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Old May 12, 2013, 10:23 AM
Liquinn3 Liquinn3 is offline
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Question about phrases

It's possible to speak Spanish in a way that is 100 percent grammatically correct and understandable and yet not be using phrases a native speaker would use; what suggestions would you have with avoiding this?

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old May 12, 2013, 10:30 AM
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You mean to speak correct Spanish and no slang?
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Old May 12, 2013, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chileno View Post
You mean to speak correct Spanish and no slang?
Yeah, sorta. How would myself know what a native speaker would say though?
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Old May 12, 2013, 11:18 AM
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Hang out with native speakers and listen to how they say things.
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Old May 12, 2013, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
Hang out with native speakers and listen to how they say things.
What if that isn't possible?
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Old May 12, 2013, 12:25 PM
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Speak with others via Skype or some other means.
Listen to Spanish newscasts. Read Spanish articles about current events.
The internet has lots of media in Spanish.
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Old May 12, 2013, 02:12 PM
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But that alone, is not going to give you the knowledge if they are speaking good Spanish, as opposed to not speaking slang.


Last edited by chileno; May 14, 2013 at 10:45 AM. Reason: changed "alone" for "the knowledge"
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Old May 12, 2013, 03:49 PM
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Good English will often include slang. In fact, I can't even imagine English that is devoid of slang. Idiomatic expressions can be classified as slang and all languages that I'm aware of are riddled with them. If you want to sound like a native, your speech will include all kinds of expressions.
There's more than one way to say something.
There's more than one way to skin a cat.

Speaking correctly all the time is something that just doesn't happen. Even the best of us will slip up grammatically.

I interpreted the OP's question a bit differently.
What I think he asked is how to avoid sounding different. He asserted that you can speak a language correctly but not use the phraseology a native would choose to use.

I totally agree.
Spanish has its own sound. It has its own rhythm and flow. It doesn't sound like English, even though the two languages share thousands of etymologies.

A non-native speaker tends to use phrases that sound 'quaint'. We who are native speakers can usually detect when a foreigner is speaking. This is because the non-native speaker hasn't quite mastered the expressions, the collocations and locutions that a native speaker uses day in and day out.

Collocation and locution take a long time to master in any language. It isn't enough to know all the words and how to use them. Words can sometimes be combined in predictable fashion and myriad sentences can be formed to express yourself freely, but some words must be used in a certain way or they won't fit the bill. A lot has been said in these forums about how some things just don't sound right.

The only way to avoid using phraseology that sounds odd is to listen to native speakers and mimic what you're hearing. This is a process that takes years.
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Old May 14, 2013, 04:13 AM
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You could marry a Spaniard - I did! At my request she (almost!) always corrects my Spanish, but if I ever have the temerity to point out the deficiencies in her English it is considered an outrageous affront!

Plus my daughter who attained an "A" level qualification in Spanish then went on to live for fourteen years in Alicante province never hesitates to pull me up when my Barcelona influenced usage differs from her Levante pronunciation.

For instance I always used to employ "Estirarse" for "Lie down", and I thought it was correct, but when daughter heard it she scoffed at it. Apparently the correct term is "Tumbarse" but my two ladies argued for ages over that! Yet 'estirarse' is almost invariably used in Catalonia!

There are others but they're even less interesting than the above!
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Last edited by Sancho Panther; May 14, 2013 at 04:16 AM.
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Old May 14, 2013, 07:47 AM
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I like those usages which I have never seen before. In the Latin American Spanish I'm familiar with to lie down is acostarse whether it's in bed or not. Estirarse is usually used in the term estirarse la pata which is the equivalent of kick the bucket. I have never heard tumbar used in the reflexive, but I suppose you can use it to mean collapse. Se tumbó y tuvieron que llevarlo al hospital.
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