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Thread: Many Romance languages: risk of confusion

  1. #81
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    Re: Many Romance languages: risk of confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedro y La Torre View Post
    I agree. Through French I can read a Catalan text and get a good idea of what's going on; if I actively studied it, I'm sure I would grasp it quite quickly. Italian is harder, but I could probably grasp the overall picture without necessarily understanding the specifics, ditto for Spanish.

    Romanian is a total mystery however, I cannot make head nor tail of it, either in its written or spoken format.
    My mother tongue is Spanish and I am a native in Catalan, too. I used to study French for some time at school, now I can manage in a conversation, I can understand most of it if the speaker is talking to me (movies or TV are much more difficult), it feels obvious. When I have to talk in French it gets easier if I translate it or think it from Catalan, not from Spanish. Spanish makes it easier with Portuguese and Italian, even I've never studied any of those.
    El ojo que ves / no es ojo porque tú lo veas; / es ojo porque te ve. Antonio Machado.

  2. #82
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    Re: Many Romance languages: risk of confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by jazyk View Post
    I have learned Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, French, Catalan and Romanian, and indeed, it can be confusing sometimes (although Romanian and French are harder to confuse, in my opinion). I myself, although I am a native Portuguese speaker, many times confuse it with Spanish, the language that is the closest to it in this group. I would say that I'm fluent in all those languages, and confusion still sometimes occurs, but not that often, though.

    After a certain time, you basically expect certain endings in a given Romance language's word even if you have never seen the word, but based on previous lexical experiences you've had. The endings also help you to keep them apart: Portuguese -dade, Spanish -dad, Italian -tà, French -té, Catalan -tat, Romanian -tate.

    I would suggest doing as has been pointed out before. Only when you're really comfortable with one Romance language should you embark on the next one, otherwise chances are there will be a big mess in your head. This, by the way, happened to me when I was learning Swedish after Danish, I couldn't keep them apart anymore. But since I prefer Swedish, I decided to study it a little bit more and go back to Danish when I was able to better distinguish them.

    I, for example, sometimes have to think how to say nomad. I have to stop and think that it's nômade in Portuguese (although nômada also exists, but less used in my neck of the woods), nómada in Spanish (nómade also exists, but less common) and nomade in Italian. This especially happens to words that I don't use every day.


    It can also take the infinitive in Portuguese (espero ver-te amanhã) and Spanish (espero verte mañana). You must be referring to something else.


    I just gave you a counterexample above.
    Acho o que você disse muito interessante Jazyk.
    Last edited by Guajara-Mirim; 11th May 2013 at 4:42 PM.

  3. #83
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    Re: Many Romance languages: risk of confusion

    I am a native English speaker and know French, Spanish and Italian. My problem is primarily mixing up Spanish with Italian - I found these two languages impossible to keep apart - one simply pushes the other out of the brain. This could be because I have not taken either language to a totally fluent level, or because I haven't practiced them simultaneously. I found that going to Spain and talking, and then to Italy and talking, all - and I mean all - my Spanish was forgotten - until I got back to Spain again and it all came back to the detriment of my Italian. I never mixed up French with either two, and guess it's something one could practice.

    As for learning the two languages, I would definitely recommend concentrating on one at a time until you are reasonably proficient.

  4. #84
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    Re: Many Romance languages: risk of confusion

    Confundir español y italiano... Estoy asustado.

  5. #85
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    Re: Many Romance languages: risk of confusion

    Me parece que por los ingleses los dos idomas se resemblen mucho - porque la intonacion y la pronunciacion son bastante similares. Pero no les gustaba a los italianos cuando les hablaba en espanol - eso es verdad! Sino es increible como olvide el espanol, que aprendia desde hace 6 anos cuando me fui por primera vez en italia. No me recordaba por ejemplo de la palabra espanola para "chair" o "table" - y tampoco puedo acordarme de ellas ahora!
    Sin embargo, me parecia en aquel tiempo que la gramatica italiana se resemblo mas a la gramatica francesa y eso me ayudo mucho. Si conoces el espanol y el frances, puedes aprender el italiano facilmente, segun me. Cual lengua sera la mas bonita - eso no puedo decir. Salud!

