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tashby


Apr 21, 2010, 10:25 AM

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Do you "¿Mande?"

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The use of mande? is so common. I was having a conversation with a friend last night and told him I just wasn't comfortable using it since I'm not from Mexico. (He's Mexican.)

He told me I was nuts.

So what do you all think? Do you "¿Mande?". Am I nuts?



Peter


Apr 21, 2010, 10:34 AM

Post #2 of 32 (9242 views)

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Re: [tashby] Do you "¿Mande?"

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I picked up using "¿Mande?" a long time ago. I was told it was very polite. It sounds a whole hell of a lot better than, "¿Qué?"


(This post was edited by Peter on Apr 21, 2010, 10:49 AM)


Reefhound


Apr 21, 2010, 11:32 AM

Post #3 of 32 (9234 views)

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Re: [Peter] Do you "¿Mande?"

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I agree about the "¿Qué?" at least, that seems to be what my wife always says when I tell her I'm going diving on the weekend when she had a bunch of honey-do's lined up for me. Oh she heard me just fine the first time, she just wants to see if I dare say it again!!!


La Isla


Apr 21, 2010, 12:41 PM

Post #4 of 32 (9222 views)

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Re: [tashby] Do you "¿Mande?"

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For the longest time, I had trouble letting "¿Mande?" come out naturally, so I usually ended up saying "¿Cómo?", which I think is more common in Spain. Now that I've been here for over two years, "¿Mande?" just rolls off my tongue. "¿Qué?" definitely sounds rude and impatient to me.


Casa

Apr 21, 2010, 12:45 PM

Post #5 of 32 (9219 views)

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Re: [tashby] Do you "¿Mande?"

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I would say it depends on where you are from originally. In Spain Mande (like platicar and many other words) is considered archaic, something you would only hear in old black and white movies. So it is understandable if you would not feel comfortable using it if you are from Spain.

On the other hand some people do not feel comfortable saying it because they may feel it may be demeaning. (Mande or Mandeme coming from Mandar, to order) This is not the connotation in Mexico.

It is very common to hear a sus ordenes (at your orders) or para servirle (to serve you) after one introduces them self. This is just polite form of introduction. This person is not waiting for you to order them to do something or to serve them……again no demeaning connotation.

Much in the same way when someone say Con permiso they are not literally asking for your permission, they are being polite and excusing themselves, ( from the room or to move past you or by you) much like one would say excuse me in English.

You don’t have to be Mexican to use Mande but it is good to know that in other Spanish speaking countries many “Mexican” words will simply not be understood or could have a different meaning all together. (Try ordering a Guajolote con Chicaros in Spain)

Other polite alternatives to Qué would be "Perdón" or "Disculpe".


A donde fueres haz lo que vieres………………..When in Rome….


tashby


Apr 21, 2010, 3:08 PM

Post #6 of 32 (9206 views)

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Re: [Casa] Do you "¿Mande?"

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On the other hand some people do not feel comfortable saying it because they may feel it may be demeaning. (Mande or Mandeme coming from Mandar, to order) This is not the connotation in Mexico.


Thanks, yes. This is my concern, but I guess it's not warranted? Given the history of the country my assumption was that it once had a much more literal meaning.


Maesonna

Apr 21, 2010, 8:27 PM

Post #7 of 32 (9179 views)

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Re: [tashby] Do you "¿Mande?"

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Absolutely. And various other Mexican expressions. I try to speak Spanish like a Mexican: it only makes sense because I live in Mexico and I learned my Spanish here. For me, it’s not logical to try to speak like someone from a different country that I never lived in nor will ever live in.

In the particular case of “mande,” it’s definitely the polite thing to say in Mexico. Like saying “Pardon me?” or “I beg your pardon?” instead of “What?”

(This post was edited by Maesonna on Apr 21, 2010, 8:57 PM)


esperanza

Apr 22, 2010, 7:30 AM

Post #8 of 32 (9160 views)

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Re: [tashby] Do you "¿Mande?"

