Language Diary – see the culture through the language
– Author: Viv
As I was studying my Spanish reading material today, I discovered a few interesting things about the Spanish language as well as Spanish speaking culture, in comparison with English.
In Spanish, your feeling is to have, and it is not something you are born with. For example, in English, if you are hungry, you would say “I am hungry.” As you can see, “am” signifies your state, and the feeling naturally happens to you. Meanwhile, in Spanish, expression of hunger is to “have,” as in “tengo hambre.” The feeling of hunger is something that you can possess. In otherwords, you can possess or lose your feelings in Spanish.
In Spanish, how you spend your time is up to your intentions. For example, in an ordinary expression when someone goes on vacation is “have a good time.” Good time here is something that is possessed. In Spanish, instead of just possessing time, you make the time in certain ways with your intention, as the expression goes, “hacer buen tiempo,” which is to make good time. In Spanish sense, you have to positively or willingly make good time, then you can have good time.
3. Countries, Nationalities, and Pronouns
In English, name of countries and nationalities are capitalized. However, that is not the case in Spanish. Countries are capitalized like Mexico, but nationalities are not capitalized, like mexicanos.
Similarly, in Spanish, you do not address yourself with capital letter like in English, “I.” In spanish you address yourself “yo” without any capitalization. Another interesting thing about pronouns in Spanish is that they are often omitted. In English, you must address “I, you, he, she, and they” to make a complete sentence but that is not he case in Spanish. Spanish language does have pronouns, “yo, tu, el, ella, and ellos” but they are hardly used. “She is Mexican” in Spanish is “Es mexicana,” instead of “Ella es mexicana.” “She” is already implied by “mexicana.” (ie. if it is “he” then, it would be “mexicano” instead of “mexicana.”) Similarly, I hardly hear people say “yo,” as in “I.” This is because if “I want” something, you would say “quiero” without adding “yo” because verb “quiero” (want) implies it is “I” want.
Having explained the three things above, here is my personal interpretation of Spanish-speakers’ culture.
Feeling is to possess, instead of something that occurs to you. Since you can possess it, you can lose it too. Therefore, be optimistic, and just let it go.
How you pass the time is defined by what you do. You can just “have” good time like in English, or you can ensure you “make” the time to be good, like in Spanish.
Countries need to be capitalized because country is big, whereas nationalities are not capitalized because nationalities are individual background. Individuals are not significant, as pronouns are omitted.
To sum up, Spanish is a very humble and practical language. Many people say Spanish sounds very romantic. The sense of romance would come from its straightforwardness, which firstly comes from its humbleness and practicality.
I hope you enjoyed my Spanish language analysis.
©VivMo Projects, LLC