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Spaniards and Italians of Datalounge: Can you understand one another, each in your own language?

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by Anonymousreply 14820 hours ago

Can we also ask why Portuguese sounds so weird? Like no other Romance language. It sounds Slavic to me. Can Spanish and Italian native speakers understand Portuguese?

by Anonymousreply 106/29/2020

Portuguese (especially o português do Portugal) has a greater vowel inventory than Spanish or Italian, including nasal vowels, which make it sound different

by Anonymousreply 206/29/2020

[quote]Like no other Romance language. It sounds Slavic to me.

Apparently you've never heard anyone speak Romanian.

by Anonymousreply 306/29/2020

I agree r1. When I lived in Boston I heard Portuguese a lot and I had no idea what they were saying, whereas I can usually figure out Spanish and Italian.

by Anonymousreply 406/29/2020

What I find odd is that the Portuguese speaking English do sound Slavic but Brazilians don't to me...

by Anonymousreply 506/29/2020

I speak Spanish and I don't have trouble understanding Brazilian novelas. The language is very similar to Español.

by Anonymousreply 606/29/2020

r1 I have heard certain Italians on the internet say that they find Brazilian Portuguese easy to understand. On Reddit, someone in an Italian sub said that Brazilian Portuguese sounds like a dialect of northern Italy with a certain French influence (perhaps because of the presence of nasal in Portuguese, which also exist in French but not in Italian). On an anthropology forum in which I used to participate, an Italian user posted footage of a Brazilian talk show and said he could understand most of what he heard. And on Twitter, an Italian woman said, in response to a video by Glenn Greenwald in Portuguese, that she managed to understand most of what he said. Which is funny, because Glenn's American accent is so strong.

As a Brazilian, I feel a little skeptical at times, because the reverse is not quite true. I can only understand a few words of Italian; from time to time, one sentence or another. I cannot understand the better part of an extended speech, though. But mutual intelligibility is often asymmetric; Portuguese speakers, for example, understand Spanish more than vice versa, so it is perfectly possible that Italians understand Portuguese better than the other way around.

But in addition, it has always seemed to me that Italians enjoy looking at other Latin languages ​​as daughters of their own language, as dialects of Italian, hence the impulse to perhaps exaggerate how much they can understand Spanish and Portuguese.

However, I remember seeing, on Twitter, a Briton claim that he saw Spanish tourists in Italy talking to Italian locals, each in his own language, that's why I'm asking this question here.

by Anonymousreply 706/29/2020

I'm not Spanish, but I'm a native Spanish speaker and the answer is no.

by Anonymousreply 806/29/2020

That photo is hot.

by Anonymousreply 906/29/2020

[quote] The language is very similar to Español

Portugese and Spanish are similar when heard as spoken languages.

Even the spelling of words is similar

Muy and Muito. Very.

Buenos Noches and Bom Noite. Good night.

I think it's the pronunciation that throws people off, between Spanish and Portugese.

by Anonymousreply 1006/29/2020

Also, by following certain Instagram accounts, I got the impression that Spanish and Italian gay men commingle often, which reminded me of this old curiosity I had. Pablo Alborán, the Spanish star who just came out, seems to have dated an Italian guy in the past. It seems that, among gay men at least, Spanish-Italian couples are common - more common than pairs of any two other Latin nationalities.

by Anonymousreply 1106/29/2020

OP/r7, what an interesting post. I also think Italians exaggerate on this score.

by Anonymousreply 1206/29/2020

I remember reading accounts of immigrant women working in factories in NYC, probably in the early 20th century, Italian and Spanish, sitting next to each other at the machines, communicating in their native languages. But they would have done that day after day, perhaps getting better at understanding each other.

by Anonymousreply 1306/29/2020

R3 - my roommate speaks Romanian and sometimes it sounds Slavic because of the use "j" and "z" and "ch". However, the rest of the time it sounds like when my old Latin language teacher would read something to us. Unfortunately, only the educated people here speak like that and she learned in from her mom who is a teacher.

by Anonymousreply 1406/29/2020

What is that photo, OP? It's hot!

by Anonymousreply 1506/29/2020

I traveled with French speakers from Nice. They spoke French slowly to Italians, who responded in Italian and everyone seemed to understand each other.

by Anonymousreply 1606/29/2020

R14 - I mentioned that because I've seen two series on HBO On Demand that were in Romanian - Umbre (Shadows) and Hackerville - and I was struck by how Slavic the language sounded.

by Anonymousreply 1706/29/2020

r15 The photo is of a wedding between two Spanish cops, which took place in 2015. The first gay marriage between policemen in Spain. I tried to find on Google a photo between a gay couple made up of an Italian man and a Spanish man, but instead I found this photo, of a Spanish couple that made the news in an Italian newspaper.

by Anonymousreply 1806/29/2020

[quote] HBO On Demand that were in Romanian - Umbre (Shadows) and Hackerville - and I was struck by how Slavic the language sounded

Are you sure they weren't speaking Russian?

Romania, Yugoslavia, Albania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Czech and Slovak Republic, etc. were all occupied by the Russians, which is why they all speak Russian.

Perhaps after 1989, some people reverted back to their old languages, but if I'm not mistaken the majority of people in those countries still speak Russian.

by Anonymousreply 1906/29/2020

R19, I went to the Czech Republic in 2002 with a Russian speaking American. The guys we meet said to speak English or German, but not to speak Russian.

