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Thread: Can Spanish and Portuguese speakers understand Italian?

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    I'm spanish speaker and speak also catalan, once I thought I aknowleged some people who spoke catalan and finaly, it was very funny and we had great time together, they were piamontese, i live in france and occitan is very understandable for me just for my knowledge of catalan. I can understand very well to southern brazilian, but iberic portugese I've had to study it, it is I think becouse it has many more vowels than standard spanish

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    This is one of the most powerful and beautiful monologues in Portuguese language that I have seen: Bibi Ferreira, the multifaceted singer and actress that died only last year at 98 years old, reciting an excerpt of Gota d'Água, the amazing musical play written and composed by Chico Buarque and inspired by the story of Medea and Jason:



    And here you can see and hear her singing in the same play:




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    Construção (building) - Portuguese Subtitled in Italian


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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    It's difficult for me to know if as an Italian speaker I would understand the Mexican man, because I studied Spanish in school. I will say, though, that although I learned Castilian Spanish I find Mexican Spanish easier on the ear just in terms of sounds, more "melodious", but also easier to understand. I have more trouble with Puerto Rican or other Caribbean Spanish, A few of my distant relatives moved to Argentina, so I'm always interested in how they speak Spanish, and it seems to be there's an Italian "sound" and cadence to it.

    Coincidentally, this one from the same series came up, where the Mexican man and a man who is a French speaker from Montreal try to understand Catalan. I don't really know why, but just as it was when I spent a semester there decades ago, I find the Catalan extremely easy to understand. I thought it strange that the Spanish speaker was slower than I was, and the French speaker was hopeless. I think it may be that there are similarities to dialects spoken in Northwestern Italy, especially Liguria.

    https://youtu.be/ke2R4SdLTvI

    This is a scene from the 2010 Oscar winning for Best Foreign Film "The Secret Of Her Eyes" ( El secreto de sus ojos), where you can clearly hear the "porteño" accent of Argentina (similar to ours in Uruguay)

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    Quote Originally Posted by italouruguayan View Post
    https://youtu.be/ke2R4SdLTvI
    This is a scene from the 2010 Oscar winning for Best Foreign Film "The Secret Of Her Eyes" ( El secreto de sus ojos), where you can clearly hear the "porteño" accent of Argentina (similar to ours in Uruguay)
    It almost sounds to me like Spanish spoken by an Italian, or at least with a lot of Italian tones. Hence why I find it so easy to understand :)


    Non si fa il proprio dovere perchè qualcuno ci dica grazie, lo si fa per principio, per se stessi, per la propria dignità. Oriana Fallaci

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    It almost sounds to me like Spanish spoken by an Italian, or at least with a lot of Italian tones. Hence why I find it so easy to understand :)


    I remember reading some time ago that a Spanish traveler who was in Buenos Aires around 1850, said that he found the "porteño" accent was very similar to Andalusian ... a proof of the enormous influence that Italian immigration had decades later. .

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    French is relatively easy to understand for speakers of other Romance languages ​​in its written version ... but very difficult in its oral version. It is surely due to the strong Germanic influence of the language of the Franks. Here we see an example of the evolution of French in the Strasbourg Oaths (842):

    "Pro deo amur et pro christian poblo et nostro commun salvament, d'ist di in avant, in quant deus savir et podir me dunat, si salvarai eo cist meon fradre Karlo et in aiudha et in cadhuna cosa, si cum om per dreit son fradra salvar dist, in o quid il mi altresi fazet, et ab Ludher nul plaid nunquam prindrai, qui meon vol cist meon fradre Karle in damno sit "
    "For the love of God and for the Christian people, and for our common good, from now on, as long as God gives me wisdom and power, I will help this my brother Charles with my help and anything else, as one should help a Brother, as is fair, provided that he does the same for me, and I will never have any agreement with Lothar that, by my will, could be harmful to my brother Charles"

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    of course they can

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    How different are Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese: In this video is examined the two major varieties of Portuguese and see how they are different.


