Learning Spanish?

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R-ten-K
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Re: Learning Spanish?

Unread postby R-ten-K » Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:05 am

Both Méjico and México are correct spellings.

The "x" in old Spanish sounded like the English "h" as in "here" (probably a bit stronger in the pronunciation.)

Same goes for Tejas vs. Texas. (The correct pronunciation of which is "teh-has" btw :-)). Javier vs. Xavier... and so on.
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GeneratriX
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Re: Learning Spanish?

Unread postby GeneratriX » Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:33 am

WolvesOfTheNight wrote:GeneratriX -

I am still here, just really busy. I will probably be interested in some Spanish practice here once the semester ends. The class is taking up all the time I am willing to devote to it. But once I finish the class I had better keep practicing. Otherwise, I will forget everything prior to having a chance to start Spanish 2.

And a quick question: Am I correct in thinking that Méjico is an alternate spelling of Mexico, even thought Mexico is a Spanish word? Or is Mexico a Spanish word?


Hi there W.O.T.N.,

the word "Méjico" is from Spain, the word "México" is from América. Here in Argentina we used for years the term "Méjico", but now you can see more and more the term "México" as a product of world globalization. The original word, in castellano antiguo was just "México" because the lack of "J", but later they transformed it in "Méjico" to reflect a bit better the sounding word and the written word.

It is known that the pronunciation "Méksico" is uncorrect, either in english, spanish, or castillan, and the right pronunciation is just "Méjico", no matter if you talk english, spanish, or castillan. In Argentina we talk a slightly more modern castillan, which is a younger spanish variation.

It seems the original word ("México") was pronounced "Méshico", as you can see here: Méjico o México (thread closed)

esance wrote:En castellano antiguo no existía el sonido actual de "j". Palabras como "caja", "bajo" o "jarabe" se escribían con "x": "caxa", "baxo", "xarabe" y esa "x" se pronunciaba como en inglés "sh", es decir como se pronunciaría en inglés "casha", "basho", "sharabe".

"México" o "Texas" se escribían (y se escriben todavía así) porque se pronunciaban "Méshico", "Teshas". Cuando cambió la pronunciación de "x" ("sh") a "j", algunas palabras (básicamente nombres propios) conservaron la "x" en su grafía aunque su pronunciación es con "j".

Por otra parte, la grafía "x" pasó a representar el sonido de "ks", como en "examen", "exigir", etc.

* Hay que añadir que la letra "j" tenía antiguamente el mismo sonido que la "j" inglesa, es decir, "Juan" se pronunciaba como en inglés "John", luego pasó a pronunciarse como "sh" y finalmente como se pronuncia ahora. Es decir, tanto "x" (sh) como "j" desembocaron en el mismo sonido -la "j" actual-)

En España, se acostumbra a escribir "Méjico", "Tejas", "Javier" o "Jiménez" para acomodarlos a su pronunciación actual, mientras en América se suele escribir "México", "Texas", "Xavier" o "Ximénez"

La Real Academia de la Lengua Española permite escribir esos nombres de las dos maneras. Lo que es un error inaceptable es pronunciar "México" o "Texas" como hacen los ingleses, es decir,"Méksico" o "Teksas", ya que en castellano esos nombres no se han pronunciado nunca así.

La pronunciación antigua de "x" en castellano como "sh" explica porque los ingleses llaman "sherry" al vino de Jerez. Por supuesto, Jerez se pronunciaba en castellano antiguo "Xerés".


If you want to do some practice, just let me know and we can make some chat via IRC, mail, P.M., etc... All the best,
Diego

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Re: Learning Spanish?

Unread postby noisetonepause » Sat Apr 04, 2009 4:30 am

The word Mexico in English might be a loan from Spanish (originally it's from Aztec/Nawatl AFAIK) but to say that the pronunciation "meksiko" is incorrect is completely preposterous.

I call my country Danmark in my own language, but naturally when speaking English it's Denmark, and when I speak Persian it's closer to Donmork, with the emphasis on the second syllable. That's just how it goes.

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Re: Learning Spanish?

Unread postby R-ten-K » Sat Apr 04, 2009 8:44 am

noisetonepause wrote:The word Mexico in English might be a loan from Spanish (originally it's from Aztec/Nawatl AFAIK) but to say that the pronunciation "meksiko" is incorrect is completely preposterous.


Unlike other languages, Spanish is tightly regulated by a central entity (The Royal Spanish Language Academy). The "x" never represented the "ks" sound in English. So indeed "meksiko" is incorrect. Just because Gringos say it that way, doesn't make it any more correct.
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Re: Learning Spanish?

Unread postby theinonen » Sat Apr 04, 2009 9:06 am

R-ten-K wrote:
noisetonepause wrote:The word Mexico in English might be a loan from Spanish (originally it's from Aztec/Nawatl AFAIK) but to say that the pronunciation "meksiko" is incorrect is completely preposterous.


