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I love it. My neighbor sent me the link last night and pointed out that most (if not all) of the actors are embassy staffers, and the new ambassador makes an appearance toward the end. Clever, welcoming, and I'm really proud of the CR US Embassy for doing this.


And one thing that I thought was really interesting for a Spanish-learner like me: My teacher emphasized that "ll" is pronounced "j," though I've heard most people here in San Ramon say, "y," which is what I learned back in the Dark Ages when I took Spanish. They all clearly say, "Jama," not "Yama," so I now I know better.


Yours for Gangnam-Style, Costa Rica style,



ps: to anyone with better Spanish than I have. I also posted crf's link on the Spanish language forum, thinking that it would get a difference audience there. If I made mistakes with my Spanish, would you please correct it? (In Spanish, I call myself "Catalina" because Gayle is tough for native Spanish-speakers). Muchas gracias!

Edited by salish sea
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Gayle, I think it totally depends on the person who is speaking.... Amarilla? Armadillo?


If you think of La Jolla, California....


Where we used to live it was 50/50 on Y versus J in the pronunciation town name, Guayabo.

You say potato...I say potato but with a Scottish accent

Edited by costaricafinca
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In my high school Spanish class we were taught that "ll" was pronounced "y". I was quickly corrected that it was "j" after arriving in CR! Our high school Spanish teacher had evidently been taught Mexican Spanish. the "ll" wasn't the only thing I had to unlearn in Costa Rica.

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In my high school Spanish class we were taught that "ll" was pronounced "y". ... the "ll" wasn't the only thing I had to unlearn in Costa Rica.

Hi Mark.


How about sharing some of those other things you had to "unlearn!" Knowing about the "ll" and being able to practice before my trip made it easier to communicate. Learning about other differences would be helpful.





(BTW, off thread, but my phone worked great - gracias!)

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Hair = pelo in CR, cabello in other Latin countries.


Delicious = rico, delicioso in other countries. ( can't get used to say something like vinegar or plain bread is "rich". It just doesn't compute.


There are many word differences, some of which I will adopt and some which I don't. I find that the ticos know what I am saying one way or the other. I just don't know what they are saying.


As for how useful high school Spanish is, it depends on where you are using it. I have no problem in Mexico, but here I don't understand a lot of what is being said even though I am frequently complimented on my Spanish. Much of the reason for not understanding is that many ticos don't pronounce the whole word for some obscure reason. They also tend to tack on an "sh" sound at the end of words ending in "r", i.e. "hablarsh", "comersh", etc. Then they deny that they do that because they don't even hear it. Weird.


Don't be afraid to ask someone to speak more slowly so you can understand, although frequently when I do so the speaker just talks louder and just as fast. Like ugly Americans do. lol

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My Spanish is not the greatest, but it is getting better because I use it a great deal more now that I am living in CR and not in south Florida.

I took three years of night school Spanish in south florida and the subject of pronunciation came up regularly. Many of the students had traveled and studied abroad and came from various parts of the USA & Europe were Spanish was spoken. Our "professora" was a Cuban who had been teaching these courses for fifty years and had a handle on many of the variations. Our text book was written by a Tica (Madrigal) and had been in print for some 60 years.

The emphasis was on Spanish as it was spoken in the western hemisphere since most students would encounter more Latinos from Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guatamala, etc. then from Spain.

We were introduced to all sorts of pronunciations and different word usages. From all of that I discovered that "ll" at the begining of a word can be pronounced either as a "y" or "j". Not true if the "ll" is in th body of the word. Then it is "y" sound. I have asked ticos about this and was told the "y" sound was correct but I do hear it the other way.

We went so far as to not even study the second person plural ;vosotros. The text mearly placed it's study at the end of the book. It's usage is fast becoming archaic.

In some countries the usage of "tu" is relegated to close friends and family where in other countries if it is not used with someone you just met and "usted" is used instead, they think that you are aloof and unfriendly.

Any way you use the pronunciation, they will understand you. Case in point; "ser" versus "estar". I dont know if I will ever get that right and remember to use the proper word at the correct time but the ticos seem to understand me. That's patience for you.

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The insurance guy who sold me insurance the other day was Cuban and man did I have a hard time understanding him! They talk very nasally. Going to Cuba in July so I guess I'll get some more practice with them. :P


As far as tu/usted/vos goes, I think that once a Spanish speaker hears you have an accent they give you a free pass with those. And with a lot of things that might make you sound rude. Just like we do with people who have English as a second language.

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