Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Speech Speed and Techos

Speed of the Language
I have come the realization that Spanish is spoken so quickly because the language naturally has more syllables. If you think about it in terms of time, English is spoken slower because there are fewer syllables. For instance: ¨next weekend¨ in español is proxima fin de semana (PROX-ee-mah fin deh se-MAHN-ah.) That´s 3 syllables in english compared to 8 syllables in español. That is an extreme example, but here´s another more ironic one: ¨very fast¨ = muy rapido (moo-ee rap-EE-doh.) Three versus five.... and assume we try to say the exact same thing in the same amount of time....

Techo = Ceiling = Roof
On Friday I began teaching the girls ¨In a House¨- things like couch, chair, roof, ceiling, floor, window, bedroom, kitchen, shower, etc. I made a worksheet for Monday that was labeling the parts of a house and ´translating´ the English words for the spanish ones. I had a simple drawing of a house with arrows and then a list of vocabulary for them to fill in blanks from English to Spanish and back.

I pushed pretty hard to teach this subject before I leave because I thought it would be close to my area of expertise. But even after all of my observing the local architecture, it never occured to me that here in Guatemala, roof is the same thing as ceiling- just a piece of corrugated metal. There are no ceiling joists and no gypsum or plaster like there are in other countries- only the economical corrugated metal separates us from the weather.

I guess I need to be more conscious of a culture before I teach them something.

7 Comments:

At 2:33 PM, May 23, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

aye ya ya..NIcole! Como estas? I miss you It sounds so fabulous!I need you back in here in the US....more like the gym. I've been so bad. But i did meet a boy and I am getting some s-EXcersise. Oh...I can't wait to hear all you stories....see you soon.

 
At 10:00 PM, May 23, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Nicole,
Thanks for the Spanish lesson! Looking at the time you blogged as being 7:49, I was wondering what time it would have been here. Keep up the good work........

Lova, Lova, Lova you,
Grandma

 
At 10:38 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger aluminumbradley said...

I hear they eat a lot of baby kangaroo meat in Hot-a-mala. That's just what I hear.

 
At 9:28 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger nicole said...

Muchas gracias!! I miss all of you so much. I cant believe I wi`ll be home in one week. My time has gone by so quickly. This place is so amazing that I don`t think I want to come back.... I will definitely be back at the gym ASAP!! Adios and much love. nicola

 
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