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Spanish but Don't Think

 
 
Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Jun, 2007 04:22 am
It's unlikely that I'll be immersing any time soon. However, I can see that it's the best way, maybe the only way, to be truly fluent.

I learned Spanish starting in the sixth grade. It was very much vocabulary and rote learning. I never got past that, hard as I tried.

I studied French and Italian in college. In both cases, we were not allowed English in the classroom. I found it easier to speak these languages (to an extent) than I did Spanish.

C'est la vie.
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contrex
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Jun, 2007 04:37 am
Et comme la vie est belle !
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Jun, 2007 05:09 am
I'm hopeless, contrex. I read what you wrote. Wrote a response and then started thinking about it. Got out my dictionary. Double-checked. Comme, what's comme? I've obviously got linguistic inhibitions and tensions. And, oui, la vie est belle, except when it ain't.

I'm sticking with English. I've almost got that down pat.
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Francis
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Jun, 2007 05:32 am
contrex wrote:
Et comme la vie est belle !


Parfois on dit: Comme le vit est beau!
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dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Jun, 2007 05:45 am
Your spanishis wonderful I'm sure roberta. Most non english speakers appreciate even just a little the attempt as long as you dont try to pass it off as the real thing.

Ha det gött.
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contrex
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Jun, 2007 07:04 am
Quote:
Got out my dictionary. Double-checked. Comme, what's comme?


I suppose it's a little idiomatic, but "comme" is used frequently as a preposition rather like the English "how", as these examples will show

comme la vie est belle ! How beautiful life is!
comme il fait chaud ! How hot it is!
comme il pleut ! How it rains!
comme t'es belle ! How pretty you are! (to a female)
comme je suis fatigué ! How tired I am!

Quote:


comme

Preposition (a) like; un homme ~ lui a man like him; un ordinateur comme celui de son frère a computer like his brother's; un jour ~ un autre an ordinary day; c'est une excuse ~ une autre it's as good an excuse as any
(b) as, the same way, in the same way that (frm), like (Infml); il écrit comme il parle he writes the way he speaks; ~ il vous plaira as you wish; ~ tu le vois, je préfère le pastis as you can see, I prefer pastis; (humorous) ~ il lui sied as is his wont; ~ de juste naturally, needless to say
(c) (in giving examples) like, such as
(d) as, as well as; les garçons ~ les filles both the boys and the girls; sur la terre ~ au ciel on earth as it is in heaven
(e) (in the capacity of) as; (as an example of) by way of, in the way of, in terms of; ~ professeur, il doit... as a teacher, he must...; je trouve dur ~ travail I find it hard as jobs go; travailler ~ professeur to work as a teacher; tu prends quoi ~ dessert? what are you having for dessert?; vous avez quoi ~ dessert? what do you have by way of desserts?
(f) (to designate one thing happening at the same time as another) as; juste ~ just as
(g) since, as, seeing that, seeing as (dialectal)
(h) ~ si as though, as if; ~ si de rien n'était as though nothing had happened
(i) ~ pour faire as if to do; ~ quoi to the effect that; which goes to show that
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Jun, 2007 07:15 am
CalamityJane wrote:
Interesting sozobe. Have you ever tried to converse ASL with foreigners?
I understand that even the British have different signs, even though it's
the same language.


Not sure what you mean by "the same language," -- even though Americans and the British both speak English?

Anyway, yep, British Sign Language is completely different from American Sign Language. I just had to rely on lipreading in England. That's true of almost all foreign sign languages, but French Sign Language is the exception. ASL was based on FSL (French educators came to America and taught American deaf children their sign language) so there is approximately the same relationship as American English to British English.

That means that I can communicate just fine, in sign language, with deaf French people. It's very cool. (I've gotten some great tours in Paris from deaf French people I happened to run into.)
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Jun, 2007 08:29 am
Thanks for the explanation, contrex. I knew it before I thought about it. Then it was gone in a wave of insecurity and indecision.

Soz, What you say fascinates me. ASL is based in concepts, not words. In a sense, French signs and American signs are the same (or close to) the same language.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Jun, 2007 08:36 am
No, it's based in words... It's a language, just as French and English are.

I can't communicate with other non-American deaf people the way I can communicate with French deaf people...

French Sign Language and American Sign Language are allied just because ASL is a direct descendant of FSL; same as how American English is a direct descendant of British English.
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Jun, 2007 08:54 am
Thanks, soz. Gotcha.
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lindley
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Jun, 2007 02:01 am
i mastered english and french but not chinese.. though i've learned english, french and chinese at the same time [6years old], i've never mastered this.. too complicated... and i've learned spanish for 3months only.
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Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Jun, 2007 08:44 am
I would guess that the elevator is one of those "time travel elevators." You might have been transported back to the time when you were more comfortable speaking Spanish. But, by consciously thinking about speaking Spanish, the time travel phenomenon ended.
On a more serious note, I try to continue learning the Spanish I took years ago (four years worth), since I believe that practicing another language is exercise for one's brain. Every new word I learn might be one less neuron that is atrophying.
Plus, it's fun, if one speaks another language with the correct accent, and pronunciation (like trilling the "r's" in Spanish), to suddenly morph into a new identity for those nearby.
0 Replies
 
Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Jun, 2007 01:54 pm
Hi Foofie and welcome to a2k. I've been in that elevator a number of times since I spoke Spanish in it. No more time warps.

My neurons are already sufficiently atrophied that I doubt much will help. My accent is impeccable, though.

I like the way you think about this. Speaking another language is good brain exercise. Glad to see you're keeping yours fit and in good shape.
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eltejano
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Jul, 2007 10:35 am
First Post
I just joined the forum and this is my first post - just a test to see if everything works right. I do speak fluent spanish and might be able to help in some way.

Jack
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Jul, 2007 02:27 pm
Hi and welcome to a2k, eltejano. I appreciate the offer of help. I'm not really trying to speak Spanish. The incident in the elevator showed me that the language is still in my head.
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eltejano
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Jul, 2007 02:56 pm
Hi Roberta,

Thanks for the welcome. This forum was recommended to me as a place where good manners prevail; where one can discuss controversial subjects without the discourse degenerating into a profane shouting match, as with other boards I have visited.

I do speak spanish, but I'm not a native speaker. I am a retired painting contractor, now living in the Piney Woods region of East Texas. I spent most of my working life in Houston and spanish was an absolute requirement in my line of work.

Spanish and italian are so similar that I can read italian with relative ease, but french, although a latin-based language, might as well be greek to me. Contrex said, in a post above, that "comme" is used frequently as a preposition rather like the English "how. In spanish the word would be como - so, I guess french really does have a latin basis!
But why is it so different from italian, spanish and portugese (which is essentially spanish "spelled funny"?). I cannot understand spoken italian, however - or very little.

Jack
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Jul, 2007 03:41 pm
Hiya Jack, There's a fair amount of civility here. But we have our unpleasantnesses, especially in the politics and religion forums (no surprise there).

We have a few Texans here. One who comes immediately to mind is edgarblythe.

I studied Spanish, French, and Italian. Although Italian and Spanish vocabularies are "similar," I found that French and Italian were structurally closer than either of those languages to Spanish. This was a long time ago. Now I consciously remember very little. Every now and then, something pops out. The incident on the elevator was a shock.
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