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Thread: Preferable to specify dialect?

 
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    Forum User Dabeed's Avatar
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    Default Preferable to specify dialect?

    I've noticed that because the Spanish language seems to be such an international language, just like the members of this forum, that many of the responses indicate that many words and phrases translate differently around the world, which would seem very normal.

    While it is interesting to learn the varied translations, it started me wondering if it might be preferable to specify the dialect of the Spanish phrase I am asking about in order to be sure I would get the correct translation. Maybe this has been covered here already, or does it seem odd? Like when I ask for a translation, I am really only going to use it with my Mexican-American friends.

    Por ejemplo, I want to know exactly the difference between how to ask "What happened?" and "What's the matter?"

    I know some similar ways could be "Que es la problema?" and "Que es pasando?"

    "Que pasó?" may not be quite right.-?

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    Default Re: Preferable to specify dialect?

    ¿Qué paso? is correct for both cases, as it can either mean What happened? or What's the matter?

    ¿Cúal es el problema? or ¿Qué esta pasando? would also be correct depending on the situation.

    Although there are numerous language variations between Spanish-speaking countries, Neutral Spanish or International Spanish does exist.

    English has the same thing. There is a common English language, but depending on the country (US, Canada, UK, Australia, etc.) there can be many variants in usage, vocabulary, pronounciation, and so on.

    If you have doubts regarding slang or a colloquial expressions, it's better to specify the country where you heard the phrase or where you'll be using it.
    Last edited by michelleba; 08-21-2009 at 03:44 PM.

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    Default Re: Preferable to specify dialect?

    And to add to Michelleba's point, remember that when the heads of state of Spanish America and Spain meet they have absolutely no problem communicating! Does the US President need an interpreter when he talks with the Canadian Prime Minister or with the UK Premier? Are there interpreters present at Commonwealth meetings?

    http://www.soypoeta.com/actividades/...municacion.htm
    Last edited by ed_freire; 08-21-2009 at 07:00 PM.

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    Smile Re: Preferable to specify dialect?

    Quote Originally Posted by ed_freire
    And to add to Michelleba's point, remember that when the heads of state of Spanish America and Spain meet they have absolutely no problem communicating! Does the US President need an interpreter when he talks with the Canadian Prime Minister or with the UK Premier? Are there interpreters present at Commonwealth meetings?
    -right, I understand. That is why I said the variations in the different dialects are "very normal". The basic language is still the same.

    Still there are phrases in Mexico City that are not used, or said differently in say, Havana. Just like there are English words and phrases heard in New Orleans that would sound very Southern to somebody in Chicago.

    And so next time I might ask, "How would one say this in Mexico...?" (Como se dice esto en Mexico?)

    Thanks to all.

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