I knew someone from Paris who overheard some French Canadians, who he thought were speaking Bulgarian.

by Anonymousreply 2006/29/2020

To piggyback on what R10 said ... I majored in Spanish in college (a LONG time ago) and also took a graduate class in Romance linguistics, as well as quite a bit of French and some Italian. And I lived in Italy for six months. Knowing all of those languages (to different degrees of proficiency) lets me READ Portuguese and basically get the gist most of the time. But I can't understand a word of it when it's being spoken.

by Anonymousreply 2106/29/2020

(R20) The French find it difficult to understand Quebecois. When they watch shows from Quebec, they have to read the subtitles. LOL.

by Anonymousreply 2206/29/2020

The French love to rag on the Quebecois dialect. Didn't seem to get in the way of Macron and Trudeau communicating. I guess love 💘 finds a way.

by Anonymousreply 2306/29/2020

I speak enough Spanish to hold a conversation with Spanish speakers but I read it better. When I visited Italy I studied some Italian and found it easier to understand spoken and as easy as Spanish to read. Once you understand the rhythm of the accent it’s easy for Spanish speakers to learn.

by Anonymousreply 2406/29/2020

[22] I learned French too long ago to remember. I was taught French spoken In France. When I hear French Canadians speak there’s no French dialect. It’s like an American reading off a French menu. Can barely understand it.

by Anonymousreply 2506/29/2020

I am a native Spanish speaker.

I can understand most of what people say in Portuguese, but I think the fact that I watch a lot of Brazilian movies and listen to a lot of Brazilian music, helps a lot. It's something you kind of have to get your ears adjusted to hearing. And I occasionally come across people speaking Portuguese in front of me, and I don't understand a word they're saying...usually young dudes using a lot of slang words.

I think it's a lot easier for Portuguese speakers to understand Spanish speakers than vice-versa...although I have known some that struggle with particular accents...I've had Brazilian friends who thought they had a decent grasp of Spanish tell me "I went to Argentina a while back and I couldn't understand a single thing anybody said to me".

I've only been to Italy once, but I did have that weird experience where people were speaking to me in Italian, and I could understand every word they were saying, but I couldn't answer them in Italian.

by Anonymousreply 2606/29/2020

[quote] Buenos Noches and Bom Noite. Good night.

oh céus!

by Anonymousreply 2706/29/2020

Yes, not all, but enough to undestand what are they talking about. I speak spanish, and I undestand portuguese>italian > french> Romanian in that order.

by Anonymousreply 2806/29/2020

Not either, yet can read 80%+ of Italian. I do speak Spanish fluently, and I've spent nearly two years in Spain, and reside in a neighbourhood where Spanish is spoken freely by Mexican-Americans and Puerto Ricans... If one has the foundation of Latin, there is much that is somewhat mutually intelligible.

If you have patience, and ask questions, that goes a very long way.

by Anonymousreply 2906/29/2020

I grew up speaking Italian (my mamma is from Italy). I learned Spanish very easily, and by far, I use it more in my job and where I live (LA).

Portuguese, to my ears, has lots of "ao"/ow sounds.

I believe linguists believe Romanian to be the purest and most similar to classic Latin. If you've heard that Dragostea din tei song (numa numa yay), that's Romanian. I think it's a nice-sounding language. Any Romanian person I've ever met had a surname that ended is -escu.

by Anonymousreply 3006/29/2020

Sardinian is probably closest to classical Latin, R30

by Anonymousreply 3106/29/2020

It is easy for an Italian to understand Spanish when spoken correctly (80% cognate) the opposite is not necessarily true.

by Anonymousreply 3206/29/2020

I like the pic OP but why are they in military uniform?

by Anonymousreply 3306/29/2020

To me, someone speaking Portuguese sounds like they're speaking in Spanish with a French accent.

by Anonymousreply 3406/29/2020

Native Spanish speaker here (but not a Spaniard). To answer the Italian question: somewhat.

Regarding Portuguese, yes one can understand it more. In fact it's the closest of the major Romance languages. In fact my sister had (on-line) Brazilian coworkers and when communicanting with them, she spoke Spanish and they Portuguese. And they understood each other very well.

Also I lived in Barcelona fot two years, and in an area where the people mostly spoke Catalan. That language is in fact more easily understood than Portuguese.

by Anonymousreply 3506/29/2020

R30 - Romanian is so close to Latin my roommate can translate anything from Latin with zero Latin classes at school. Apparently, Italian is also easy for her. Romanians look down their nose at neighbors for speaking "barbarian" languages. Italians and Spaniards here learn the language fast. The last names ending in -escu are from the South whib is more conservative than the northwest in Transylvania, which has loads of Roman ruins and baths and is fairly liberal.

by Anonymousreply 3606/29/2020

Portuguese and Spanish used to be a single language, so of course they are easily understood mutually, I'm fluent in both. Dom Quixote can be easily read by a Portuguese speaker with a good vocabulary. I can understand most Italian because of my Spanish (raised bilingual with English) and Portuguese i've learned by myself. Romanian is the romantic language with the biggest slavic influence in pronunciation.

by Anonymousreply 3706/29/2020

[quote] someone speaking Portuguese sounds like they're speaking in Spanish with a French accent.

Mostly European Portuguese and some of the African dialects. Brazilian Portuguese, depending on the region sounds closer to Italian than Spanish. Portuguese from Sao Paulo is absolutely influenced by Italian, even the intonation is the same. Rio Portuguese is closer to European Portuguese in tone.

by Anonymousreply 3806/29/2020

Yes, i easily understand lots of Italian and Portuguese and can communicate with persons speaking either, however, I also grew up in multi-cultural areas and was exposed to both languages often.

My nanny was Argentinian, married to an Italian, and my mom’s best friend was Portuguese, & when she and her husband divorced, my aunt ended up moving in with her husband. All kosher, with everyone’s blessings.

Eventually, my mom’s best friends boys gee up, as did I. They had both gotten sober, and I got sober soon after, and moved in with the two boys, who were like brothers to me.

The other language I was exposed to constantly as a kid was German. Unfortunately, I started picking it up, and and then the girl who was my bff went off to a dramatic arts school for United in London, and my German fell off.

I’m watching a German film right now, actually, and it isn’t as easily understood, had it been Portuges or Italian.

by Anonymousreply 3906/30/2020

Italians and Spaniards can understand each other because they mostly speak with their hands. We, French people, are more like speaking with our hands casually in our pockets, so they both have a hard time understanding us.

by Anonymousreply 4006/30/2020

Sorry, if that goes off-topic, but I can't help to share my appreciation for how nice and pleasant this thread is. Very nice and informative.

by Anonymousreply 4106/30/2020

What about Italian music and Spanish music? They are very similar at their roots, but I don’t know about current popular music.