  6. #86
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    Re: Many Romance languages: risk of confusion

    Silla y mesa si quieres saberlo (en castellano). Pero español y italiano no son muy parecidos.

  7. #87
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    Re: Many Romance languages: risk of confusion

    Si, pero cuando lo dices no puedo recordarme de estas palabras en italiano - no es en broma! Tabella y ? Estaba en una peluqueria y me confondo capello con pelo. El espanol que me cortaba el pelo me ha coregido. No se como puedas (?) decir que estos idiomas no son muy parecidos en el vocabulario tanto como en la pronunciacion. Las culturas claro pueden ser muy distintas, pero por mi, como ingles, los dos idiomas son muy parecidos. Duro seis anos para aprender el espanol y tres meses para aprender el italiano. Claro que depiende de tu perspectiva..

  8. #88
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    Re: Many Romance languages: risk of confusion

    Tavola e sedia/seggiola (in Toscana).

  9. #89
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    Re: Many Romance languages: risk of confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by frog1gsu View Post
    Si, pero cuando lo dices no puedo recordarme de estas palabras en italiano - no es en broma! Tabella y ? Estaba en una peluqueria y me confondo capello con pelo. El espanol que me cortaba el pelo me ha coregido. No se como puedas (?) decir que estos idiomas no son muy parecidos en el vocabulario tanto como en la pronunciacion. Las culturas claro pueden ser muy distintas, pero por mi, como ingles, los dos idiomas son muy parecidos. Duro seis anos para aprender el espanol y tres meses para aprender el italiano. Claro que depiende de tu perspectiva..
    En realidad, no podemos decir que el italiano y el castellano son dos idiomas parecidos. Claro que hay muchas palabras que se parecen pero esto es debido a la influencia latina que ambos idiomas tuvieron. A diferencia, el castellano y el portugués son dos idiomas parecidos, es decir, que ambas lenguas tienen palabras (con los verbos) que se parecen pues, son intelegibles. No creo que es el caso con el italiano. La unica cosa que cambia entre portugués y castellano es la fonología y algunos falsos cognatos.

  10. #90
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    Re: Many Romance languages: risk of confusion

    Es seguramente correcto lo que dice Usted. Lo que quiero decir es que por los ingleses nativos hay menos diferencias entre el italiano y el castellano que, por ejemplo, entre el aleman y el castellano, o el frances y el espanol. Yo por mi caso no confundia el frances con el espanol pero el italiano y el castellano si. Tiene que ver con la pronunciacion y sobre todo con la intonacion que a nuestros nos parecen bastante parecidas. Por un italiano, por ejemplo, eso no seria el caso.
    Ademas, me gustaria saber si el ingles se parece al aleman por un espanol nativo? Como suena el ingles en comparicion con el aleman?

  11. #91
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    Re: Many Romance languages: risk of confusion

    A friend of mine lived a lot of years in Italy and could speak basic Italian. Then she moved to Brasil.
    When she came back to Italy, she forgot Italian at all. She would speak Portuguese to everybody, like "quero uma água tónica por favor", "espera", etc.
    "Ĉokolado". Do you know how to say "chócoleit" in "Espanis"?

  12. #92
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    Re: Many Romance languages: risk of confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by frog1gsu View Post
    Es seguramente correcto lo que dice Usted. Lo que quiero decir es que por los ingleses nativos hay menos diferencias entre el italiano y el castellano que, por ejemplo, entre el aleman y el castellano, o el frances y el espanol. Yo por mi caso no confundia el frances con el espanol pero el italiano y el castellano si. Tiene que ver con la pronunciacion y sobre todo con la intonacion que a nuestros nos parecen bastante parecidas. Por un italiano, por ejemplo, eso no seria el caso.
    Ademas, me gustaria saber si el ingles se parece al aleman por un espanol nativo? Como suena el ingles en comparicion con el aleman?
    Puedes tutearme. Si quieres saber, nosotros franceses, entiendemos bien lo que dicen los hispanohablantes (no nos cuesta mucho de saber lo que dicen debe ser debido a la fonología tal vez), solamente hemos de aprender a hacer la diferencia entre la "jota" y la "r" y las diéresis que cambian la pronunciacion. Creo que tomar una lengua de origen Germanica mucha dificultad de comprension por un hispanohablante. Yo sé que algunas veces me gusta hacer comparaciones entre las palabras Anglosajonas, ejemplo: water (inglés), wasser (aleman), good morning, guten morgen...

