Our current time zone: GMT +8 (We're home in Singapore!)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Spanish Mistake

Although the Spanish alphabet encompasses all 26 letters of the English alphabet (with a few more extra ones tossed in), some of the letters are pronounced rather differently from what we are used to back home.

For example:

- "g", in some instances, is pronounced as "h" (so you make the "hehh" sound) You pronounce "gente" (people) as "hen-tay"

- "h" is silent. You pronounce "hola" as "oh-la"

- "j" is pronounced as "h". Laughter, in Spanish, would be spelt as "jajajajaja" but sounds like "hahahahaha"

As I just found out over a Facebook chat with my Spanish teacher (una Colombiana bonita!) who is living in Singapore, it is REALLY important to keep your ears peeled for such subtle differences when hearing words starting with "g" or "h".

In my last entry, there was a picture in which I was posing with a street vendor selling marshmallow-like sweets, which I had purchased. I thought the sweets were called "heladinas", which was what I had heard the vendors' shouting throughout Bogota and Zipaquera.

Looks good, doesn't it? Like mochi - yums!

Now, because we're such fans of ice-cream, that was one of the first words that I looked up in the Spanish dictionary. Ice-cream, in Spanish, is "helado" (prounounced "ay-la-doh".) Thus, I deduced that it was perfectly logical for the soft, sweet, creamy-white snacks to be called "heladinas" - like, small ice-creams?

To my utmost horror, Alejandra (my Spanish teacher in Singapore) just informed me that the snack I ate was not a mini ice-cream.... but rather a "gelatina" (pronounced "hay-la-tina") - gelatin extracted from boiling the body parts of the cow, namely it's hide, bones and hooves!!!!!

*covers mouth and turns green*

Okay, people, you can all stop laughing now.

At least I got a good dose of collagen! Jajajajaja!


心魔 said...

And double-L is also silent, correct? Hence, "David Villa" = "David Vi'a", "Marbella" = "Mar-be-ya"?

Yi Lin said...

Nope. In Latin America, both double l and y are pronounced as j.

Stephanie said...

thanks for sharing! :)

Yeepster said...

Alligator = Ayigator; Armadillo = Armadiyo?; Llama = Yama?

Dannie said...

Sigh... that would be assuming words spelt in Espanol are the same in English, no?

But okay, I think we see that our Spanish lessons deserve a blog entry.

Wait for it! :)

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