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pauldavidmena
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[*] posted on 5-13-2019 at 05:03 AM
"black eye"


I subscribe to a "Spanish Word of the Day" mailing list, and I found today's offering particularly interesting. The phrase "black eye" was translated "el ojo a la virulé", which I had never heard before. In Puerto Rico they would say "elo ojo morado", which matches what I see in Google Translate. Has anyone else heard a different phrase?



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[*] posted on 5-13-2019 at 05:22 AM


El culo Negero :?:



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[*] posted on 5-13-2019 at 07:42 AM


I don't know, I have driven through "Ojo Negro" a couple of times. I guess your word must be some nuance of cultural dialect somewhere.



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[*] posted on 5-13-2019 at 08:26 AM


Quote: Originally posted by lencho  
Quote: Originally posted by AKgringo  
I don't know, I have driven through "Ojo Negro" a couple of times. I guess your word must be some nuance of cultural dialect somewhere.
In Spanish, bruises (moretones/amoratado/morado) are purple where in English we lean towards black.

Paul, where is this mailing list from? My guess is that "a la virulé" is Peninsular Spanish; FWIW I've never heard it in Mexico.


The "Spanish Word of the Day" mailing list originates from Transparent Language. The website doesn't explicitly say that they're defaulting to Castilian Spanish, but that could very well be the case.




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pauldavidmena
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[*] posted on 5-13-2019 at 10:40 AM


Quote: Originally posted by lencho  
Quote: Originally posted by pauldavidmena  
The website doesn't explicitly say that they're defaulting to Castilian Spanish, but that could very well be the case.

Definitely. Listen to the example of 04/26/2019.


Good call. In the example phrase "Estrechad las manos y haced las paces" the "c" in "haced" and "paces" is pronounced like a "th".




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[*] posted on 5-14-2019 at 03:49 AM


My grandparents were from Puerto Rico. They called an orange "china" and a banana "guineo" in order to distinguish it from a plantain ("platano").



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[*] posted on 5-14-2019 at 05:28 AM


Today's Spanish Word of the Day could also be a regional expression, translating "to get away with" as "irse de rositas", literally "to leave little roses". I don't remember what my grandparents would say in that situation beyond "¡Sin vergüenza!"



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[*] posted on 5-16-2019 at 04:05 AM
More Lost in Translation


Today's puzzling Spanish Word of the Day is a phrase meaning "to be on sale". I've never heard "estar de rebajas", and far more typically will see signs reading "se vende" when a property is for sale. Accordingly, Google Translate renders the phrase "estar a la venda". When translating "estar de rebajas" back into English, however, Google Translate spits out "to be on sale". Six of one, half dozen of the other? :?:



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[*] posted on 5-16-2019 at 11:44 AM


De rebajas is "discounted" indeed. Lowered prices, literally. Learning random words without a few phrases of context never worked for me. Today you learn, tomorrow it's gone. Probably works better for schoolchildren.

In this case you can at least associate it with "bajar" and recognize it next time you see it, but this is a passive memory. Chances are it won't cross your mind when you're trying to remember how to translate "discounted" from English, but something like "descuento" will.

[Edited on 5-16-2019 by Alm]
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[*] posted on 5-17-2019 at 11:02 AM


Mental translation of some sort is difficult to avoid in adults who learned language late in the life. Single words and short expressions they "remember", longer phrases they "translate". Takes them tons of practice to make it an automatic subconscious process bypassing the translation.

My point was - random words adult memory doesn't retain well. It works better when there is a context around - a dialog, a catchy phrase from some movie, song lyrics.

[Edited on 5-17-2019 by Alm]
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[*] posted on 5-17-2019 at 11:29 AM


I really believe that immersion is the only thing that works. For gringos like me who don't speak Spanish natively and aren't around the language every day, we try to get by with podcasts, YouTube videos, etc. to get some exposure to conversational Spanish, but true proficiency only happens when there really isn't another option.

Translations, therefore, are really just colorful footnotes, as far as I'm concerned. I get a kick out of what my grandparents would have said in their native Puerto Rico versus the same word or phrase in Mexico, Cuba or any other Spanish-speaking country.

All of which reminds me of this YouTube video.




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[*] posted on 5-17-2019 at 03:45 PM


Quote: Originally posted by lencho  
Quote: Originally posted by Alm  
My point was - random words adult memory doesn't retain well. It works better when there is a context around - a dialog, a catchy phrase from some movie, song lyrics.
I think we agree that effective language acquisition is by nature contextual and we anchor spoken language to some sort of particles of meaning. One problem is that as adults we tend to use another spoken language as that context and often default to connecting the new words to words in the native language, rather than to the concept itself. First-language learners don't have that option and I suspect would have similar acquisition difficulties as do adults if they were exposed to the new material without associated real-world contextual clues.

