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Culture —– No mucho

by Brandi

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August 2nd, 2010

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For this week’s blog,  I’m going to talk about another phrase that Americans, and English speakers in general (for all you readers outside of the U.S.) usually say incorrectly. If you use this phrase, you will most definitely sound like a “Gringo” or “foreigner” (we’ll talk about the exact definition of “Gringo” next week).

I’m talking about the phrase “Not much”.  Many native English speakers will say “Nada mucho” for “Not much”, and this is simply wrong!!! The problem is that now I have told you the phrase you will have a tendency to remember and say it; Don’t! It is incorrect! — you will need to remember the correct phrase “No mucho” [no moo-choh].  Now let’s repeat it a few times to help you remember it “No mucho” . . . “No mucho”.  Now say it out loud — “No mucho”. Now yell it for emphasis “¡¡NO MUCHO!!”.  If people look at you funny for saying it out loud and yelling it, just tell them you’re learning Spanish and your teacher (me – Dave Clark) told you to do it.

To give you an idea of just how funny this incorrect phrase sounds to native Spanish speakers, I’m going to tell you about a TV commercial which aired in the Dominican Republic about 10 years ago. It was a shampoo commercial where an American was shampooing his hair and some Dominicans asked him “What’s happening” or “¿Qué pasa?” [Kay paw-saw]. The American, with a very “Gringo” accent said “Nada mucho” and all the Dominicans laughed because not only did he say the phrase with a “Gringo” accent, but because it was also incorrect.  I did not quite see how the commercial sold shampoo, but I guess it must have worked.

The reason I can vividly remember what happened in the commercial is because when I was strolling around the streets of the Dominican Republic, at least once or twice a day groups of teenage Dominican boys, the kind that think they’re really “cool”, would come up to me and say “¿Qué pasa?” . . . “¿Nada mucho?”  Then they would all die laughing hysterically.  At first, it would really drive me crazy, but then I would start a conversation with them in Spanish. They were amazed that I could speak fluently and correctly and it would quiet them down somewhat, but the next day it would just happen all over again.

Let’s try to give ourselves a good name and reputation as English speakers learning Spanish and instead of saying “Nada mucho”,  say “No mucho”. Why don’t you say it one last time to help you remember . . .”No mucho”.

The Level I Visual Link Spanish™ course teaches you the correct way to speak Spanish so it won’t be obvious that you are a “Gringo”. Through the course, you will be taught to pronounce like a native speaker, and also learn to build sentences and converse using correct speech.  Most courses and Spanish books simply teach words but never teach you how to put them together into sentences.

To learn more Spanish language tips, please visit our website www.spanishprograms.com

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