Friday, March 1, 2013

Chilean Spanish

I learned Spanish in high school and at U.C.L.A. and communicate with no problem with my Spanish-speaking housekeeper and my gardener. I also have no trouble understanding the Spanish language telenovelas.

My favorite right now is "Amor Bravío," along with "Amores Verdaderos" and "Por Ella Soy Eva" — all of them Mexican productions with Univisión and Televisa.

Male cast of "Separados" (Click for video.)
Now, thanks to my neighbors who are Chilean, I sometimes watch the Chilean production, "Separados" with them in their house, and there is the problem!

I am struggling with understanding it. Chileans speak Spanish with much more of a staccato pace than Mexicans do, so it is hard for me to hang onto the words.

In addition, the Chileans do not pronounce the final "s" in words. Instead, they aspirate the "s," which gives it the sound of a breath, so that "las palmas" is pronounced "lah palmah." Don't even go into the issue of different vocabulary... but here are a few items.

Avocado in Mexican Spanish = aguacate. In Chilean = palta
Corn in Mexican Spanish = maíz, elote. In Chilean Spanish = maiz, choclo
Baby in Mexican Spanish = bebé, niño. In Chilean = guagua
Bus in Mexican Spanish = bus, autobús. In Chilean = micro

.....and the list goes on!

This combination of speed and the swallowing of the "s" sounds, and the different vocabulary leaves me clueless a lot of times but I figure that if I watch the Chilean production "Separados" often enough and speak Spanish more with my bi-lingual Chilean neighbors, I'll catch on. I am highly motivated, since they are genuinely good and real friends and we have fun together.

1 comment:

scott davidson said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...