When English-speaking people speak Spanish

Jordi   Sunday, June 13, 2004, 07:30 GMT
So sorry:
than instead of that
although instead of also
usually instead of udually
shun   Sunday, June 13, 2004, 08:56 GMT
us guys trying to speak french sound very awful and overall pretentious (not all but some of them), i prefer the british accent
Juan   Sunday, June 13, 2004, 09:04 GMT
<<So sorry:
than instead of that
although instead of also
usually instead of udually>>

Don't worry about that Jordi, typos are a part of writing in forums. You can't waste too much time proof reading this sort of stuff.
Xatufan   Sunday, June 13, 2004, 23:39 GMT
Hello! I know a lot about Spanish, and I can say that English-speakers have a very strange accent. For example, if they want to say vacío /bas'io/ (empty) they say /vaes'iou/. In /bas'io/ there's an "s", but is like the "th" in "thick" in Spain.
Xatufan   Monday, June 14, 2004, 00:07 GMT
"Nicaragua" is pronounced the same in all the Spanish word. There are some differences between American and Spanish accent. I watch Televisión Española every day, so I know a lot of differences. But, as Jordi said, Spanish is very similar in all the world. Someone from the Patagonia, Argentina can understand perfectly someone from Cataluña, Spain.
Here are some differences.

c: When it is before "e" or "i", it is pronunced like "th" in "thick" in Spain, but like the "c" in "practice" in America. Example: cero (zero) is /thero/ in Spain but /sero/ in America.

g: When it is before "e" or "i", it is pronounced like the "ch" in the Scottish word "loch" in Spain, but like the "h" in "ham" in America".

j: It is the same case that with "g", with the difference that this happens before all the vowels.

s: Like the "c" in "practice" in America, but a weird sound between the "c" of "practice" and the "sh" of "shoe" in Spain, especially before consonants. This difference is not always so clear. It is unknown by most people, and it isn't very important.

s: Also, when this letter is before consonants, in America it is pronounced like the "h" in ham. This is regarded as a sign of ignorance, and in formal speech, this mistake does not exist, so be careful.

z: The same case that with "C", with the difference that this happens especially when "z" is before a,o,u.
Juan   Monday, June 14, 2004, 01:07 GMT
<<. Due to the very simple vowel system in Spanish it is usually very hard for native speakers of Spanish to adopt a more complex system. That's what the whole "Spanish accent" is udually about. >>

That's very true :-) Spot on Jordi.

<<The English-speaking peoples of the world have a very similar accent when speaking Spanish. It is usually very hard for common European Spanish speakers to tell which English speaking country you're from just from hearing you. Most of them will say "acento inglés" and very rarely "acento americano". Maybe in South America they'll all think you've got "acento gringo" o "acento americano" even if you're from London. >>

Again, you hit it right on the nail! They all sound alike regardless of their background.
Estaban   Tuesday, June 15, 2004, 15:05 GMT
Most spanish speakers in the U.S. are mainly from the poor regions of Mexico, they are usually uneducated and their spanish is terrible. They also mix a lot of english words into their already bad spanish and butcher the language even more. Although they may have an accent, I've heard americans who studied spanish in school that have a better command of the language than many Mexicans in the U.S.
Damian   Tuesday, June 15, 2004, 16:55 GMT
Jordi: Please, please forgive me for not responding to your lovely post regarding the Spanish lnguage and its variations. It is so interesting and I am still studying it in detail. I really wish I knew more about the Spanish language then I would be able to appreciate your comments and comprehend more fully. I was aware that the Celtic accents and languages, and the relative sounds, are very useful in correct Spanish pronunciation. I feel a bit smug now!

I love the sound of the Spanish language. An observation...people speaking it appear to speak it much faster than other nationalities speaking their native tongues. It's so rapid it's unbelievable. In comparison, native English speech seems (to me anyway) to be positively snail like in pace.

As a Scot, I have NO problems pronouncing Welsh names. Celtic solidarity! :-) The Ll as in Llangollen holds no terrors for me!
Jordi   Tuesday, June 15, 2004, 18:48 GMT
Thanks for your comments. Regarding fastness in speech. When listening foreign languages you don't understand, you always have the feeling they are very fast or faster than your own. The reason is one doesn't know how many words, verbs, adjectives, etc.. there are in a sentence and it all seems a long dreadful chain.
I would agree, nevertheless, that Latin languages aren't really faster but very often louder. We're used to living and speaking outdoors and we never have to spend too many days indoors because of hail, storms and snows. Unless, of course, you're Scottish, Irish, from Northern or Southern England, from anywhere in the US, or from Australia and New Zealand; especially during or after rugby matches. Just listen to the British crowd around Benidorm. Of course, they've had a few beers too many. Therefore, it all depends on the situation. Perhaps, on the whole, what really happens is that Romance language speakers are more talkative. Then again I've never been fond of stereotypes. For instance, I'm the talkative one and my wife usually listens and speaks in a lower voice. Isn't that what always happens in all couples all over the world? She, of course, rules.
Damian   Tuesday, June 15, 2004, 23:10 GMT
Hola! Jordi!!!

They say it's always the quiet ones who really pull the strings! Thanks as ever for your explicit and interesting posts. It is late right now. Today has become yesterday and tomorrow today. Hasta luego! :-)
Joan   Wednesday, June 16, 2004, 06:56 GMT
Lo que a de bon sens, que se calhé.
Damian   Wednesday, June 16, 2004, 07:25 GMT
Jordi....help!!!! What did Joan say? I hope it was something nice...
Jordi   Wednesday, June 16, 2004, 11:31 GMT
If my Occitan isn't too rusty Joan (meaning John, by the way and not a girl's name in Occitan or Catalan, since that would be Joana) is:
"To have common sense (good sense) means to shut up". "Calhar" means "to remain silent".
A rough translation of an expression that I'm sure Joan could explain much better if he uses it . There is a somewhat similar phrase in Spanish which goes "en boca cerrada no entran moscas" "Flies never get into a shut mouth." What Joan is telling us is that silence is a virtue. I wouldn't always agree, of course. Another one which is exactly the same in Catalan, Occitan or Spanish is "Callar és morir" (Calhar es morir, in Occitan spelling) meaning "To remain silent is to die." It all depends on the situation and one should know when to speak or when to shut up. A difficult task, indeed.
Might Mick   Wednesday, June 16, 2004, 11:34 GMT
I though Juan was Spanish for John.
Jordi   Wednesday, June 16, 2004, 12:29 GMT
Juan is Spanish for John and Joan is Occitan and Catalan for John.