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Old 8th August 2010, 09:24 AM   #1
Ben
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Question 10 bigggest mistakes Spanish learners make?

Hi,

We've been asked to compile a list of the ten biggest typical mistakes that Spanish learners make, that instantly makes a Spanish speaker know you are a foreigner no matter how good your accent is!

Can you help? Can you think of any? We'll make the list later this month and send it out to everyone on the newsletter list, and post it here too.

Thanks in advance!

Ben
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Old 8th August 2010, 10:45 AM   #2
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Failing to make adjectives & verbs agree with the gender and number of objects/people.

And on a lighter note - trying to order lunch at 1230
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Old 8th August 2010, 01:42 PM   #3
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Hola:

Uno de los puntos más problemáticos es sin duda el uso de los tiempos en el pasado, especialmente la diferencia entre el pretérito indefinido (canté) y el pretérito imperfecto (cantaba).

Deduzco de tu mensaje que no se incluyen problemas de pronunciación, pero me gustaría añadir el sonido por el que generalmente se detecta que alguien es extranjero incluso cuando tiene una pronunciación excelente. El sonido es el de la /s/. En las variantes del español existen muchos tipos de /s/, quizá la más difícil para un extranjero sea la castellana (que los extranjeros que no conocen el idioma suelen asociar con el sonido de she. Eso independientemente de las dificultades que cada uno tiene según su(s) idioma(s) de partida, que en el caso de los angloparlantes suele ser la /r/ como en "carro".

Un saludo
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Old 8th August 2010, 04:02 PM   #4
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Para mí, a veces (muchas veces) es dificil saber la diferencía entre: pretérito/imperfecto: por/para: ser/estar: uso demasiado el pasivo: cual preposición se tiene que usar: la diferencía entre hacerse, ponerse, quedarse, volverse y llegar a ser: la pronunciación de "r" (a veces la digo demasiado fuerte otras demasiado suave): el subjuntivo y indicativo: y ¡doy propinas demasiadas grandes!
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Old 8th August 2010, 06:37 PM   #5
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Estoy de acuerdo con Linda; esos son muy dificiles para hablantes de inglés. Y siempre quiero usar el presente progresivo en lugar del presente simple.

También, es difícil pronunciar ciertos sonidos juntos, como cuando un "t" siga el "r", porque ambos sonidos son bastante similares a mí. Y no puedo hacer el "rr", siempre tengo que sustituir un "r". Confia en mi, mis intentos sólo suenan como gargarizo.

Last edited by Uriel; 8th August 2010 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 8th August 2010, 08:29 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the help so far - keep them coming! I'll be offline again for a few days but will check in here again as soon as I can to see any new suggestions.
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Old 8th August 2010, 09:08 PM   #7
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the most frequent corrections our profesora seems to give in class are on the gender of words el/la and por/para.
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Old 9th August 2010, 12:38 PM   #8
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1. Not knowing when to use the definite article (el/la) and when not to.

2. Getting the prepositions wrong (a/de/con/por/en).
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Old 9th August 2010, 07:30 PM   #9
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1. concordancia

2. Uso del subjuntivo

3. Tiempos en el pasado como dijieron arriba

4. falso amigos

5. el SE passiva (para mi)

6. Frases hechas

mas o menos...

Gracias
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Old 9th August 2010, 07:48 PM   #10
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If not already mentioned then direct/indirect objects are tricky for English speakers. In English there isn't much of a distinction between them so our brains aren't really trained to intuitively recognise whether an object is direct or indirect.
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Old 9th August 2010, 10:12 PM   #11
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Words that end in o and are feminine
Words that end in a nd are masculine

Thus: 'una problem con el mano' nails you as a guiri every time
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Old 11th August 2010, 03:43 AM   #12
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Thanks for the mistakes you listed here ,i will try to avoid them ,thanks again.
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Old 11th August 2010, 03:12 PM   #13
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Default Mistakes

I find that it's not necessarily mistakes that give you away but being less direct. Such as using: puede tener un ... rather than me da un ... and using por favor and gracias all the time.
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Old 11th August 2010, 08:13 PM   #14
Margot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben View Post
biggest typical mistakes that Spanish learners make, that instantly makes a Spanish speaker know you are a foreigner no matter how good your accent is! Ben
Si ya tiene un buen acento (¡felicitaciones!) y aún si no cometiera los errores gramaticales todavía citado arriba (¡felicitaciones, otra vez!) a menudo el extranjero puede ser destacado por:

La estructura de sus frases - Sentence Structure
El orden de sus palabras
-Word Order

(2 temas que usualmente nunca estén tenido en cuenta por los profesores de español).
A mi parecer son esos elementos en concreto que, al final, le dan al lenguaje su música única, su ritmo particular y que distinguen un idioma al otro y el hablante nativo al extranjero.
Por ejemplo - en inglés, para dar énfasis - se cambia el tono de la voz mientras en español el significado de lo que estás tratando de expresar proviene del orden en que has arreglado todos los distintos elementos de la frases (los verbos, sus sujetos etc).
Inglés no haya tal flexibilidad; es más estricta su estructura. Pero a menudo el extranjero sigue usando las formas que requiere su proprio idioma en vez de lo de español.
Aunque no es tan obvio cuando hables en voz alta (porque a menudo el ritmo se corta y se está interrumpido por vacilaciones breves), tan pronto como escribas - tu identidad "guiri" se revele (como la mía ahora mismo ).

Last edited by Margot; 11th August 2010 at 08:24 PM.
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Old 12th August 2010, 02:10 AM   #15
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That's the damn truth -- I'm always reading news headlines and trying to figure out why the heck that verb is out in front like that!

Because English verbs lack all those inflectional endings that tell us who did what to whom in the parlor with the candlestick, we have to rely on word order so much more to make sense of a sentence. Whereas apparently you can take away all the pronouns and stick those words in all kinds of crazy orders and Spanish speakers know exactly what you're talking about -- even if it's the guy at the end of the sentence who did the verb in the beginning to the person in the middle. (I have to read a lot of news articles more than once to figure out what's going on!)

I find plural command forms really confusing, too -- it's never occurred to me to take into account how many people I might be addressing, because it doesn't work that way in English. That's even harder than the tú/usted thing.

Last edited by Uriel; 12th August 2010 at 02:14 AM.
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Old 19th August 2010, 08:39 AM   #16
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Thanks so much for everyone's help with this - the complete list is now up on our Notes in Spanish blog here:

http://www.notesinspanish.com/2010/0...ou-speak-well/
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Old 19th August 2010, 09:10 AM   #17
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Giving up.
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Old 19th August 2010, 10:05 AM   #18
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Yep - guilty on all counts yer honour.

Re the "thankyous" The waiter in our favourite cafe now says "muchas thankyous" to the Brits when we pay.
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Old 19th August 2010, 10:08 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
Giving up.
Brilliant thinking Stephen.

I have travelled to spain several times each year for the past 10 years and I worked there a bit in the 80s. Even with the need I found it hard to stick to the process. How the folks on here stick to it who don't get to be in spanish speaking culture frequently ??? I take my sombrero off to them

It wasn't till true love stepped in and I found my sevillana did I knuckle down to the job.

So solution 11: jump into bed with a spanish speaker; you know it makes sense
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Old 20th August 2010, 03:24 AM   #20
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Problem is, there tends to not be a lot of talking....
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