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Proper Preparation?

2020 Camino Guides

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
Just a philosophical question. Judging by the posts on this forum, most people spend an inordinate amount of time, money and effort fretting about gear and clothing, reading tons of blogs, and diligently watching films and reading books, and yet seem to expend so little effort trying to learn some Spanish. Why?
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
Just a philosophical question. Judging by the posts on this forum, most people spend an inordinate amount of time, money and effort fretting about gear and clothing, reading tons of blogs, and diligently watching films and reading books, and yet seem to expend so little effort trying to learn some Spanish. Why?

I like to do both :)
It was my adult evening class in Spanish that heightened my interest in walking a Camino. So I'm in complete agreement with you that a good knowledge of Spanish can only make a Camino a nicer experience. Especially on a lonelier route like for example the Camino del Ebro or my Camino Frances end of March where I was the only pilgrim that night in Reliegos.
So in those cases it is nice to be able to talk to locals.

I lost count how many times I had to translate in an international group of pilgrims on a Camino. From helping out someone at a local polyclinic to asking for a bottle of ketchup to go with a nicely baked trout...:eek:;). The raised eyebrows from the waitress was understood in all languages...

So yes, do try to learn some basic Spanish !
 
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago to Finisterre to Muxia 2013
Camino Frances May 2015, July 2017, October 2019
Simply put I guess the answer is because, beyond a few standard phrases, you really don't need it, certainly on the Frances. English is the lingua franca along the way and in terms of return for effort it's just not worth it if you're only going to be in a Spanish speaking country for a month.

Having said that I've been noodling about with the Duolingo app and hope to have a little more Spanish by the time I set off in July.

It's nice and courteous to be able to converse in the tongue of the country you're vising, but if I felt I had to do that every time I was vising a country where English wasn't the first language I'd be doing nothing but language courses.
 

bmcbride

CVRambler
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2014), Camino Inca (2015), Primitivo (2017), Portugues (2018), Finisterre (2018)
Just a philosophical question. Judging by the posts on this forum, most people spend an inordinate amount of time, money and effort fretting about gear and clothing, reading tons of blogs, and diligently watching films and reading books, and yet seem to expend so little effort trying to learn some Spanish. Why?
I suspect that many people think that I am spending an inordinate amount of time trying to learn Spanish (I am getting better, but far from fluent). I love the Spanish language, and I think that local people appreciate it when someone shows an effort to try to speak in their language. Being a North American, I have often felt woefully inadequate compared to Europeans who speak 3, 4, 5 languages. The advantage of having English as my first language, or the disadvantage??? I often wonder.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
Two Americans are talking at a street corner. A car pulls up with a lost Italian visitor who, needing directions, rolls down the window and asks: "Parlate italiano?"

The Americans reply "Huh?"

The Italian tries "Parlez-vous français?" Nothing but a shrug.

Next, "Sprechen Sie Deutsches?" Again nothing.

"Hablan Espanol?"

"Você fala o Português?"

"Gavaru Paruski"

Each question gets no response from the Americans except head shakes. The Italian gets fed up, uses some Italian sign language and drives off.

One of the Americans turns to the other and says "I've thought about learning another language." His friend responds with "Why bother? That guy spoke six and it didn't do him any good."
 

Mikel Olivares

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. Camino Francés.
2016, Camino Portugués from Oporto
2017, San Salvador.
My case is the opposite.
I started to study English when I returned from my first Camino.
The lingua "franca" del camino is English.
It's okay to learn a little Spanish, the locals value it.
But it is not necessary to do the Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata, Seville to Santiago de Compostella 2016; Camino Frances May 2020
Just a philosophical question. Judging by the posts on this forum, most people spend an inordinate amount of time, money and effort fretting about gear and clothing, reading tons of blogs, and diligently watching films and reading books, and yet seem to expend so little effort trying to learn some Spanish. Why?
I think this is a good question - having walked on the Via de la Plata (which is a bit less developed in a camino and/or tourist infrastructure kind of way, apart from the big towns) I found that being fluent in Spanish was really very useful, although others seemed to get by more or less OK (some more, some less OK...). It absolutely enriched my ability to interact in a meaningful manner with the locals, who often seemed surprised and more than happy to talk with me at a bar in the morning over coffee, to discuss just about anything. My camino experience would have been very different had I not spoken Spanish. However, I didn't learn it for the express purpose of walking a camino. And, as others have said, once I got to Astorga and joined up with the camino Francaise, the whole thing was a different beast.

