re: Do you speak Spanish?

Post by boatlady on Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:45 am

On a recent trip to the Canaries one of my companions obviously felt that any attempt to speak Spanish was an affectation so extreme as to make him uncomfortable - although I had a lot of fun with my bits of pidgin Spanish and seemed to manage to communicate reasonably well with shopkeepers and the like, my friend inevitably 'waited in the street'

Attempts to give him and his wife the local words for anything just made them angry

Foreign is funny
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