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Spanish speaker please

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
#1
what is the correct way to say "I'm learning Spanish".
I have been told you should - and shouldn't - use the estoy.....iendo tense.

So is Estoy aprendiendo a hablar Español right or wrong? And if wrong, what is a better way to express that idea?
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
#3
what is the correct way to say "I'm learning Spanish".
I have been told you should - and shouldn't - use the estoy.....iendo tense.

So is Estoy aprendiendo a hablar Español right or wrong? And if wrong, what is a better way to express that idea?
This is correct and Spanish is my first language. It's what I would say if I was going to say that I was learning X language.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
#5
Thank you @alaskadiver ! That's exactly what I want to say. I was told you should only use it if you were in a lesson right now - but lessons are not the only way to learn, and I figured this would be a good place to check with a native speaker!
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#6
I was told you should only use it if you were in a lesson right now ...!
In that case you would say estoy en mi clase de espanol (assuming you are answering a phone call while in class and need to get rid of the caller), or estoy en mi clase de espanol.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2014
#8
Hola Kiwi. Yo también estoy aprendiendo Español. He estudiado Espanol solo para el Camino , porque quiero hablar can los nativos cuando estoy en España. Es una lengua buena. Voy a hacer el Camino en el mes de Septiembre, voy a empezar el 7 o 8 de Septiembre desde Saint Jean Pied de Port.
 

linkster

Nunca dejes de creer!
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 05/17 brazo roto Portomarín
Francés 09/17 SJPdP - Santiago
(Portuguese: 09/18)
#10
@Kiwi-family I have a week left in my Beginning Spanish II class, so I am no expert. But, believe you are referring to the use of the present progressive. I have attached a couple of pages from a text for your review.

Technically, I think the use of of the present progressive is limited in Spanish to right now, but who speaks perfect Spanish, English, etc.

 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
#11
I once mastered the phrase: "I speak a little Spanish, very badly".. But in Spanish. I got me by in Central America and Cuba, but in Spain I was told to stop mangling the language... And it didn't go down too well in France when I forgot which side of the border we were on. Scott did far better with his international sign language..
 

linkster

Nunca dejes de creer!
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 05/17 brazo roto Portomarín
Francés 09/17 SJPdP - Santiago
(Portuguese: 09/18)
#12
A couple of months ago I used my new language skills and received a warm welcome and an occasional tilting of the head. However, at the Parador in Cambados the woman behind the desk interrupted me and said "in English PLEASE!". Both my son and I took a fit of laughter. Throughout our stay they preferred to speak to us in English, but this was limited to the front desk. Both, my sons speak pretty good Spanish ... not sure what it was all about, and it didn't matter. Learning a language requires mistakes and we need to have a sense of humor. Just smile and go for it.
 

linkster

Nunca dejes de creer!
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 05/17 brazo roto Portomarín
Francés 09/17 SJPdP - Santiago
(Portuguese: 09/18)
#13
#14
I think the broader point here is that in Castilian Spanish, the use of Estar plus the "-ing" form of a Spanish verb (I think it's called the gerund, estoy caminando, etc) is used a lot less frequently than in other "brands" of Spanish, particularly from the Americas.

It's kind of a fine point, though, and everyone will understand you. No one will correct you, Rachel, but will smile in appreciation!
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#15
[eview.

Technically, I think the use of of the present progressive is limited in Spanish to right now...
Yes, right now, but that doesn't necessarily mean in the current second or minute. For exapmple, in the case of taking a semester of Spanish, it is "right now" even if you are as you are speaking at work, at home, doing something else.

Estoy apprendiendo can mean I am learning, as in I take classes in the evening and hence learning, while estoy en clase means I am at the moment sitting in class.
 

jefferyonthecamino

http://www.barrerabooks.com/ - Guidebooks
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (1994)
Camino Francés (2013 - 2017)
Camino Portugués (2015 - 2017)
#16
what is the correct way to say "I'm learning Spanish".
I have been told you should - and shouldn't - use the estoy.....iendo tense.

So is Estoy aprendiendo a hablar Español right or wrong? And if wrong, what is a better way to express that idea?
It's correct; however it would be even better if you used 'castellano' rather than 'español'; and if you are going to use 'español', than no capital letter.