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Your friend is right, of course: you definitely are nuts. ;^)

'Mande' is absolutely the right thing to say in Mexico. Using it is in no way demeaning. It's Mexican Spanish and your use of 'mande' will show that you are indeed speaking the language more "as she is spoke" and less as it's learned in a classroom.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









tashby


Apr 22, 2010, 9:14 PM

Post #9 of 32 (9123 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Do you "¿Mande?"

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Thank you everyone!

I guess I can "¿Mande?" my way along freely, after admitting to my friend that he was correct and I was nuts.

Was. Nuts.

In my defense, I probably overthink this cultural boundary stuff because of where we live.

Thanks again.


mazbook1


Apr 22, 2010, 10:21 PM

Post #10 of 32 (9114 views)

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Re: [tashby] Do you "¿Mande?"

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tashby, No I don't think that you "overthink" the cultural boundary stuff. ¿mande? in place of ¿qué? (borderline rude) or ¿cómo? (overly formal or European, although a well educated Mexican taught me that it was the most polite when I first moved to México) is perfectly OK. Much better than ¿perdón? and certainly better than ¿disculpe?

BUT, although common in México, ¡mande!, particularly when answering the telephone, is definitely servile, and well educated Mexicans never use it this way. I actually know one very well-educated couple who will not allow their children to use it at all, since it hearkens back to the days when all Mexicans (mestizos and indígenas) were expected/required to be servile to their Spanish overlords and later to the hacendados who replaced the Spanish after Independence. My well-educated Mexican friends tell me that it is VERY, very different than "a sus ordenes" or "para servirle" that are both primarily used by merchants or their clerks when either greeting a customer or, in the case of "para servirle", after you have thanked them at the end of a transaction. Those are merely normal politenesses that have disappeared from American English, one of the reasons that most Mexicans feel that most gringos are either somewhat or even very rude, but that's a whole other discussion.

(This post was edited by mazbook1 on Apr 22, 2010, 10:37 PM)


mevale

Apr 25, 2010, 6:13 PM

Post #11 of 32 (9064 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Do you "¿Mande?"

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Your friend is right, of course: you definitely are nuts. ;^)

'Mande' is absolutely the right thing to say in Mexico. Using it is in no way demeaning. It's Mexican Spanish and your use of 'mande' will show that you are indeed speaking the language more "as she is spoke" and less as it's learned in a classroom.


I'm going to somewhat disagree with the above statement. When I first moved here, I asked my ex-Spanish teacher about this, and she said that she and all of her friends and family in Guadalajara would never use "¿mande?", but preferred to use "¿cómo?". We didn't talk about it much more than that, but I did sense somewhat of a "class" attitude, and I have noticed over the years that people from small towns tend to use "¿mande?" much more than people from say, D.F., Guadalajara or Monterrey. In fact, I have a friend that was born in Monterrey and in all the years I've known him, I've never heard him say "¿mande?". So I don't think that it is as universal as the above post implies.


(This post was edited by mevale on Apr 25, 2010, 6:16 PM)


Vichil

Apr 26, 2010, 1:17 PM

Post #12 of 32 (9027 views)

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Re: [mevale] Do you "¿Mande?"

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Funny, my teacher told me the same thing years ago. She said that since I was older there very few situation where I would say mande and she told me to use Como. My teacher was a Tapatia as well.


tashby


Apr 28, 2010, 5:24 PM

Post #13 of 32 (8926 views)

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Re: [Vichil] Do you "¿Mande?"

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And these two comments put me right back to being uncomfortable with it:


Quote
I actually know one very well-educated couple who will not allow their children to use it at all, since it hearkens back to the days when all Mexicans (mestizos and indígenas) were expected/required to be servile to their Spanish overlords and later to the hacendados who replaced the Spanish after Independence.



