Forum Post: Different forms of Spanish language Uruguay Expat Forum

Forum Post: Different forms of Spanish language Uruguay Expat Forum

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Vicki
User Rank: 371
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Responses: 33.

Different forms of Spanish language

Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 13:53

Thanks Patrick, it is funny that even in the English language I find it varies from place to place with people using different slang, intonation and even adding sound to words that really shouldn't be there.

Two of my pet peeves are when:

1. People use the word "ask" or "asked" and actually pronounce the word "akst" (for either the present tense or the past tense of the word. That absolutely drives me insane. I think some of that is a cultural thing but it is really really annoying to me.

2. In the town where I live, I find people commonly add the letter T to the end of the word "counsin", making it "counsint". I mean, really? I understand people using different pronunciations for different letters, but I feel this is just plain stupidity.

Do you have pet peeves with people using Spanish? (PS. my friend who lives in Uruguay once got a little prickly when I used the phrase "no problemo", which is something Americans do tend to say frequently.


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Lionel (170405,7726)
Montevideo
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spanish from the movies

Saturday, February 04, 2012 at 14:12

Come on now, "No problemo" only proves you have watched some movies, not that you know any Spanish.

On the other hand I do use "Andale, andale" courtesy of Speedy Gonzales and it tends to get a smile from my local friends. It may be correct Spanish but it is not used here in Uruguay - go to Mexico for that.


Dan (153342,7712)
Norwalk, CT
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Peculiarities of the Rio de la Plata Spanish variation

Saturday, February 04, 2012 at 14:38

Argentines from Buenos Aires and most Uruguayans, but especially people from Montevideo, share almost identical ways of speaking, intonation, vocabulary, idiomatic expressions, etc. One thing that is absolutely local to the Rio de la Plata is the use of so called "yeyeo" or "llelleo", which does not occur in other parts of the Spanish-speaking world. This refers to the way locals pronounce the letter "Y" or "LL" when saying words like "silla" (chair) or "calle" (street) or "yo" (I). They pronounce the "y" or "ll" as a French person would pronounce the "J" in "Je" (as in "Je t'aime" = I love you).

Other peculiarities: Argentines and Uruguayans also use the pronoun "vos" (you) instead of "tu" constantly. And of course the accent or intonation in the Rio de la Plata region is totally unique. I've heard people say natives of Buenos Aires and Montevideo sound like they're speaking Spanish with an Italian accent.


Patrick (100413,17736)
Rural east Colonia departmento
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RPI spanish.

Saturday, February 04, 2012 at 15:46

"I've heard people say natives of Buenos Aires and Montevideo sound like they're speaking Spanish with an Italian accent."

In Bs As its because most of them are Italian by origin. Bs As is the biggest Italian city on the planet :-)

I live roughly mid way between Bs As and MVD in an area settled by Swiss and Piemonteses (alpine Italians.) We speak a terse version of RPI Spanish amongst ourselves so ocho becomes otch, hasta luego becomes staluego and we greet each other with ¿comanda? which I assume is a shortened version of some formerly Spanish phrase.

We use vos and tu a lot. Usted appears on public notices but is only heard here on very formal occasions like greeting the Intendente.

I'm just happy to understand and to be understood. Strange to say I can understand most people here but there are about 5% who speak in such a way that I can't do better than one word in 10. The two young gaucho hitch hikers I picked up in the depths of Flores last month seemed to be speaking some language with which I was entirely unfamiliar though they did understand my mangled Spanish :-)


Lionel (170405,7726)
Montevideo
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comanda

Saturday, February 04, 2012 at 16:35

What is being said is "Como anda?" or very often the familia form "Como andas?" Of course when locals have two adjoining vowels as inthis phrase they tend to not really pronounce one of them at all, hence "comandas?"

Literally it might be translated as "How are you walking?" which is practically the same as the English greeting "how are you going?"


Patrick (100413,17736)
Rural east Colonia departmento
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Excellent!

Saturday, February 04, 2012 at 16:40

Now I know :-)

As a general rule, we NEVER pronounce the final S down here so dos is transformed into a Homer Simpson style doh!