= Estoy aprendiendo castellano.
 

BShea

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(9/2013) Le Puy
(5/2015) CF
(5/2016) Le Puy
(5/2017) CF
(9/2017) Le Puy
#17
In my mind, estoy + gerund = in the process of. I equate it to the French "en train de". Am I mistaken?

We were (gently) corrected in Spain when we referred to the language as Spanish. Oops!

The most fascinating thing for me was to hear Spaniards switch to English when my non English speaking Mexican sister-in-law spoke. Guess they thought she had a strong U.S. educational system Spanish accent.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#18
The most fascinating thing for me was to hear Spaniards switch to English when my non English speaking Mexican sister-in-law spoke. Guess they thought she had a strong U.S. educational system Spanish accent.
Or probably also a note of ... hmmm... the old cast (not so old perhapso_O) cast system, or snobbism. As is often seen in France when Quebecers speak. :rolleyes:
 

Houlet

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014
Via de la Plata 2015
Camino Sanabres 2015
Camino Norde 2017
#19
Have you ever checked out Coffee Break Spanish - Free Lessons? I think he is from Scotland.
Thanks linkster,
I've just had a look, it looks like only the first lesson is free, and being a true Scot prefer the free sites :) I have completed Duolingo, several Memrise courses, an courses on FutureLearn, Coursera and EDX. I'm far from competent but I talk for one hour a week both with a native Spanish lady and a Spanish man on Skype.

I think that is giving me the confidence to use words that I already know.
 
#20
Hi Linkster. I had been learning Spanish for a couple of years at nightschool, but kept my secret hidden.
We visited some friends that we have on Menorca for a 2 week holiday.
When I got the menu I ordered in Spanish and my friend (One of the owners) said "excellent, but when you speak to the other staff, please speak English".
Evidently they had spent many afternoons in the winter learning English and needed to practise it on a friendly face.
That's probably the reason in your case.
 
#21
Incidentally, as we know other nationalities are much better at languages than us, lazy English.
When I first spoke to the owner's son (owner mentioned above) he was just 7.
At school he spoke Menorquin or Catalan. He was learning Castiliano and English.
I was going to try to learn Catalan but the nearest night school classes were too far away.
 
Camino(s) past & future
planning for spring 2018
#22
I am trying to learn Spanish also without much success. It would be an advantage for me even after I do the Camino Frances since I live in California and we have so many Spanish speaking people here. Luckily I am doing the Camino with a guy that speaks not only Spanish, but the kind of Spanish they speak in Spain since he grew up in Madrid Spain. He said he doesn't understand some dialects that they speak in northern Spain however, but that most of those people also speak his kind of Spanish.
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
#23
I am trying to learn Spanish also without much success. It would be an advantage for me even after I do the Camino Frances since I live in California and we have so many Spanish speaking people here. Luckily I am doing the Camino with a guy that speaks not only Spanish, but the kind of Spanish they speak in Spain since he grew up in Madrid Spain. He said he doesn't understand some dialects that they speak in northern Spain however, but that most of those people also speak his kind of Spanish.
He may be referring to Euskera which is spoken in the Basque country and to Galician. They are not dialects of spanish. They are their own language.
 
Camino(s) past & future
planning for spring 2018
#26
He may be referring to Euskera which is spoken in the Basque country and to Galician. They are not dialects of spanish. They are their own language.
Yes alaskadiver I believe he was talking about the Basque country now that I think about, but he said most Basque people also speak Spanish. And Portuguese, forget about it, he doesn't understand that at all!
 

markgrubb

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016, Hospitalero 2017 Camino del Norte (2017)
#27
It's better to say 'estudio' as the verb This implies you are studying the language over time. As hss been said estoy estudiando means you are studying right now. Aprender is more to do with learning a new fact or skill that is over and done with
So IMHO estudio castellano is the best way to say that you are going throuh the process of learning the Spanish language.
I'm not a Spanish expert but can converse comfortably with natives
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#28
We could have an extensive debate on how best to communicate the same concept in English. @Kiwi-family family was given a message that probably simply intended to say that the present progressive (-ing) form is used less often in Spanish than in English. Beyond that, there isn't much right or wrong.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances ( March 2015 )
Camino Portugues ( September 2015 )
#30
I learnt to say "I'm sorry, I don't speak Spanish". I went into a green grocers in Irun and said this to the young assistant. She shrugged her shoulders and said "I don't speak English". We settled on a one all draw.
Three months later in a tourist information office in Italy I launched into my best "Los sent, no hablo Espaniol". After an embarrassing silence the lady behind the counter said in fluent English "well, I don't speak Spanish either, but I don't think it's going to be a problem".
A little language is a dangerous thing
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#31
"Los sent, no hablo Espaniol".
Since we are splitting hairs, and in preparation for your next Camino, it's "lo siento".

Will never forget the scolding when I was living in Ukraine, in a traditionally Russian speaking city.

Lady at the bus stop starts asking me something that was way beyond my Russian language skills. I respond, in my broken Russian the equivalent of "lo siento, no hablo ruso". Oh dear, she was s'eaking Ukrainian to me! :(:(

I felt so bad.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF: (2001, 2002, 2004, 2014). Hospitalera: 2002, Ponferrada. 2004, Rabanal del Camino.
#32
I think the broader point here is that in Castilian Spanish, the use of Estar plus the "-ing" form of a Spanish verb (I think it's called the gerund, estoy caminando, etc) is used a lot less frequently than in other "brands" of Spanish, particularly from the Americas.

It's kind of a fine point, though, and everyone will understand you. No one will correct you, Rachel, but will smile in appreciation!
Well, I was corrected often. I used manejar for drive. OMGoodness thought Spanish pilgrim was going to faint dead away. After recovering from his feint he said: conducir, conducir. And, caminar instead of andar, another problem. All corrections came with laughs and jokes and I learned a lot. But, correct me they did.
 

Lmsundaze

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2016), CP (2017)
#33
Practically all my Spanish study has been in Mexico and the language certainly isn't called castellano there. There are differences but people in Spain can understanding me. (Me understanding rapid speech is another matter). I study at home with a professor from Valencia and she refers to the language as "español." OP don't sweat the small stuff, everyone will understand "estoy aprendiendo." Do the best you can, and don't sweat it.
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
#34
Well, I was corrected often. I used manejar for drive. OMGoodness thought Spanish pilgrim was going to faint dead away. After recovering from his feint he said: conducir, conducir. And, caminar instead of andar, another problem. All corrections came with laughs and jokes and I learned a lot. But, correct me they did.
"Manejar" is not used in Spain. But it's what you would/could use in Latin America. It's the word I always use when speaking to my Cuban family. But in Spain I use their words for things. In this case it's "conducir". In Spain they always assume I'm from the Canary Islands because of my accent. :) But my family actually emigrated out of Asturias and Galicia. Everyone in Cuba managed to pick up the Canarian accent because of the sheer numbers that emigrated from there. Very much akin to what happened with the American accent.

It's all the same language. Just like American English vs British English. Some words are used and some are not but everyone clearly understands you.
 
Last edited:

Houlet

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014
Via de la Plata 2015
Camino Sanabres 2015
Camino Norde 2017
#35
Still on subject but in a lighter vein, I hope.

I was washing socks in an albergue on the Camino Frances when a man came in and in pretty poor Spanish asked me how to book in. I told him, in probably worse Spanish that the lady in the bar handled bookings.

Later we found out that he was Irish and I am Scottish! So naturally we had a few beers together.

That was three years ago and I'm glad to say my Spanish is a bit better now. :)
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
#36
Well that's all been most informative! Thank you very much to everyone who shared. When you anticipate using a phrase often I figure you might as well get it right!
All my learning so far has been non- book learning so I had no idea about the lack of capitalization - won't forget it now though.
And I'm about to start reading the Bible in Spanish so I can pick up a bit of spelling convention.
Thanks again.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Frances (2014)
Camino de Frances (2016)
#37
I am not a native Spanish speaker, but that's how I would say it. I am happy just to get my general point across! No te preocupas...

what is the correct way to say "I'm learning Spanish".
I have been told you should - and shouldn't - use the estoy.....iendo tense.

