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Lesson Transcript

Megan: ¡Bienvenidos a Spanishpod101.com!
David: ¡Buenos días! Me llamo David.
Megan: And I’m Megan. Iberian Spanish Series, Lesson 5 - “¿De dónde es ese tío?”. My name is Megan.
David: And I am David.
Megan: ¡Bienvenidos! Welcome to the fifth lesson of Iberian Spanish Series in Spanishpod101.com, where we cover pronunciation and intonation proper to the Spanish of Spain, and in particular the capital city of Madrid.
David: By comparing the Iberian speech to the standard Spanish talk in the core curriculum of Spanishpod101, we give you the insider’s perspective on Iberian Spanish.
Megan: And we contextualize it for you by explaining Iberian customs.
David: So, join us for this lesson of Spanishpod101.com!
Megan: Last time we looked at how to ask more than one person where they’re from, and we discussed the tendency to drop or aspirate the “S” sound in certain words.
David: Today’s lesson references Newbie Lesson 5 – “Where is he from?”, so be sure to check that out on our website.
Megan: Also in this lesson we’ll get a little taste of the Present Subjunctive Mood of the verb “saber”.
David: Check out the transcript and translation in the PDF for this lesson at Spanishpod101.com.
Megan: To start out, let’s go back to Newbie Lesson 5, where we heard the following conversation:
SUSANA: ¿De dónde es él?
DAVID: Él es de Inglaterra.
SUSANA: ¿De dónde es ella?
DAVID: Ella es de los Estados Unidos.
SUSANA: Ella está contenta, ¿no?
English translation:
Megan: “¿De dónde es él?” - “Where is he from?”
David: “Él es de Inglaterra” - “He is from England.”
Megan: “¿De dónde es ella?” - “Where is she from?”
David: “Ella es de los Estados Unidos” - “She is from the United States.”
Megan: “Ella está contenta, ¿no?” - “She’s happy isn’t she?”
Megan: Now let’s hear what that sound like in Iberian Spanish:
David: ¿De dónde es ese tío?
Megan: Que yo sepa, es japonés.
David: ¿Y ella?
Megan: Es de los Estados Unidos.
David: Está muy a gusto aquí, ¿no te parece?
David: Slowly.
David: ¿De dónde es ese tío?
Megan: Que yo sepa, es japonés.
David: ¿Y ella?
Megan: Es de los Estados Unidos.
David: Está muy a gusto aquí, ¿no te parece?
David: English translation.
David: “¿De dónde es ese tío?” - “Where is that guy from?”
Megan: “Que yo sepa, es japonés” - “As far as I know, he’s Japanese.”
David: “¿Y ella?” - “And her?”
Megan: “Es de los Estados Unidos” - “She’s from the United States.”
David: “She’s really in her element here, don’t you think?” - “Está muy a gusto aquí, ¿no te parece?”
Megan: So, it’s obvious that there are some differences between the Newbie dialogue and the Iberian one. First off, let’s talk a little bit about some phonetic particularities of Iberian Spanish. For example, the pronunciation of the “Jota” or “J” and the “Ge” or “G” before the vowels “E” and “I”. David, can you say some words with this sound?
David: Sure. The first one, “japonés”.
Megan: Which means “Japanese.”
David: “Jefe”.
Megan: “Chief” or “boss.”
David: “Jirafa”.
Megan: “Giraffe.”
David: “Joroba”.
Megan: “Hump.”
David: “Júpiter”.
Megan: “Jupiter.”
David: “Gel”.
Megan: “Gel.”
David: “Gigante”.
Megan: “Giant.” In many dialogues of Iberian Spanish this sound is much more forceful than it is in parts of Latin America. How would say that you pronounce this word, David?
David: It’s what we call a “fricativa velar” sound which means that it comes from back in your throat.
Megan: But it isn’t just aspirated or breathed out like the “H” in English in the word “hair”, for example, is it?
David: No, needs a fricative. That means that the back of your throat needs to be more constricted, so there’s more friction when the sound is made. “Ja”, “ge”, “gi”, “jo”, “ju”.
Megan: In some part of Spain they pronounce this sound more “suave” or relaxed, don’t they?
David: Yes, this is characteristic of “andaluz”, the dialect spoken in Andalucía, in the South of Spain.
Megan: That’s good to know. Here we tend to discuss the standard dialogue in Madrid, but it’s very important to remember that even within the Iberian Peninsula there’re very different dialects spoken in different regions, not to mention completely different languages, like “catalán”, “vasco” and “gallego”.
David: Absolutely! One day we will try to say something in those dialects from the Iberian Spanish.
Megan: That would be interesting. Now, what can you tell me about how “Ella está contenta, ¿no?” from Newbie Lesson 5 shows up in the Iberian dialogue?
David: “Está muy a gusto aquí, ¿no te parece?”.
Megan: Which means “She’s really in her element here, don’t you think?” or “She really feels at home here.”
David: Right! “Estar a gusto” literally means “to be to taste”, but of course it’s a very common expression that means “to be comfortable” or “to be at ease” in a given situation.
Megan: As a foreigner in Spain it’s a really common question to get. “¿Estás a gusto aquí?”. People want to know if you feel at home. De hecho, estoy muy a gusto aquí, en Madrid.
David: Me alegro mucho. I’m really glad to hear that.
Megan: Now let’s go over some of the localisms that came up in this conversation. First off, we have the word “tío” which literally means “uncle”, but in colloquial Iberian Spanish is really a common way of saying “guy” or “bloke” or “mate”.
David: “¿De dónde es ese tío?”.
Megan: Can you also say “tía” for a woman?
David: Claro. Of course. “¿De dónde es esa tía?” - “Where is that girl from?”. “Una tía buena” is slang for “a beautiful girl.”
Megan: Right! I guess it basically means “a hottie”.
David: Yes!
Megan: But, let’s not be “machista” or sexist. It goes both ways, and there are “tíos buenos”, too.
David: Sure. I have to tell you’re aware on that.
Megan: So, what else do we have here?
David: Well, I’m sure it’s used in other speaking Spanish countries, but we often say “que yo sepa” or “que sepa yo” when we aren’t 100% sure about the accuracy of what we’re saying.
Megan: “Que yo sepa, es japonés”. It’s a way of casting a bit of doubt about what you just said, isn’t it?
David: Yes, it’s basically “As far as I know, he’s Japanese.”
Megan: And here we get a glimpse of the Subjunctive, which is one of the most difficult verbal tenses in Spanish for many foreigners to grasp.
David: Yes, right. You’re right. “Sepa” is the first person Present Tense Subjunctive of the verb “saber”, which means “to know”. Their regular Indicative form would be “yo sé”.
Megan: Right! At this point, so it does not overwhelm anybody, I think will just depart those and entreat “que yo sepa” as a “frase hecha”, a sort of set expression that is commonly used and just happens to be in the Subjunctive Tense in this case.
David: Right! That’s how children learn it, just picking up expressions one at a time. Another one like that would be “lo que sea” which can mean “whatever”.
Megan: I think memorizing common phrases that use the Subjunctive is a great way for beginners to get used to the ideas that are behind the grammar. In the case of this Subjunctive, this is the desire to express uncertainty, the unknown or the unknowable or even the impossible.