I wonder if one of the reasons that many people seem to expend so little effort trying to learn some Spanish pre-Camino is related to all of those blogs, books and films that you mentioned, many of which are in English, showing English speakers (and/or others who have other languages as their first language) speaking fabulous English, and encountering minimal difficulties as they proceed down the Camino Frances? Given that "the camino" (Francaise) is portrayed as a kind of international path on which English seems to be the necessary language for survival and social connection, there may be limited mileage to be gained out of learning more than basic Spanish, in the eyes of some, particularly if they don't foresee that they will return to the camino, or spend time in other Spanish language speaking countries?

Personally, as a native English speaker, I think that if you want to learn a second language then Spanish is a good choice - its a lot more straight forward than many languages (I may be ignorant, but I have not the foggiest idea of even the basics of Mandarin Chinese) and is spoken in sufficient places around the world that you might, if lucky, get some good mileage out of it. Plus, if you love the camino, and think you might be back again (and again) on some of the less travelled paths, its fantastically useful.

Regardless of all that, I also think it's good manners to try and learn the very basics before going off to spend a month in a country, for whatever purpose. It's good manners and a mark of respect to attempt to at least make an effort.

(But don't get me started on the hostility with which speaking Castilian Spanish can be received in some regions of Spain... honestly, enough times to make an impression, I found people were hostile and rude if I spoke Castilian Spanish whilst in Barcelona, but cheered up once I switched to English and it became clear which was my first language).
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
Just a philosophical question. Judging by the posts on this forum, most people spend an inordinate amount of time, money and effort fretting about gear and clothing, reading tons of blogs, and diligently watching films and reading books, and yet seem to expend so little effort trying to learn some Spanish. Why?
Maybe because they are spending an inordinate amount of time, money and effort fretting about gear and clothing, reading tons of blogs, and diligently watching films and reading books? :confused: Actually you do have a great question that I have no real answer for.

Peg had no Spanish but for a year she spent an hour a day on various "learn Spanish" websites. That was good enough for some comprehension although I couldn't prod her to attempt to speak it. I brushed up on ages old high school Spanish. Things worked out better for us than it did in a short trip to Spain 25 years ago where my Spanish actually got worse as time progressed (because Peg kept interrupting asking "What did you say?" "What did he say?")
 

jerbear

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de madrid, camino francis, camino inverino (2012, 2013,2014)
CdM, Francis, San salvador, primativo june 2015 CDM , francis, inverino 2016
Camino madrid, via de Plata. Santiago.
Coast of the dead malpica to muxia
Spainish NOT necessary. To walk a Camino. Too many different dialects. Imho. BC
 

bbates225

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
June/July (2017) Camino Frances (couldn't finish)
June/July (2020) Camino Frances (will try again)
Just a philosophical question. Judging by the posts on this forum, most people spend an inordinate amount of time, money and effort fretting about gear and clothing, reading tons of blogs, and diligently watching films and reading books, and yet seem to expend so little effort trying to learn some Spanish. Why?
Good question and one I have been asking myself - about myself. Now the time is near and I still only know a few basic phrases that I've learned living in Southern California. I do plan on doing my best - needed or not - to speak as much Spanish as I can. I believe it is the polite thing to do. After all, if Spanish is not needed on the Camino, that means that many others have put themselves out to learn my language. I hope to return the favor.
 

Mikel Olivares

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. Camino Francés.
2016, Camino Portugués from Oporto
2017, San Salvador.
Spainish NOT necessary. To walk a Camino. Too many different dialects. Imho. BC
Spanish language is spoken throughout Spain (Español-Castellano)).
Only other languages are spoken at the beginning of the Camino:
In northern of Navarre, Euskera-Basque language.
And at the end of it, in Galicia that besides the Castellano speak the Galician.
All Spaniards have the right and duty to know and the obligation to pull Spanish-Castilian.
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
Spanish language is spoken throughout Spain (Español-Castellano)).
Only other languages are spoken at the beginning of the Camino:
In northern of Navarre, Euskera-Basque language.
And at the end of it, in Galicia that besides the Castellano speak the Galician.
All Spaniards have the right and duty to know and the obligation to pull Spanish-Castilian.
Mikel : I know Catalan is officially taught in Catalunya aka a mandatory course. Is this also the same for Euskera in Pais Vasco and for Gallego in Galicia? Just curious.
 

