Monday, September 21, 2009

Español Adentro

So I'm currently on a practice-Spanish kick, which means I'm reading La Isla de la Pasión by Laura Restrepo (recommended to me by a Colombian woman I met in the library), watching Plutón BRB Nero (a sci-fi comedy TV show from Spain), and doing an email pen pal exchange with a programmer in Madrid.

The book helps with reading, the TV show with listening, but the pen pal guy is helping out with my production errors. I'm pretty verbose when I explain to him why his English errors are wrong, but he just highlights and corrects my mistakes without so much commentary. Fair enough; I don't expect anyone else to get so into explaining language mistakes. ;)

For myself, though, I'm going to research the why of the errors he's pointed out and document them here. I'm more likely to learn the lesson, so to speak, if I write it out here and try to "teach" it to others. Even if those others don't really exist; 'sokay. :P I trolled the WordReference forums for my info:

sólo parques adentro de la ciudad
I don't remember ever learning the distinction between adentro and dentro. Apparently, the former is used with verbs of motion; the latter is used in all other cases. In Spain, dentro is preferred even in some cases where Latin America would use adentro. [WR, DPD1, DPD2]
¿Cuáles Qué lenguajes usas en tu trabajo? Cuál es tu favorito?
The dreaded qué vs cuál distinction. *sigh* Cuál + ser and qué + noun are asking for a choice; qué + ser is asking for a definition. [WR, DPD1, DPD2]

Corrections and further explanations welcome.


Giynlith said...

I hear Reader's Digest in Spanish is a good way to practice your reading skills.

Anonymous said...

I've always been under the impression that adentro is an adverb simply meaning 'inside' (i.e. I went inside) while dentro de is the corresponding preposition-- e.g. 'inside the house'. Adentro is also a common response to a knock on your door-- 'come in!'