Spanish is a bit easy, isn't it?

There may be a few finer grammatical points that I’ve missed (I’m only at 60 known words) but…
Spanish doesn’t look very hard to me this far in.

Are Berta and Albert’s lovely clear beginner lessons sheltering me from the nastier side of Spanish? Or is it really a nice, regular, phonetically spelled language with no funny business?

If so, why did anyone ever bother to invent Esperanto? Why aren’t we all (I mean we western Europeans) just learning Spanish?

sky i don’t know Esperanto language, but many people say me that is a very easy language.
i don’t think Spanish is so easy… yes, i think it’s a bit easy for me that speak Portuguese, but still isn’t so easy!
example: a difficult por english people is the gender “male and female” of the words…
and it’s easy to understand, but it isn’t so easy speak correctly!

of course this is my opinion… you can have a spanish mind :slight_smile:

I too consider Spanish to be a very straight forward language both in grammar and spelling. If you can roll your r’s and can deal with the complete absence of any z sounds, and have no problem adapting to the genders and verb conjugations, it’s a home run. For a Portuguese speaker, it may be a relief that there are no “funny” sounds like the French and the German r, no ö, ü, ы etc.

None of this is meant as criticism of any other languages, including Spanish which I consider a very elegant and practical language.

edit.: oh, I forgot Castillian Spanish’s ‘lisp’ sound (because I was thinking of Latin American Spanish).

For a Thai/Chinese/Japanese/Iranian/Bantoo/Sudanese/etc …, studying Spanish is VERY difficult.

elric, i agree with you! i also consider spanish a very very elegant language.

To quote Huliganov:
“Spanish is an easy language to speak poorly.” (or something to that effect)

For an English speaker (especially if you have some French), Spanish feels very easy, and in some ways it is.

The trick is learning how to speak accurately, using correct grammar. I’d say this part is a bit more difficult than in French, for example.

Also, as with any language, there is a lot of vocabulary that doesn’t come automatically.

But I can certainly see why Spanish would feel easy for you, skyblueteapot, given that you’ve been learning Russian for years!!

I have decided to do 2 months of Spanish. I find having a high French level and being a native English speaker makes understanding about 40 -50 % of Spanish news articles a normal occurrence. This just passive reading knowledge of course.

I didn’t know that knowing french helps to learn spanish
I don’t know nothing about french!

I agree with Juscelino and Peter: Spanish, like Italian and the other romance languages is very easy to get started at, but pretty difficult to learn accurately. All our languages have a consistent grammar and a lot of verb patterns that even Slavic languages don’t have (because they use verbal aspects instead of moods).

Yes, Spanish is very easy if you’re Spanish but It is not quite as easy for the rest of us.
This may explain why someone bothered to invent Esperanto.
Although Spanish is a very phonetic language the grammar is really something else, in fact I know someone from Dominican Republic who moved to Madrid and had to take Spanish lessons when she got there.
It may sometimes seem easy as a lot of Latin based words are similar but this too can be deceptive (or even disappointing).

I agree w/ Juscelino, Peter and Mike. A good high school friend of mine spoke Spanish fluently, as he had come to the U.S. at age 9 from Cuba. He studied Spanish in college, as well (not as his major), and told me at one point that he had been surprised to find out how much Spanish he didn’t know. He reeled off a whole list of things he found he would get wrong–words and syntax–just as examples. The head of the language department in our high school, who spoke Italian, Spanish, and French fluently, also agreed that Spanish might seem easy at first, but that advanced Spanish was at least as difficult as any other language taught at our school (Spanish, French, Italian, German).

I’ve been trying to study Spanish off and on for a few years now, and I don’t think it’s that easy.

When you figure out imperfect vs. preterite and the subjunctive with no problems, then you can call it easy.

I’ve dabbled in Esperanto and don’t think it’s an easy language, either. There are so many prefixes that I haven’t learned yet.

Maybe I’m just a dud at languages and should try a new hobby :slight_smile:

Have a look at this blog, it might help you - The Most Important Factor in Learning a Language Is... - Learn Spanish with Andrew

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Thanks for the link (I guess that would be LingQ on this website) dfranks. I’m reading the article and signed up for the newsletter.

skybluepot thanks for the compliments!

By the way, I wanted to correct Elrik when he said:
edit.: oh, I forgot Castillian Spanish’s ‘lisp’ sound (because I was thinking of Latin American Spanish).

That’s not correct, we don’t do the lisp sound in Castilian Spanish.

What actually does happen is that in South America and in many regions of Andalucía (the South of Spain), they do “seseo”:
Seseo is an Andalusian and Canary Island phenomenon and that all American Spanish shared, the phenomenon whereby phonemes whose spellings are “c”, “z” and “s” are equalized and assimilated to the voiceless alveolar fricative consonant /s/.

Although there are also a few places where they do actually lisp (ceceo), also in Andalucía. Lisping would be to pronounce (for example) the word “casa”, like “caza”.

So if someone form one of those regions where they do ceceo (lisp sound) said “me voy de casa”, it would sound like “me voy de caza”, so you wouldn’t know if he was leaving his house, or he was going hunting. It goes the same way with seseo, if they say “me voy de caza” it would sound like “me voy de casa”, and again, you wouldn’t know if they were leaving their house or they were going hunting. So pronouncing the “c” and “z” comes quite useful.

You can see a map of Andalucía here File:Andalucía ceceante y seseante.PNG - Wikimedia Commons and see where they do lisp (ceceo) and where they do seseo.

Not doing seseo would seem to be a nuisance at first, since it’s easier and more natural for English speakers to do “seseo”. But afterwards it is a disadvantage because since you pronounce all C,S and Z like S, it’ll be difficult to remember how words with those letters are written. But if you don’t do seseo, it’ll be straight forward.

I think Elrik was simply stating that in Spain there is a difference in pronunciation between the C and the S, where in Latin America (the Spanish he is used to hearing) there is not. Calling it a lisp was probably just an unfortunate misuse of the word.

I think that everybody learning a foreign language should be free to pick up the pronunciation they prefer, as long as it is intelligible. I for instance love the Argentine style of Spanish and would love to be able to pull off a half convincing Argentine accent someday.

I spend a lot of time in Europe and have noticed that some non native English speakers prefer a British style English while some an American style English. As an American, listening to a foreigner speak a British version of English does not bother me one bit as long as I can understand them. I have heard of some Brits however getting annoyed when a non native English speaker decided to model their English after American English, but have never personally experienced it.

odiernod, I think Berta was saying that in some places they pronounce the ‘s’ as ‘th’ which is a lisp. She also said that pronouncing ‘c, z’ as ‘th’ is the norm whereas pronouncing ‘c, z’ as ‘s’ is called seseo.
I guess in Andalucia you would only know for definite if the man leaving home had a gun in his hand :slight_smile:
As for the British thing, I’ve lived in England all my life and have never once seen anyone getting annoyed with a non native because of an American type accent. Probably most of the learning resources are from the states so it wouldn’t be surprising. I think that as long as we can understand them then that’s good enough.

Video starting at 12:44, or text starting at “AMIR: yo creo que hay cosas parecidas en cada pais”

What Elric meant by a “lisp” is what odiernod said–c and z pronounced in Castilian as “th.” (Please correct me, you two, if I’m wrong.)

In English “lisp” usually describes pronouncing “s” as “th.” It seems that for speakers of Latin American Spanish, who don’t pronounce “th” at all (seseo), Castilian Spanish has a lisp (z, and c before i and e). For speakers of Castilian a lisp would be when what they pronounce as “s” is pronounced as “th” (ceceo); their pronunciation of c and z of course does not sound like a lisp to them.

BTW, is the term “ceceo” used in Latin American Spanish? If so, how is it pronounced?

Some years ago, Veneto’s people thought that spanish is similar to their language, it was sufficient add “s” at the end of every word. :slight_smile:

P.s. Veneto is a region of north Italy, the land of Venice.