They both love a waltz.

by Anonymousreply 4206/30/2020

A friend used to work in a European institution in Italy where everyone spoke different European languages (their native and often several others) and made a pretence to learn Italian.

I am a boring Anglo, but what I observed there and in general:

A Danish-Norwegian couple would talk to each other in their own languages and understand each other fully.

Italians claimed they could understand almost everything they heard in Spanish.

Spaniards learn Italian really easily but the French struggle have to make more of an effort.

Slavs can often but not always understand each other almost completely. I would hear Poles and Ukrainians talking in something Slavic, but I'm not sure if they were speaking in their own language or both in Polish.

Apparently there is a kind of "drunken Slavic" language that Slavs end up talking to each other when they're drunk but doesn't work other times. This was told to me by a drunk Croat and a drunk Bulgarian.

Romanians find it easy to learn French and Italian but they still have to learn them, it's not like they can fully understand those languages just with a bit of effort.

Hungarians, Turks and Finns speak languages from the same non-Indo-European language group but they can't really understand each other although they have similar grammatical structures. To my non-specialist ear, Hungarian sounds a lot like Turkish.

Portuguese sounds like Arabic. In this respect, Maltese is probably the most fascinating of all these languages, being a mixture of romance languages and Arabic.

by Anonymousreply 4306/30/2020

To add, there was also a French-Canadian woman there who had been dating a Spaniard but I think they spoke in English. They broke up and the French-Canadian woman started hanging out with the Francophones (French and Belgian). Even I could tell she sounded quite different from them and I rationalised it as being like when Brits and Americans talk English with each other.

A bilingual Greek-English speaker who knows Spanish and I were with a Hungarian and the Greek-English speaker didn't realise just how different Hungarian is to most European languages. Somehow it came up in conversation and she said of course she'd be able to understand something of Hungarian if she read something so the Hungarian gave her the package of something to read and she couldn't understand a word of it, whereas with any other European language she'd be able to pick a word or two out.

As an English-speaker, listening to Dutch or Flemish Belgians sounds weird, like you should be able to understand what they're saying but they're speaking some kind of surreal, upside-down version of English so nothing makes sense.

by Anonymousreply 4406/30/2020

R44 - nailed Romanian roommate says "we can't be homophobic and act 'like a drunk Slav'" sounds hilarious when she says it in Romanian and when chubby men make comments on women's looks and say "ok, Adonis" and blows a kiss.

by Anonymousreply 4506/30/2020

R43 Turkish language most definitely doesn't belong to the same language group as Finnish and Hungarian ones do.

To me Hungarian sounds very Slavic, which isn't a coincidence, because apparently 20% of Hungarian words are of Slavic origins. They have quite a few loaned words from Turkish language too, which is probably why you find the two similar.

by Anonymousreply 4606/30/2020

[quote]Are you sure they weren't speaking Russian?

R19 - It definitely wasn't Russian because I know what Russian sounds like, having had two previous Russian born superintendents at my apartment building and having seen a number of Russian films (including everything by Tarkovsky).

I know it was Romanian they were speaking in those series because there were enough Latinesque (for lack of a better word) elements in the characters' conversations to make me know it was Romanian.

by Anonymousreply 4706/30/2020

R46, the Turks were the first to say that their language was similar to Hungarian and they have some common grammatical structures and also both originated from around Mongolia. There is even a city in Finland called Turku. So, while these languages may not strictly speaking be from the same language group, they definitely have many points in common.

Hungarian doesn't sound Slavic - Slavic languages have short vowels and Hungarian has very long vowels. It's also quite guttural, almost sounds like Arabic sometimes.

by Anonymousreply 4806/30/2020

When I was traveling with some friends through Italy, we came to a hotel in Assisi, where the innkeeper could speak no language except Italian. We Americans were at a loss, but our Mexican friend was able to understand what she was saying.

To me, Catalan sounds like Spanish, with an overlay of French. A lot of Eastern European Slavs like learning French, at least the ones I've known.

The differences between Canadian and Parisian French are overstated.

by Anonymousreply 4906/30/2020

Here's an interesting example of op's idea.

I watch a lot of pageants, and there's this one Miss Universe pageant which took place in Mexico City.

Miss Brazil was being interviewed, and used a Portugese translator.

Obviously, the Spanish speaking Mexican people could understand what she was saying in Portugese, because they were clapping at her response, before the translator could even translate.

It starts at the 2 minute 45 second mark.

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by Anonymousreply 5006/30/2020

I think they're clapping her mother appearing on the screen, r50.

On another note, how absolutely horrible is that Miss Universe show! Thankfully things have changed a lot since then.

by Anonymousreply 5106/30/2020

At work I spoke French to a Portuguese woman who spoke only Portuguese. We communicated surprisingly well.

by Anonymousreply 5206/30/2020

I was on a bus tour in Italy once where, the guide, who was from Naples, gave the standard narration in very basic English, French, Spanish, and standard Italian. Since I'm a native English speaker and had studied the other three languages, I could understand what he said in each one. However, when he spoke directly to the bus driver, another Neapolitan, I couldn't understand a word he said. Obviously there was a lot of local dialect, and he didn't have to restrict himself to simplified or basic grammar, nor did he have to speak slowly.

by Anonymousreply 5306/30/2020

I'm pretty fluent in Spanish and was able to get around in Italy understanding the basics.

I can't understand Portuguese but can read it and get the gist of the basics.

by Anonymousreply 5406/30/2020

[quote] I think they're clapping her mother appearing on the screen

Did you even watch the interview?

Towards the end, Miss Brazil was talking about how well she was treated in Mexico, and what a great time she had there.

