I want to give you a tip that will help you understand conversational Spanish. Not too long ago, we held a webinar with one of our Spanish instructors from Argentina, Alvaro.
One caller asked Alvaro a very interesting question. The caller asked (and I am paraphrasing):
“I am watching the novelas to improve my listening comprehension. I am still having trouble understanding everything. Why is that?”
Alvaro said that many times the pronunciation in the novelas is not like the pronunciation of a news caster but closer to how people speak in normal everyday conversations. Somewhat fast and without every syllable clearly enunciated.
And then he gave an example to explain what he meant.
He said that when he first moved to New York City he said that he would hear people on the street greet people with certain utterances. He said that the greeting-utterance sounded like “wassup.” He also said that in the “barrio” (neighborhood) where he lived it even sounded as if some of the “jovenes” (teenagers) or “adolescentes” (teenagers) were uttering a word that sounded like “waddup”
He said that at first he didn´t understand the “sound” and wondered what did “wassup” or “waddup” mean. And then he eventually figured out what this utterance meant.
“Wassup” or “Waddup” was how people in New York were pronouncing “What is up?”
He never mentioned if he started greeting people in in “Nueva York” (New York) with “Wassup” or “Waddup.” I imagine that he eventually started using the former but never the latter.
But he did give an example of how some native Spanish speakers pronounce “buenos días.” Which sounded like anything but “buenos días” to the ears of a native English speaker.
Tip To Help You Understand Conversational Spanish