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pacomartin
pacomartin
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March 2nd, 2012 at 3:52:54 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

You're welcome. How did you manage in argentina and Mexico? I know what you wrote in your travelogues, but could you strike up a conversation, say, or follow one?



Judging by the final figures, U.S. Citizen travel to South America is almost non-existent (not much higher than the Middle East). I am guessing in Argentina they are reasonably happy to talk to a non-Latino American who is even trying to make an attempt at Spanish.

Total Overseas Travel is only 6% higher than visits to Mexico for the year. About 78% of the US Citizens who visit Mexico do so by ship or vehicle (only 22% by air).


U.S. CITIZEN TRAVEL TO INTERNATIONAL REGIONS 2011 (Final)
Regions Total % Change
Europe 10,825,923 3%
Caribbean 6,031,974 2%
Asia 4,135,648 5%
Central America 2,158,365 7%
South America 1,653,593 -2%
Middle East 1,346,896 7%
Oceania 504,833 0%
Africa 365,776 -5%
Total Overseas 27,023,008 3%
Wizard
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Wizard
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March 2nd, 2012 at 4:10:20 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

How did you manage in argentina and Mexico? I know what you wrote in your travelogues, but could you strike up a conversation, say, or follow one?



I could strike one up, and enjoyed doing so, but it never got very far. My best victims are those who can also speak English, so I can plop in an English word when necessary. Unfortunately, most of these people will respond entirely in English, not wanting to suffer through my terrible Spanish.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
Nareed
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March 2nd, 2012 at 4:47:16 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I could strike one up, and enjoyed doing so, but it never got very far.



In my expereince I've met few Americans who can speak Spanish well enough to hold up a conversation. One notable exception was the immigration official last time I went through McCarran. He even pronounced most words right.

So now you have a goal to strive for. :)
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pacomartin
pacomartin
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March 2nd, 2012 at 4:48:10 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I could strike one up, and enjoyed doing so, but it never got very far.



Sometimes the teachers are deceptive. In school you are not permitted to use any English, and teachers are prohibited from responding in English even if they are fluent. But you get used to people who are speaking slowly, articulating every word, using a small vocabulary and always facing you. Then you go out to the street, and somebody mumbles something and you have no idea what they said.

I asked a girl at a dry cleaner to repeat something three times, and I was ashamed when I realized that she was saying something very simple like "it will be cleaned in two days". I just couldn't get past the rapid way she talked.

My aunt tells one story where she practiced for a week to talk to the mother of her daughter-in-law on the phone (who lives in the Dominican Republic). But the second my aunt started to speak, the mother passed the phone to her daughter. She had no idea someone was even trying to speak Spanish. She could tell by the accent that it was an English speaker, and she didn't even hear that the words were Spanish.
Wizard
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March 2nd, 2012 at 4:59:46 PM permalink
Buenos Aires was not a good place for casual conversation. The people there talk fast and are always in a hurry. The gal who was showing me around spoke English so I didn't get much practice. I found Panama to be good for finding people to practice Spanish with, especially pretty girls at the blackjack tables looking for handouts.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
Nareed
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March 2nd, 2012 at 5:05:20 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

Sometimes the teachers are deceptive.



Ha!

I have nothing but respect for my English teacher, but he was deceptive, too.

Case in point. At summer camp in Canada, the water-ski instructor asked me if I spoke English. I said yes, naturally. Here's what he asked next:

"How are you doing?"

And that stumped me.

We still got along well enough, and he did believe I could speak English. At that time, though, I needed help from more fluent speakers. By next year during a trip to Israel, the locals were impressed by my command of English <shrug>

I made it a point to learn how people spoke outside of language text books. Largely that meant watching TV and movies.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
Doc
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March 2nd, 2012 at 6:00:57 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

... Unfortunately, most of these people will respond entirely in English, not wanting to suffer through my terrible Spanish.


I have fairly good skills in English but none at all in any other language, so I can't speak here from personal experience. However, one of my sons has a Ph.D. in German. During his undergraduate years, he spent one summer in Vienna, Austria with some fellow students. He said it was nigh impossible to get any of the Austrians to speak German to the Americans -- they all wanted to practice their English with native speakers. He had a very nice summer but didn't feel that it really added much to his conversational skills in his major.
Wizard
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March 2nd, 2012 at 11:05:58 PM permalink
Fecha: 3 de Marzo, 2012
SWD: Carecer


Today's SWD means to lack, as in to be missing/needing something.

A question for the advanced readers is how does carecer differ from faltar?

Ejemplo time.

Ella fue tan bonita que carecí el valor para le hablar. = She was so pretty I lacked the courage to talk to her.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
YoDiceRoll11
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March 2nd, 2012 at 11:14:31 PM permalink
The Argentinian says that word is "for stuck up people" lol....

I guess carecer is more for personal traits or intangibles and faltar is more for physical items. (This is just my guess).
pacomartin
pacomartin
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March 3rd, 2012 at 12:39:01 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

A question for the advanced readers is how does carecer differ from faltar?



Here is my best guess:

- Carecer its used followed by the preposition "de"
- Faltar is usually conjugated in the reflexive as "faltarse"

"carezco de el valor para le hablar" (I completely lack the courage to talk to a girl)
"me falta el valor para le hablar" (I lack enough courage to talk to her)

I get the feeling that faltar is more commonly used because it indicates "lack" of something as "insufficient". I have "insufficient money" or courage or strength. The verb carecer is "lack" in the sense of you never had the item of interest.

The DRAE gives as an example, carecen de escrúpulos or they are totally lacking in scruples.

I would think the correct verb in the example is "faltar", because you are having a temporary lack of courage.

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