Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Evolution of Language

If I ever write a serious research paper or book, I think it would most definately be about language. I find it interesting in how different accents and dialects can be. During my time in Spain, I am not only learning Spanish, but also learning more about my own language and it's history.

Most English tourism in Spain is probably from the United Kingdom. It is a whole lot cheaper to fly to Spain from there than the United States. Many of the auxiliares here in Huelva are also from the United Kingdom. Within the Kingdom there are several key accents, for example: British, Scottish and Irish. Some are easier to understand than others. However the accents from the UK are easier for Spanish people to understand than the american accent. Of course, we have at least three distinct accents ourselves with northern, southern and western.

In one of the classes yesterday the teacher began talking about some of the different Spanish dialects. That of course got the students onto slang from Latin America which was completely innocent in Spain. "Goma" literaly translates to rubber in English but in Spanish it can also mean eraser. Maybe in UK english as well. But if you go to the USA and ask for a rubber, you won't be getting an eraser. If you go to Australia or the UK and ask for chips you will be getting what we call French Fries.  And of course, these are only a few examples.

How do the meanings of words change over time? How do they change from country to country? How do accents change and/or develop? All of these questions would be very interesting to find an answer to.

In other news, I had my first solo class today. It was with 3rd ESO in English. I used the pamphlets about Little Rock which I prepared last week (and have updated some since then). (I mixed classes up and went to class unprepared last Friday.) The second half of the class I had them writing a letter about a city they have visited and a city they would visit. That was to use both past and future tenses. The class went well, much better than I expected. I was very nervous entering the class but the students really surprised me. Usually with a substitute they try to get away with more, but today, I am not sure what the "guardia" told them before I arrived but I think they were more well-behaved today with the teacher absent than when she is there.

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