Thursday, December 13, 2012

Andalu(z)

Sometimes I meet someone here in Sevilla with such a thick Andalusian accent, I can't understand a word that comes out of their mouth.  Sometimes I have to ask my friend Rubén here to repeat himself several times before I have any idea of what he just said (I'm pretty sure he thinks I'm deaf or something, or always in wonderland)....When I was studying abroad, I had a professor with such a thick accent that my American friend and I would just stare at each other in complete confusion whenever he would start listing off the names of Medieval authors that we'd never heard before (at least when he spoke about other topics we could intuit some of what he said....)

Large parts of words are often slurred together, lisped, or just left out.  For example, the title of the following video series is Curso Dandalu.  "Dandalu" is what "de Andaluz" sounds like when you say it with an Andalusian accent.  And the best part is, many Spaniards actually write words the way they sound in informal emails/notes/text messages.  All words that end in "ado" don't really have the d sound, so people just write and say "ao."  For example "cuidado" (careful) is written and pronounced "cuidao."  The letter s and z at the end of words is virtually absent too.

There's also differences between cities.  My friend Carmen from a pueblo near Sevilla called Mairena was telling me about an accent in a pueblo near Málaga.  Apparently they say all their z and s sounds like h's and even she couldn't understand when she spoke with someone from that pueblo.

Here in Andalusia they also speak so forcefully sometimes it sounds like they're always arguing with each other even when they aren't.  And curse words are abundant.

The vosotros form of the verb is sort of the equivalent of "y'all"--it's an informal third person plural--and Andalusia is basically the only place where it is used in the world.  What I love though, is that people often mix the regular third person plural (ustedes) with the vosotros form, so you might have a sentence like, "¿Ustedes vais al cine?" (Are y'all going to the movies?)  Technically this sentence in Spanish is grammatically incorrect--it uses the wrong verb form for the subject.  But in Andalusia, it's totally correct, or at least all the Andalusians and I think it's correct.  ;)

So for those of you who speak Spanish, or have been to Andalusia, here's some fun videos parodying the Andalusian way of speaking.....

Here's the first video in the series, if you're interested in more here's a link to the series' page:
http://www.youtube.com/user/calichefilms




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