Saturday, October 29, 2016

Spanish vs. English

Fio picked up a Spanish-language newspaper (periodico) the other day and is working her way through the ads. Her vocabulary has increased and she's added some prepositions and a verb or two, but hasn't gone for the kill yet--conjugations and declensions.  In the meantime, she's still watching Spanish-language TV, which is a story in itself.  Apparently being able to cry on cue is a prerequisite for the female stars. Last night was the crowner--five women weeping in a hospital room all at once.

Fio is fascinated by the contrast between English and Spanish. For instance, Spanish uses more syllables in such pronunciations as -ion and to to express a possessive construction than English (banquetta del piano vs. piano bench).  Spanish also avoids certain consonant combinations by adding in "extra" vowels (escuela vs. school). 

All in all, because they are both Indo-European languages, English comes out sounding like a shorthand of Spanish. The difference is that English took the Germanic route and Spanish took the Romance route, which all goes to show you that you can take the girl out of linguistics but can't take the linguistics out of the girl.

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