Before the translator could translate, the audience was clapping already. And it wasn't for her mother

The Mexican audience could obviously understand what Miss Brazil was saying.

by Anonymousreply 5506/30/2020

I am spanish. Italian is not that similar to spanish, yes, both have a lot of things in common (well spaniard and italians have a lot of things in common) but it's not that easy to understand italian only knowing spanish.

Portuguese on the other hand it's quite easy to me, but i don't know if it's due to knowing spanish or because i speak gallego (which is the language of a part of the northwest of Spain).

Gallego and portuguese where the same language for centuries (they were the erudite language during the reign of Alfonso X).

Of the languages that evolved from latin the french is the one that is more different from the others

by Anonymousreply 5606/30/2020

I speak Spanish and when I went to Italy I had no problems communicating with Italians. Of course some words are totally different but with context clues I got by with no problem. Portuguese is harder for me to understand. From what I’ve seen, Brazilians understand Spanish better than Spanish speakers understand Portuguese. I actually haven’t had much experience with Portuguese from Portugal, all has been Brazilian Portuguese.

by Anonymousreply 5706/30/2020

The difference between portuguese form Portugal and from Brazil is similar to spanish from Spain and from argentina. The europeans sound harsher while the southamericans sound softer.

Portuguese tend to understand better other languages because they are used to watch tv with subtitles, something doesn't happen in Spain.

We spaniard (that's a generalization of course) are not that good with foreign languages (like people remind me her constantly due to my broken english)

by Anonymousreply 5806/30/2020

So, who has the bigger cock, Spaniards, Portuguese, Italians, or Romanians? This is what DL really wants to know. I will say that Portuguese men in Lisbon are absolutely dreamy with big butts.

by Anonymousreply 5906/30/2020

R56 - why are Asturians such cunts?

by Anonymousreply 6006/30/2020

Frenchie here, sorry but the Portugese language is not at all the closest to the French language. The Roman language closest to French is Italian. French is not made up only of Latin, but also of German since France was originally a Germanic and Celtic people before its Gallo-Roman area. Spain is bordering on France and Portugal is squarely glued to Spain, Italy also is bordering on France and we had a massive immigration of Italians in France, which explains why many French understand Italian.

English contains 45% of French words (and not Latin), from our extremely long common History, made of reciprocal invasions. England is only 35 minutes by feery from France. William the Conqueror was the first French sovereign to invade England, then Henry VIII invaded France and so on. This is also why the motto of the royal family of England is still in French.

About Québécois, they speak the French as we French still spoke it in the XVI century when we arrived in what's called now Canada (former Nouvelle France, before the British invaded Canada. That is why we sometimes (not always) find it difficult to understand each other. But it depends.

by Anonymousreply 6107/01/2020

R23 Lol ah those two are seriously either keen to fuck together or they have already done it several times. I must say, as a French I don't dislike seeing them so attracted to each other. They turn me on tbh, and yes love makes it easier but everyone understands Trudeau French very well here in France.

by Anonymousreply 6207/01/2020

I've studied Spanish for 5 years - 3 formal 2 self study. Plus I know quite a bit of Italian too. But Portuguese to me it sounds a bit like slurred Spanish. Plus I know a few choice terms in Russian too. My favorite is Nekulturny. It means un-cultured. Makes Russians turn green.

by Anonymousreply 6307/01/2020

Portuguese here. In my experience working as a tour guide, I always noticed that most Portuguese people understand Spanish but not vice versa. Most Spanish people who speak galego (northern region of spain) understand portuguese, but if you're from barcelona or madrid for example, it's much harder. I think its because portuguese has more phonetic vowels than spanish so its harder for them to pronounce and distinguish our sounds. Usually i say to spanish people "if you wanna learn portuguese, speak spanish with being terminally depressed", that's because we are usually not as loud or accentuate every syllable.

Just to give you an idea, no one in my life has had spanish lessons and we can all speak spanish. I believe it's because we use subtitles on foreign tv shows and movies unlike spain.

Also for me, i noticed that that are a lot of brazilians who don't understand portuguese from portugal. I think its beause PT from PT sounds more arcaic while PT from BR sounds more latin, singing-like and fluid.

Sorry for any typos, first time posting here.

by Anonymousreply 6407/01/2020

R64 Interesting. Oh yeah and knowing more than just English has gotten me into amusing situations. I was in an Italian store one time and this woman customer was being really obnoxious. The woman behind the counter called her a crazy bitch in Italian. I burst out laughing. Got a little extra in my order that day.

Now I'm down here in Georgia - and lot of people LOVE my northeast accent. I have a slightly strange one as I was broken of dropped r sounds long ago.

by Anonymousreply 6507/01/2020

IMHO, Argentine Spanish (esp. middle-class Buenos Aires) is basically "Italian(ish), with Spanish orthography"

My theory is that Argentina had so many immigrants from Italy between1890 and1930, it affected Argentina's own language. Immigrant kids learned to read & write Spanish in school, but spoke Italian at home. Meanwhile, older family members started out illiterate in Italian, but gradually gained semi-literacy in Spanish without ever changing the language they spoke. Over time, the language their kids & grandchildren spoke drifted closer towards Spanish norms, but still has a VERY Italian "sound".

I've been told by Argentine friends that to them, "TV/movie Italian" sounds more like a very strong accent than a foreign language... and can sometimes sound more "Spanish" (to Argentines) than literal Spanish spoken by Mexicans, Peruvians, and many Spaniards.

by Anonymousreply 6607/01/2020

I’m currently living in Italy (Florence) and I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen French and Spanish tourists speaking slowly to Italians and vice versa and understanding each other. In Italy, during the refugee crisis of a couple of years ago, a majority of the migrants from Africa were French-speakers and they got by just fine. One street vendor from Senegal told me he picked up Italian within six months without attending a single class.

