Estar Guars

America, the great melting pot, where peoples from different cultures come here to have the things which are either forbidden, restricted, or hard-to-come-by in their native countries. Yet upon coming here immigrants face a plethora of problems, some serious some not so much.

One such not-so-serious difficulty is the challenge the English language presents to one whose first language is not English. For example, some Asians have a difficulty with the “L” sound as a Seinfeld episode pointed out (“The rines are crossed”). The subsequent English dialect is referred to as “Engrish”. Some Euros and Indians have trouble with “V-W” (“Go this vay”).

Native Spanish speakers, such as myself, face a different subset of difficulties with the English tongue. The trouble with these difficulties are directly proportional with how old one was when one came to this great nation and presumably picked up the English language.

For example, a challenge we face is “Y-J”. This manifests itself when we pronounce the word “yellow” as “jello”. Another is the “Ch-Sh” as in “I have to go cach my paysheck”.

My personal favorite is the “Es-S”. To my recollection there are no words in Spanish which start with an “S”, the ones you’d think start with “S” actually start with “Es” (“Special” is especial).

So when the native Spanish speaker learns English (especially in adulthood), those words in English that start with an “S” are pronounced with an “Es” (“Stephen” becomes “Estephen”, “Steak” becomes “esteak”).

This nuance, in my opinion, is most gloriously displayed in the t-shirt pictured below,

The shirt is almost as classic as the movie…


4 Responses to Estar Guars

  1. kimita says:

    hahahahahaha!!! you need that shirt

  2. KW says:



  3. katdish says:

    Okay, that’s just funny! My mom has been here for over 50 years (from Japan) and she still has a heavy accent. Here’s an interesting (or not) Japanese/Spanish translation difficulty: Several years ago, my sister and I were asking my mom what she wanted to have for dinner. She suggested “juanitas”. To which are reply was “Uhhhh, huh?” She repeats, “juanitas!” Again, nothing. We finally figured out she wanted….Fajitas!

  4. John says:

    Lot’s of Spanish words start with a pure “s” sound. Santo! Simpático! Sí! Sudor! Sonido! But they always are followed by a vowel. It’s words that start with s+consonant that Spanish speakers have trouble with, because in Spanish no words start with s+consonant, there is always an “e” first. So it’s not “star” but “estrella”, not “scandal” but “escándalo, not “school” but “escuela”, etc. etc. THE SHIRT IS GREAT! I’d love to get one! Thanks for showing it.

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