Mikel Olivares

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. Camino Francés.
2016, Camino Portugués from Oporto
2017, San Salvador.
Mikel : I know Catalan is officially taught in Catalunya aka a mandatory course. Is this also the same for Euskera in Pais Vasco and for Gallego in Galicia? Just curious.
In the Autonomous Communities that have their own language, their own language is official. Teaching is compulsory in both the official languages Castellano and the Community language
The Communities with their own language are: Galicia, Euskadi, Catalonia.
The case of Navarre is mixed, only Euskera-Basque language is mandatory in the north of the Community, which is where the Basque speakers are, the rest of the community is not.
Valencia and the Balearics Island have their language, which without creating controversy, is Catalan with some variants.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
It was somewhat difficult to say Castellano after nearly 50 years of using Español but I tried to use that to let the speakers of the other languages know that their's was a Spanish language also. I think that when my hesitation with the word was seen it helped. I don't think any offense would be taken with a foreigner saying Español though. However, in the Basque country of Navarra greeting the locals in Spanish didn't get the expected result. I should have learned some phrases in Euskara.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria to Santiago May 2018
I'm working on Duolingo but it's not solely speaking, there's a lot of writing. What's a better program to learn pilgrim's Spanish, enough to get by at shops and cafes?
 

Bogong

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First, March 2014
I must say my experience, on the Frances in winter, was a bit different. There were few people around and practically no one in the villages, bars etc spoke English at all. Even the hospitaleros who for the most part then were local people.

I touched base from time to time with two wonderful Catalan gentlemen, who had walked the Camino many times. They walked a lot faster than me but I would slog along and catch up at night. They couldn't speak a word of English.

Similarly in the seven weeks or so in Spain after the Camino. A few English speakers in the larger cities ie hotel staff and one taxi driver in La Linea who was fluent.

For the most part I struggled through with my basic Spanish which I had studied assiduously but with limited success for a year before going. People really appreciated it, and it opened several doors. It helped enormously booking ongoing travel at a travel agency in Granada (none of the ladies knew any English), the railway station in A Coruna (similar story and the computer broke down) and again at Hendaye where only French and Spanish was known.

Interaction with the local community is an enriching part of any travel experience including the Camino. Learning even a few basic words and phrases shows a respect for their country and culture. And Spanish is the third most widely spoken language in the world.

De Colores

Bogong
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2017
CF 2018
CP 2019
"and yet seem to expend so little effort trying to learn some Spanish."

Respectfully, @notion900 you're making an assumption there based on the notion that posts on a forum tell you everything you need to know about someone else. Perhaps they are already fluent. And maybe just as important: what someone else does to prepare for Camino is different from you. Not better or worse. Just different.
 

GWNN

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 French way
I have my Spanish CD on play in my car to and from work - I am lucky thou that I speak Italian and most of the words are very similar - I think that making an effort to learn some basic words goes a long way- no matter what country you visit.
 

Jersey

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
July 2017
I agree that we should spend more time learning Spanish.
Personally my Spanish is very limited but I've taught myself enough so I can walk into a bar and order a drink and have a decent idea what I'm ordering off the menu. ( I can read it better than speak it )
I was in Spain for a month last year visiting two very good friends who both have great command of the English language. I thought I would learn more Spanish than I did. The main problem was that my friends friends and there family were much more interested in practicing their English with me than entertaining my hope of learning more Spanish lol
This summer I will be in Spain for 6 weeks with my Spanish brothers.
I will definitely be more conscious of speaking & learning more Spanish.
 