As an English-speaker, I personally find Italian the most beautiful sounding of these languages, followed by Portuguese, French and Spanish (though not Catalan) in that order. I find Scandinavian languages quite harsh-sounding. I was wondering if native Romance speakers find any of these or other languages more beautiful than the other?

by Anonymousreply 6707/01/2020

The key difference between Spanish and Italian is Spanish got influenced by Arabic. Italian didn't and hews closer to Vulgar Latin. Gotta give the Italians credit for not succumbing to Arabic.

by Anonymousreply 6807/01/2020

Many English speakers find Spanish spoken by a Colombian easier to understand than Spaniard. Same for African French accents vs the way it’s spoken in France.

by Anonymousreply 6907/01/2020

R68 sounds like you think Arabic is a bad thing.

by Anonymousreply 7007/01/2020

R70 Arab sound is not frankly pretty in the ear, and saying it does not make anyone a racist. Spain was colonized by North Africa for 4 centuries, which explains this

by Anonymousreply 7107/01/2020

French sounds more beautiful to me

by Anonymousreply 7207/02/2020

What are you, r72?

by Anonymousreply 7307/02/2020

I love the sound of Italian because all the words end in vowels. Sounds much more musical.

by Anonymousreply 7407/02/2020

French sounds sorta faggy.

by Anonymousreply 7507/02/2020

Standard Italian and Standard Spanish (Castilian and Latin American) are perfectly phonetic. If you see the word, you can pronounce it. If you hear the word, you can spell it with a high but not perfect degree of accuracy. In Spanish, especially, some letters are often confused with each other because they sound the same, but the result is still understandable, if only semi-literate. Given the common origin and totally phonetic nature of the languages, it's not surprising there would be some mutual comprehensibility.

French is only somewhat phonetic. There are major quirks in pronunciation that make it less intuitive. Seeing a French word does not guarantee that you'll pronounce it correctly. Hearing a French word gives only a general idea of how it might be spelled.

English is, famously, just barely phonetic. This was not always true. Anglo-Saxon (aka Old English) was a high phonetic language, but the arrival of the Normans the consequent thick buttering of Germanic bread with French butter to produce Middle English resulted in many eccentric pronunciations. Then we had the great vowel shift, and everything went to hell.

by Anonymousreply 7607/02/2020

spanish is my first language and i can read italian and understand 90% of what's written however when it comes to spoken words, things get a bit more dificult. the same happens with portuguese.

by Anonymousreply 7707/02/2020

I speak both Spanish (my native tongue) and Italian. I know from my experience it's not easy for people who speak one language to understand the other language when spoken, but it's easier to understand it when they read it. Harder with Portuguese and French as the sounds are very different.

by Anonymousreply 7807/02/2020

spanish actually has very little of arabic. as a native speaker of spanish, when i see the spanish words that are supposed to come from arabic , i can never understand their meaning because those words are not used in real spoken spanish. perhaps those "spanish words" are actually some andalusian dialect.

by Anonymousreply 7907/02/2020

R76 Oh how surprising ! A British with a visceral hatred for the French, and who does not even hide it. Funny how everything was going well until, once again, a British came to spread his hatred, stupidity and ignorance.

Ok, some facts : English is a West Germanic language whose origin is in the Anglo-Frisian dialects brought to the island of Brittany by the Germanic tribes who came to settle there, and then strongly influenced, especially lexically, by languages settlers from Scandinavia, Normandy (Anglo-Norman French) and northern France, generally in the Middle Ages, Then by modern French. As with other languages, borrowings from ancient Greek and Latin have constantly enriched the lexicon until today. The other Romance languages, as well as the dialects of the former British colonies, influenced British English in a much less significant way, but continue to be used in their territories of origin. (Wikipedia).

English language: German, Scandinavia, French, Grec AND ROMANE LANGUAGES

But strangely, your hatred is only direct to the French. I've got news for you, we are NOT living in the middle age anymore. I bet you are a Brexshiter : Xenophobic, racist and ignorant. Yes honey you are speaking French every single time you open your hateful mouth, deal with it <3

by Anonymousreply 8007/02/2020

R76 Without the French your British accent would never have been so deliciously sexy, because German is not what I could call an attractive language. Say thank you and relax, you can't change History, you have to move on

by Anonymousreply 8107/02/2020

Italian is a very musical language.

by Anonymousreply 8207/02/2020

Dialect continuum in Europe.

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by Anonymousreply 8307/02/2020

Wow, R80. Maybe dial back the outrage a little. I'm not seeing anything in R76's post that's "xenophobic, racist and ignorant". He or she was just explaining how the French influence on Old English led to Middle English having a lot of quirks. English is famous for being difficult to learn due to the inconsistencies in its spellings and pronunciations. That's because it's an amalgamation of German, French, Scandinavian, Greek and Latin.

by Anonymousreply 8407/02/2020

R80 and R81: I am not British. I do not hate the French. I don't regret the influence Norman French had on English. I have re-read my post to figure out what makes you think these things, and I can only assume you misread my ironic tone as hatred. I do regret touching a nerve, whatever nerve that might be, since the tone of this discussion had been so pleasant up to now.

by Anonymousreply 8507/02/2020

R76 is right, though. Old English was phonetic until the French invaded and English became the bland language it is now.

by Anonymousreply 8607/02/2020

R85. The British do tend to be reflexively antagonistic towards stemming from their long histories of invasions. It played a big part in current anti-European sentiment that led to Brexit. I’m not saying it’s good or bad, but it exists and I think that’s what caused r80’s defensiveness because he has to deal with it all the time.

by Anonymousreply 8707/02/2020

R84 R85 R86 Lol you really take people for idiots. First you say that the old English lost its phonetics because of the French while I show you that there were not only French influences but first Germanic, Scandinavian then Greek, Latin and Roman languages. Here, you play the innocent before repeating again, like the idiot that you are that if English has lost its phonetics it is because of French. How could you know when several languages have come to influence English? Stop taking people for morons, even a 5 year old child would see you coming.

you said R76 is right ? Of course because YOU ARE R76

I won't answer any of your bullshit anymore, i hate cowards and hypocrites like you

by Anonymousreply 8807/02/2020

R87 They no longer have any reason to behave like this, it all happened in the Middle Ages. The MIDDLE AGES!!! We don't spend our time blaming them for killing our Jeanne D'Arc (Joan of Arc), simply because we don't live centuries and centuries behind. England also invaded France but they tend to forget it. All the countries of Europe have been invaded but you don't look in the rearview mirrors like these hateful and ridiculously pathetic British. The Brexit campaign is essentially based on hatred of the others with the Far right who has not stopped lying to them. They have no reason to constantly attack the French.