Lionel (170405,7726)
Montevideo
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we learn together

Saturday, February 04, 2012 at 17:07

I find it really interesting that I can explain any Spanish to anyone. Mine is improving but it is slow going and most conversation is still too fast for me to follow.

Every phrase you recognise instead of having to mentally translate is a step on the way.

Another one that seems to make some sense but does not translate literally so well is "Que pase bien." Literally something like (what passes good" or "let what happens be good". They use it to say in effect "Have a good day."


Patrick (100413,17736)
Rural east Colonia departmento
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We have that one too.

Sunday, February 05, 2012 at 11:10

We use the Italian word ciao a lot on its own or doubled up ciao-ciao. Its used as goodbye but unlike in Italian, never as a greeting.

I only know one local person who uses adiós here.


Dan (153342,7712)
Norwalk, CT
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Italian-Uruguayans, matambre, etc.

Sunday, February 05, 2012 at 12:27

"In Bs As its because most of them are Italian by origin."

By most accounts, half of Uruguay's population is of Italian origin.

Regarding expressions like "como andas?" which may sound like "comandas?" I had what I thought was a shocking experience many years ago. I was asked by someone in New York who had lived in Uruguay in the 60s if people there were still eating something called "mata hambre" = hunger killer. I was perplexed. At first I replied no... then I thought, OMG!!! This guy is referring to what is known as "matambre" (I believe it is also spelled that way)!!!

I was born in Uruguay and lived there until age 16. And of course I had eaten "matambre con leche al horno" many times, a typical local dish, which consists of oven cooked meat with milk (by the way, it's delish!!!) but I had NEVER associated the word "matambre" with its meaning: "mata hambre"


Dan (153342,7712)
Norwalk, CT
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Adios and Vaya con Dios

Sunday, February 05, 2012 at 12:41

"Adios" is hardly ever used in Uruguay, except in situations where someone is unlikely to see the person being addressed again in a long time or ever. It could also be used when someone means to say "Good riddance" to a persona non-grata, as when breaking up a relationship in less than amicable terms.

"Vaya con Dios" is NEVER used in the Rio de la Plata. And I'd like to know if this is used anywhere in the Spanish-speaking world. But in the USA some people who speak little or no Spanish seem to think this is a common expression. I think it's probably an American creation of sorts like "no prolemo"...


ned
Atlanta GA,
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"Vaya Con Dios"

Sunday, February 05, 2012 at 13:49

...the words 'Vaya con Dios' come from the song first written in the early 1950's and recorded by a multitude of singers including Connie Francis, Gene Autry, Pat Boone et. al. Sorry Patrick, you probably weren't around in those days to know the singers... HAHA. I have never heard the expression used in Spain.


Patrick (100413,17736)
Rural east Colonia departmento
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Nice of you to say so but...

Monday, February 06, 2012 at 05:49

I'm somewhat aged so was around for all of the 1950s and still have a couple of Connie Francis 78s upstairs in a box :-)


Alberto
Montevideo
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Posts: 66
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Different forms of Spanish language

Monday, February 06, 2012 at 09:56

"Vaya con Dios" is commonly used in some regions of Spain, so it may be still used in some parts of Latin America. Not in the Rio de la Plata for sure, where we usually use "chau" (from the Italian ciao), or the many forms starting with "hasta" (hasta luego, hasta pronto, hasta mañana, hasta el lunes, etc.) and their short forms with "ta" ("ta mañana", etc).

In "que pase bien" (and other forms like "que la pase bien" or "pararla bien", the meaning of the verb "pasar" does not come from its translation into "to pass" or "to happen". Pasar have many meanings in Spanish according to context. In this phrases "pasar" is derived from one of its meanings that could mean "to be (or stay) in a certain condition for a certain time" (condition can be a mood, a health condition, an emotional condition, etc.). For example "pasó enfermo todo el fin de semana" (he was sick the whole weekend); "pasó triste todo el día" (he was sad the whole day"); "pasó muy bien en Francia" (he had a great time in France (while he was in France)). When you say, "que pase bien", or "que la pase bien", you are being more generalistic and wishing the other person to have a great time. The "la" may be referring to "la vida", something like "have a great time in life".

