My conversations with my non-Spanish- speaking amigos usually go like this:
Muy bien, gracias. ¿Y tú?
I do have a little gem that could get them beyond the ordinary basic Spanish though. I recently got to listening to a few tracks from the CD that accompanies this book called Streetwise Spanish and I love it! I actually listen to it all the time. Each track consists of a dialogue between two or more Spanish speakers, which seems simple enough. But the beauty of this listening experience is that the accent featured on each track is from a different Spanish speaking country/ region.
This package is ideal for people who want to go beyond the Spanish that is taught in the classrooms. Rather than the formal/ academic style Spanish that most of us learn when we do Spanish as a second language, it focuses on local slang straight off the streets of Puerto Rico, Mexico, Colombia…
Now let’s get into why you actually came on here in the first place! Many people, including my students are interested in street Spanish and try to get me to teach them the colourful curse words- palabrotas– that are used by Spanish speakers! I might oblige occasionally but not for my students (although they have ways and means of getting around that- yes some dictionaries actually contain curse words!) Anyway, for the curious at heart, there are a few colourful words/ terms on the CD as well, but ¡ten cuidado! You can’t just go smiling down the streets of Havana and greeting people with these words (much like foreigners who say “Bom*$%^aat!” the minute they find out that I am from Jamaica- not cool!
I think one of my favourite expressions (not a naughty one, ha ha) from the CD would have to be from a conversation in which a man tries to invite a woman on a date. She refuses and when they part they both mutter insulting remarks about each other. She refers to him as “un cero a la izquierda”- a zero to the left. Even I with my non-existent mathematical sense of reasoning can appreciate that one. A zero to the left of the decimal point? Now that’s a classic.
Get yourself a copy of this Spanish package today, or borrow mine! You will fall in love, just like I did…