Wait... why should i care what a brexshiter think about us? Damnit

by Anonymousreply 8907/02/2020

Why do Brazilian women have such deep voices? They all sound like truck drivers even their supermodels.

by Anonymousreply 9007/02/2020

Take your meds, Frenchie.

by Anonymousreply 9107/02/2020

Yeah, this is more like a DL thread

by Anonymousreply 9207/03/2020

Ah the Spanish I learned was the Castilian variety. THe one I most understand is Dominican Spanish.

by Anonymousreply 9307/04/2020

[quote]THe one I most understand is Dominican Spanish.

Really? Dominican Spanish is like Cuban and Puerto Rican Spanish. They drop their 'S's and a whole bunch of other consonants (ex. pescado -> peh cao; estas -> eh tah; usted -> ooh teh), and turn their 'R's into 'L's (por favor -> pol fabol; verde -> velde). So I would think it would be harder for a Castilian learner to understand.

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by Anonymousreply 9407/04/2020

I have found that French speakers tend to speak with their mouths partially closed, which is how they make their unique sounds.

English speakers open their mouths more, as do Spanish and Germans.

But French speak with their mouths in the shape of the letter "O," as if you are about to whistle.

Has anyone else noticed this?

I think it's another reason why English speakers sound so funny when trying to speak French. Their mouths are too wide open.

by Anonymousreply 9507/04/2020

1. Brazilian American here, it is my experience that I can understand Spanish about 90% of the time, even though I’ve never taking a Spanish class in my life. However the Spanish speakers (I live in LA so most of the Spanish speakers I encounter are working class Mexicans and not particularly worldly as would someone of Spanish dissent would be) cannot understand anything I say in Portuguese, they just look at me with this expression of huh?

2. Someone once told me that Portuguese sounds like Spanish underwater

3. A friend of mine got her graduate degree in romance languages, and during her studies they had to read some thing in old Spanish. Her classmates had a hard time understanding it but because she had taken a lot of Portuguese she understood this old Spanish quite easily. Don’t know if this matters, but just something to think about

4. Artesia, California once had a thriving Portuguese community. They still have a Portuguese club which my mom is part of even though she’s Brazilian. Recently I went to a party at this club and we were seated next to a family of Portuguese dissent and I asked them in English do they understand Brazilian Portuguese and they said we have no idea what you guys are saying, and me and my mom said the exact same thing to them that we cannot not understand Either. But I assume if I ever went to Portugal that after a day or two or three I would get used to their accents and be OK. I think the best analogy is someone with a really heavy Scottish accents to our American ears we can barely understand what they’re saying, I think it’s the same thing between Portugal Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese.

5. In Italian i understand about 50% of what they’re saying. If I’m watching some thing with subtitles I can pretty much not read the subtitles and understand what they’re saying because of the context of the movie which matters a lot when trying to interpret some thing.

by Anonymousreply 9607/04/2020

R43 The Maltese language is indeed interesting, because it is frozen in time. They haven't added a new word to it for centuries, which is the main reason they use Italian and English words interspersed throughout their conversations. In certain Cities like Sliema they don't really speak much Maltese.

No matter how much Maltese you know the second they detect your English accent they will simply switch to speaking in English, it's still one of their official languages. The best selling local newspaper is The Malta Times, published in English (generally better written and more grammatically correct the any UK or US publication).

Their grasp of Italian is quite basic surprisingly.

by Anonymousreply 9707/04/2020

[quote] The Maltese language is indeed interesting, because it is frozen in time. They haven't added a new word to it for centuries

Can Pete Buttigieg speak Maltese?

by Anonymousreply 9807/04/2020

I'd be surprised if he could manage more than a few sentences, when his Father went to school in Malta they were only taught in English.

by Anonymousreply 9907/04/2020

My opinion of easiest to most difficult Romance language is ranked: Italian -- Spanish -- Portuguese -- French -- Romanian. I am not familiar enough with Sardu or Catalan to compare to the big five above.

by Anonymousreply 10007/04/2020

We mutually understand the language of uncut sizemeat!

by Anonymousreply 10107/04/2020

Can anyone talk about the similarities between Spanish music and Italian music?

They lyrics?

The music?

by Anonymousreply 10207/04/2020

R102 when I was growing up, a lot of Italian music stars would record their hits in Spanish, and they'd be pretty successful in the Spanish speaking world. Rafaella Carra (she was this brassy blonde, kind of a mix between Mitzi Gaynor and Charo), and the duo of Al Bano & Romina Power (they were a married couple, she was the daughter of Tyrone Power) are two that come to mind. And later on in the 90's a guy named "Nek" was very successful. And a lot of the Spanish songs I heard by Latin American artists also originated in Italy, and were translated to Spanish. There was a Spanish singer named Ivan who seemed to specialize in Italo-disco Spanish translations. So overall, in terms of mainstrem pop music, probably fairly similar. Or rather, similar enough so that the artists and the songs could move pretty easily from one market to the other.

by Anonymousreply 10307/04/2020

The Spanish version of Gloria, like the English version, both became huge hits off the back of the Italian original.

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by Anonymousreply 10407/04/2020

What about the swedes and the Swiss. Do they understand one another?

by Anonymousreply 105Last Sunday at 12:08 AM

> What about the swedes and the Swiss

Not even remotely close.

Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish are kind of mutually intelligible. To a Dane, Norwegian sounds like Danish spoken by a Swede. To Swedes, Norwegian sounds like Swedish spoken by a Dane. Most Scandinavians speak flawless English... by the time they graduate from high school, they've taken almost as many years of English as American kids.

