viernes, 23 de octubre de 2009

Proper Language

When speaking English, Spanish speakers frequently mispronounce the sound /s/ at the beginning of a word; for example, they pronounce "Spanish" as if there was an /e/sound starting the word. This pronunciation mistake leads them to a grammar one: when using the indefinite article, they tend to use "an" in front of the word. They know the rule (oh yes, in Spain, every student will know the rule... grammar rules are so important here!!!...): when a word starts with a vowel, you use "an" instead of "a" and since -for them- the words starts with a vowel sound, they use the corresponding article...
Speakers tend to make the same mistakes in a language influenced by their mother tongue but that´s not the only influence: in the following video you will see how the community can affect they way you speak. In this case, they focus on the Afro-American community in the USA and some of the mistakes they often make, both pronunciation and grammar mistakes. Funnily enough, one of the grammar mistakes they mention is very frequent in Spanish and Galician: the incorrect use of the verbs teach and learn (eg, They learned me to ... instead of They taught me... Haven´t you ever heard the sentence Me aprendieron a jugar al tenis for Me enseñaron a jugar al tenis? ). Regarding pronunciation, they point out the mispronunciation of ask for ax /aks/. Let´s see how much you understand:

According to the video, poor language skills can affect your professional life, you may lose opportunities at job interviews..., so next time a teacher corrects you when you use a double negative, for instance,remember it´s for your own good!

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