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    Quote Originally Posted by italouruguayan View Post
    French is relatively easy to understand for speakers of other Romance languages ​​in its written version ... but very difficult in its oral version. It is surely due to the strong Germanic influence of the language of the Franks. Here we see an example of the evolution of French in the Strasbourg Oaths (842):
    "Pro deo amur et pro christian poblo et nostro commun salvament, d'ist di in avant, in quant deus savir et podir me dunat, si salvarai eo cist meon fradre Karlo et in aiudha et in cadhuna cosa, si cum om per dreit son fradra salvar dist, in o quid il mi altresi fazet, et ab Ludher nul plaid nunquam prindrai, qui meon vol cist meon fradre Karle in damno sit "
    "For the love of God and for the Christian people, and for our common good, from now on, as long as God gives me wisdom and power, I will help this my brother Charles with my help and anything else, as one should help a Brother, as is fair, provided that he does the same for me, and I will never have any agreement with Lothar that, by my will, could be harmful to my brother Charles"
    That's absolutely true. In actuality, Italian shares more vocabulary with French than with Spanish and yet Spanish is much easier to understand in its oral version. I so wish I still spoke French as well as I did when I was in our version of the liceo, although I had a bit of a Canadien accent given I was taught it by French Canadian nuns. :) I love the language, and still read in it, but I get shy when I'm there if the conversation becomes too sophisticated, especially given that they're very unforgiving of errors. :)

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    https://youtu.be/yfxiSpQrmu8


    Also some Italian dialects are easy to understand ... sometimes more than standard Italian ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by italouruguayan View Post
    https://youtu.be/yfxiSpQrmu8
    Also some Italian dialects are easy to understand ... sometimes more than standard Italian ...
    It doesn't surprise me at all that the Catalan girl has the easiest time of it. The Northern Italian Languages (Gallo Italian plus Venetian etc), Occitan, and Catalan are all very close to one another. Spanish is much further away.

    At the risk of repeating myself, at the time I was in Barcelona quite a few Catalans refused to speak Spanish. I got along quite well with them speaking in Catalan and I speaking Italian.

    I was only allowed to speak standard Italian, but I was born and grew up in an area which is just above the dividing line separating the Northern Italian languages from the others, and my father's parents spoke their Emilian/North Italian dialect, so I understood these languages even if I wasn't fluent in speaking them.

    This is a somewhat old classification system which shows it.


    Perhaps Northern Italian dialects seem more familiar to you than standard Tuscan Italian because so many Italians who migrated to South America were from northern Italy, and that is the Italian you heard?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    It doesn't surprise me at all that the Catalan girl has the easiest time of it. The Northern Italian Languages (Gallo Italian plus Venetian etc), Occitan, and Catalan are all very close to one another. Spanish is much further away.

    At the risk of repeating myself, at the time I was in Barcelona quite a few Catalans refused to speak Spanish. I got along quite well with them speaking in Catalan and I speaking Italian.

    I was only allowed to speak standard Italian, but I was born and grew up in an area which is just above the dividing line separating the Northern Italian languages from the others, and my father's parents spoke their Emilian/North Italian dialect, so I understood these languages even if I wasn't fluent in speaking them.

    This is a somewhat old classification system which shows it.


    Perhaps Northern Italian dialects seem more familiar to you than standard Tuscan Italian because so many Italians who migrated to South America were from northern Italy, and that is the Italian you heard?
    Possibly. My grandfather, his cousin and his friends were all from Veneto. I remember my grandfather speaking mainly in Spanish, although with a strong characteristic accent, and a few words in his dialect (I was 9 years old when he died). I remember that when we went to visit his cousin's house, he received us saying: ciao ... come xhéa? ... it took me a long time to find out that the last part was:. how are you? .. because I couldn't find that similar to anything!
    In one of his first jobs in Uruguay, my grandfather worked in a street market selling fruits and vegetables, and near him, a Neapolitan worked. Between them, they spoke .... in Spanish !!!

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    For example, in this video I understand the whole monologue except maybe one or two words, but I can fit them in context.

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    Many things but not everything

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    This video explores the differences between Portuguese and Galician. The comparison is between the Galician pronunciation with the European Portuguese. For us, In Brazil, the Galician is more intelligible than European Portuguese and at the end of video Mr. Paul talk about that.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Duarte View Post
    This video explores the differences between Portuguese and Galician. The comparison is between the Galician pronunciation with the European Portuguese. For us, In Brazil, the Galician is more intelligible than European Portuguese and at the end of video Mr. Paul talk about that.

    I find Gallego far more intelligible than Portuguese, but it's probably because I've studied Spanish, as well as the similarities all Romance languages, including Italian, share.

    I also find Catalan intelligible and did so instantly.

    It was French which was the most difficult in terms of the spoken language, although I found written French the easiest. There is more similarity in terms of vocabulary between French and Italian, as one of the videos explained. It's still my favorite, after Italian. I think part of it is that it was the first Romance language I studied in high school, I adored the French nun who taught it to me, and I love French literature and philosophy. My father also spoke, read, and wrote French and he promoted it. In his day, that was the European language which everyone studied at school after Latin. Now, of course, it's English.

