On Mon, 16 Oct 2000, Barry Garcia wrote:

>[log in to unmask] writes:
>>I suppose everyone who is learning a foreign language has some equivalent
>>experience. It depends on the age of the teacher in my opinion. My own
>>experience about that was with Spanish: I began to learn Spanish with a
>>-30-year-old woman who always pronounced ll /j/. When I changed school my
>>teacher of Spanish was nearly 50, and with her I had to pronounce ll
>>/l_j/! I
>>still wonder how young Spanish people (of my age: 25 or so) pronounce
>Hah! Most of my teachers were Latin Americans, so they always pronounced
>ll as /j/. Then, a couple of years ago here at my University, I had a
>teacher who was about 30 or so, but was a German, and also spoke French,
>along with teaching Spanish. She always said ll as /l_j/. Which confused
>me a bit at first. (it was interesting, she had a German accent when
>speaking English, but it disappeared when speaking Spanish).  Then, last
>year my professor was a real live Spaniard :), who always said what we all
>would pronounce as /h/ as /x/ (and QUITE strongly too......i always
>thought he was going to cough something up).

:) I think the age thing might be more workable if all our teachers
were from the same country. In that way, we could gauge a little
better: ah! 50-something Chileans say it this way, 20-something
Chileans say it that way.

On the other hand, I wouldn't want to give up having the experience of
learning from several variant speakers. In my case, at least Chilean,
Argentinian, Puertorican and Spanish. A couple were even gringos. ;)

>Anyway, I still go along saying my g's before i and e, and my j's as /h/,
>and my ll's as /j/ like a Latin American :). I'm sure if I ever get to
>study abroad in Spain, they'll know right away who taught me, lol.

I know the family I lived with in Spain pronounced it /l_j/ very
clearly. I think the Metro station announcing team said /j/, but
anyway it was impeccably pronounced and clearly enunciated such that
even a foreigner (!) could easily understand [male voice: "Proxima
estación..." female voice: "...Prncipe de Vergara"] - in stark
contrast to Washington's Metro ["pffffffft sssssssssss BIPBIPBIP
(mumblemumble) pfffffffft pfffft"].

>Anyway, in my university, i'm in a class with native speakers along with
>is L2 speakers. I think i'm a bit out of my league there (and I think most
>of us L2 speakers feel that way), because i just now found out it's for
>advanced to native speakers and i dont think i'm quite there yet. But, i
>know that we are learning how a native speaker would say things.

I know that feeling! [By the way, in my experience, a number of the
native speakers were apprehensive as well, since they're having to
learn their own language the right way around!]

>And that's a reason I want to study abroad. I WANT to use it like L1
>speakers do. Book Spanish can only get you so far with native speakers :)

If you can manage it, try to go for a whole year. But even a Summer
will be wonderful. And don't sweat whatever course load your teachers
try to jam down your throat while you're there (in whatever country).
Just ignore them and learn from the people and places around you!