CaminoDebrita

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPP to SdC Oct/Nov 2015
Frances Burgos toSdC March/April 2016
W. Highland Way August 2016
Camino Somewhere September 2017
Just a philosophical question. Judging by the posts on this forum, most people spend an inordinate amount of time, money and effort fretting about gear and clothing, reading tons of blogs, and diligently watching films and reading books, and yet seem to expend so little effort trying to learn some Spanish. Why?
he estudiado español por muchos anos, y en la escuela donde trabajo, mis favoritas clases son las de la idioma español. Soy profesora de ingles, per en facultidad, estudie Espanol.

But it's rough. And it's imperfect. I work on it.
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
Far from the intent of starting an argument, I do not agree with the answer "because it's not necessary". Neither is the best backpack or the best water bottle, they just make the trip easier for you.

I think that if you are going to stay an entire month in another country, sometimes with help and care from other people, you should at least try to learn the basics, as a matter of courtesy and respect. Of course, each person and each camino is different, but the intent should be there.
 
Camino(s) past & future
April / May (2016) CF
I studied a little bit of Spanish before I went, but between real life and my daily training treks, I didn't have a lot of time to study. I live in Italy and speak Italian, so I thought that I would be able to get by. I found that sometimes my Italian with some Spanish worked, but it often did not, especially when trying to call to make reservations. We were very lucky that kind fellow pilgrims or hospitelleros were willing to help us. If I decide to walk another Camino, I will have to find the time to learn a bit more.
 
A

AJ

Guest
Judging by the posts on this forum, most people spend an inordinate amount of time, money and effort fretting about gear and clothing, reading tons of blogs, and diligently watching films and reading books, and yet seem to expend so little effort trying to learn some Spanish. Why?
Not everybody spends an inordinate amount of time and money on gear etc. For those who do it is MUCH easier than learning a language, particularly if they are monoglot. If they are spending just a few weeks in Spain on a route where Spanish is not essential, there is little incentive to learn anything more than "please, thank you, yes, no" and so on.

Prior to my first camino (Mozarabe/VdlP/Sanabres) I was advised that I really should learn some Spanish and so I did - 4 weeks intensive in Granada. It was invaluable. But doing this was no chore for me. I already had intermediate french and German from my school days, so attacking another language was not daunting at all. For many people it is daunting. Particularly those lazy bastards who have English as their first language. But even many Northern Europeans with several languages do not bother to learn French or Spanish for their Caminos through France and Spain as I discovered on the Voie de Vezelay where I was translating for Dutch and German people all of whom had near perfect English but little or no French.

If my first Camino had been the Frances I doubt that I would have learned much Spanish.
 

HeidiL

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004-), Portugués, Madrid, 4/5 Plata, 1/8 Levante, 1/8 Lana, Augusta, hospitalera Grado.
People who have learned English as a second language, and especially people who have READ a lot of English, have some advantages regarding vocabulary, though one must bear in mind that there are "false friends" - embarazada is pregnant, not embarassed.

An example: What is the longest, most complicated literary word for walk I can think of in English? Uh, possibly perambulate, which means walking around? What do you know, perambular means walking around (something)!

The long and complicated words in English often come from Latin, and with a little bit of practice, it's not impossible to use them to figure out more or less what you want to say in Spanish. It won't be perfect, and people will laugh, but communication is definitely possible!
 

Antonius Vaessen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte (to Sobrado)
2019 Norte again
This is a good question. I've met more than a few pilgrims, who were doing their 4th or 5th Camino and still did know more Spanish than "muchas gracias", "Buen camino" and "buenas dias". They managed allright but still I wondered why they did not bother to learn some basic sentences. It gives you so much more to be able to talk to Spanish people, be able to read signs, explanations in churches, musea and so on. Spanish is also a beautiful language.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
If my first Camino had been the Frances I doubt that I would have learned much Spanish.
Actually it is quite possible! During my first Camino I walked for a time with a Catalán, a Gallego and a Basque! We all spoke Castillan with one another as that was the Lingua Franca. That opportunity allowed me to brush up on my Spanish which I hadn't used in 30 years (B.A. in Spanish and French)!

Almost all my subsequent Caminos were walked with Spanish-speaking pilgrims. This added a whole new dimension to my experience and gave me the confidence to strike up conversations with shop-keepers, farmers and café owners. This has and continues to be an integral part of the Camino for me and I often stop to chat with locals along the Camino. So if you wish to practice your Spanish, there are opportunities galore.

The Camino, especially the Francés, has become very international but we are still walking in Spain. Making an effort to learn Spanish (or any other language for that matter) opens up a whole new world. I think this is pretty great, especially in a world that seems to be putting up walls instead of tearing them down.

Buen Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Prior to my first camino (Mozarabe/VdlP/Sanabres) I was advised that I really should learn some Spanish and so I did - 4 weeks intensive in Granada. It was invaluable.
Was it www.enforex.com ?

I attended 4 intensive weeks in their school April 2016 in Alicante. It was invaluable. On the CF you can go by without, but knowing some Spanish puts completely new dimension to the walk: It is so much easier to travel, find places/stuff, shops, and not least, talk with locals! I am approached warmly every time, and have much fun with these conversations. And frequently, they express a little frustration that not more pilgrims understand some Spanish. Just my experiences.
 

Gary May

Member
Camino(s) past & future
My first Camino begins on 16th July 2017
I'm trying to pick up some phrases from a Spanish grad student at work....plus picked up a mini Spanish phrase book from a second hand book shop. Hopefully these can assist at some point. But if not - at least I would have learnt something new.
When in Peru a friend managed to communicate with locals using Spanish and it made ordering / haggling and general polite conversation much easier. I was somewhat envious!
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
Why spend money on gear and researching "the best" albergue, bar, etc, but not bother with Spanish?

I suppose because for many shopping is fun, but also because these things are for immediate comfort and can only be organised by oneself.

Bothering to learn Spanish takes an effort, and why make it when others can make an effort to understand us? Even if we point we'll have that slice of torilla served to us, bit we can't point and have a new better fitting pair of shoes appear. :cool:

Of course this also says a lot about what one might expct from a Camino, or to put into the Camino. But I have to admit not bothering much, if at all, with Portuguese when I was walking from Porto. o_O
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2017
CF 2018
CP 2019
To understand a culture: speak their language and eat their food.

I have long believed this and have had the good fortune in life to learn three languages (and to enjoy the foods of many other cultures on top of that).

But I also have learned to by wary of sentences that involve the word should.

Not everyone has had the same opportunities that I have had in life. And for some, learning a language is about as impossible for them as Algebra and spreadsheet formulas are for me. Same goes for food: some have dietary restrictions and others have an intolerance to certain ingredients. You are the only one who gets to decide which experiences give you joy in life.

Thus: It's not up to me to set expectations or minimum requirements on how others experience the world. Nor is it my job to impose my beliefs on others.

All I can really do is say "here is what's worked for me," and leave it to others to decide whether that's helpful to them or not.

I don't mind admitting that I didn't always think this way: for me, judgement and ego have been difficult beasts to bring to heel. And neither is ever fully domesticated.

So my advice to others tends to go like this: eat the food and speak the language if you can. If you can't (or won't), that's ok too. Create experiences in life that make the most sense to you with the mind open and the heart full.
 

Mona the Pilgrim

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
First stretch of the French Way - June 2017
Just a philosophical question. Judging by the posts on this forum, most people spend an inordinate amount of time, money and effort fretting about gear and clothing, reading tons of blogs, and diligently watching films and reading books, and yet seem to expend so little effort trying to learn some Spanish. Why?
I got so excited to see that you were asking a "philosophical" question and assumed that it would reap inspiration on how one prepares spiritually for the Camino. My daughter embarks in June and I am fortunate to get to walk the first week with her. I have two weeks to buy a backpack, the proper shoes & gear, and to make our travel reservations....not to mention train this 55 year old body to walk 10-15 miles a day. Annie Lamont says that the two most important prayers are "Help me! Help me!" and "Thank you! Thank you!" Or should I say, "Socorro! Socorro!" Y "Gracias a Dios! Gracias a Dios!" Buen Camino!
 

Mikel Olivares

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. Camino Francés.
2016, Camino Portugués from Oporto
2017, San Salvador.
I see with displeasure that there are still many foreigners who see the Spaniards of the XXI century, as their ancestors saw us in the XIX century.:confused:
Fortunately and for good we have changed a lot.:)
The first sentence that I recommend when you speak to a local, would be: "Buenos días o buenas tardes". and them "Por favor, ¿podria ayudarme?"
I also do not want to give a language class and manners, because anyway most of us will try to communicate with you in any way.
I consider that we are very friendly with all our visitors.
 

