Saturday, June 21, 2008

And the weekend begins

The only event which is actually worth talking about yesterday is that I went to a birthday party for one of Tomas' friends at his house in a (very) nice neighborhood in Buenos Aires that's called Tigre. The houses there were definitely very, very fancy. I was able to spend a second night speaking and listening to Spanish from different people, which was great. I now have set some certain goals out for myself for what I want to specifically do, and rolling my r's is one of them. Everyone here can roll their r's with ease, and I have trouble remembering to do it. I know I can do it, it's just difficult to think about it before the word is out of my mouth. As well there are some common words that I learned in high school that are not used here.

For instance, you say acá, instead of aquí, when you wish to say "here", and I'm terrible at that one. I have it so engrained to say aquí that it's really hard to switch over.

As well, in Argentina they speak with a different word for "you" than in any other country. Instead of addressing you with "tú", they say "vos". It's a 1-for-1 switch, and it includes a couple different spellings of words that I'm not used to. For instance, when you want to say "How are you?" everyone learns in Spanish class to say "Cómo estás tú?" (that is, if you even want to say the tú), but here you would hear, instead, "Cómo estás vos?". Or instead of "tú quieres" (which means you want), you say "vos querés". It's definitely distracting to near this word in a sentence where I am used to hearing another.

For those of you who speak Spanish, you might know why this is more confusing, because in Spain the word for "you all" or "all of you", which we do not have in English, is Vosotros. And, since vos is so close to vosotros, I continually think that the people here are referring to a plural "you", when in fact it means just me.

I apologize if that was confusing, but perhaps if it was confusing that's an even better way of showing that there are little complicated idiosyncrasies in any language based on where you speak it.

That's all for now - there's a big lunch starting soon with 30 people from Marta's family that come here every Saturday for lunch, so it's time to try and hold my own with a dozen conversations in Spanish from family members who speak very loudly and quickly to each other. I'll let you know if I survive....


Anonymous said...

nice! I am so glad you are enjoying yourself! When I saw vos, I immediately thought "oh vosotros" so, I can see how it would be super confusing. I would be completely lost and silent for at least 2 months if I went to a spanish speaking country so I am glad you are able to converse!


Marie said...

Oh my goodness, I was sooo thrown off by "acá" the first day, I had no idea what people were talking about.