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Differences from Textbook Spanish


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Something that has caught my attention while studying Spanish are a few key differences from textbook Spanish that I've encountered. For example, I remember learning that the subjunctive should always follow the phrase Qué bueno que.... But in my experience in Mexico, I have heard mostly the indicative after this phrase. For example: Qué bueno que llegaron a tiempo.

Has anybody else encountered such differences with aspects of the language?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Yes, many of them.

The way in which the verb tenses are labeled is very different in Spain to the textbook I had back in Canada, which, I assume was of Mexican spanish.

When I arrived in Spain, there were all these words that I didn't know like 'Indefinido' to describe verb forms. It was very confusing and it took me a day or two to work out what was what.

It's all part of the learning process! Now I can't remember what the textbook ones were!

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I began learning Spanish with textbooks and in a classroom. I taught English to Spanish speaking children and when I was speaking to them they would laugh hysterically.  I was told that my Spanish was so formal that it sounded completely wrong to them and thats why they thought it was so funny.  I since have learned the more familiar language and grammar and have become a lot more proficient in communicating with my students.

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Yes.

I can't quite remember an exact example but I recall being told the word the textbook used for showering isn't what they use here.

Also, I guess because, I live in a very poor village just outside of Mazatlan, many of the people here aren't educated. The difference between the languages 15 km apart is unreal. It's far less formal. I get on better talking with those from Mazatlan than I do in my village.

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Scribendi: World-Class Editing and Proofreading

:wink: Yes - what's taught in text books differs from what's spoken on the streets. That's why I believe people need both in order to be fluent.

A TV show I used to enjoy watching was called "King of the Hill". The running joke was how one of the main characters thought she was fluent in Spanish, but really sucked at it. So, when she spoke to anyone who was native, they never understood her.

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  • 1 month later...

The Spanish-speakers I encounter tend to flavor their words with a lot of English, especially if they are first-generation born in the country and grew up as translators for their parents.  As a lot of people said, the way people talk is a lot more relaxed.  I suppose if I ever entered the business world of speaking Spanish, I'd be fine with how formal I sound, otherwise I sound a little stuck-up.

A TV show I used to enjoy watching was called "King of the Hill". The running joke was how one of the main characters thought she was fluent in Spanish, but really sucked at it. So, when she spoke to anyone who was native, they never understood her.

Listening to Peggy Hill butcher Spanish, she practically made it an art form.

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  • 1 year later...

I can't recall any specific ones but quite a few phrases were different in real-life Spanish versus the textbook.  It's probably because it's regional.  I have no idea what region of Spanish my school was teaching; they never told us. Another reason is because just like English, Spanish is formal and informal.  They mostly teach formal at school.

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