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Old 06-02-2010, 08:56 PM   #21
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I asked my Colombian girlfriend (I live in Medellin, Colombia) tonight about the best way to say "I am going grocery shopping". She said: Voy a mercar. My dictionary says "mercar" is archaic for going shopping, but this is what they use here, even though she understood Voy a ir para comprar abarrotes, etc. Mercar is more general but she said it is the most common and that is how she would say it.

Also, another common regionalism here in Colombia is that "ahora" means in a little bit, it does not mean now or right now. "de pronto" means suddenly in most of the Spanish speaking world but here it can also mean maybe, although I noticed this usage more along the coast. These were the two that threw me for a loop when I first arrived.

In reality, IMO, the vocabulary and usage differences are not that great in that you will be understood. The bigger difference is in the accents you will encounter. In Colombia, there are lots of different accents. My maid is a black lady from a poor area of Colombia near the coast (both of these, race and area of origin, are indicators of accent). I was talking with her yesterday for quite awhile, I can understand 50 to 70 percent when she is talking at full speed. She says the guy downstairs from Peru can't really understand her at all. She also said that she felt absolutely no prejudice in Colombia being a black lady living in a predominantly white city in Medellin.

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Old 06-02-2010, 09:15 PM   #22
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Also, another common regionalism here in Colombia is that "ahora" means in a little bit, it does not mean now or right now.
I remember that. It seemed to mean, cool it Ha, we'll go or whatever when we get ready. My biggest adjustment was suspending my Yanqui time consciousness. Of course then I typically went too far the other way. Once I showed up after a few drinks with a Spanish friend at a woman's house for dinner and she had already given up and gone to bed. Huge embarassment bordering on guilt ensued. His take-tranquila hombre!

Ha
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Old 06-05-2010, 05:17 PM   #23
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I believe that within a generation futbol will be huge in America, not only among Latins, Africans and other non-Anglo populations but among all the US natives who now work with an international workforce. One of my sons and his wife have Seattle Sounders season tickets. There is big enthuiasm for this team among tech workers especially.

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I said essentially the same thing 25 years ago when my kids started playing organized soccer. With so many kids playing soccer, I assumed that its popularity would skyrocket. It never did.
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Old 06-05-2010, 05:23 PM   #24
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Also, another common regionalism here in Colombia is that "ahora" means in a little bit, it does not mean now or right now. "de pronto" means suddenly in most of the Spanish speaking world
Kramer
Geez, I always thought in the Spanish speaking world "de pronto" meant...... any day now.

Just kidding
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Old 06-05-2010, 06:26 PM   #25
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Also, another common regionalism here in Colombia is that "ahora" means in a little bit, it does not mean now or right now. "de pronto" means suddenly in most of the Spanish speaking world but here it can also mean maybe, although I noticed this usage more along the coast. These were the two that threw me for a loop when I first arrived.

Kramer
That "ahora" problem bit me when I lived in the mountains of Peru. I ordered some bottled water (in a 20L jug) and called the story to see if it had arrived from Lima. The store owner told me "ahora llega," which I interpreted as "it is now arriving," so I headed to the store. When I got there, no water. As you know, the real meaning was "it will arrive in a little bit."

In Peru, "de repente" means maybe or perhaps, whereas the dictionary meaning is usually "suddenly." I never heard "de pronto," but I used it a few times to mean suddenly. I'm not sure if I was understood or not.
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Old 06-05-2010, 10:44 PM   #26
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In Italian, pronto means ready.

Presto is soon or quickly

Subito is right away/immediately.
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Old 06-06-2010, 06:34 AM   #27
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Haha

Have you encountered this site? Spanish WordReference Forums

It's a very active community of Spanish and English speakers from all over the world who help each other out with translation and grammar. The forum rules are somewhat strict in terms of staying focused on the language purpose - i.e. no "chatting", but still staying completely on topic you can have some interesting conversations.

Just yesterday I stumbled across a fascinatin discussion of what names were used for pecan vs. walnut, and just "nut" in general. It varied wildly across LA countries. Very informative.

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Old 06-06-2010, 06:47 AM   #28
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I am also seriously working on my Spanish right now. I have been watching the evening telenovelas on Telemundo. There is a Columbian remake of "Grey's Anatomy" that is really very good and I'm hooked. It's produced by the original creator of "Ugly Betty". www.canalrcnmsn.com | Nuestra Tele

And the goofy Telemundo (US) produced "Perro Amor" has been very entertaining as well.

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Old 06-06-2010, 06:50 AM   #29
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Um, anyone have a translation for "nurona" which I think is Mexican slang?

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Old 06-06-2010, 06:52 AM   #30
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Ahora is not so much a word as an attitide. Politicians use it lot.
Ahorita is even worse.

