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Comparative Analysis of Spanish and English

  • Submitted by: met05d
  • on September 29, 2008
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,489 words

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Below is a free excerpt of "Comparative Analysis of Spanish and English" from Anti Essays, your source for free research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Comparative Analysis of Spanish and English

When individuals attempt to obtain proficiency in a foreign language several linguistic categories impose as an obstacle during the process. As a native Spanish speaker I had to overcome several obstacles while trying to acquire English as a second language (L2). While trying to adjust to such differences, they were reflected in the interlanguage grammar (IL) I had acquired. I have listed the most impacting differences between these two languages and categorized them into Semantics, Syntax, Morphology and Phonetics.
Syntax and Semantics
The syntactic structures between Spanish and English differ in many ways. In Spanish, the syntactic structure is more flexible than in English. Hence, when trying to translate a Spanish sentence into English the syntax will have to be altered in order for it to be correct.
Example 1: Grammatical Order
Spanish English
a) La niña linda a) The pretty girl
b) La linda niña b) The girl pretty

Example 1 demonstrates that the word order used for Spanish is grammatically correct in both structures. Nevertheless in English only one structure (a) is correct while the other one is clearly not grammatical. This imposes a problem when the Spanish speaker has not understood the difference between such sentence constructions. The syntactic categories for Spanish are broader than in English.
A frequent mistake that occurs when trying to speak English (L2) is misplacing adjectives. In Spanish adjectives are usually used after the noun while in English the adjective is used before the noun. However in Spanish the adjective can also be used before the noun and still be grammatical.  
Example 2: Noun and Adjective Placement
Spanish English
a)Me encanta mi coche nuevo. a)I love my car new.
b)Me encanta mi nuevo coche. b)I love my new car.

Many native Spanish speakers who still need to translate words in their mind in order to communicate in English make mistakes such as in Example 2....

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