Back to Index

The Language

     Tim Bown comments on the Spanish language:
     "Spanish usually does have clarity. But not always. I spend about an hour last week trying to comprehend a peasant farmer from Matanzas, Cuba, and in Spain once thought a new Galician friend spoke Portuguese. Among Latin Americans a favorite game is comparing the different meaning, usually slang versions and often risque, for ther same words For example, guila in Costa Rica means child, in Mexico it means prostitute, a difference that once caused me a great deal of trouble."
     My comment: Cuban Spanish is one of the worst, and Portuguese derives from gallego, so they are very similar. My remark about clarity referred to pronunciation. Differences of meaning are another matter, and can indeed cause embarrassment or amusement.

Ronald Hilton - 02/17/99