Saturday, April 21, 2007

"Pasados" and "pronombres"...

... drive me crazy. It's impossible to explain to my Spanish colleagues that in checo, we have only one pasado and we can also express ourselves without a problem. Unfortunately, there are either Italians or French in my class. For them, préterito imperfecto, pluscuamperfecto, indefinido etc. all make perfect sense! They even look at me like: "But they are derived from LATIN!", in a way that means: "L-A-T-I-N, you know, you retard from Barbaria, the language that rule them all!". C'mon guys, there ARE other language groups!


Pascal said...

Hey sweetie,

I laugh so hard when I read your blog. I bet it's very difficult to get all the different past tense but I'm sure you will manage. You have always been good with languages and it's just a matter of time for you to get it. And like that, when you know spanish perfectly, you can learn french, it's so close !!!

Send you a ginormous kiss.

Sergio said...

I'm a native speaker of Spanish so for me they're so easy, but after studying a few languages I've realized they're a nightmare.

Chinese, for example, is the easiest, since it has no tenses at all. To express that something happened in the past, you use some kind of adverb, like yesterday (zuotian), but the verb never changes.

Tamen zuotian dao Xibanya qu. Literally:
They yesterday to Spain go

The only difference is the particle "le":

Wo chi fan => I eat
Wo chi fan le => I've eaten -completed-

There are more languages than latin or romances or English

Jan said...

Oh, thank you! I had no idea about the Chinese grammar... I'm wondering whether Japanese or Korean are similar?

Sergio said...

I don't know korean, but as for Japanese, it's different. I know still little, but "to be" is a valid example. It doesn't differetiate persons, so "desu" means "is/are" or, to make it a little more complex, "desu" is equivalent to Spanish "soy, eres, es, somos, sois, son".

But the past is "deshita" -well, there are actually several pasts and negations for "to be" in japanese depending on style-. Also, the negation is "ja arimasen" in this style.

Actually, Japanese presents much more complexity in this than chinese. For example, adjectives decline as well.

To say "I'm not young" you don't negate "desu" -> *(Boku wa) wakaii ja arimasen, but actually negate the ADJECTIVE:

"wakaikunai desu" => I'm not young

So for the past:

Wakaikatta desu => I was young, instead of "Wakaii deshita". And "wakaikunakatta desu" means "I wasn't young"

So all languages are actually different. Similar languages like Spanish or Catalan -well, Catalan is actually closer to other romance languages like french- have lots of differences, so imagine languages like Japanese, Basque or Warlpiri -an australian one-

Just to put an example of the difference between catalan and spanish. You might say in Spanish "¿Qué vas a hacer allí?" meaning "en el colegio" -What are you gonna do there?, at a school-, with the adverb "allí", which ALSO exists in catalan: "Mireu allí" (Look there).

Rather, in standard, correct catalan, you'd ask: "Que hi vas a fer?" Hi is a pronoun instead of "l'escola" -the school- or allí -there-.

It's also correct anyway to say "Que vas a fer allí", but "hi" is the most correct and standard.

My god, I've been drifting sooooo far!!

Jan said...

Amazing! Thanks a lot.

Sergio said...

Haha, I really get excited when discussing languages