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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 6.
David: “¡Que te sea leve!”.
Megan: My name is Megan.
David: And I’m David.
Megan: ¡Bienvenidos! Last time we looked at how to discuss where someone is from and we also discussed the strong “J” sound in Iberian Spanish.
David: Today’s lesson references Newbie Lesson 6 – “Why are you here?”, so be sure to check that out on our website.
Megan: Also in this lesson we’ll delve into some of the nuances of “ser” y “estar”. To start out, let’s go back to Newbie Lesson 6 where we heard the following conversation:
DIEGO: ¿Por qué estás en Ecuador?
ANN: Yo estoy en Ecuador para trabajar.
DIEGO: ¿Qué tipo de trabajo tienes?
ANN: Yo soy bióloga.
DIEGO: ¡Ah, eres científica!
M3: This time with the translation. Ahora incluiremos la traducción:
DIEGO: ¿Por qué estás en Ecuador?
M3: “Why are you in Ecuador?”
ANN: Yo estoy en Ecuador para trabajar.
F3: “I’m in Ecuador to work.”
DIEGO: ¿Qué tipo de trabajo tienes?
M3: “What kind of job do you have?”
ANN: Yo soy bióloga.
F3: “I’m a biologist.”
DIEGO: ¡Ah, eres científica!
M3: “You’re a scientist.”
Megan: Now let’s hear what that sounds like in Iberian Spanish.
David: ¿Cómo has acabado en Madrid?
Megan: Estoy aquí para trabajar.
David: ¿Y a qué te dedicas?
Megan: Por ahora estoy de traductora, pero ya me estoy buscando otro curro.
David: ¡Que te sea leve, chica!
M3: Once again, slowly. Una vez más, esta vez lentamente.
David: ¿Cómo has acabado en Madrid?
Megan: Estoy aquí para trabajar.
David: ¿Y a qué te dedicas?
Megan: Por ahora estoy de traductora, pero ya me estoy buscando otro curro.
David: ¡Que te sea leve, chica!
Megan: Okay! There’re a lot of differences between Newbie Lesson 6 and the Iberian version that I want to get into. First off, we get to hear some more examples of that strong Iberian “J” here and the rolled “R” that gives all of us so much trouble.
David: Right! You can find that in the words “trabajar” and “curro”.
Megan: Can you repeat those for us one more time? Nice and slowly, please.
David: Sure! “Trabajar”, “curro”.
Megan: So, the single “R” not only gets rolled or trilled at the beginning of a word.
David: Right! Words like “real”, “royal” or “real”, or “rico”, “rich”.
Megan: But also at the end of the word.
David: Right! Like “trabajar”, “to work”, or “dar”, “to give”.
Megan: And any time we see a double “R”.
David: Yes, like “curro”, we’ll talk about that, or “perro”, “dog”.
Megan: And if I say “curar” and I don’t roll the “R”.
David: Well, then you’re saying a different word, it’s “curar” which means “to heal”.
Megan: And one thing about the Iberian pronunciation, what about this “D” and the end of Madrid?
David: Madrid.
Megan: You’re pronouncing it like a “th” sound in “think”, aren’t you?
David: Oh, yes. “Madrith”, this is very characteristic of “madrileños”, the people of Madrid. This is how we speak.
Megan: So, do you do this for any word with a “D” at the end? Can you give us a few more examples?
David: Sure! Words like “ciudad”, “city”, “amistad”, “friendship”, “edad”, “age”, or David.
Megan: So, even people in other parts of Spain would know where are you from when they hear you pronounce Madrid in this way. How would they say it?
David: They might say “Madrid”.
Megan: “Madrid”, as if the final “D” had a sound similar to the “th” sound in “that”.
David: Yes, or even “Madrit”.
Megan: Where it’s pronounced more like a “T”. This is typical of a Catalan, a person from Cataluña, in the North of Spain, isn’t it?
David: Right. Finally, even, could even let the final “D” drop off and say “Madrí”.
Megan: Wow! As always, there’re so many variations even within the Iberian Peninsula, not to mention the rest of the big wide Spanish speaking world. Okay, moving on! What can you tell me about the expression “¿a qué te dedicas?”? It literally means “To what do you dedicate yourself?”. Is this just another way of asking someone what they do for a living?
David: That’s right. And it’s a very common way to ask this question.
Megan: And the response is interesting. She says “Estoy de traductora”. In Newbie Lesson 6, Ann said:
ANN: Yo soy bióloga.
Megan: And Diego said:
DIEGO: Eres científica.
Megan: In both cases, they used the verb “ser” to express the idea of having a particular type of profession, but here we have “estar”. Can you explain this to us?
David: Sure. As you already know, Spanish has two verbs that express the idea “to be” which are “ser” and “estar”. “Ser” usually refers to permanent characteristics.
Megan: Right! For example, when you’re tall, have brown hair, blue eyes, that kind of descriptive thing.
David: Exactly! And “estar” refers to more qualities. So, here by saying “estoy de traductora” you’re saying that you’re doing the job temporarily, but it doesn’t define who you are.
Megan: So, just by changing the verb from “ser” to “estar”, I can convey that extra meaning and nuance. Though it’s logical because “estar” most often refers to a state of being that can change, and in fact the words in English “state” and “status” come from the same Latin root as “estar”. But I have to admit I still make a lot of “ser” and “estar” mistakes all the time.
David: Yes, that’s very, very understandable. It’s a very tricky concept when you don’t have it in your native language.
Megan: Well, now let’s quickly go over some of the localisms that came up in this conversation. David, what can you tell us about the word “curro”. Is it commonly used?
David: Yes, very much. It’s very informal, but it’s a really common way to refer to your job. We also use the verb “currar” a lot to mean “trabajar”, “to work”.
Megan: Can you give me an example of “currar” used as a verb?
David: Okay. “¡A currar!”.
Megan:Which means “Time to get to work.”
David: Or “hay que currárselo más”.
Megan: Which means “You need to put a little bit more work into it” or “a little bit more elbow grease”, as we say. And this word is a “gitanismo” or a word that was borrowed from the “gitano” language “caló”, isn’t it?
David: Yes, it is. Quite a bit of Iberian slang comes from the “gitano” or Iberian gipsy language “caló”.
Megan: We’re going to delve into this topic a bit more in the grammar point for this lesson. And what can you tell me about the last part of the conversation, “Que te sea leve”, which literally means “That for you it’d be light”?
David: “Que te sea leve”. It’s another “frase hecha” or “set expression.”
Megan: When do you use it and what exactly does it mean?
David: Well, you might say it when someone has said that he has to do something that sounds really difficult.
Megan: Like having to look for a new job or having to go to the dentist, right?
David: Yes, exactly. All you know it’s going to be pretty bad, but “¡Que te sea leve!” means more or less “Good luck! I hope it isn’t too bad for you.”
Megan: And here we have another example of an expression that uses the Subjunctive Mood.
David: That’s right. “Sea” is the Present third person Subjunctive form of the verb “ser”. It’s in the Subjunctive because you’re expressing a wish about the future.
Megan: Right, about something that hasn’t happened yet. So, it isn’t real enough to use the regular Indicative Tense, which would be “es” instead of “sea”. So, whereas in English we would say “I hope”, in Spanish you can convey this meaning just by saying “que” plus the Subjunctive. Can you give another example like this?
David: Sure. “Que te vaya bien”, “I hope everything goes well for you.”


Megan: Well, that seems like a good place to stop for today.
David: ¡Nos vemos pronto!

Dialogue - Iberian

Dialogue - Standard