Kieran Kenneally

Inspired
Camino(s) past & future
Stages on both French and Northern routes. Plan to walk Tui to Santiago in June 2017
Just a philosophical question. Judging by the posts on this forum, most people spend an inordinate amount of time, money and effort fretting about gear and clothing, reading tons of blogs, and diligently watching films and reading books, and yet seem to expend so little effort trying to learn some Spanish. Why?
Por que I haven't a notion. Seriously though good point.I did learn some Spanish in school and even had two Spanish students stay with us when I was young (which wasn't today nor yesterday).I try to make an effort but all I can seem to remember these days are words not phrases or sentences. Please don't be mad at me God does love a trier mi amigo
 

mylifeonvacation

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Inglés (from Ferrol June 2014)
Camino Portuguese (from Tui May 2015)
What's a better program to learn pilgrim's Spanish, enough to get by at shops and cafes?
I find "The Spanish Dude"'s videos a great resource in the practical aspects of speaking Spanish while traveling, and understanding the responses. He keeps it quite basic, for beginners.

This is a link to some of the videos, but poke around his site (or on Facebook or YouTube) and there are others, some shot in Spain some in Central America. He was recently in Valencia, so there are some newer ones from Spain.

https://spanishdude.com/quickie-category/travel-spanish/

It's interesting because I've been speaking Spanish for 20+ years and I even learned some things from these videos that I was never taught in a class, and had never noticed when I've been traveling. For example, after watching his videos I realized that in Spain, they say "me pones un café con leche". I always said some textbook version of the same ("Me gustaría un café con leche", for example), but a Spaniard wouldn't say that. Of course, my textbook learning was perfectly understood, but I was happy to switch to the "local" way of saying things.
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
I see with displeasure that there are still many foreigners who see the Spaniards of the XXI century, as their ancestors saw us in the XIX century.:confused:
Fortunately and for good we have changed a lot.:)
The first sentence that I recommend when you speak to a local, would be: "Buenos días o buenas tardes". and them "Por favor, ¿podria ayudarme?"
I also do not want to give a language class and manners, because anyway most of us will try to communicate with you in any way.
I consider that we are very friendly with all our visitors.
Mikel...I think Spanish people are one of the nicest people ever!
I do exactly what you write...just excusing myself with my limited Spanish knowledge...and then we are off for a lovely conversation.

And like LTfit writes...knowing more languages surely broadens our horizon even more...
 

Mikel Olivares

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. Camino Francés.
2016, Camino Portugués from Oporto
2017, San Salvador.
Mikel...I think Spanish people are one of the nicest people ever!
I do exactly what you write...just excusing myself with my limited Spanish knowledge...and then we are off for a lovely conversation.
And like LTfit writes...knowing more languages surely broadens our horizon even more...
As you say know more languages open up more horizons. In my case I began to study English with 59 years.;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
On the fun side: Here are two of the first lessons i was taught in my Spanish class:

1. When arguing with a woman, make sure your last sentence in the argument is : "Si, Senora". Brings peace to the house...

2. Rule of thumb trying to jugde if a word is feminine or masculine: "Los problemos son masculinos; Las soluciones son femeninas"... :)
 

Mikel Olivares

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. Camino Francés.
2016, Camino Portugués from Oporto
2017, San Salvador.
On the fun side: Here are two of the first lessons i was taught in my Spanish class:

1. When arguing with a woman, make sure your last sentence in the argument is : "Si, Senora". Brings peace to the house...

2. Rule of thumb trying to jugde if a word is feminine or masculine: "Problemos masculinos; soluciones femininas"... :)
Absolutamente de acuerdo. Jajajajajajajajaja Lol.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
FYI: Thanks to my Spanish teacher, I was also explained the difference between:

Buenos dias Good morning/day (Masculine)
Buenas tardes Good afternoon/evening (Feminine)
Buenas noches Good night (Feminine)

From old times, the day belonged to the men at (hard) work. But, the afternoons, after work, belonged to the women (food, children care, etc.) and as always, the women are the jeffas (bosses) of the night... ;)


I am sure Mikel can contribute here.