    I hear a lot about Gallegos. It seems every Spanish-South American or even Caribbean person I meet has some Gallego ancestry. I have close Cuban friends where the father is half Gallego, and I know a Puerto Rican who also has Gallego ancestry. Wasn't Fidel Castro a Gallego? As well, of course, as Franco himself.

    Fun fact: Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead is part Galician, as is Martin Sheen. My Cuban friends told me. :)

    They make a delicious Gallego Caldo. I make it myself the way they taught me; wonderful winter stew. They're also great with seafood, which I adore.

    Coincidentally, we got take out Bacalao last night from a local "Portuguese" restaurant. Spectacular. :) I was so sick of turkey and sick of cooking, to be honest, it really hit the spot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    I find Gallego far more intelligible than Portuguese, but it's probably because I've studied Spanish, as well as the similarities all Romance languages, including Italian, share.

    I also find Catalan intelligible and did so instantly.

    It was French which was the most difficult in terms of the spoken language, although I found written French the easiest. There is more similarity in terms of vocabulary between French and Italian, as one of the videos explained. It's still my favorite, after Italian. I think part of it is that it was the first Romance language I studied in high school, I adored the French nun who taught it to me, and I love French literature and philosophy. My father also spoke, read, and wrote French and he promoted it. In his day, that was the European language which everyone studied at school after Latin. Now, of course, it's English.

    I hear a lot about Gallegos. It seems every Spanish-South American or even Caribbean person I meet has some Gallego ancestry. I have close Cuban friends where the father is half Gallego, and I know a Puerto Rican who also has Gallego ancestry. Wasn't Fidel Castro a Gallego? As well, of course, as Franco himself.

    Fun fact: Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead is part Galician, as is Martin Sheen. My Cuban friends told me. :)

    They make a delicious Gallego Caldo. I make it myself the way they taught me; wonderful winter stew. They're also great with seafood, which I adore.

    Coincidentally, we got take out Bacalao last night from a local "Portuguese" restaurant. Spectacular. :) I was so sick of turkey and sick of cooking, to be honest, it really hit the spot.
    Galician, like Brazilian Portuguese, has a syllabic rhythm. This characteristic, in addition to the great affinity in vocabulary and grammar, facilitate mutual intelligibility. In fact, after a weekend with plenty of typical Thanksgiving food, a different food is always welcome :)

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    They say that most people actually speak castrapo which is the name given in Galicia (Spain) to a popular variant of Spanish spoken in that autonomous region, characterised by the use of syntax, vocabulary and expressions taken from the Galician language that do not exist in Spanish.



    This woman says that castrapo is the second language spoken by her neighbours after Galician because they almost never spoke Spanish. It is like a dialect of Spanish and she has even written a book in castrapo as a tribute to her neighbours. I have understood castrapo quite well even though it is neither Galician nor Spanish.

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    ^^Lovely lady, and I like the sound of Castrapo.

    I know just how she feels about the artifacts of the past. I've searched out and brought over the things I could salvage from my uncle's farm, and my grandfather's, but it's precious little. We do have an ethnographic museum which preserves them, but it gives me a pang to go there; it's a lost world, disappearing almost overnight (during the 1950s and 1960s) and one which in some ways I miss although I saw only traces of what had been.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos View Post
    They say that most people actually speak castrapo which is the name given in Galicia (Spain) to a popular variant of Spanish spoken in that autonomous region, characterised by the use of syntax, vocabulary and expressions taken from the Galician language that do not exist in Spanish.



    This woman says that castrapo is the second language spoken by her neighbours after Galician because they almost never spoke Spanish. It is like a dialect of Spanish and she has even written a book in castrapo as a tribute to her neighbours. I have understood castrapo quite well even though it is neither Galician nor Spanish.
    Lovely. Regional languages ​​often lose space for the national language for extralinguistic reasons. The national language conquers the local inhabitants, mainly the young people, much more for the prestige and national and global diffusion. The attitude of the speakers towards their native language is not to use it when they are in formal situations.

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    How much Spanish can an Italian understand? I think he has very good insights.


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    We can read perfectly italian, portuguese and french, but its more dificult to undertand when they are spoken their languages

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    Basque is much more difficult

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    ^^Certainly, since not only isn't it a Romance language, it's not even an Indo-European language.

    Romance speakers have some comprehension of each other's languages because these languages all stem from Latin. Germanic speakers likewise can understand each other to some extent, Slavic speakers etc.

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