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. 😉
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…
Yesterday I was watching two images of the same man explaning the same thing, at the same time, in two different languages. Both images were talking about the different expressions used in different languages, but one was in German and the other in French. It was interesting, not just what he was saying (what I could understand) but also to see how his body language was different in each. I don’t know whether this was conscious or unconscious.
In French his head was more inclined, and he used hand gestures a lot, but in German his body was straighter and stiffer, with less hand gestures, though when he did use hand gestures they were more open handed and “chopping”, both hands doing the same action. This was something I found when I moved to Spain; there is a difference in body language and it’s worth paying attention to this, not just the words.
Language isn’t just the words, phrases and tones you use, it can be the gestures, and each language, it would seem, has its own body language in tow; there’s also differences within a language as body language comes with culture.
It’s just a shame there’s no dictionary for gestures lol!