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Palabras Nivel B1

Why do Spanish students mispronounce ‘grapadora’ and get mixed up with ‘constipado’?

“Grapadora”, “embarazada”, “exquisito” or “asqueroso”. These and other words such as “exprimir” or “expresar” are almost always confused by students of Spanish, either because they are translated directly from the mother tongue, or because of the difficulty in their pronunciation, or because of the influence of the English language. Although, differentiating ‘c’ from ‘s’ is still something of the most complicated for those who learn Spanish as a second or third language.

These are some of the conclusions of the telephone survey that Practica Español carried out in 2014 among more than 25 schools and language academies in Spanish territory, in which it posed a single question:

What is the most difficult Spanish word for a foreigner to learn? We remember some of the answers:

1.- “Constipado” .– Some of the Spanish teachers agreed that English students find it difficult to stay with the meaning of the word “constipado” because of the existing mimicry with “constipated” which does not mean “catarro” but ” estreñido”.

2.- “Cuál” and “qué” / “por” and “para” / “conocer” and “saber”. – As a general rule, Anglo-Saxons confuse “cuál” and “qué”, “por” and “para” , “conocer” and “saber”.

3.- “Otro” and “another” .– Many students add an indefinite article to “otro” to make it “un otro” due to the influence of the English term ‘another’.

4.- “Desayunar” and “cenar”. – And they usually take the verbs “desayunar” and “cenar” as nouns.

5.- “Doler” and “gustar” .– When conjugating these verbs, they do so without the personal pronoun.

6.- “Dos” and “doce” .- It doesn’t matter what their mother tongue is: most Spanish students have real difficulties in differentiating “dos” from “doce”, which is a real problem to make themselves understood on a day-to-day basis, especially when it comes to setting schedules. In other words, as incredible as it may seem, most of them are unable to distinguish by ear“dos y media” from “las doce y media” because the sound of “c” is totally unknown to them.

7.- “Ir” and “andar”. – Students of Italian origin often get mixed up with the meaning of ‘ir’ and ‘andar’ in Spanish because it means the same thing to them.

8.- “En” and “a” .– French students have certain difficulties in differentiating the prepositions ‘en’ and ‘a’ due to the fact that in their language the preposition ‘à’ fulfills both functions.

9.- “Explicar” / “mesa”. – Some students say ‘explain’ instead of ‘explicar’ and turn the ‘mesa’ into ‘misa’, due to the influence on the pronunciation of vowels in their respective mother tongues.

10.- “Por” and “para” .– They also find it difficult to differentiate the prepositions ‘por’ and ‘para’.

11.- “Ser” and “estar” .– And of course there is the classic confusion with the use and meaning of the verbs ‘ser’ and ‘estar’, especially the Anglo-Saxon students.

12.- Distinguishing the gender of some words (especially German ones), or their singular or plural, are other difficulties that many students have to overcome.

13.- Subjunctive.– For the end we leave the great challenge that for the majority supposes the correct use and conjugation of the subjunctive mood of verbs in Spanish.

The following schools answered this survey: Estudio Sampere, Academia Eureka, Academia Don Quijote, Academia Paraninfo, OISE Madrid, Academia Luis Vives and Tilde Escuela de Español.

Pía Valls / Amira Hamed Valle / EFE / PracticaEspañol

(Automatic translation)

Ejercicio 1

Comprensión del texto

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Tu calificación es %%SCORE%% de un total de %%TOTAL%%.

Tu rendimiento es %%RATING%%


Your answers are highlighted below.
Question 1
La noticia trata de…
A
Las dificultades de los estudiantes de español
B
La enseñanza de español en el mundo
C
La Real Academia de la Lengua
Question 2
¿A quién se ha realizado la encuesta?
A
A academias de español
B
A la Real Academia de la Lengua
C
A medios de comunicación
Question 3
¿A qué se debe la mayoría de los errores?
A
A que no estudian lo suficiente
B
A que no les enseñan bien el idioma
C
A que traducen directamente de su idioma natal
Question 4
¿Con qué palabra suelen confundir “constipado”?
A
Estreñido
B
Acatarrado
C
Avergonzado
Question 5
¿Qué palabras confunden más los italianos?
A
Ir y andar
B
Ir y volver
C
A y en
Question 6
¿Qué palabra dicen en lugar de “explicar”?
A
Exprimir
B
Explanar
C
Imprimir
Question 7
¿Cuál es el gran desafío para los estudiantes de español?
A
El presente
B
El futuro
C
El subjuntivo
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There are 7 questions to complete.

Ejercicio 2

Ortografía

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Tu calificación es %%SCORE%% de un total de %%TOTAL%%.

Tu rendimiento es %%RATING%%


Your answers are highlighted below.
Question 1
Escoge la palabra correcta
A
Exprimir
B
Esprimir
C
Ex-primir
Question 2
Elige la palabra correcta
A
Comstipado
B
Costipado
C
Constipado
Question 3
Elige la palabra correcta
A
Anglosajónes
B
Anglosagones
C
Anglosajones
Question 4
Elige la palabra correcta
A
Distinguir
B
Distingir
C
Distinjir
Question 5
Elige la palabra correcta
A
Subjuntibo
B
Subjuntivo
C
Sujuntivo
Question 6
Elige la palabra correcta
A
De-safío
B
Desafio
C
Desafío
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There are 6 questions to complete.

Ejercicio 3

Comprensión de la noticia

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Tu calificación es %%SCORE%% de un total de %%TOTAL%%.

Tu rendimiento es %%RATING%%


Your answers are highlighted below.
Question 1
La noticia trata de…
A
Las dificultades del idioma español
B
Los métodos de enseñanza del idioma español
C
El creciente número de estudiantes de español
Question 2
¿Por qué suelen confundir la “c” con la “s”?
A
Porque su pronunciación es parecida
B
Porque estas letras no existen en su lengua materna
C
Porque se escribe casi igual
Question 3
Una de las dificultades propia de los estudiantes alemanes es…
A
La confusión del género de las palabras
B
No diferenciar “andar” e “ir”
C
Añadir un indefinido al cuantificador “otro”
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There are 3 questions to complete.

Ejercicio 4

Ortografía

Felicidades - has completado Ortografía.

Tu calificación es %%SCORE%% de un total de %%TOTAL%%.

Tu rendimiento es %%RATING%%


Your answers are highlighted below.
Question 1
Elige la palabra correcta
A
Oido
B
Oidó
C
Oído
Question 2
Elige la palabra correcta
A
Conplicado
B
Complicado
C
Complícado
Question 3
Elige la palabra correcta
A
Catáro
B
Cataro
C
Catarro
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There are 3 questions to complete.

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