Interesting trivia: to Scandinavians, books written in their language feel like kids' books, because 'adult' literature & nonfiction is almost always written in English, even when the author is Scandinavian.

Almost anything you can write in Danish, Norwegian, or Swedish can be written in grammatically-valid English in a way that's almost perfectly round-trip lossless. It wouldn't necessarily look like English written by an American, but a Scandinavian would read it & instantly understand *exactly* what the author intended. This is mostly because anything can be written multiple ways in English, and one of them aligns almost flawlessly with Scandinavian sentence structure.

by Anonymousreply 106Last Sunday at 12:27 AM

Some Italians find it relatively easy to understand Spanish if they come from a dialect that has some phonetic or morphological overlap with Spanish. People who speak some Veneto dialects, fo example, find it very easy to pick up Spanish, as do most Sardinians (there’s even a dialect of Sardinian, in Alghero, which is basically old Castilian). I don’t think it’s as easy for someone from a Roman, Sicilian, or southern Italian dialect are to understand Spanish. No idea how it works the other way around, though.

by Anonymousreply 107Last Sunday at 12:59 AM

There's a YouTube channel dedicated to this kind of stuff. Here's proof Brazilian Portuguese, Mexican Spanish and Italian are mutually intelligible. However, the Italian speaker says, in the end, that Spanish is easier to understand.

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by Anonymousreply 108Last Sunday at 12:38 PM

Here's one with French, Italian Spanish and Portuguese.

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by Anonymousreply 109Last Sunday at 12:42 PM

They even made a video with spoken Latin.

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by Anonymousreply 110Last Sunday at 1:06 PM

R79 There are a lot of arabic words that are very common in spanish, practically all words that starts with AL came from arabic

by Anonymousreply 111Last Sunday at 1:15 PM

Latin is the only language that I studied for an extended period of time (7 years). It does help you 'busk it' with some of the romance languages.

by Anonymousreply 112Last Sunday at 1:16 PM

The Romance languages sound like lazy versions of Latin. Almost as if they didn’t want to have to pronounce the hard consonants.

by Anonymousreply 113Last Sunday at 3:44 PM

Here is Romanian being spoken. While I can get some gist out of the other Romance languages that I don't know, I'm truly lost here.

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by Anonymousreply 114Last Sunday at 3:48 PM

R114, to me, that sounds like an unidentified Romance language being spoken by someone with a Slavic accent. There are clues to the Romance origin, especially in the vowels, but the consonants sound Slavic. From that, I might have guessed that it was Romanian, but I wouldn't recognize it for sure (if I hadn't heard the reference to Cluj-Napoca).

by Anonymousreply 115Last Sunday at 4:08 PM

Why does everyone always forget about me? I'm one of the official languages of Switzerland, people!

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by Anonymousreply 116Last Sunday at 4:18 PM

Listen to the Romansh in the link at R116. It's a Romance language - you can hear numerous familiar words - but the accent is distinctly German ... to my ears, anyway. That's similar to the way Romanian sounds vaguely Slavic even while being derived from Latin.

It seems that the way people speak a language, the overall sound of it, is much influenced by the prevailing or surrounding languages, even when they are in a different language family.

by Anonymousreply 117Last Sunday at 4:22 PM

R115, Romanian is a lovely-sounding language, IMO. I first heard it spoken in a gymnastics documentary and thought it had some enunciations close to the Latin I heard recited in Catholic mass.

I would trade in my knowledge of Italian for French or Portuguese if I could though. At this point, Italian is just a vanity language on a global scale. French and Portuguese would come in more handy in the Francophone and ascendant Lusophone parts of the world.

by Anonymousreply 118Last Sunday at 4:29 PM

I've never further learning how to order food/drink and buy stuff in Italian even though I find it easy, it seems pointless to become fluent.

by Anonymousreply 119Last Sunday at 4:42 PM

^^further than^^

by Anonymousreply 120Last Sunday at 4:45 PM

The most distinctive feature of Slavic languages is extensive palatalization. They sound like they don't want to open their mouths too wide cause it's too cold!

by Anonymousreply 121Last Sunday at 4:52 PM

[quote] it seems pointless to become fluent.

R119, unless one works in the Vatican or the high-end fashion world, probably not.

by Anonymousreply 122Last Sunday at 5:09 PM

The further up the social scale you go in Italy the more fluent in English they become. Same in lot's of Countries.

Most middle class Italian's can speak English perfectly well.

by Anonymousreply 123Last Sunday at 5:42 PM

Same here, r114. My Romance language background - Italian was spoken in the home by my parents, both immigrants. I took three years of French in HS. Then a year (two?) of Italian and a semester (year?) of Spanish in college. But rarely had an opportunity to use any of it. Then my job took me to Barcelona for several months and I picked up Catalan fairly quickly. I couldn't actually speak it but I could understand it if someone spoke slowly. I found Catalan an odd mix of Spanish, French, and Neopolitan. Then, in anticipation of a vacation in Portugal and the Azores, I picked up a grammar book and boned up. I did get to the point where I could converse in the simplest terms with the family we stayed with. If nothing else, they were extremely appreciative of the effort. I tried to study up my French when we went to Paris, but conversing was a struggle. But a smile and a game effort went a long way with the Parisians. I don't know why people say they are so dismissive of Americans. We found them very friendly. One of the best experiences we had in Paris is we went to an inexpensive Basque restaurant in Paris. We were seated at a table with students. Some spoke French, others Italian, English and Catalan. My head was spinning but it was fun. By the time we went to Spain in 2018, I gave up trying to learn/re-learn Spanish and did my best, which wasn't terrible.

by Anonymousreply 124Last Sunday at 6:00 PM

Is Basque Latin?

by Anonymousreply 125Last Sunday at 8:36 PM

No, Basque isn't even Indo-European. It has no known relatives in the present time.

by Anonymousreply 126Last Sunday at 8:37 PM

[quote] No, Basque isn't even Indo-European. It has no known relatives in the present time.

