Thursday, September 28, 2006


PREFACE

This book entitled Blunders in Spanish & Language Aids, is the result of personal reflections on my teaching experiences with foreign students in Chile, witnessing their struggle to integrate and communicate in a language and a cultural enviroment that demands the acknowledgement of grammar rules as well as specific cultural codes.

Although these linguistic flaws are mainly consequences of confusion, they cause great laughter among native. Regardless, I believe these mistakes can be used as an advantage to language training in the field of Spanish as a Second Language, to the benefit of both the learner and the instructor. Indeed, I strongly believe that humor has a major role in language proficiency. Humor becomes the bridge that allows the learner to overcome language frustration and enjoy efficient communication.

This book presents 143 cases with short anecdotes, based on true experiences in Chile, that set the framework to develop a teaching unit in which mistakes are corrected and language knowledge expands through idioms and expressions related to each case. Local idioms, facts and cultural notes are provided to enrich the learner’s linguistic and cultural background in order to make his immersion possible. At the same time the reader will find reference indicators to go from one case to another if he wants to study in depth.

The most common causes of these language flaws are: the phonetic confusion of vowel or consonant sounds, the omission and / or addition of letters to words, and the translation of words from the native language to Spanish. All these changes affect the meaning and, therefore create expressions that result in absurd.ity At other times confusion leads to misinterpretion of situations, relating them to sexual connotations, which is a basis of most chilean humor.

The book is offered bilingually in order to make it available to beginners as well as intermediate and higher level language learners. Nevertheless the translation is only a guide to follow the material in Spanish. I hope everyone can experience the Spanish language and cultural immersion in a less threatening way. I invite you all to enjoy Blunders in Spanish and learn from these Language Aids.


Mabel Abad C.