Are you learning Spanish? Have you already reached a good level? Are you living in Spain or South America? If the answer is yes, you might have found a wall in your way: “the real or natural language”.
The fact that you master the grammar and your vocabulary covers all your needs, doesn’t mean you speak “real Spanish”. So, what or who establishes what “real Spanish” is? Keep reading and you will find it out.
“Real Spanish” is the natural way to speak Spanish. It’s the usual expressions which are choosen by native speakers spontaneously. It’s not a matter of linguistic accuracy but usage of words in the proper situations. Let’s see some examples:
Saludos (Greetings) and despedidas (farewells).
If you are talking to friends, forget the typical phrases you can find in your manual such as “hola, ¿cómo estás?” . Of course you can use them, but you will sound more natural saying “¿qué tal?”, “¿qué pasa?”, “¿qué hay?” or “¿cómo te va?”.
If it’s time to go, don’t abuse sentences like “adiós” or “hasta la vista”; using the first one a lot you will look like my grandad or Terminator with the last one. Other options are “venga, nos vemos”, “hasta luego” or “chao”.
Dar o preguntar direcciones (giving or asking for directions).
One of the most stressful situation for a tourist is asking for a direction; firstly, because of the distrust on our own language level and secondly, for the impatience showed by locals when they bump into a foreigner. Your manual might suggest questions like “¿cómo puedo ir al centro de la ciudad?” or maybe, “¿dónde está el parque?”. They are good, of course, but I will probably say “¿cómo se va al centro de la ciudad?” or “¿por dónde cae el parque?”, “¿hay una farmacia por aquí?”, “perdone, ¿para ir a la estación?”.
You may expect replies like “sigue recto”, or “gira a la izquierda / a la derecha”, but you can have problems if they answer “tira por esta calle”, “tuerce a la izquierda / a la derecha”, “coge la segunda bocacalle”…
En el bar (in the bar).
The bar is not a restaurant. The fauna gathered in these places is very different. Los parroquianos (metaphorically, parishioners or regular customers), share familiarity, stories, sorrow and happiness. You will not hear questions like “¿qué desea tomar?” or “la cuenta, por favor”. These are too much polite. “¿Qué te pongo?” or “¿qué te debo?” are more natural.
Muletilla comes from the word muleta (crutch) and it refers to a term that supports us to think before speaking in a conversation, without stopping it really. On www.spanishviaskype.com, students often ask what “pues…”, “esto…”, “y tal.”, “vale”, “sí o qué”, “venga”… means. The answer requires a new article (and we’ll do it). We’ll say that some of them express several emotions, but the others, just introduce a pause to think.
In spite of that, we don’t mean you should use these forms in all situations in order to seem natural. We’re just talking about daily chats and informal conversations.
Well, if you are planning to learn Spanish from zero for your next holidays in Spain, we recommend you to take a look at our Spanish Survival Course. However, if you have a higher level, and you want to speak “real Spanish”, Spanish Conversational Classes is your course on www.spanishviaskype.com. What is more real and natural than speaking via Skype from home, nowadays? Reserve now your free trial lesson here, and just speak real Spanish.