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Lesson Transcript

Carlos: That’s Awesome. My name is Carlos.
Natalia: Natalie here.
Carlos: Alright. Last time, we looked at some different ways of greeting people in Costa Rican Spanish. Today we are going to pick up where we left off and look at some more of these key questions and answers that are bound to come up.
Natalia: In today’s lesson, we’ve referenced newbie lesson 2, how are you all? So be sure to check that on our website.
Carlos: Also in this lesson, we will look at the plural forms of the verb ‘ir’ conjugated to the present tense on the indicative mood. So let’s get into today’s conversation. To start out, let’s go back to the newbie lesson 2 where we heard the following conversation.
JOSÉ: ¿Cómo están Claudia y tú?
BEATRIZ: Nosotras estamos bien.
JOSÉ: ¿Y cómo están Cristina y Javier?
BEATRIZ: Ellos también están bien.
JOSÉ: ¡Qué bueno!
Carlos: This time with the translation. Ahora incluiremos la traducción.
Carlos: ¿Cómo están Claudia y tú? How are you and Claudia?
Natalia: Nosotras estamos bien. We are well.
Carlos: ¿Y cómo están Cristina y Javier? And how are Christina and Xavier?
Natalia: Ellos también están bien. They are well too.
Carlos: ¡Qué bueno! Great.
Carlos: Now let’s see what that sounds like in Costa Rican Spanish.
Carlos: ¿Cómo le va a usted y a Ana?
Natalia: Nos va bien.
Carlos: ¿Y cómo les va a Melissa y Paco?
Natalia: A ellos les va bien también.
Carlos: ¡Qué dicha!
Carlos: Once again slowly. Una vez más, esta vez lentamente.
Carlos: ¿Cómo le va a usted y a Ana?
Natalia: Nos va bien.
Carlos: ¿Y cómo les va a Melissa y Paco?
Natalia: A ellos les va bien también.
Carlos: ¡Qué dicha!
Carlos: Okay so I think it’s pretty obvious there are some really big differences between these two conversations. First of all, let’s look at the way the original question how are you and Anna was rendered in the Costa Rican Spanish. Natie, repeat that for us please.
Natalia: ¿Cómo le va a usted y a Ana?
Carlos: How is it going with you and Anna? Now, in newbie lesson 2, it simply sounded like this ¿Cómo están Claudia y tú? Natie, where shall we start out to show how these two expressions are different from each other?
Natalia: Empezemos con el verbo ‘ir’. Let’s begin with the verb ir which means to go. See how it can be used instead of estar when we are greeting people.
Carlos: Okay. So when I see a friend on the street, I could ask ¿Cómo te va?’ instead of ‘¿Cómo estás?’
Natalia: Yeah. So instead of asking how are you, you are asking how is it going for you?
Carlos: Oh no doubt. You know and then I think about it, I use that phrase in English a lot more often than how are you. Natie, which phrase do you tend to use more often?
Natalia: I go, ¿Cómo estás?
Carlos: Okay well that’s not ¿Cómo va todo? but I guess I will be using that if you use it more. Yeah you know, this phrase ¿Cómo te va? seems a little more laid back to me.
Natalia: Well, it’s more relaxed. Ticos are known for being laidback.
Carlos: Wait, wait Ticos?
Natalia: Yeah Ticos. Ticos are words used by Costa Ricans to refer to their nationality instead of a more formal ‘costarricence’, we say Tico.
Carlos: Alright. Interesting, all right, so let me practice, hold on. It is Tico?
Natalia: No.
Carlos: You are a Tico.
Natalia: No I am a Tica. I am a Tica because I am a girl.
Carlos: Sorry.
Natalia: Well, let me explain. Tico with an O at the end is for male, Tica with an A at the end is for female.
Carlos: Well, so I guess it’s pretty important to know which words are feminine and which ones are masculine.
Natalia: It is.
Carlos: Okay, okay my bad but wait Natie, in the conversation, it seems to me that Mario and Elena know each other.
Natalia: Well yeah.
Carlos: Well I am confused. Why does Mario ask ¿Cómo les va a usted y Ana?’ I mean, isn’t the personal pronoun ‘usted’ used only in formal situations?
Natalia: Well that’s a good question because ‘usted’ is mainly used formally but it could be used in any situation.
Carlos: Alright. So then if I wanted to be on the safe side, I should use ‘usted’ when I am unsure of the level of formality.
Natalia: That will be a good idea.
Carlos: So wait Natie, would you say that the expression ‘¿Cómo te va?’ is proper to Costa Rica or would we hear it anywhere else?
Natalia: Well you hear it all around the Spanish speaking world but I guarantee you if you come to Costa Rica, you will hear that for sure.
Carlos: I understand. So again, the standard way to ask how are you and Claudia is
Carlos: ¿Cómo están Claudia y tú?
Carlos: And in Costa Rican Spanish, you better bet you will hear
Natalia: ¿Cómo le va a usted y a Ana?