But why the plural form (dias/tardes/noches) my teacher didn't know...
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
I love the clarity of the Spanish language: They begin with a turned (upside down) question (or exclamation) sign: ¿podria ayudarme? signaling that here comes a question (or a statement!) so you'll know. Fantastic concept. Also the grammar: saturated with the difference between the sexes. And the verbs, giving that you do not need the I/you/he/she, etc. It is posssible to say a lot of meaning in very few words. But then again, I am not an expert: I just try to respect and learn.

As for English, IMHO, it is not a language, but a collection of words from several old languages (Old Norwegian (+5.000 pallabras, because of the Viking tours and influence, Greek, Latin, Spanish). f.ex "Starboard" is from Norw. (styrbord, steering board, "Port" is from Spanish Porta, gate to the city) not to mention all scientific expressions we all share from Greece, and so on and on.
 

Kieran Kenneally

Inspired
Camino(s) past & future
Stages on both French and Northern routes. Plan to walk Tui to Santiago in June 2017
I love the clarity of the Spanish language: They begin with a turned questin (or exclamation) sign: ¿podria ayudarme? signaling that here comes a question (or a statement!) so you'll know. Fantastic concept. Also the grammar: saturated with the difference between the sexes. And the verbs, giving that you do not need the I/you/he/she, etc. It is posssible to say a lot of meaning in very few words. But then again, I am not an expert: I just try to respect and learn.

As for English, IMHO, it is not a language, but a collection of words from several old languages (Old Norwegian (+5.000 pallabras, because of the Viking tours and influence, Greek, Latin, Spanish). f.ex "Starboard" is from Norw. (styrbord, steering board, "Port" is from Spanish Porta, gate to the city) not to mention all scientific expressions we all share from Greece, and so on and on.
I agree my tutor once told me it was a 'bastard' language. It is very hard to get a true translation of another more pure language. For instance we have one word for 'know' the Greeks have four says it all really
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
I agree my tutor once told me it was a 'bastard' language. It is very hard to get a true translation of another more pure language. For instance we have one word for 'know' the Greeks have four says it all really
Hi, fellow pilgrim, :)

We should all remember (and thereby understand) that at the time when the Britons walked around on their island, grunting and banging each other's heads with clubs (forget Stronehenge; probably built by foreigeners ;)), the Greeks built Acropolis, invented medicine, philosophy, democracy, mathematics, and all... And the Romans copied it... And as for the Norwegians, they just did their business over at the islands and in Europe. There is a district in France called Normandie, to this day.... ;)

I do not mean to be rude: It's just a statement of fact, IMHO. ;)

Speaking of old languages/people: The indigneous people of Norway has +40 words to describe different states of "snow", but not a single word for "war"...
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
As you say know more languages open up more horizons. In my case I began to study English with 59 years.;)
I always tell that I am lucky that I live in a trilingual country and that I loved learning languages because I was so bad in mathematics and science in school...:p
 

Mikel Olivares

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. Camino Francés.
2016, Camino Portugués from Oporto
2017, San Salvador.
I'm not a philologist. And I have little knowledge of other languages.
I am sure that every language has its good and bad things.
As for Spanish, it is a language that comes from "Latin." We all know that The Roman Empire was heir to the Classical Culture of Greece including its language.
But we also have a little Germanic influence (especially Visigoths) for a few centuries.
After Arab, for about nine centuries.
It seems to be and I do not say it, that Spanish is one of the richest languages that exist.
There is a curiosity in Spanish. We have two verbs: Ser y Estar. Which correspond in English with To Be and in French with Etre. For a foreigner it is very difficult to use, it is very subtle the difference between - Soy bueno y estoy bueno -I am good and I am good - Je suis bon and je suis bon.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
With masculino & femino, don't sweat it: even in Spain they are sometimes confused. El mar, or La mar? Just now heard about the sarten, the pan. In Mexico it's El sarten, on the Camino it's been La sarten. o_O
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
If you learn Spanish you can avoid a lot of blame. Trains late themselves, and toast burns itself.
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ourense to Santiago (2019), CF: (2014, 2004, 2002, 2001). On to Fisterra, (2002, 4, 14).
Two Americans are talking at a street corner. A car pulls up with a lost Italian visitor who, needing directions, rolls down the window and asks: "Parlate italiano?"

