Learning French from Spanish and Spanish from French
eBook - ePub

Learning French from Spanish and Spanish from French

A Short Guide

Patricia V. Lunn, Anita Jon Alkhas

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eBook - ePub

Learning French from Spanish and Spanish from French

A Short Guide

Patricia V. Lunn, Anita Jon Alkhas

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About This Book

Learning French from Spanish and Spanish from French provides adult English speakers who have learned either Spanish or French as a second language with the tools to learn the other as a third language. Research in the growing fields of third-language acquisition and multilingualism documents how successful language learners intuitively build on their existing knowledge as they learn a new language. In this vein, Learning French from Spanish and Spanish from French takes advantage of the fact that learners with intermediate proficiency in a second language are used to thinking consciously about language, know themselves as language learners, and can capitalize on what they know about one language to understand the other. With chapters conveniently organized by grammatical concept and including supplementary resources such as exercises, parallel reading texts, and audio files, this book will benefit students, travelers, and budding multilinguals alike.

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Chapter 1

¿CÓMO SE ESCRIBEN LOS SONIDOS?
COMMENT S’ÉCRIVENT LES SONS?

As with all languages, the pronunciation of French and Spanish varies geographically, from place to place, and socially, from speaker to speaker. Describing all of this variation would be very complicated; the discussion here is based on the “standard” pronunciation of Latin America and France. (You might think of this as the careful speech of newscasters.) The goal is to show how the spelling of words—ORTHOGRAPHY—corresponds to standard pronunciation, and regional differences are mentioned only as they relate to spelling.
Because pronunciation changes constantly while spelling changes very slowly, there is never a one-to-one correspondence between how a language is pronounced and how it is written. Languages vary, though, in how clearly their spelling represents their pronunciation. Spanish and French are very different in this regard: Spanish orthography is quite straightforward, while French orthography is more complicated.

1A. STRESS AND ACCENT MARKS

Comparar/Comparer

Observe the relationship between the symbol ´ and the underlined, stressed syllable. In Spanish, a syllable with an accent mark is always stressed; in French, the final syllable is stressed, whether it is spelled with an accent mark or not.
image
sepa vs. sépa
repar vs. reparti
Lu vs. Loulou
televisión vs. télévision
The stressed syllable in a word (or phrase) is more prominent than the others. It takes more energy to produce these syllables, and this energy produces greater tension and volume. Stress is CONTRASTIVE in Spanish; that is, the location of stress in a Spanish word is part of its meaning. So, the spelling of Spanish words shows which syllable is stressed. Changing where a word is stressed can change its meaning; the following words, in which stress falls on the first, the second, or the third syllable, mean different things: término (terme)/termino (je termine)/terminó (il a terminé).

Detalles/Détails

In English, as in Spanish, stress can change meaning. Think of words like the nouns conflict,...

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