I think this is surmountable and that adults-- in spite of having lost a lot of our innate language acquisition machine as we grow-- could acquire a new language in a much more effective way than is used in traditional language classes, even without full submersion...
:light:


My instinctive reaction when listening to Spanish is to translate into English on the fly. It's a losing battle, as the speaker is usually two sentences beyond the word I got stuck on halfway through the first sentence. It took watching hours of Spanish and Mexican soccer to hear - and understand - the language in the context of a match. Now to expand this practice beyond the pitch...




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[*] posted on 5-17-2019 at 07:14 PM


Quote: Originally posted by lencho  
Quote: Originally posted by pauldavidmena  
My instinctive reaction when listening to Spanish is to translate into English on the fly.
The first-- and perhaps hardest-- step is to stop doing that! :biggrin:

One problem is that as adults we're used to control, and use whatever mechanism we can to alleviate the lack of control felt when we don't understand the words around us. Young kids are generally not required to understand everything around them in order to cope, and it's helpful if we as adults can somehow achieve that supportive environment during our acquisition struggles...

Albeit more passive than actual participative interaction, I've played around with watching DVD Spanish movies multiple times, perhaps with subtitles turned on at first to assure understanding of the context, then turning them off in subsequent passes. This permits direct association of the spoken language with understandable real-world context in order to bypass the urge to translate through English each time I'm trying to associate the Spanish speech with meaning...

Telenovelas are also useful: They allow one insight into social situations which a foreigner would not normally witness, grossly exaggerated to the point where it's often possible to understand the context without any subtitles... :rolleyes:


I learned early on that trying to translate from Spanish to English - instead of trying to comprehend Spanish - was both instinctive and counterproductive. I'm familiar with the "Telenovela Method", but I just can't bring myself to watch soaps in any language. Spanish-language soccer has been helpful for two reasons: the announcers generally speak too rapidly to permit on-the-fly translation, and the vocabulary is fairly limited. A huge breakthrough for me was accepting "tiro de esquina" at face value - no translation needed.

Another good resource (for me at least) has been "Easy Spanish", a YouTube channel featuring a globe-trotting Mexican polyglot interviewing Chilangos in conversational situations. As the participants are real people, there is no slowing down of the language, but the conversations remain on topic, so listeners can remain within a specific context. It's really helped me to learn how to acclimate my ear instead of falling back upon real-time translation.




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[*] posted on 5-17-2019 at 10:56 PM


Quote: Originally posted by pauldavidmena  
I really believe that immersion is the only thing that works. For gringos like me who don't speak Spanish natively and aren't around the language every day, we try to get by with podcasts, YouTube videos, etc. to get some exposure to conversational Spanish, but true proficiency only happens when there really isn't another option.

Immersion gives you practice. Practice is only useful after you've learned the grammar. It also gives you some vocabulary and helps remembering previously acquired vocabulary.

You don't get a lot "natural" immersion when living in Mexico without Mexican work, partner or family members. So you substitute it with unnatural and short-term immersion like TV and movies. You turn subtitles on, watch a few times, turn subs off - and by then you've lost interest in this movie or episode, and further practicing becomes boring.

I found the TV show "Veredicto Final" (same thing as Judge Judy) to be useful as a vocabulary source. Real situations, though they still talk too fast for me.

"Easy Spanish" podcasts are wonderful - as a practice, i.e. quasi-immersion - after you've mastered the grammar. In the first 15-20 episodes they do slow down a lot, then speed up, but at least he speaks clearly.
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[*] posted on 5-18-2019 at 10:39 AM


Quote: Originally posted by lencho  
Practically any 6-year-old Mexican kid could refute that allegation in much more fluent-- and likely more grammatical-- Spanish than any of us will ever manage. In spite of all our systematic approaches...
;)

Kids learn languages easily and reliably. We learn hard and then forget when we stop practicing/talking. What's worse, with any stress half the vocabulary and grammar magically disappear - though it comes back later. This is not uncommon, many gringos experienced this.
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[*] posted on 5-18-2019 at 04:44 PM


Spanish pronunciation can be difficult or easy depending on your country of origin. Difficult to those from the US/Canada, yes. Getting rid of accent is not the same thing as being able to follow a native Latino at his "normal" 100 words a minute pace. Two different skills, IMO.

Submersion before grammar - not sure. Not for second language adult learners. First language is a different thing, you learn it with a different brain quality, so to speak. But, "parroting" is a useful exercise if you have enough patience - this is often a problem :)
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