Today I’m going to share how to learn Spanish watching movies or DVDs. I will also talk about a pitfall to lookout for when learning Spanish watching movies or DVDs. Pinoy Lambingan I will also discuss some Spanish vocabulary words found in Colombia that are different from the Spanish vocabulary words that I discovered from my friends from other Latin American countries. I begins with telling you a story which will be actually an access in our journal from the fall of 2006 when I was still residing in a coastal city of Colombia called Barranquilla:
Today, I continued a “cita” (date) with a “muchacha” (girl). I took her to the “cine” (movies). The date started off with the exact same Spanish vocabulary words that I’m familiar with.
We visited the “cine” or movie theatre to view a “película” or film. But once we got to the concession stand that’s when all the vocabulary that I had learned quickly changed.
I ordered two coca colas and “palomitas” or popcorn. By the way, “palomitas” literally means “little pigeons.” Nevertheless when I placed my order for “palomitas” or popcorn, my date said if you ask me that “acá en Colombia se dice crispeta,” or, at the least, “crispeta” was more commonly used than “palomitas” in Barranquilla.
“O.K. no problem,” I thought. At the very least she was also knowledgeable about the word “palomitas.” However I pointed out that I forgot the drinking straws for our sodas.
“Donde están los sorbetes?,” I asked the señorita behind the counter. And she viewed me like I was speaking English in place of Spanish. Apparently, in Colombia “drinking straws” are not called “sorbetes,” they’re called “PITILLOS”
In Barranquilla, “sorbetes” is a type of “bebida helada” or iced beverage.
I guess my own, personal Spanish vocabulary has been influenced by Puerto Ricans and Dominicans since there are many Puerto Ricans and Dominicans that reside in New York City which will be where I had lived my entire life.
Back once again to my date at the films in Barranquilla. Soon after we got our “palomitas” and “sorbetes,” I am talking about “CRISPETA” and “PITILLOS,” we found two seats and sat down to view the latest James Bond movie: Casino Royale.
I had already seen the movie exactly 2 weeks before in the Bronx (minus the Spanish subtitles). But I didn’t tell my date and I pretended like I was watching the movie for the very first time. However towards the finish of the movie I noticed something strange…
I was only one in the whole movie theatre that had been laughing. Needless to say, I understand that James Bond’s movies are not comedy movies. But when you saw the movie you then know there have been several really funny parts in the movie.
In the beginning I considered that there might be a cultural difference and it’s not considered polite to laugh in a film theatre. But that couldn’t be it.
Then I realized what it was…
The Spanish subtitles couldn’t communicate the humor the exact same way it absolutely was communicated verbally in English. Something was lost through the translation.
For example, there was one scene in the movie where James Bond discovers that he has been betrayed by his lover. And according to the subtitles, after learning that his lover had just betrayed him James Bond calls her a “perrita” which literally means female puppy. The Spanish word “perrita” actually has sort of an affectionate ring to it. And “female puppy” doesn’t come near the five letter English word that James Bond combined with his British accent to explain the lady that had just jilted him.
I came across that interesting. So when learning Spanish by watching movies or DVDs whenever possible make an effort to watch those who are originally filmed in the Spanish language because so much can be lost from the translation.