Quote
When I first moved here, I asked my ex-Spanish teacher about this, and she said that she and all of her friends and family in Guadalajara would never use "¿mande?", but preferred to use "¿cómo?".


I guess I'll just stick with "¿Cómo?". It comes out easily, and I hear it all the time so it's not like I sound like I'm from Mars. Much.


eyePad

Apr 29, 2010, 4:32 PM

Post #14 of 32 (8898 views)

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Re: [tashby] Do you "¿Mande?"

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In all my time in Mexico I've never in the least felt it incorrect to use mande.


Maesonna

Apr 29, 2010, 5:07 PM

Post #15 of 32 (8890 views)

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Re: [tashby] Do you "¿Mande?"

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I guess tone of voice can make a huge difference, but to me, “¿Cómo?” sounds more like what you say when in English you would say an incredulous “What?!” meaning “I heard what you said but I don’t believe my ears!”

Anyway, this is the first I’ve ever heard about the appropriateness of using “Mande” being controversial. From the discussion above there seem to be class differences in its acceptability. I wonder whether this also varies by region.


Rolly


Apr 30, 2010, 11:01 AM

Post #16 of 32 (8868 views)

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Re: Do you "¿Mande?"

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I asked my English students about this. Both are college students. They said their families always use mande. Alex said he sometimes uses qué with his friends. He said sometimes he slips and says qué to his father who frowns at him for using that word rather than mande.

Rolly Pirate


mazbook1


May 1, 2010, 3:43 PM

Post #17 of 32 (8838 views)

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Re: [Maesonna] Do you "¿Mande?"

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Maesonna, First, you must take into account the two variations of mande. The first, the questioning variation, i.e., ¿Mande?, is used in place of ¿Cómo?, which many of us have been taught was the most polite way to say, "Please repeat that." or ¿Qué?, which is definitely out-of-bounds except between friends. ¿Perdón? can be used, but I have never heard it used in this situation by a native-Spanish speaker in my part of México, although that non-use could be purely regional.

This use of mande, pretty well cuts across all class and regional differences in México, although there are those native-Spanish speakers who never seem to use it
. I have never heard my wife, who comes from a working class family from northern Sinaloa, use it in the 10 years we have been together, even when she is conversing with friends who use it often. Nor have I heard any of her direct family (my suegros or cuñados) use it. This particular usage may have originated as a servile usage in México, but today seems to be more-or-less universally acceptable as a normal alternative to ¿Cómo?

But then, there is the other variation of mande; the one that I always write as ¡Mande! This usage definitely originates from the original, servile use of the word, and the usage definitely varies with the "class" or education of the speaker or the speaker's family. It may also be regional, but I hear it quite often from less educated folks here in Sinaloa, so I have no basis for comparison with other regions of México. I have never heard it used as replacement for Bueno, when answering the telephone here in Mazatlán, although I understand that it is common in some other regions of México. BUT, I have heard it frequently when I answer the telephone and someone asks for an employee. The first word out of that employee's mouth when taking the phone is, more often than not, ¡Mande!, something which seems to be a more servile statement than the commonly heard, ¡Dígame! Although both are unmistakably the polite (Usted), respectful imperative, the latter is definitely NOT servile, whereas ¡Mande! is, or at least is considered to be by a certain "class" of well-educated Mexicans.



(This post was edited by mazbook1 on May 1, 2010, 6:43 PM)


sioux4noff

May 2, 2010, 9:04 AM

Post #18 of 32 (8808 views)

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Re: [tashby] Do you "¿Mande?"

