June 25, 2008 4 Comments
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”).
The shirt is almost as classic as the movie…