How to Speak… (not serious)

For years I have been studying Spanish, French and Catalan, and also observing other languages. Over that time I have made detailed notes and can now share my insights to make learning a language and its correct pronounciation easier.

French – Purse your lips together and make various buzzing sounds.

Spanish – bash two stones together energetically

Catalan – try to speak with a bee, chicken and grasshopper in you mouth; bash two stones together at the same time

Italian – bash two stones together energetically, but with rhythm

Galician Spanish – bash two stones together like Italian, but with softer and slower rhythm

South American/Andalusian/Canaries Spanish – bash two stones together covered with lots of talcum powder; with each “crack” the sound disintegrates into a soft breathing

Portugal Portuguese – make buzzing noises with a wide open mouth, and with a rhythm like Galician Spanish

Brasilian Portuguese – make buzzing sounds with a wide open mouth, as if you have a party popping in your mouth

German – make noises but with no facial movement and a minimum of lip movement

South-East England English (mine) – lose control of lips and tongue, and just “flap” them

Posh English – Purse lips together, but with less buzzing sounds than French

American English – open mouth wide with each syllable, like you’re chewing gum

I hope that helps. 😉

Reading Romance…

Languages. What else did you think I meant 😉

I can now read a lot of Spanish, but with this I’ve found I can read Catalan, Portuguese, Italian and French a bit better. It helps that English has a good dose of Latin in it.

You’d think, English being a West German language I could have a head start with German or Dutch, but I can probably read Portuguese more than those.

Still, realising that just by understanding one language I can understand some others my world opens up before me! So, once I have Spanish (language of the country), Catalan (language of the region) and French (language spoken at home) under my belt what next? Should I learn another Iberian Romance language: Leonese? Asturian? Aranese? Aragonese? Galician? Portuguese (which a cousin speaks)? Extremaduran? Fala? Or perhaps leave the Romance alone and learn some Basque? Or go beyond the peninsula and learn Italian, Romansch, German or Greek? There was a moment, before Spain, I was trying to learn Scottish Gaelic, so maybe… Or maybe learn Arabic or Chinese? outside of Europe even!

There’s no stopping me now with a whole world of languages to speak with!!!

But first I think I should at least become fluent in Spanish before branching out, shouldn’t I? That might be sensible…

Sorry for my English, I’m English

I got a few books on grammar recently and have realised just how much I knew and how much I don’t know. It’s very good. It’s appalling.

I thought I had a good grasp on apostrophes, but I seem to have got confused on a point. When a name or noun ends in an s then there’s no need to put an s after the possesive apostrophe. I’d developed a little quirk from this misinterpretation, so instead of saying James’s I would say James’. Although maybe I’m right, and what I hear and read is wrong. Oh dear, I’m confused now.

And now I’ve discovered a little bit more of what to do with colons, semi-colons, dashes and hyphens I don’t know what to do with them I’ve been relying on commas, full stops and brackets in their place. I didn’t even know the difference between dashes and hyphens so all hyphens have been called dashes. And now I’m not sure if I’m constructing my sentences okay. What did they learn me in school? I ask you!

I often encounter people (non-English) that apologise for not speaking English well, which makes me laugh because, at times, I’d have to apologise about the same thing! Or even describe to their unbelieving ears that I know plenty of English people that speak and write worse. If you’ve learnt English as a second language you’re probably more familiar with Standard English than I am.

Never mind about Spanish or French, I should be ironing the kinks out of my English. I think I need to go back to school, so I can learn me to talk proper.

Spanis-Laik Inglis

Sometimes I have a little interest in finding nyu weys tu rait Inglis. Once I experimented with writing ALL IN CAPTALS, WITH NO PUNCTUATION AND N VWLS S YD ND P WRTNG LK THS. For Jake Fish’s story I created the Nyoo Alfêbet, based on a more phonetic alphabet of (my) English: if yoo wont too sii dhat môr in depth dhen pliiz sii hiêr: Nyoo Alfêbet.

Well, last night I was experimenting with Spanish which, compared to English, has a more limited yet more phonetically faithful alphabet. Using it’s rules in spelling and pronunciation, including accents, you can come to some interesting results:

Iu jaf tu now dat sam leters, laik “u” as in “bug” ar not present in Spanis, and for dat mater nicer is “sh”, and de Inglis “j” iusuali cams aut laik “y” from de Spanis mauz. Ai cud gow on bat ai down’t wont tu bor iu.

Don’t mind me, I’m just playing. 😉