Carlos: How is it going with you and Anna. Great, all right. Next we will look at the way the question, how are Christina and Xavier was formed in the Costa Rican Spanish. Natalia, could you repeat that for us?
Natalia: ¿Y cómo les va a Melissa y Paco?
Carlos: How is it going for Melissa and Paco. Now in newbie lesson 2, it sounded like this.
Carlos: ¿Y cómo están Cristina y Javier?
Carlos: Natie, what do you think are the major differences?
Natalia: Well, the way the question is asked in the newbie lesson is the most direct way, however in Costa Rican version, it’s a little more casual, a little more every day. It’s a very common phrase like the word ‘mae’ you said the whole time.
Carlos: Yeah you know it is pretty common, isn’t it. So again, the standard way to say how are Christine and Xavier is
Carlos: ¿Y cómo están Cristina y Javier?
Carlos: And in Costa Rican Spanish, we might say.
Natalia: ¿Y cómo les va a Melissa y Paco?
Carlos: And how is it going Melissa and Paco. Now let’s go over some of the localisms that came up today. To begin, we will look at the expression Tico. Natie, could you shed a little more light on this word.
Natalia: Well Tico is simply the way Costa Ricans refer to themselves as people.
Carlos: Interesting. So really all it means is Costa Rican.
Natalia: Pretty much.
Carlos: Okay now just a second and go. You corrected me for calling you a Tico. Can you explain what that was all about?
Natalia: Yes as I said before, if we are talking about one man, we say Tico with an O at the end and if we are talking about a woman, we say Tica with an A at the end.
Carlos: Alright. So Tico and Tica?
Natalia: Yes and if we are talking about more than one person, we say Ticos with an OS termination and well, let me ask you, what do you call a group of girls?
Carlos: The – put me on the spot, hold on! That will be Ticas with an as.
Natalia: Yeah, you learned so quick.
Carlos: Thanks to you Natie, so wait. Where does this word come from? I mean it sounds nothing like ‘costarricense’ which is the literal way to say Costa Rican.
Natalia: Well it comes from the diminutive, the diminutive Carlos. This is the way we show fondness or express a smaller degree of something.
Carlos: Is that what’s going on when I hear people say ‘un momentito’.
Natalia: Yeah. The thing is, in Costa Rica, we tend to say ‘momentico’ with a ico termination instead of ‘momentito’ with a ito termination. So when we say ‘un momentico’ it means, can I have a minute.
Carlos: Okay. You know what, I do hear that a lot in San Jose ‘un momentico, por favor’.
Natalia: For what.
Carlos: Well no, I had to get money for the cabdriver and I said ‘un momentico, por favor’ and he said okay.
Natalia: Okay. Well so because of this ending, the Tico ending, we tend to call ourselves Tico.
Carlos: So wait, is Tico used instead of ‘tito’ for all words?
Natalia: Not all words but it is very common.
Carlos: Well Natie, if it’s very common, can you give me some more examples?
Natalia: Well, segunditico, carrititico, oscurititico.
Carlos: I am sorry. I was just trying to see how….
Natalia: Carlos, don’t you just go asking questions like that.
Carlos: I was just seeing how long I could have that happen.
Natalia: I go!
Carlos: Alright, so wait, let’s go over one more expression before Natie gets angry. So at the end of the conversation, Mario says ‘¡Qué dicha!’ He sounds pretty excited.
Natalia: Claro. The expression ‘¡Qué dicha!’ is used when you want to express happiness for someone and this is good fortune.
Carlos: Alright, so it’s like great.
Natalia: Yeah but it’s also something like excellent, awesome. Really it’s just an overwhelming positive response to somebody else’s situation. So for example like when I told you I got an interview and I wanted it really, really, really bad, you said
Carlos: ¡Qué dicha!
Natalia: Well you need to practice.
Carlos: Okay well that’s why I am here. That’s why we are all here.
Natalia: Okay so this expression, it’s really used for when you want to show that you are happy or excited for somebody. For example, remember that time you told me we are going to cook at your place and then you didn’t have time. So we went out to get some Sushi.
Carlos: Yeah I remember that.
Natalia: Well I was thinking to myself, qué dicha.
Carlos: What are you trying to say?
Natalia: That you are a really, really bad cook but I am not saying it.
Carlos: See that’s what’s called insinuation.


Natalia: Okay. Well, that wraps up today’s lesson. Be sure to reference this lesson and newbie lesson 2.
Carlos: Okay until next time
Natalia: Chao.

Dialogue - Costa Rican

Dialogue - Standard