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This thread reminds me of something that happened to me a couple years ago.
I went to the municipality's Mother's Day event, a large gathering of probably 10,000 people. I'm guessing that 9,990 or more of them were born and raised in Mexico.
The entertainment was a comedian, not an easy type of entertainment for me to follow but I was doing OK.
She made one joke that I think I was the ONLY person in that large audience who laughed out loud at it.
She told her partner about something that was going to happen, and he said "Mande?" To which her answer was "Si, Monday, y Tuesday, y Wednesday y Thursday."


jerezano

May 5, 2010, 9:49 AM

Post #19 of 32 (8737 views)

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Re: [sioux4noff] Do you "¿Mande?"/Education

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Hello all,

Here in Zacatecas I have found, as someone has previously pointed out, that people with more education (scholastic not manners) do not use mande. On the other hand the campesinos who have usually dropped out of grammar school early use it all the time. ¿Cómo? or No entendí are always acceptable. ¿Qué? from a gringo is always acceptable too.

Perhaps the latter, ¿Qué?, betrays lack of education (manners not scholastic) but if so it is forgivable with people whose native language is not Spanish.

Hasta luego, jerezano


La Isla


May 5, 2010, 10:05 AM

Post #20 of 32 (8729 views)

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Re: [jerezano] Do you "¿Mande?"/Education

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I could swear that I've heard all sorts of people in Mexico City use ¿mande? as a polite way to say "What?", but after reading through this thread, I'm not so sure anymore. I'm going to keep my ears open the next few days to find out if that's really true.


esperanza

May 5, 2010, 11:08 AM

Post #21 of 32 (8725 views)

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Re: [La Isla] Do you "¿Mande?"/Education

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Every native Spanish-speaker I know in Mexico uses mande, no matter his/her level of estudios (school studies) or educación (manners). Native speakers from other countries generally don't; it's a Mexican thing.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Papirex


May 5, 2010, 1:43 PM

Post #22 of 32 (8711 views)

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Re: [La Isla] Do you "¿Mande?"

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My Mexican wife, born and educated in México City, always says ¿mande?, it is correctly pronounced in Spanish the same as the English word Monday. She says that ¿que?, ¿como?, or anything else sounds ignorant.


The correct usage probably depends on the area of the country, and the educational level of the speaker. I don´t worry, or even think about it.


Rex
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


La Isla


May 5, 2010, 1:51 PM

Post #23 of 32 (8708 views)

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Re: [Papirex] Do you "¿Mande?"

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My Mexican wife, born and educated in México City, always says ¿mande?, it is correctly pronounced in Spanish the same as the English word Monday. She says that ¿que?, ¿como?, or anything else sounds ignorant.

Rex


I beg to differ with you about the correct pronunciations of "mande" and "Monday". "Mande" is pronounced /mahn day/ and "Monday" is pronounced /mun day/, at least I way I say them.


Papirex


May 5, 2010, 2:09 PM

Post #24 of 32 (8707 views)

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Re: [La Isla] Do you "¿Mande?"

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I have been hearing my wife and her whole (huge) family pronounce it as monday for over 3 decades. Most of them reside in México City. I specifically asked my wife what the correct pronunciation is before I made my last post.


My wifes' family has lived in México for several hundred years. One of her great-grandfathers was a French soldier that escaped from the battle at Puebla, he, and several other survivors settled in Jalisco.


I defer to her familys' knowledge of the correct pronunciation of all Spanish words used in México. Hell, there are even people in my home state of California that don't know that the correct pronunciation of creek in English is crick. I don't take any of this seriously, as long as people understand most of what I am saying, I'm happy.


Rex
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


Maesonna

May 5, 2010, 2:38 PM

Post #25 of 32 (8702 views)

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Re: [Papirex] Do you "¿Mande?"

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English has over a dozen different vowel sounds; Spanish only five. Spanish speakers learning English find it hard to master the subtle differences between various English vowel sounds. I can well imagine a Spanish speaker not being able to differentiate between the vowel in “Monday” and “mande.”


mazbook1


May 5, 2010, 4:19 PM

Post #26 of 32 (3227 views)

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Re: [Maesonna] Do you "¿Mande?"

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Maesonna,

Yes, and I can well imagine an English speaker (even ones who speak Spanish) not being able to differenciate between the vowel in "Monday" and that in "
mande".