Not even Gaelic?

I was watching Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" and he visited San Sebastian in Northwestern Spain.

They featured a musical group from the region, and one of the members was playing the bagpipe. He mentioned that the Basques were one of "Seven Gaelic Tribes" of Europe. Or something like that.

by Anonymousreply 127Last Sunday at 8:46 PM

The Basque language is one of the linguistic mysteries of Europe.

by Anonymousreply 128Last Sunday at 9:11 PM

R127 Even Gaelic is in the Celtic branch of Indo-European languages. But the Basques may be the people who were there even before the Celts came.

by Anonymousreply 129Last Sunday at 9:13 PM

r127 Again, the classification of Basque is an uncertain matter among linguists, so there's controversy about which languages are related to it. Basque was certainly related to the Aquitaine language, a dead language spoken in southern France. More controversially, some linguists have proposed Georgian and Nostratic as Basque relatives. The latter, however, is also a dead language (it was spoken in Sardinia before the Romans imposed Latin), and most linguists haven't embraced the Georgian connection, either.

Almost all linguists, however, agree that Basque is not Indo-European, and therefore it is wholly unrelated to Gaelic or to the Celtic languages, more broadly. Now, that it has received some Celtic influence seems likely; Spain mostly spoke Celtic deep into antiquity, after all.

I recall reading a paper by a Spanish linguist, Blanca Maria Prósper, in response to a British linguist who proposed that Basque was a Celtic language. Her paper is hilariously rude. I think Basque must have some Celtic elements, otherwise the British linguist wouldn't have tried to make the connection. But the fact that the Spanish linguist responded so unkindly reflects the consensus that Basque is a language isolate.

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by Anonymousreply 130Last Sunday at 9:16 PM

Correction to r130: The pre-Latin language once spoken in Sardinia is called Nuragic, not Nostratic.

by Anonymousreply 131Last Sunday at 9:31 PM

There is a Basque language substrate in the spoken Romance dialects of Gascony and Val d'Aran (Gascon/Béarnaise/Aranese), that has led them to diverge greatly from the other Occitan dialects to the east. So much so that many of its speakers consider Gascon a separate language. The fact that Basque and Gascon come from the same Latin root, vasco/vasconem, indicates that they were once considered the same people; one group, however, became heavily Romanized, while the other, due to isolation, maintained their distinct language and culture.

by Anonymousreply 132Last Sunday at 10:14 PM

Is Castilleno the same as Spanish?

by Anonymousreply 133Last Monday at 1:06 AM

[quote]Most middle class Italian's can speak English perfectly well.

Regarding English speakers by country in Europe...

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by Anonymousreply 134Last Monday at 1:24 AM

Regarding R123 and other posts about incidence of English speakers in European countries.

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by Anonymousreply 135Last Monday at 1:26 AM

For R126, R128, R130, and R132.

What a coincidence that I stumbled across an interesting video called "Basque - A Language of Mystery" which discusses everything you've mentioned.

It's only about 9 minutes long, if you're interested.

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by Anonymousreply 136Last Monday at 2:08 AM

Btw, the guy who made the video at R136 is amazing.

So incredibly knowledgeable about languages, which really makes my head spin.

The study of languages is so complicated, but very interesting.

by Anonymousreply 137Last Monday at 2:21 AM

R133, Castellano (Castillian) refers to the language of Castile in the central part of Spain, which did in fact basically become the "Standard Spanish" due to the accidents of history

by Anonymousreply 138Last Monday at 11:40 AM

R138, yes, but in Hispanic countries, Spanish is often called "castellano" when used in the same way we refer to English as a language among other native speakers.

For example, in response to someone who claimed not to understand us, we might say, "I said it in perfectly good English"; many Hispanics would say, "lo dije en buen castellano." I think, in some places (Mexico, for example), they study "castellano" in the way we study English grammar and composition (not literature).

by Anonymousreply 139Last Monday at 3:51 PM

Oops ... I should have added that, when a Mexican or other Latin American says "castellano" in this way, they do not mean Castilian Spanish as we understand the term in English. They don't mean the ceceo (the lisp for z and soft c), or the distinctive Spaniard accent. They just mean good, proper Spanish in whatever accent is regionally correct, just as even Americans used to say "the King's (or Queen's) English" to mean clear, grammatical well-spoken English.

by Anonymousreply 140Last Monday at 3:55 PM

In the Philippines, we use the term [italic]Kastila[/italic].

Wikang Kastila - Spanish language

Mga Kastila - the Spanish people

by Anonymousreply 141Last Monday at 4:15 PM

OP. thank you for that picture. I love seeing two men in uniform kissing. Beautiful.

by Anonymousreply 142Last Monday at 4:51 PM

R139 in Mexico, people would almost never say castellano instead of espanol referring to the language they speak. Only in snobby countries like Argentina is this done.

by Anonymousreply 143Last Monday at 4:57 PM

Switzerland works to keep the Romansh language alive. It is considered the language closest to ancient Latin.

I like the unusual sound of it.

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by Anonymousreply 144Last Monday at 5:44 PM

Omg, I'm smitten with Niculin at R144's link!

He's adorable.

by Anonymousreply 145Last Monday at 5:50 PM

[quote]At this point, Italian is just a vanity language on a global scale.


But it's interesting that Italian is the 4th most studied language in the world.

The number of students who go to Italy to study the language, the number of schools is incredible.

I speak it fluently but I'd love to know French. And I've always wanted to study Latin. just for the hell of it.

by Anonymousreply 146Last Monday at 6:06 PM

Here's a very cool video on understanding the nuances of speaking Spanish.

Who knew that languages were so complicated?? Even more than you think!

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by Anonymousreply 147Yesterday at 5:49 AM

Is that New Zealand guy at R147 really straight?

He's very handsome, but I assumed he was gay.

Can't believe that he and that Spanish woman are a couple. She must be clueless.

by Anonymousreply 14820 hours ago
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