  13. #93
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    Re: Many Romance languages: risk of confusion

    Me puso 10 anos para aprender el aleman y pienso que hay diferencias muy importantes entre el aleman y el ingles. Muchisimas palabras no son parecidas. Diria que tenia mas dificultad para aprender el aleman que el frances - pero ya aprendia el frances a la escuela cuando era nino. Sin embargo creo que el aleman es mas dificial para un ingles que el frances - o sea me gusta mas el frances y por eso me parecia menos dificil. Una pregunta que me interesa: el ingles es un idoma dificil o facil? Si conoces el aleman, me puedes decir cual de los dos es el mas dificil.

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    Re: Many Romance languages: risk of confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by frog1gsu View Post
    Me puso 10 anos para aprender el aleman y pienso que hay diferencias muy importantes entre el aleman y el ingles. Muchisimas palabras no son parecidas. Diria que tenia mas dificultad para aprender el aleman que el frances - pero ya aprendia el frances a la escuela cuando era nino. Sin embargo creo que el aleman es mas dificial para un ingles que el frances - o sea me gusta mas el frances y por eso me parecia menos dificil. Una pregunta que me interesa: el ingles es un idoma dificil o facil? Si conoces el aleman, me puedes decir cual de los dos es el mas dificil.
    Me ha gustado lo que has escrito frog. Para mí que hablo una lengua de origen latina, en mi caso el francés, aunque no sea la unica que hablo desde mi niñez (el portugués la hablaba con mis abuelos y mi padre), puedo decirte que tengo mucho más dificultad de hablar el alemán, solamente porque ésta difiere mucho del francés. A diferencia, las otras lenguas como el castellano, el português, el gallego puedo hablarlas sin vacilar porque se acercan más de mi madre lengua por sus origenes. Ahora, el inglés me suena más bonito que el alemán al oír aunque tengo algunas dificultades a pronunciarlo (conozco bien las formas para expresarse de manera natural). Cuando yo veo la gente de mi clase, se diría que les parece imposible de expresarse en inglés usando las buenas estructuras utilizadas en el habla (no veo por qué). Te ríes si me ves hablar inglés.
    Last edited by Guajara-Mirim; 12th May 2013 at 8:52 PM.

  15. #95
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    Re: Many Romance languages: risk of confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by jazyk View Post
    I have learned Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, French, Catalan and Romanian, and indeed, it can be confusing sometimes (although Romanian and French are harder to confuse, in my opinion). I myself, although I am a native Portuguese speaker, many times confuse it with Spanish, the language that is the closest to it in this group. I would say that I'm fluent in all those languages, and confusion still sometimes occurs, but not that often, though.

    After a certain time, you basically expect certain endings in a given Romance language's word even if you have never seen the word, but based on previous lexical experiences you've had. The endings also help you to keep them apart: Portuguese -dade, Spanish -dad, Italian -tà, French -té, Catalan -tat, Romanian -tate.

    I would suggest doing as has been pointed out before. Only when you're really comfortable with one Romance language should you embark on the next one, otherwise chances are there will be a big mess in your head. This, by the way, happened to me when I was learning Swedish after Danish, I couldn't keep them apart anymore. But since I prefer Swedish, I decided to study it a little bit more and go back to Danish when I was able to better distinguish them.