The Americans reply "Huh?"

The Italian tries "Parlez-vous français?" Nothing but a shrug.

Next, "Sprechen Sie Deutsches?" Again nothing.

"Hablan Espanol?"

"Você fala o Português?"

"Gavaru Paruski"

Each question gets no response from the Americans except head shakes. The Italian gets fed up, uses some Italian sign language and drives off.

One of the Americans turns to the other and says "I've thought about learning another language." His friend responds with "Why bother? That guy spoke six and it didn't do him any good."
LMAO!
 

JulieandPeter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2016
Frances 2017
Le Puy to SJPDP 2018
Frances 2019
I have had six years of French, three years of Spanish, and one year of Russian, unfortunately, nobody seems to understand me (really) except my multilingual friend Siri!
Siri.JPG
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
'Portuguese,Frances,Norte,Salvador/primitivo,Le puy, Inglés, CDM, Invierno, Fin/Mux, VDLP spring19
he estudiado español por muchos anos, y en la escuela donde trabajo, mis favoritas clases son las de la idioma español. Soy profesora de ingles, per en facultidad, estudie Espanol.

But it's rough. And it's imperfect. I work on it.
Mine is rough and I keep Re: Learning easy words I forget (like huevos)!! It will come back but it was encouraging to be able to read and understand immediately everything that you wrote above in Espanol .
Having little confidence in ones ability certainly stops one from attempting!
Annie
 

Gareth Griffith

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago de Compestela in May(2016)
Hablo un pocito de español y tambien j'avais apris francais à l'ecole. Ich spreche auch ein bischen Deutch. However I'm not very good at spelling on any of them. I was very impressed how well people from America, New Zealand, Australia and Canada have got an excellent grasp of English, almost as good as the Brazilian, German and Korean people I met and shared time/dinner with on my Camino.
I can recommend Duolingo as being excellent value for money (it's free). When the lady behind the bar shouts "caliente?" you will know that she's asking "Do you want me to heat up your tortilla?"
A little bit of Spanish is great fow when you phone an albergue and ask "Tienes una cama por este noche?" or "Quiero hacer una reserva por esta noche?" and being able to understand the word "Completo" and realise that you are stuffed!
 

Jersey

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
July 2017
I see with displeasure that there are still many foreigners who see the Spaniards of the XXI century, as their ancestors saw us in the XIX century.:confused:
Fortunately and for good we have changed a lot.:)
The first sentence that I recommend when you speak to a local, would be: "Buenos días o buenas tardes". and them "Por favor, ¿podria ayudarme?"
I also do not want to give a language class and manners, because anyway most of us will try to communicate with you in any way.
I consider that we are very friendly with all our visitors.
The first thing I learned was una cerveza por favor
Second thing I learned was vino tinto por favor LOL
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020? Hopefully Via de Bayona/Burgos to Ponferrada/Camino de Invierno
It seems to be and I do not say it, that Spanish is one of the richest languages that exist.
.
Couldn't agree more.
Years ago, I had an argument with the Head of my son's school. Most of the parents wanted Spanish included as an option in the curriculum and many of the boys too, my son included of course.
He was adamant that Spanish wasn't a suitable language for 'Grammar School boys' i.e. being too basic and EASY!!! :eek::confused:
A very un-enlightened man, I thought....Fortunately he retired soon afterwards :)
 

Kieran Kenneally

Inspired
Camino(s) past & future
Stages on both French and Northern routes. Plan to walk Tui to Santiago in June 2017
To Espana I bet to forever walk the Camino for his indiscretion :rolleyes:
 

Gareth Griffith

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago de Compestela in May(2016)
Another useful phrase when you get the attention of the bloke behind the bar, "Por Favor, puedes ayudarme con el codigo" at the same time thrusting your iphone or ipad in his face. "Please can you help me with the code for the wi-fi". This will enable you to post all your travels so far on t'internet and make your friends jealour.
 

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