Many expats I know can't "hear" the difference between "peine" and "pene" properly pronounced by a native Spanish speaker, and that's a VERY important difference!


La Isla


May 5, 2010, 5:25 PM

Post #27 of 32 (3213 views)

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Re: [Maesonna] Do you "¿Mande?"

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English has over a dozen different vowel sounds; Spanish only five. Spanish speakers learning English find it hard to master the subtle differences between various English vowel sounds. I can well imagine a Spanish speaker not being able to differentiate between the vowel in “Monday” and “mande.”


That makes a lot of sense especially taking into consideration that the sound of the "o" in "Monday" is one of those many vowel sounds that do not exist in Spanish. Getting my students to perfect their English vowels is one of my more difficult tasks!


esperanza

May 5, 2010, 6:04 PM

Post #28 of 32 (3202 views)

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Re: [mazbook1] Do you "¿Mande?"

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Maesonna,

Many expats I know can't "hear" the difference between "peine" and "pene" properly pronounced by a native Spanish speaker, and that's a VERY important difference!

That's a way better mistake than the typical año/ano mistake. Gente decente will bite their tongues bloody rather than let loose with the carcajadas, but...LOL...

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









jerezano

May 5, 2010, 6:36 PM

Post #29 of 32 (3200 views)

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Re: [Maesonna] Do you "¿Mande?"

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Hello all,

Quote:>>English has over a dozen different vowel sounds; Spanish only five.<<<

Wait a minute. That is theory only. What about the e? Take the word élite for example: EH lee tay. Or EH li teh. Aren't there two different vowel sounds for the e. Take the word enseñar ehn sen YAHR. Or the word pene (penis) PEH nay which is a lot different in sound from peine (comb) which is PAY nay. So we have at least six vowel sounds since the e has two pronunciations. I could probably find other vowel sounds if I really looked for them. I usually hear two different pronunciations for the i (eee) as well. In words where it is not accented it sounds much more like the i in our word in or it rather than the pure eee. If we count the i then there are at least 7 pronunciations of vowel sounds in Spanish. Am I hearing incorrectly? Could be.

And yes when I hear ¿mande? here in Zacatecas and also in the Tamaulipas area of the border it is always without fail ¿MAHN day? Even from those Spanish speakers who speak Spanglish as their normal communication. If there is ever a variation it is in the shortening of the last e from day to deh.

But Rex is right. Who cares so long as you are understood? If people have objections they will usually let you know.

Hasta luego, jerezano


Maesonna

May 5, 2010, 7:17 PM

Post #30 of 32 (3195 views)

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Re: [jerezano] Do you "¿Mande?"

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Quote
Quote:>>English has over a dozen different vowel sounds; Spanish only five.<<<

Wait a minute. That is theory only. What about the e? Take the word élite for example: EH lee tay. Or EH li teh. Aren't there two different vowel sounds for the e. Take the word enseñar ehn sen YAHR. Or the word pene (penis) PEH nay which is a lot different in sound from peine (comb) which is PAY nay. So we have at least six vowel sounds since the e has two pronunciations. I could probably find other vowel sounds if I really looked for them. I usually hear two different pronunciations for the i (eee) as well. In words where it is not accented it sounds much more like the i in our word in or it rather than the pure eee. If we count the i then there are at least 7 pronunciations of vowel sounds in Spanish. Am I hearing incorrectly? Could be.


Yes, I simplified, but your example doesn't illustrate it. The first and last "e" of "élite" might be subtly different, but in essence, both are "e". Your examples of EH lee tay and EH li teh are mixing together English and Spanish phonetics, but both point to essentially the same pronunciation.

The vowel in the first syllable of "pene" is "e" and the corresponding vowel in "peine" is a dipthong "ei", made up of the sounds of "e" and "i".

If you count dipthongs, you can find more vowel sounds in Spanish; "ou" for example, but they are all made up of combinations of the 5 vowels a, e, i, o and u.