The vos, and its related verb conjugations are characteristic of the Rio de la Plata Spanish, but not at all unique to it. It is also used in some places with no direct connection with the Rio de la Plata like Nicaragua, and some zones of Colombia.

The "ll" and "y" sounds like (sh), are more unique to the Rio de la Plata, but a similar (softer) sound for "y", is used in some other places in Spain and Central America. The use of sh for "ll", may have some relation with Portuguese. Many of the words with "ll" are written with "ch", and pronnounces sh in Portuguese. There is a mutual influence between Rio de la Plata Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese.


Alberto
Montevideo
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Clarification about "ll" and Portuguese.

Monday, February 06, 2012 at 10:08

I mean, many of the Spanish words with "ll" are written with "ch" in Portuguese (for example: lluvia=lluva, llegar=chegar, llave=chave). Their pronunciation for "ch" may have influenced the way we pronounce "ll" in the Rio de la Plata.


Ken Rose
Medellin, Antioquia, Colombia
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Uruguayan Spansih Heavyweights

Tuesday, February 07, 2012 at 14:38

There are sufficient differences between rioplatense and other Spanish "regionalismos" to have produced at least one near-grammar and to have triggered major lexicographical efforts by at least two national academies. The first work to appear was the 2003 publication of Haydée I. Nieto and Oscar de Majo's Hacia Una Gramática del Español del Rio de la Plata para extranjeros y nativos curiosos. published in Buenos Aires in 2000 by Ciudad Argentina and the Universidad del Salvador. In this 408 page work, the major characteristics of rioplatense usage are traced and described, but as the title itself suggests the work is not a prescriptive grammar; rather it is more an appreciation, even a bit of a celebration, of the common features that mark Montevideo and porteño speech and set it apart from other forms of castellano.

The Academia Argentina de Letras opened the heavyweight - in academic avoirdupois anyway -- opinionating with its 2003 first edition of Diccionario del Habla de los Argentinos, 576 numbered pages, plus notes and bibliography. This is not, strictly speaking, a dictionary only of porteño; it does cover itself with a fig leaf of concern for other varieties of Argentine speech in the introductory chapter. The bulk of the vocabulary, like the bulk of the Académicos de Número listed before any content is allowed to develop in the Diccionario itself, is quite heavily bonairense.

December last saw the Uruguayan Academy offer its own, shorter, by exactly two pages, Diccionario del español del Uruguay. The DeU is a great reference for anyone who wants to understand what Uruguayan usage, comĂșn y corriente, wishes to express. Like the Argentine product, its vocabulary tends to center in the usage of the capital, but, in this case, Montevideo. Given the population concentration in and around Montevideo, the Uruguayan product more resembles a truly national reference. The Uruguayan Academy also makes it plain in its opening remarks, that its Diccionario treats only the unique Uruguayan acceptation of common Spanish words. Thus a foreign reader or writer might also wish to consult the Diccionario de la RealAcadémia Española to avoid embarrassing misinterpretations.

For example, let us take mamada.

The DRAE lists five definitions, all after he note f. adj. vulg:

drunk; exhausted from intense intellectual or physical effort; the amount of milk given each time a creature is given the teat; to suckle; then it lists as Ar.. Bol. Ur, y Par., drunkenness.

For the DHA: it is fem. Vulg., intoxication, drunkenness.

For the DeU it is simpler: f. Vulg, esp., Fellation.

The moral when translating, or initiating communication, in Spanish: make sure of your understanding of words' meanings and have some sensitivity to the understanding of your audience/s.


Alberto
Montevideo
User Rank: 30
Posts: 66
Responses: 324.

It depends on context.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012 at 09:10

It doesn't have the meaning of fellation. It depends on context.


Ken Rose
Medellin, Antioquia, Colombia
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Meanings...

Wednesday, February 08, 2012 at 12:01

My point exactly! It does depend on context. Most probably n this case it also depends on a speakers' age and social register. But, you see, the DeU was registering only the specifically Uruguayan aportation to the meaning of mamada. The other meanings were already covered in the DRAE.