Spanish fast talkers...can you repeat that?

Mari   Thu Mar 09, 2006 6:44 pm GMT
Thanks Tiffany.
It is hard for me to think that I speak fast; a lot of people "speak fast" according to those (like myself) who have to struggle to grasp the sentences.

Uriel   Thu Mar 09, 2006 7:59 pm GMT
"Spic" is an unpleasant nickname for "hispanic". Unless you are one, and you're joking around, of course, as in John Leguizamo's "Spic-o-rama" comedy act.
BNP   Thu Mar 09, 2006 9:08 pm GMT
" "Spic" is an unpleasant nickname for "hispanic". Unless you are one"

I most definately am not one of those things.
Tiffany   Fri Mar 10, 2006 1:00 am GMT
Here is a relevant article I found on .

I believe the study I read (I will try to find it so I can link it back) says that on average every language is spoken with the same number of sounds per minute. The point was that the rate of speech is highly individual and cannot be judged just by the language spoken. As the article I linked points out, of course the structure of a language (Spanish, like many Romance languages, is very vowel friendly) might make it easier to "blur" words together. But this does not mean the speaker is actually physically speaking faster.
Tiffany   Fri Mar 10, 2006 1:15 am GMT
Reading the article more thoroughly, I realize there is a note at the end that says studies have found that Spanish is spoken faster than English because of the vowel-consonant-vowel pattern. Perhaps I am mistaken about the study on all languages being spoken at a similar rate because I can't find it.

Nonetheless, the bigger point remains and is covered in the article: most likely, the reason for your perception of them talking ultra fast is because you do not know enough of the langauge.

Personally, when I was learning Italian, I had the notion that Italian was spoken fast. So what did I do? I tried to speak fast when speaking Italian. I got very funny reactions and many questions from natives, especially my husband, like "Why are you speaking so fast?" I replied, "I'm trying to speak like a native." The answer, "No one speaks fast like you. If they did, they'd be just as hard to understand."

Now, to me, they don't seem to speak on average any faster than we English speakers do. Of course, my sister-in-law seems to speak faster than my husband, but they are both native Italian speakers. My sister speaks faster than I do - and we are both native English speakers. Highly individual.
Mari   Fri Mar 10, 2006 5:51 pm GMT
Tiffany, are you saying that trying to speak like the "faster" natives helped you??
I'm not so sure about Italian, but in Spanish, informal words that techincally "aren't real Spanish" are used commonly. Is that true for other languages? Like Italian>?
////ex. some kids joke around when they are replying to a teacher; instead of "Si" (or yes) they say "Simon". [Simon isn't said like the name in English, 1st syllable is actually pronounced 'see' ]
Tiffany   Fri Mar 10, 2006 6:21 pm GMT
No, more than one native told me to cut it out and speak normally. I do speak at a normal pace now and I don't think t is slower than any of the natives.

Point: My perception at the beginning that Italian natives spoke "fast" was incorrect. They do not speak faster than any native English speaker. When they are learning English too, they have the same complaint heard around the globe - "But they speak so fast, how will I ever learn?!"
Mari   Fri Mar 10, 2006 7:39 pm GMT
Thanks for the clarification.
mom2twoboys   Sun Mar 12, 2006 3:11 am GMT
When I was originally learning Mandarin in NE China, my tutor would encourage me, once I had learned the pronunciation and tones, to speak faster. I found that if I spoke very slowly, people could not understand what I was saying but if I spoke faster, they could. So I used my very limited language to speak as close as I could to the speed of the people around me.

Fast forward to now. I live in Hong Kong and have made a half-hearted effort to learn Cantonese (I'm very busy with several jobs, Cantonese does not have the systematic Romanization that Mandarin does, and most Cantonese speakers that I've met are not as well-versed in their pronunciation to be able to help me out). So I try to use what I've learned. I find that if I speak very slowly, people can understand, though they may still laugh at my mistakes. But if I try to speak at the speed I hear around me, people tell me I'm trying to speak too fast and they can't understand me.

????? Very confusing situation!

A man living near the bor   Sun Mar 12, 2006 6:51 pm GMT
Hi Mari.

I'm mexican and I live near the border, I'm still learning and mostly by the influence of USA things/culture, restaurants, TV Programs, videogames, internet, ....

