How wrong is it to equate I have gone with he ido?

Greg

Kwiziq community member

10 August 2018

1 reply

How wrong is it to equate I have gone with he ido?

In this lesson, peninsular Spanish is specified (however I am in the US and speak Spanish with Cubans, Mexicans, etc., so not only is this sort of new to me, it's not clear how useful it is). From what I've heard & read, there are many differences in the Americas in how the simple and compound past tenses are used (e.g., https://www.scribd.com/document/148697440/El-sistema-verbal-del-espanol-de-America-De-la-temporalidad-a-la-aspectualidad-Quesada-Pacheco-Espanol-actual-75-2001). If we include both peninsular and American (and other world) Spanish speakers, this is quite a range of variants. English speakers have a parallel set of past tenses in went/has gone. Obviously this is a false friend when compared to a specific dialect of Spanish such as the peninsular dialect (although I wonder how perfectly consistent this is across the peninsula). But is the English parallel any more “false” than the Ecuadorian, Peruvian, or Mexican one, relative to the peninsular one? How would a Spaniard respond if an American Spanish speaker consistently used the false English parallel to these tenses, compared to their response to an Ecuadorian, Peruvian, or Mexican speaker who consistently used their own native variant?

Thanks,

Greg Shenaut

This question relates to:
Spanish lesson "When to use the perfect tense versus the simple past in European Spanish (Perfecto vs Indefinido)"

Shui

Kwiziq language super star

22 August 2018

22/08/18

Hola Greg

When talking about the differences between Spanish spoken in Spain and Spanish spoken in Latin American countries it's never possible to talk about right and wrong.

However, as we are a language-learning website we have (for the moment at least) chosen to describe one type of Spanish, with one type of English to describe it and while we are working on the technical challenges to change this, currently we are unable to account for all the permutations that variations of Spanish and English can create.

Kwiziq Spanish currently focuses on Peninsular Spanish (FAQ: What kind of Spanish will I learn on Kwiziq) and the English we use is British English but we work very hard to not let English be a factor in our testing. We do love languages though so we consider our English carefully - even though Kwiziq's job is to teach Spanish and French we've got a whole article dedicated to English (FAQ: Is this English Correct?).

There are plenty of moments when as a British English speaker I have spent time in the US and the way I express myself marks me out because it's just not what an American would have said. This doesn't mean that we can't understand each other, or think the other person speaks "incorrectly". Similarly, as a Peninsular Spanish speaker I've never been misunderstood by Argentinians, Mexicans, Colombians etc. We appreciate that there are significant linguistic differences.

In the meanwhile, please do keep a list of any differences that you would like us to cater for as we can then design future updates around these needs. We can also update lessons with special notes on variations too, wherever you find these are needed - you can simply comment in the Q&A section under a lesson with a suggestion. We'll do our best to work around the issues as much as possible until we're in a position to handle them better.

Saludos

Shui

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