www.whyville.net Oct 26, 2008 Weekly Issue

Times Writer

Spanish for the Clueless

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So, we've got the basics down. We can say the definite article (the), the indefinite article (a, some), and count to one hundred.

This week we're going to try something different. It's time to learn some phrases that come in handy every time you see a person - the greetings!

Prononounced: Oh-lah
"Hola" is one of the most common Spanish greetings. It's literal translation is "hello" and it can be used in both formal and casual situations.

Buenos Dias
Pronounced: bweh-nohs DEE-ahs
There is an accent mark over the "i" in "dias" to indicate that it's said "DEE-ahs" and not "dee-AHS." The literal translation is "good day," but it can also mean "good morning." This greeting can be casual or formal.

Buenas Tardes
Pronounced: bweh-nahs tahr-dayss
The word "tarde" actually means "late" (in some schools when you show up late for class you get a "tardy" slip). Here, the phrase means "good afternoon" and can be casual or formal.

Buenas Noches
Pronounced: bweh-nahs noh-chayss
"La noche" is "the night." Buenas noches means exactly its literal translation - good night! It can be casual or formal.

Que tal?
Pronounced: kay tahl
There is an upside-down question mark at the beginning of the phrase and an accent over the "e" in "que." This greeting is basically "what's up?" and should only be used casually (with people who are your age or younger).

Mucho gusto
Pronounced: mooch-oh gooh-stoh
This phrase literally means "much pleasure," but it is used to say "it's a pleasure to meet you." This is a formal greeting for someone you've never met before. Most people respond to this with "igualmente" (pronounced: ee-gwahl-main-tay) which means "likewise."

Pronounced: ehn-cahn-tah-doh
This also can mean "it's a pleasure to meet you." It is used formally for someone you're meeting for the first time.

Pronounced: byen-behn-ee-doh
"Bienvenido" means "welcome." If you're talking to a girl, it's bienvenida, and if you're talking to more than one person you add an "s" to the end. This works in both formal and casual situations.

Boy: Bienvenido
Boys: Bienvenidos
Girl: Bienvenida
Girls: Bienvenidas
Boys and girls: Bienvenidos (Sorry girls, but the masculine side takes rule here)

Check in next week to learn the farewells. I'm off to my merengue lessons!



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