Spanish and English
This week we have spoken to 4 Spanish students: Veronica, Luis Javier, Juan Manuel and Miguel. They have explained to us the reasons why English can be a difficult language for them and the resulting mistakes they usually make as Spanish speakers.
The main problem is English pronunciation. Spanish people pronounce each letter they read whilst English people don?t pronounce the words the way they read them.
Spanish speakers also find it difficult to understand verb contractions. For example, ?I will go? changes into ?I?ll go?...... ?I would go? changes into ?I?d go?.
These forms don?t exist in Spanish, what makes comprehension more difficult.
As far as verbs are concerned, English verb formation is easier than Spanish verb formation but the English use of tenses is far more complicated. As Veronica explained to us, she always uses one kind of past tense to speak Spanish while in English she has to think about the various possibilities when she speaks in the past.
All of them agree that phrasal verbs are very complex. In Spanish, you don?t have so many uses of just one word. The same happens with prepositions. For instances, in Spanish there is only one preposition to express in, on or at.
At school-En el colegio
In the garden-En el jardín
On the floor-En el suelo
Spanish people also use more words than English people. This probably reflects the outgoing culture of the Spanish nation, whose citizens generally like speaking a lot.
They also made an interesting final observation: it is often not possible to translate English idioms into their own language or to find an equivalent as there are many cultural differences.
For example, Spanish people usually eat 5 times a day and have a specific word for each meal. They can?t find any equivalent in English. Even if they try to follow the British timetable, it is often difficult for them to have dinner at 6 or 7p.m !