Spanish is not really fast, but some peoples speak fast, so fast that others mexicans don't understand them, but it's like any other language, for example, in north of Mexico people have a strong/beat accent and in south of Mexico they speak more weak and in a more fluid form. Other thing to consider is the words, we have neologisms too, like "simon" wich is "yes" but it's very informal, you don't need to learn to talk in that way but if you learn what it means, well for you, you'll understand more of spanish. But, for example, there are phrases very informal and localized in my city, but some people here talk in this way and they are saying something, this phrase have a meaning but others mexicans don't even understand what they are refering to:

"Que once man, aca, la pura vena camarada"

the only word that probably you understand is "man", of course, is the enlgish word "man".

So, my suggestions is this: Don't waste much time in learn this world and using them, why?
1st. these words are not formal and if you learn well only these words you'll only can speak to people whose know them
2nd. probably, tomorrow those words will be old-fashioned

In the other hand, if you learn a more neutral spanish you can communicate from Mexico through Argentina with no problem, just learn those neologisms to know what they mean but not as "must-learn-and-use" words, or better, if you hear a word that you don't find in a spanish dictionary just ask him/her to explain what that means, for example "simon", just say "si", it's like if you want to say "yesip" inseted of "yes" and a friend of you asks you what that means and you answer: "well, is my way to say yes" and he/she likes your way and suddenly many of your firiends say "yesip" instead of "yes".

Guest   Mon Mar 13, 2006 4:14 am GMT
Where do they say "yesip"? I've never heard of that before. The only variation on "yes" I know of is "yes'm", which is used in the South, or at least used to be since the only place I've encountered is in old books with dialogue in the Southern US dialect. I suppose that was just an example you came up with, right?
Travis   Mon Mar 13, 2006 8:43 am GMT
>>Where do they say "yesip"? I've never heard of that before. The only variation on "yes" I know of is "yes'm", which is used in the South, or at least used to be since the only place I've encountered is in old books with dialogue in the Southern US dialect. I suppose that was just an example you came up with, right?<<

In the dialect here in the Milwaukee area, there are primarily the following affirmatives:

"yes" : [jEs] (GAE [jEs])

Strong affirmative; primarily only used to specifically as an answer, even though it may be used in places where "yeah" or "ja" would be more commonly used.

"yeah" : [jE{], when unstressed [jE] (GAE [j{])

Weak affirmative; used extremely commonly not just as a response but also to indicate acknowledgement or agreement and as a particle for indicating that what is being said agrees with and follows from what has been just said by another speaker. Note that the last usage is likely dialect-specific.

"ja" or "yah" : [ja:] (does not exist in GAE)

Weak or strong affirmative, depending on stress and tone; used extremely commonly and fits the roles of both "yeah" and "yes". Note that it may be used when stressed (and usually lengthened) to emphatically mark agreement, in a fashion unlike "yes".

Note that this one is highly dialect-specific, and would sound very strange coming from anyone who is not from Wisconsin, Minnesota, the Upper Peninsula, or North Dakota; the only real exception is Californians, as their "yeah" has been shifted so that it may be pronounced similar to this.

"yep" : [jEp] (GAE [jEp])

Weak or strong affirmative, depending on stress and tone; used more like "yes" in both the weak and strong cases in that it is used primarily as an affirmative response, even though it may be used in weaker fashions to indicate agreement. It is not used to mark acknowledgement or to fit any kind of particle role within sentences, unlike "yeah" and "ja".
Mari   Mon Mar 13, 2006 7:56 pm GMT
Yaw,....whatever dude...

Heard that one before?? Personally, I think this way of saying "yes" just sounds stupid.
Guest   Mon Mar 13, 2006 8:50 pm GMT
Travis, I didn't mean affirmatives in general when I said that was the only variation I knew. I was only including words that actually contain the word "yes". I'm from California and we use all the words you mentioned except "yah", although, as you said, some may pronounce "yeah" similarly.

By the way, you forgot these:

"ah hah"

"uh huh"

"mmm hmm"

They all mean yes, too.
SpicwetbackMojado   Mon Mar 13, 2006 9:14 pm GMT
Why don't you guys, just take some classes or spend sometime in a place where everyone speaks Spanish only then you can really learn the language.