David: Right, very good! Okay! This wraps up today’s lesson.
Megan: Be sure to compare this lesson with Newbie Lesson 5.
David: And don’t forget to try out the Spanish Review in the Learning Center, where you’ll find test questions, answers and comments on the answers.
Megan: It’s a great way to start practicing on your own. Ok! Until next time!
David: ¡Hasta la próxima!

Dialogue - Iberian

Dialogue - Standard


Please to leave a comment.
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Sunday at 6:30 pm
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So, is anyone planning on taking a trip to Spain any time soon? Or, maybe you're going to go to some other Spanish-speaking country?

Tuesday at 1:41 pm
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Hi jeanne,

Thank you for posting.

We just checked and the answer: Estar a gusto - "to be in one's element" is marked as correct.

Please, make sure there isn't any typo.

Let us know if you are still having trouble with this quiz.



Team SpanishPod101.com

Friday at 8:55 pm
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Estar a gusto - It was marked incorrect when I wrote 'to be at ease' yet this is given in the translation.

There's a button to click to report a problem but I can only access these comments

Tuesday at 11:22 pm
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João Paulo,

Es una buena observación. Yo tampoco creo que el modo subjuntivo es muy difícil. Recordemos que es un "modo" verbal pero no un "tiempo", ya que hay varios tiempos para el modo subjuntivo. Estoy de acuerdo contigo. Es útil aprender el modo subjuntivo en los dos casos más comúnes: oraciones condicionales y claúsulas subordinadas. En el español de hoy, solemos usar el presente del subjuntivo después de "cuando" (i.e. "cuando llegues...").

That's a good observation. I don't think that the subjunctive mood is very difficult either. Let's remember that it's a verbal "mood" but not a tense, since there are numerous tenses for the subjunctive mood. I agree with you. It's very useful to learn the subjunctive mood in the three most common cases: conditional sentences and subordinated clauses. In the Spanish of today, we tend to use the present subjunctive after "cuando" (i.e. "cuando llegues").

I think this could be a really interesting and helpful topic for students who are just learning what the subjunctive mood is. I hope that we can continue it here, or perhaps in the forum.


João Paulo
Tuesday at 9:52 am
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Al final del podcast se habló sobre el tiempo subjuntivo.

Yo creo que no es un tiempo tan difícil de aprender, pero creo que siempre ayuda conjugar los verbos con las palabras que suelen acompañarlos.

O sea, “que” para el presente (que yo hable), “si” para el pretérito (si yo hablase, si yo hablara), “cuando” para el futuro (cuando yo hablare).

Por lo menos, eso siempre me ayudó mucho.

•  • •

At the end of the podcast the subjunctive tense was mentioned.

I believe it’s not such a difficult tense to learn, but I think it always help to conjugate the verbs with the words that usually come with them.

That is, “que” to the present (que yo hable), “si” to the past (si yo hablase, si yo hablara), “cuando” to the future (cuando yo hablare).

At least, it has always helped me a lot.

Tuesday at 5:12 am
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Wow, now I really have to get a move on with my Spanish! Damn my laziness!



Tuesday at 4:25 am
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Thank you very much for your words. They really, really encourage to continue working hard. Hope this helps you when you come to visit Spain ;)

Gracias a ti,


Monday at 3:09 am
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Wow! David and Megan, you guys are getting really good! Really enjoyed this lesson, as it seems as if things are becoming clearer! Love the way the regional lessons reinforce the Newbie Series. Really interesting pedagody.

Felt like I learned a lot today. Thanks guys!:grin: