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Culture —– Con Permiso!

by Brandi

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September 2nd, 2009

Vocabulary This Week To Help You Learn Spanish

a veces – sometimes
adultos – adults
algo – something
amable – friendly
amigos latinos – Latin friends
aquí – here
casi siempre – almost always
casual – casual (same spelling in both languages)
conmigo – with me
conversación – conversation
cuando – when
cultura – culture
cultura hispana – Spanish (Latin) culture
cultura latina entre – Latin culture among
de hábito – out of habit
el cual – which
formal – formal (same spelling in both languages)
frase del día – phrase of the day
gente – people
grupo de gente – group of people
hoy – today
manera – way
mano – hand
Me acostumbré tanto a – I got so used to
muchas regiones – many regions
mucho más – much more
o – or
otra vez – again
otros – others
padres – parents
parientes – relatives
pasar – to pass by
persona – person
se abrazan – they hug each other
significa – means
tal vez – maybe
todavía lo hago – I still do it (todavía=sometimes, hago=I do, lo=it)
una situación social – a social situation
útil – useful

The cultura hispana is usually very polite and more formal than the cultura in the U.S. — el cual has a tendency to be a little more casual. Like I have mentioned in the past, when amigos latinos o parientes greet each other (women greet women or women greet men), they usually kiss each other on the cheek. When men greet men, if they are amigos o parientes, they will usually shake hands and/or se abrazan. They generally shake hands when greeting each other and otra vez before leaving una situación social.

Me acostumbré tanto a shaking hands when both greeting and leaving gente that todavía lo hago sometimes aquí in the United States de hábito. I get some pretty strange looks a veces from gente cuando I extend my mano to shake theirs mucho más than they’re accustomed to.

Now on to our frase del día. In muchas regiones of Latin America, when a group of gente are in a conversación and one persona needs to leave, they say “con permiso” [con pear-mee-so] which significa “excuse me”. Gente do the same thing aquí in the United States but it is not as common in casual situations. In Latin America however, gente casi siempre say “con permiso” when leaving a group in both formal and casual settings. It adds a pleasant touch to social situations and is algo that grew on me enough that I decided to bring it back conmigo. I todavía say “excuse me” — the English version of “con permiso” — now that I am back in the United States when I need to leave a grupo de gente.

The words “con permiso” are also used if there are gente blocking your walk way and you need to pasar. It’s a nice and short manera to say “I need to get by, would you mind moving?” As you can see, the phrase “con permiso” is very útil and good to know. Tal vez you can even memorize it and start using it hoy!

Because of frases like “con permiso” and otros, I found the gente in Latin America to be very amable, polite, and respectful. Children are normally very polite to their padres and other adultos, and gente in general were usually very polite with each other. I wish I was still living in the cultura latina entre native Spanish speakers sometimes! It is a wonderful cultura.

Moral of the Historia: Learning about different cultures is fun, expands our vision, and helps improve our outlook of the world. The next time you need to leave a group of gente latina, be sure to say “con permiso”.

Sneak peek at next week: Fun Spanish Words

¡Nos vemos! (We’ll see you!)
David S. Clark — President / Director
Click here to learn Spanish!

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