In contrast, here is a chart showing the vowel sounds of American English:
http://faculty.washington.edu/...ources/newstart.html, and here is one for Canadian English: http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/.../138/sec1/vowels.htm
The precise number of different vowels in English depends on which regional English you consider. Other regional Englishes will not have exactly the same sets of vowels.


Papirex


May 5, 2010, 8:46 PM

Post #31 of 32 (3191 views)

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Re: [Maesonna] Do you "¿Mande?"

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I was lucky enough to be in one of the last special classes in a California State grammar school where we learned to spell using the phonic method. Some lame brain in the California State educational system had decided that the easiest way to teach kids to spell was to simply teach them how to spell every single syllable in the English language, then all they had to do was put those several hundred, or thousand, syllables in order, and Presto! Everybody could spell anything correctly. It was a great idea, and was, and still is, a colossal failure.


We were taught how to pronounce every letter, and combination of letters in the English alphabet, and that there are only 10 pronunciations for the 5 vowels, long and short.


Many people that have not been lucky enough to have been taught spelling using the phonic method ignorantly confuse it with phonetics. Phonics is a science and method of teaching correct spelling, Phonetics is a description of spelling or pronouncing a word or words by the way they are spelled, or spoken.


Anyone, probably nearly everyone, that is in any doubt about the true meaning of those two words should get a good unabridged dictionary, (not a paperback), and look them both up.


I will match my spelling skills against any American English speaker anytime. If any word is pronounced correctly, I can spell it correctly using United States English. That is the reason that at all spelling bees, there is a person called “the pronouncer”. Typos are a different matter. A key mis strike may get past the best spellchecker. I used to use Microsoft Word 2000 for my word processor. It had a grammar checker in it, it caught most, but not all grammatical errors.


Rex
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


mazbook1


May 6, 2010, 3:00 PM

Post #32 of 32 (3166 views)

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Re: [Maesonna] Do you "¿Mande?"

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Maesonna,

Absolutely correct—jerezano is just "hearing" the Spanish vowel sounds wrong, something a large majority of native English speakers do.

"pene", phonetically translitered for MOST folks from the west-of-the-Mississippi U.S. and MOST west-coast Canandians is best represented by PAY nay for beginners learning to speak Spanish and by PEH neh for those a bit more advanced.

"peine", phonetically translitered for the same group is PAY-EE nay for beginners and PEH-EE neh for the more advanced.

These phonetic transliterations DON'T represent reality, as the Spanish vowel sounds only occupy approx. 1/2 of the TIME that the English vowel sounds use (and the "i" or the "u" in diphthongs even less), therefore anyone using these transliterations will still have a pronounced gringo accent, BUT will absolutely be understood correctly. Of course, this "clipped" pronunciation is even harder for the average English speaker to hear and mimic properly.

Another thing that makes "hearing" Spanish properly difficult is the way the Spanish diphthongs are pronounced. In English, the two vowel sounds are combined and emerge as a new phoneme, i.e., sound. In Spanish, the two vowels are both pronounced, but run together with either the "i" or the "u" of the diphthong being only slightly pronounced. I represent this in my transliterations the way you see in the above example of "peine" – PAY-EE nay or PEH-EE neh.

Also, ALL vowel pairs are not diphthongs in Spanish. The ones without either an "i" or a "u" have both vowels pronounced equally, but still run together. And any (even those with an "i" or a "u") that have an accent mark over one of the vowels are completely "split", and not run together except in rare instances. Here are a couple of common examples of regular versus split diphthongs in Spanish:

"farmacia" – fahr MAH cee-ah — normal Spanish diphthong.

"tortillería" – tohr tee yeh REE ah — normal Spanish "split" diphthong.

Hope this makes sense and helps others.




(This post was edited by mazbook1 on May 6, 2010, 3:14 PM)
 
 
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