The state of my Spanish

Trip Start Jan 12, 2013
1
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Trip End Mar 15, 2013


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Flag of Chile  ,
Monday, January 21, 2013

I took five years of Spanish and had teachers from Spain, Puerto Rico, the US and even France. So I got to hear several variations of the language. But having not practiced often, I've had to gradually get back into hearing for the rhythm and sound of Spanish.

One thing that I didn't realize about Spanish from my formal education was that accents vary greatly from country to country. It's one of those things which is incredibly obvious after you think about it. But for some reason, I thought of Spanish as being relatively uniform in South America. Boy was I wrong! (Of course, I thought the same about English in the UK too, haha.) The most entertaining accent I've encountered so far is from Argentina. They use the "s" sound a lot. I've heard the best Spanish is spoken in Columbia.

Chilean Spanish is distinguished by its fast speed. I'm still trying to understand how people can produce the sounds as quickly as they do. (Needless to say, it doesn't help me much with getting back into the rhythm either.) Also, Chileans use of trademark filler words such as "weon" and "po". They don't carry vital meaning per se, but rather have a strong influence on how casual the speech is. For example, it's quite normal to hear "Sí, po!" instead of simply "Sí". It would be like comparing, "Yeah, man!" to "Yes", although not verbatim.

Funnily enough, last night I had a dream and some parts were in Spanish. I think that's a good sign. The same thing happened to me in China and after that I started to feel much more comfortable with the language. =)
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