Unlike other languages, Spanish is tightly regulated by a central entity (The Royal Spanish Language Academy). The "x" never represented the "ks" sound in English. So indeed "meksiko" is incorrect. Just because Gringos say it that way, doesn't make it any more correct.


In Finnish Mexico is Meksiko, and there are not many Gringos here.

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Re: Learning Spanish?

Unread postby R-ten-K » Sat Apr 04, 2009 9:13 am

theinonen wrote:
R-ten-K wrote:
noisetonepause wrote:The word Mexico in English might be a loan from Spanish (originally it's from Aztec/Nawatl AFAIK) but to say that the pronunciation "meksiko" is incorrect is completely preposterous.


Unlike other languages, Spanish is tightly regulated by a central entity (The Royal Spanish Language Academy). The "x" never represented the "ks" sound in English. So indeed "meksiko" is incorrect. Just because Gringos say it that way, doesn't make it any more correct.


In Finnish Mexico is Meksiko, and there are not many Gringos here.


Yeah, but this thread is about people learning Spanish, not Finnish, or Danish.
For example, the fact that Danmark is Dinamarka in Spanish will be of little consequence to those trying to learn Danish. Or at least, I would refrain as a non-Danish speaker from giving corrections on the pronunciation of the Danish language based on how Danish terms have been "ported" to other languages.

For what it is worth, the Spanish pronunciation is a reflection of the phonetic sound of the original Nahuatl/Aztec term.
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Re: Learning Spanish?

Unread postby noisetonepause » Sat Apr 04, 2009 11:11 am

R-ten-K wrote:Unlike other languages, Spanish is tightly regulated by a central entity (The Royal Spanish Language Academy).


Languages belong to the people who speak them. There's no right and wrong in language, only convention and unspoken agreements.

I'm not really sure how the existence of a Spanish GESPRAPO is relevant here, anyways. My (off-topic) remark was about English.

The "x" never represented the "ks" sound in English.


I am well aware.

So indeed "meksiko" is incorrect. Just because Gringos say it that way, doesn't make it any more correct.


It is not incorrect because the common English term which refers to that particular stretch of land and set of political instutitions is, indeed, "Mexico". Which is pronounced, in English, ['mɛksɪkou], with a diphtong at the end even. It's not ['mɛχɪko], nor ['mɛhɪko]. And that this is really no different from referring to a fork as a fork and not whichever word they used where the fork was invented. The linguistic sign is, after all, arbitrary.

There's no G in the word Afghanistan if you ask an Afghan (it's afʁani'stan, the gh in the English ortography representing a voiced uvular fricative somewhat like a German or French R, but with a bit more friction noise). I'm also pretty sure you don't pronounce "Iraq" anywhere how it's said in Arabic, seeing as it begins with a sound which is so alien to non-Arabs we don't even attempt to write it and the last sound being quite far from the [k] og [g] you're most likely saying.

So could we please all agree that English people are allowed to pronounce the word Mexico like they've always done, without anyone using terms like 'incorrect'?

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Re: Learning Spanish?

Unread postby GeneratriX » Sat Apr 04, 2009 11:37 am

noisetonepause wrote:So could we please all agree that English people are allowed to pronounce the word Mexico like they've always done, without anyone using terms like 'incorrect'?


Sure, no problem. I've just offered some humble help to W.O.T.N., expecting to see maybe more interest on things like verbos, lunfardo, and things like that.

I think if he results stuck on a simple hotel-conversation he will not be helped at all by an ultra-correct speek or spelling from the words "Méjico", "Patagonia", "Dinamarca", or whatever... seriously, those are not useful things at all.

When you start to speak a foreing language, you need to know how to say: "-Disculpe, me podría informar donde se encuentra la oficina de informaciones de la secretaría de turismo local?", or... "-Sos muy bonita, te invito a cenar y luego a caminar por Recoleta"... also... "-Estás al tanto de donde se hará el próximo recital de "La Renga"? ...me gustaría invitarte!" ...or maybe: "-Conoce Usted algún restorante cerca donde pueda probar el asado criollo?", or even: "-Señor, sabría Usted cual es la casa de cambio más cercana y a qué hora cierra?" ...or just: "-Agente, necesito reportar un robo de maletas en el aeropuerto!"

Things like that. The rest is just for school indoors and does not makes sense for nobody at all. Sorry, this is the thruth... spanish speaking countries are pretty similiar, and between their similitudes "exact spelling/speaking" is not a priority... :?

If I want to learn english, I'll go with an englishman, or a north-american... if you want to learn spanish...

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R-ten-K
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Re: Learning Spanish?

Unread postby R-ten-K » Sat Apr 04, 2009 12:57 pm

noisetonepause wrote:So could we please all agree that English people are allowed to pronounce the word Mexico like they've always done, without anyone using terms like 'incorrect'?