So is Estoy aprendiendo a hablar Español right or wrong? And if wrong, what is a better way to express that idea?
 

KariC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho portugûes (2016)
#38
what is the correct way to say "I'm learning Spanish".
I have been told you should - and shouldn't - use the estoy.....iendo tense.

So is Estoy aprendiendo a hablar Español right or wrong? And if wrong, what is a better way to express that idea?
Well it is true that the gerund is used less frequently in Spanish than in English, this is a situation where it is correct and appropriate. The way you put it is perfectly fine.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF-Finisterra-Muxia 2017; SK Camino Kosiče-Levoča Oct 2017; El Norte March 2018; Ingles Nov 2018
#40
what is the correct way to say "I'm learning Spanish".
I have been told you should - and shouldn't - use the estoy.....iendo tense.

So is Estoy aprendiendo a hablar Español right or wrong? And if wrong, what is a better way to express that idea?
I learned Spanish as an exchange student in Mexico 40 years ago, I'm still fluent, Dream still in Spanish and also worked in Barcelona for 2 years before retiring. I never learned the verb tense OS as it's not used in Mexico. I walked SJPP SDC onto Finisterre and Muxia and despite never using OS the spaniards were all pleasantly surprised at my Spanish. My experience with learning languages is not to worry (be vulnerable) about making mistakes, JUST DO IT!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk September & October (2017)
#41
As a Spanish speaker myself I would say:
"Estoy en el processo de aprender castellano", and you could add" "favor de hablar despacio." (Spanards will appreciate your saying castellano & not espanol, which is their nationality)
Buen camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF-Finisterra-Muxia 2017; SK Camino Kosiče-Levoča Oct 2017; El Norte March 2018; Ingles Nov 2018
#42
As a Spanish speaker myself I would say:
"Estoy en el processo de aprender castellano", and you could add" "favor de hablar despacio." (Spanards will appreciate your saying castellano & not espanol, which is their nationality)
Buen camino!
Yes Spaniards consider their "Castellano" as British consider their Br-English () to be the purest English vs what we Canadians (and Aussies, South Africans, New Zealanders etc etc etc ) speak. However as a polyglot I never turn my nose up at or correct another who is sincerely trying to speak a 2nd, 3rd or 4th etc language. Estoy aprendiendo hablar el Español is correct enough
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#43
On one of the South American channels we get up here sometimes instead of breaking to commercials they have this thing where they ask people from all Spanish speaking countries to guess what words typical of one country means. It is really fuuny and goes to show how rich the language is in all its variations.
 

linkster

Nunca dejes de creer!
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 05/17 brazo roto Portomarín
Francés 09/17 SJPdP - Santiago
(Portuguese: 09/18)
#44
I know I shouldn't, but I just can't help myself. I do not believe the definite article el is required, and español (Spanish language) should not be capitalized. Español (Spain the country proper name) should be capitalized.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#45
I know I shouldn't, but I just can't help myself. I do not believe the definite article el is required, and español (Spanish language) should not be capitalized. Español (Spain the country proper name) should be capitalized.
And it's "a hablar" - "to speak", not just "learning speak". ;)

Regarding capitalised letters, although Santo is no longer capitalised:

https://www.portaleducativo.net/movil/segundo-basico/71/Uso-de-las-mayusculas-y-minusculas

Hey, Linkster went there first! :cool:
 

Bardow

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2016)
#46
what is the correct way to say "I'm learning Spanish".
I have been told you should - and shouldn't - use the estoy.....iendo tense.

So is Estoy aprendiendo a hablar Español right or wrong? And if wrong, what is a better way to express that idea?
Está perfecto!
 

Bardow

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2016)
#48
what is the correct way to say "I'm learning Spanish".
I have been told you should - and shouldn't - use the estoy.....iendo tense.

So is Estoy aprendiendo a hablar Español right or wrong? And if wrong, what is a better way to express that idea?
. Solo para decirte que en español no se capitalizan los idiomas como en inglés. Lo ha dicho perfectamente! Buen Camino!
 

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