If I had class like the one I had today every day of the year, I would be one dedicated student. Today, our professor Gemma talked with us about the differences between Spanish and American culture, and I must say it was due time—there were many small curiosities about which I was extremely confused. Listed below are some of the ones that really surprised me, though I’m not sure if they are as interesting to others as they are to me, considering I am living in the country.
- “Por la mañana,” which would translate as “in the morning” (am Morgen), would be considered any time before “la Comida,” which is usually 2-ish*
- To say “Quiero una cerveza” would translate to “I want a beer,” however it is the casual way to ask for a drink at a bar. People are very surprised if you would say “I would like a beer, please.” Which leads me to the next point….
- The magic words in America, as we all know, are “please” and “thank you.” However, this is not a mannerism taught on a large basis in Spain. Rather, the Spanish are taught to always give salutations and good-byes to everyone. Americans may be polite, but the Spanish sure know how to socialize.
- In addition to this, it’s not considered impolite to stare or interrupt other people when they are speaking.
- People never would say “I love you” (te quiero :: ich liebe dich) to anyone but their significant others. Not to their friends, not to their parents.
- Spanish people are often mislabeled as “lazy,” when in all reality they work just as hard as everyone else. However, they believe there is always time to rest and rejuvenate in the middle of the day.
*I would like to point out that in no way am I being an amateur writer with the “ish.” It is actually a completely acceptable term here in Spain. Por ejemplo, the Spain would say “cinco y media pasadas,” meaning “5:30-ish,” to describe a time. Just goes along with their laid-back culture.
These are all cultural differences which I will continue to expand upon while I am living here in Spain. What I know now is that it is important to recognize the differences in culture are actually really damn important to know, otherwise you end up like this.
Tomorrow I start my completely Spanish classes. Estoy un poco nerviosa. Will report back when my Spanish skills suddenly are not so stellar…….