When someone is trying to learn a different language it is useful to know how things are pronounced in said language. We were discussing the Spanish pronunciation of the word Mexico, because there are some people interested in learning Spanish. I have no #@$@ clue why you decided to go in that tangent.

When you speak a language, you should try to use the pronunciation for a given word that said language expects. It is not a hard concept to understand really....
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Re: Learning Spanish?

Unread postby noisetonepause » Sat Apr 04, 2009 1:03 pm

R-ten-K wrote:We were discussing the Spanish pronunciation of the word Mexico, because there are some people interested in learning Spanish. I have no #@$@ clue why you decided to go in that tangent.


Err -

GeneratriX wrote: It is known that the pronunciation "Méksico" is uncorrect, either in english, spanish, or castillan, and the right pronunciation is just "Méjico", no matter if you talk english, spanish, or castillan. In Argentina we talk a slightly more modern castillan, which is a younger spanish variation.


When you speak a language, you should try to use the pronunciation for a given word that said language expects. It is not a hard concept to understand really....


That would be my point.

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R-ten-K
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Re: Learning Spanish?

Unread postby R-ten-K » Sat Apr 04, 2009 2:30 pm

I believe GeneratriX was referring to the bastardization of the pronunciation the word "Mexico" and under that context he is correct. There is a clear distinction between "correct" and "accepted." Alas, I am not going to put words in his mouth.

Now, can we get back to the topic at hand?
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Re: Learning Spanish?

Unread postby noisetonepause » Sat Apr 04, 2009 2:53 pm

R-ten-K wrote:I believe GeneratriX was referring to the bastardization of the pronunciation the word "Mexico" and under that context he is correct. There is a clear distinction between "correct" and "accepted."


I had one point and one point only, which was in response to the statement by GeriatriX I just quoted. The English word for Mexico is pronounced ['mɛksɪkou], no matter what it is in Spanish. This is a pretty simple point even if you can't read IPA and I don't know why you're forcing me to repeat myself.

As for the idea of 'correctness' as something other than 'accepted', this was abandoned by linguists over a hundred years ago.

Now, can we get back to the topic at hand?


By all means.

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GeneratriX
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Re: Learning Spanish?

Unread postby GeneratriX » Sat Apr 04, 2009 3:40 pm

Hey guys, take it easy. I've just tried to reply the question from W.O.T.N. on a street-like-way. I'm not a language teacher or anything like that. I've just offered him some assistance or help to sustain some spanish chat, which could be useful or not for him, but I'm not willing to enter any flame war by just a semantic question.

R-ten-K is right, that was my intention, but never intended to offend anyone else. Have a good night!
Diego

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Re: Learning Spanish?

Unread postby WolvesOfTheNight » Sun Apr 05, 2009 8:34 am

GeneratriX wrote:
noisetonepause wrote:... expecting to see maybe more interest on things like verbos, lunfardo, and things like that.


I don't think I have heard the term lunfardo before... Lets see, my English and Spanish Dictionary both come up negative. Checking Google... Ah, Wikipedia thinks that it started as a code-language, parts of which have entered common usage in Argentina and Uruguay. Sometimes, but not always (?), has criminal, drug-related, and/or sexual overtones?

The common usage lunfardo terms sound like something I might maybe run across. The rest sounds like something that I won't have any need, unless I am at my job site and get abducted. However, if I am going to bother to try and learn Spanish I feel that I should bother to learn a broad range of things about it. Often it is good to simply know that something exists, and even better to be able to recognize it if you ever run across it. Lunfardo appears to fall into that area, as long as it remains Nekochan appropriate :).
-WolvesOfTheNight

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GeneratriX
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Re: Learning Spanish?

Unread postby GeneratriX » Sun Apr 05, 2009 10:26 am

WolvesOfTheNight wrote:Lunfardo appears to fall into that area, as long as it remains Nekochan appropriate :).


Your definition for the term is probably pretty right, but only if you talk about the pre 1960 age, where lunfardo was a jargon for the "Malevos"... but since then it taken the cities all around, and everybody uses some lunfardo along a phrase.

Restrict it to criminal, drug-related, and/or sexual overtones/behavios would be a generalization as dangerous as if I say that everybody living in a Chicago's ghetto is a criminal, a drug-related people, and/or a sexual promiscuous people. I would not even be able to tell you how is the life in a ghetto, because I've never visited one, I don't live inside one, and I've don't visited Chicago personally. So: -Why should I talk about it?

This is why you probably would find it useful to learn what is the term "Lunfardo"... (but not the whole lunfardo jargon). Just to know the real sense of the term, which probably has only 1% to do with the Wiki definition which makes justice maybe for the 1930's Buenos Aires or Montevideo... oh well, too much to say and so little time.


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