Right now is ahora mismo.
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Old 06-06-2010, 02:32 PM   #31
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Haha

Have you encountered this site? Spanish WordReference Forums

It's a very active community of Spanish and English speakers from all over the world who help each other out with translation and grammar. The forum rules are somewhat strict in terms of staying focused on the language purpose - i.e. no "chatting", but still staying completely on topic you can have some interesting conversations.
Thanks for pointing me to this site Audrey. I registered there today. Looks very helpful.

I have my weekly meeting with the Spanish speaking drinkers tonight too. Nothing like a drink to aid fluency, though perhaps not accuracy.

Ha
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Old 06-06-2010, 02:47 PM   #32
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In Peru, "de repente" means maybe or perhaps, whereas the dictionary meaning is usually "suddenly." I never heard "de pronto," but I used it a few times to mean suddenly. I'm not sure if I was understood or not.
In Brazilian Portuguese, "de repente" always means "suddenly".

As to "amanhã" (the Portuguese equivalent of "mañana"), the major mistake tourists make is to think of the dictionary meaning, "tomorrow".
When I was a recent arrival in Brazil, a friend explained that for all practical purposes, the translation was "not today".
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Old 06-06-2010, 10:16 PM   #33
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Thanks for pointing me to this site Audrey. I registered there today. Looks very helpful.

I have my weekly meeting with the Spanish speaking drinkers tonight too. Nothing like a drink to aid fluency, though perhaps not accuracy.

Ha
Cool! I'm glad you liked it. I think it is a pretty amazing forum and the geographical diversity is impressive. Here is a link to a rather fascinating thread I stumbled on to last night after searching about spanish names for pecan and walnut - something I always was unsure about: pecan - WordReference Forums. And now I know why! (and that even "hispanohablantes" get confused about it).

Audrey
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Old 06-07-2010, 12:00 AM   #34
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I just returned from my meeting, which is only a 10 minute walk away. It was still gong strong when I left. I had so much fun! I have tried these things before but I think the missing ingrediant was booze. There must have been 50 people there, all jabbering away in small groups pretty much like any cocktail party, but thanks to the heavy dose of Latinos everything was livelier. To my surprise the majority of the members were Latinos. All the cleavage on display seems to be a pretty good draw for them, and the chance to speak Spanish works for us Anglos.

I met a great middle aged Puerto Rican woman who lives close by and she likes dancing as much as I do, entonces vamos a bailar!

Ha
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Old 06-07-2010, 05:54 AM   #35
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Felicitaciones Ha! Pero las borinqueñas hablan muy rápidamente.
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Old 06-07-2010, 12:22 PM   #36
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Thanks for pointing me to this site Audrey. I registered there today. Looks very helpful.

I have my weekly meeting with the Spanish speaking drinkers tonight too. Nothing like a drink to aid fluency, though perhaps not accuracy.

Ha
I haven't posted much there lately, but I used to participate a lot (WordReference.com). I still go there frequently for translations. It's a great site.
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Old 06-07-2010, 02:55 PM   #37
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I just returned from my meeting, which is only a 10 minute walk away. It was still gong strong when I left. I had so much fun! I have tried these things before but I think the missing ingrediant was booze. There must have been 50 people there, all jabbering away in small groups pretty much like any cocktail party, but thanks to the heavy dose of Latinos everything was livelier. To my surprise the majority of the members were Latinos. All the cleavage on display seems to be a pretty good draw for them, and the chance to speak Spanish works for us Anglos.

I met a great middle aged Puerto Rican woman who lives close by and she likes dancing as much as I do, entonces vamos a bailar!

Ha
Is this a language session or a singles meet?

Would the mods have a problem with a spanish language joke posted in the joke thread? It's a bit off color but no more so than many of the native language jokes there...
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Old 06-07-2010, 03:05 PM   #38
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Is this a language session or a singles meet?

Would the mods have a problem with a spanish language joke posted in the joke thread? It's a bit off color but no more so than many of the native language jokes there...
It is definitely a language session, but as they say no place to learn a language like on a pillow. Anyway, a crowded noisy bar is not a natural first pick venue for greasy grinds looking to conjugate verbs.

Anyway, the woman I met is not my type, but she is very nice, loves to dance and I am always looking for non-gringa dance partners for la salsa, la cumbia, el merengue, la bachata, ... For me, dancing is a goal of its own. It is not as intense as sex, but you can do it way longer and usually you don't get in trouble for spreading yourself around.

Dancing and food are really good non-boring topics to talk to Latinos and Latinas about. They are interested and they understand these topics, and they are quite surprised when an old gringo also understands and is interested. I learned la cumbia in its birthplace way before most of these folks were born, and before salsa meant anything beyond sauce.

I totally enjoy conversations with latinos also because they structure reality differently. Our usual structuring is severely truncated by comparison.

Ha
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Old 06-07-2010, 03:12 PM   #39
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Is this a language session or a singles meet?

Would the mods have a problem with a spanish language joke posted in the joke thread? It's a bit off color but no more so than many of the native language jokes there...
Only if it's not funny
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Old 06-07-2010, 03:18 PM   #40
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