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Speaking Spanish :)

Cambridge, United...
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Speaking Spanish :)

I know Tenerife is very much a tourist destination, and I know lots of English-speaking tourists descend on it every year...so I'm guessing a lot of tourists get by with not much more than a "por favor" and "gracias", right?

But I actually WANT to speak some Spanish. My Spanish is a bit ropey - I understand written Spanish very well (speaking fluent Italian helps with that!) and I can have a basic conversation without getting too lost, although I suspect a few Italian words probably sneak in. So, question 1: both my Spanish teachers have been from Argentina, so is the Canarian (is that a word?) accent going to make me cry? ;) And question 2: will people actually speak Spanish to me, or will they get bored of my dodgy attempts at their language? Will people roll their eyes when I get something wrong, or will they be pleased that I'm trying? I intend to try anyway ;) Just wondered what sort of reaction I'd get. Staying in Los Gigantes, if that makes a difference, and not really planning to spend much / any time around the Playa de las Americas / Los Cristianos area.

Tenerife, Spain
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1. Re: Speaking Spanish :)

Hi Vicki

I can only speak from personal experience but if you attempt to speak Spanish to whatever degree it is greatly appreciated. Your Argentinian accent will probably be understood easier as the local accent is more like the Spanish spoken in South America, Cuba, Venezuela etc. and not like the Spanish on the mainland. Words are often cut short and the locals speak at a great rate of knots making them difficult to understand.

I often find if I speak Spanish I am answered in English so that we can both practice our language, correcting each other as we go.

I don´t think the reaction you get will be any different whether you are in Los Gigantes or PdlA/LC they are all tourist resorts but the latter area does have a larger number of Spaniards who both work and holiday here (particularly at the moment) the last few weeks walking along the front in LC the most prevalent language heard has been Spanish.

Suggest you chat away however bad it might sound to you the locals will love it. Enjoy

Cambridge, United...
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2. Re: Speaking Spanish :)

Sounds good to me, I'll certainly be giving it a go. Spanish always sounds amusingly fast to me - it's as if they only pause when they run out of breath ;)

One other linguisticky thing - does anyone know where on earth the word "guagua" comes from? I tried google, and it seems to be used in the Caribbean as well, but... ???

Tenerife, Spain
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3. Re: Speaking Spanish :)

Guagua (pronounced wah wah) meaning bus (that´s for those who don´t know, but I am guessing you do and have been doing your homework). I think a large proportion of Canarian people are originally from Venezuela so assume it comes from there.

London, United...
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4. Re: Speaking Spanish :)

Hi Vicki

I would agree with what Aguilas has said, over the years I have been going to Tenerife I try as much as I can to speak Spanish but have found that even though it is respected by the people that live and work out there most of the hotel staff answer me in English. I think that it helps them to learn the language of the person they are talking to as well {the compere in our hotel speaks 6 languages}but I have found that when I travel there in the summer most of the people staying are Spanish and are quite happy to aid me when I speak to them and get some words or phrases wrong without the type of reaction that a holiday maker from Spain would get trying to speak English in the UK

I would say go for it you have nothing to loose and the respect of the people to gain

Regards

Sparhawk1

PS I did find that going shopping in Santa Cruz the first time {about 7 years ago the in smaller shops they only spoke Spanish} and I must admit it was daunting to start with but I felt somewhat rewarded that I was able to make myself understood :)

Tenerife, Spain
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for Tenerife, Los Cristianos
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5. Re: Speaking Spanish :)

The guidebook 'Going Native in Tenerife' states that the word 'Gua-Gua' comes from the noise that the horns made when buses were first introduced.

Huntly, United...
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6. Re: Speaking Spanish :)

Hi

Wouldn't be surprised if many of those whom you try to converse with come from South America anyway.

Just back from Majorca and a lot of the staff in the hotel came from Argentina, Uruguay and for some reason, the southern Spanish city of Cordoba.

Didn't do my Mallorquin practise any good.

Hampshire, United...
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for Amesbury, London
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7. Re: Speaking Spanish :)

Hello Vicki,

Fancy seeing you on here! Vicki is gifted at languages, so I suspect she's going to find it a lot easier to converse than I am ;-)

I'm heading for the hills (Granadilla de Abona) to practise our Spanish (and damn it, my DH has downloaded 'coffee break' spanish, and I suspect is doing better than me at the moment. How much can I learn in a week?) And meanwhile our son is denying all knowledge of even going to Tenerife let alone the possibility he might have to speak some Spanish, LOL!

I can't remember if we overlap, or if you're there after me?

scotland
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8. Re: Speaking Spanish :)

Go for it Vicki - you will have to start the conversation but I always find waiters and shopkeepers etc are very happy to help. As Sparhawk says you will def need it in Santa Cruz if youu go into the wee cafes etc.

I am quite often asked if I am Scandinavian as they don't expect us Brits to even try!

!Buen suerte!

Cambridge, United...
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9. Re: Speaking Spanish :)

Hello Gilli ;) We leave on the 5th for a week - can't remember when you're going! Quite looking forward to attempting to speak some comedy Spanish. I was quite pleased by how much of the national parks website I understood (trying to get a permit for the top of Teide), but sadly I think it'll all go downhill if someone's actually speaking to me. Reading's fine...!

And I love the thing about thinking you're Scandinavian. Italians usually think I'm German for the same reason. And I was once asked in a shop near where I lived in Italy whether I was Swiss or Swedish!!

Hampshire, United...
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10. Re: Speaking Spanish :)

4th, for two weeks!

Getting very close now!