Thursday, July 28, 2005

escribo acerca de español

I started learning Spanish 2 months ago. I made decent progress I believe, but am still far from being able to speak it. Maybe some day I will be able to write my posts in Spanish. Studying Spanish somehow reminded me of the times when I used to take Sanskrit. My teacher is from Argentina so she pronounces "ll" as "j" instead of "y" as most Spanish speaking people in the US do. My pronounciation is funny to my sister and her friends who learnt Spanish from a teacher from Spain. I will have to make a conscious effort to change my pronounciation, if I ever get to the point where I can converse in Spanish.

Memorizing conjugations of verbs in Spanish reminds me of having to learn the seven vibhaktiya (I completely forget what those were for). Learning Spanish is not very hard though. A friend was telling me that is because Spanish does not have gender specific verbs, that is, to say "she/he is going shopping" is the same "ella/él va de comprass", but I'm not fully convinced by the argument. According to this website, it is a myth that Spanish is easier than French. I tried translated "she/he is going shopping" to French and came up with a similar result - "elle/il va commercial".

To me Spanish seems to be a sexist language. Take for example the following -

él hermano = brother
la hermana = sister
son hermanos = 1 or more brother(s) and 1 or more sisters

mi madre = my mother
mi padre = my father
mis padres = my parents

tío = uncle
tía = aunt
tíos = uncle(s) + aunt(s)

And the list goes on...I guess it's easy to be critical of a language that is new to you. It's much harder to think critically of Hindi or English for me.

I learned a new term in my Spanish class - false cognate. It means words that sound like they should mean something similar in English, but they actually don't. For example, parientes sounds like it should mean parents, but it actually means relatives (close, but not quite) and largo means long, not large

And there are some new things about Spanish, like there are different adjectives for a this, that, and that over there (far away) -- este/esta (male/female), ese/esa, aquel/aqulla. Also, there is another tense in addition to past, present and future -present progressive, which is to describe events happening right now like I am writing (I'm not sure how this is different than gerund in English, but my teacher taught it to us as another tense rather than gerund).

Another useful thing I learnt that I keep forgetting is how to write letters with the accent. Here's the useful guide (for Word; doesn't work for IE, but it works in yahoo messenger) -

Accent (á) -> Ctrl + ' (a, e, i, o, u)
Tilde (õ) -> Ctrl + Shift + ~ (o, n, s ..
Inverted question (¿) -> Ctrl + Shift + Alt + ?

Try it, it's fun!

lets see who learn spanish faster....i am learning from my workers. i think your learning is going to be more structured as mine is based on just conversations......who knows maybe in few years we all would need to learn spanish as spanish speaking population is growing faster than any in the US.

can you guess who am i??
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

eXTReMe Tracker