    I, for example, sometimes have to think how to say nomad. I have to stop and think that it's nômade in Portuguese (although nômada also exists, but less used in my neck of the woods), nómada in Spanish (nómade also exists, but less common) and nomade in Italian. This especially happens to words that I don't use every day.


    It can also take the infinitive in Portuguese (espero ver-te amanhã) and Spanish (espero verte mañana). You must be referring to something else.


    I just gave you a counterexample above.
    Esqueci-me de lhe perguntar algo: você se confunde quando fala português juntando palavras castelhanas?

  16. #96
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    Re: Many Romance languages: risk of confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by Guajara-Mirim View Post
    nosotros franceses, entiendemos bien lo que dicen los hispanohablantes
    Quote Originally Posted by Guajara-Mirim View Post
    el portugués la hablaba con mis abuelos y mi padre
    No es sorprendente que entiende español si es lusitanohablante.

  17. #97
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    Re: Many Romance languages: risk of confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by Hulalessar View Post
    No es sorprendente que entiende español si es lusitanohablante.
    Nacido francés, he estado hablando castellano sin aprenderlo, sin tener educación formal. Puedo entenderlo pero no enteramente. @Frog1gsu, me olvidé de decirte algo que puede interesarte, hasta palabras inglesas entraron en la lengua castellana, ejemplo: vosotros Anglosajones tenéis una expresión como high-born en castellano es jaibón (traducido así por los hispanos, stuck-up si quieres).
    Last edited by Guajara-Mirim; 13th May 2013 at 7:19 PM.

  18. #98
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    Re: Many Romance languages: risk of confusion

    From an Italian point of view I'd say that Romanian is the most different language.
    The majority of the prepositions and conjunctions are different (perchè/pourquoi/porque and pentru că, sopra/sur/sobre and pe, and so on), the enclitic definite arcticle, the oblique case (in this case the feminine singular nouns have the same ending of the plural form), the vocative case, most words derive from slavic languages.
    I'm a native Italian speaker and I studied English and French (the latter only in school for pupils aged 11 - 14) and I'd say that French is the closest language for grammar (to be and to have as auxiliary verbs, particles en/ne and y/ci, past participle agrees in similar cases with subject or pronominal direct object) and vocabulary (mangiare/manger vs comer, parlare/parler from Latin parabolare vs hablar/falar from Latin fabulare, volere/vouloir vs querer ecc..) but this similarities are overcame by a very different phonology.
    Later I studied by myself Spanish and Portuguese. I can say that, phonologically speaking, Spanish is the closest language (followed by Brazilian Portuguese, French and European Portuguese). In fact, I can undestand pretty well TVE, followed by France24 (maybe because I studied it at school) but when I watch RTP I can't get almost nothing. I can't undestrand Romanian television too.
    In written language French is the closest, followed by Spanish or Portuguese and (at last) Romanian.
    Last edited by Nino83; 27th August 2013 at 1:32 PM.

  19. #99
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    Re: Many Romance languages: risk of confusion

    Catalan is in grammar ("en" and "hi", in some cases past participle agrees with subject or pronominal direct object, to be as auxiliary in old regional language) and basic vocabulary (menjar, parlar) quite as close as French to Italian and I think it's phonologically very similar to some Italian dialects with vowel reduction. In my limited experience, Italians find spoken Spanish easier to understand than spoken Catalan, maybe because they are not used to this last feature.
    Dale un pez y comerá un día, dale una caña y pedirá una tapa.

  20. #100
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    Re: Many Romance languages: risk of confusion

    My Italian friend from Bologna has told me that during his journey in Spain he had no communication problems with Spaniards, but he could not understand the spoken Catalan. (I suppose, he can't eighter understand the spoken Portuguese). He can understand the spoken French, to a certain degree. Another example: once we have been watching together a Mexican tv (something like the CNN, but in Spanish, I don't remember it's name), and sometimes he really understood better the news in Spanish than myself (he speaks only Italian, the "Bulgnais" dialect and a bit French, that he learnt at the elementary school, while I do speak Spanish [to a certain degree] ...)

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