A Look at the Spanish Language

From here. This post will look at how difficult it is to learn Spanish for an English speaker. Spanish is often said to be one of the easiest languages to learn, though this is somewhat controversial. Personally, I’ve been learning it off and on since age six, and I still have problems, though Spanish speakers say my Spanish is good, but Hispanophones, unlike the French, are generous about these things. It’s quite logical, though the verbs do decline a lot with tense and number, and there are many irregular verbs, similar to French. Compare English declensions to Spanish declensions of the verb to read. English I read He reads Spanish Yo leo Tu lees El lee Nosotros leemos Vosotros leéis Ellos leen leí leeré leería leyese leyésemos leyéseis ¿leísteis? leyéremos leeréis pudísteis haber leído hubiéremos ó hubiésemos leído Nevertheless, Romance grammar is much more regular than, say, Polish, as Romance has junked most of the irregularity. Spanish has the good grace to lack case, spelling is a piece of cake, and words are spoken just as they are written. However, there is a sort of case left over in the sense that one uses different pronouns when referring to the direct object (accusative) or indirect object (dative). Spanish is probably the most regular of the Romance languages, surely more regular than French or Portuguese, and probably more regular than Italian or Romanian. The trilled r in Spanish often hard for language learners to make. One good thing about Spanish is that Spanish speakers are generally grateful if you can speak any of their language at all and are very tolerant of mistakes in L2 Spanish speakers. Nevertheless, Hispanophones say that few foreigners end up speaking like natives. Part of the reason for this is that Spanish is very idiomatic and the various forms of the subjunctive make for a wide range of nuance in expression. Even native speakers make many mistakes when using the subjunctive in conditional sentences. The dialects do differ quite a bit more than most people say they do. The dialects in Latin America and Spain are quite different, and in Latin America, the Argentine and Dominican dialects are very divergent. Spanish gets rated 2.5, fairly easy.

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0 thoughts on “A Look at the Spanish Language”

  1. The Argentine Spanish features an amazing thing which is the totally different second singular ‘vos’. It is analogue in a way to what happened in Brazilian Portuguese, but their ‘voce’ assumes the regular third singular verb form while our ‘vos’ conjugates the verb in the way not present in any other Spanish form. Of course this refers also to Uruguayan or the other Rioplatense Spanish.
    There is an interesting parallel here by the way to the mentioned Polish, as in its 17-th century baroque form it was marked by heavy use of the word ‘Wasc’ which is an elision of ‘Wasza Milosc” or Your Mercy/Charity/Love kind of thing. While in Spanish the same route produced the very polite formal pronoun of “Usted” (from “Vuestra merced”), the Portuguese only in Brazil went from ‘Vossa mercae” to “Voce” which is the present second singular somewhere between ‘you’ and ‘you, sir/maam’. For someone speaking both all Polish, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese it sounds really frapping to trace the baroque langauge construction the the present day lingo of, say, Paulistas.

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