Why are some of you so annoyed about "vosotros"

  • I see this question popping up here and on other language learning spaces online, and people seem to feel really strongly about having to see/conjugate vosotros.

    I get that it's used only in Spain, but I mean really. Will it hurt you so much to know that one extra conjugation? Will it take that much of your time? I personally am focusing on Latin American Spanish, particularly Mexican Spanish, but it has never occurred to me to ignore something just because it is from Spain. It's still an actively used verb form and native speakers from any country know it even if they don't use it.

    Any serious reason why people insist on this?

  • Lingvist graduate

    @peeposaurus said in Why are some of you so annoyed about "vosotros":

    This program teaches the language through repetition until it becomes reflexive

    That's not how the program teaches languages. Repetition is not there for you to learn the language, it's there to make sure you don't forget what you have already learnt; like learning in any area, it's essential that you understand what you are learning before you try to memorise it, and certainly before it becomes reflexive.

    Personally I don't mind learning vosotros, and don't think it's a huge learning burden either; but that's my personal feeling and I'm not going to impose it on anyone. The problem I see here is that just because the program is smart and it lightens the learning process, it doesn't mean we can just sit back and let the program do all the hard lifting. Sometimes I blame lingvist (and many other learning platforms) for leading people into such misbelief. I don't claim this applies to everyone, but learning vosotros can only be a huge burden when you are slacking in the other parts of learning, and learning like this can have very bad consequences in the long run.

  • @peeposaurus

    Nobody is lying to you or misleading you. Please read Javier's explanation a few posts up.
    Teaching a bad habit would mean that they are teaching you something that is actually poor language use.

    Example: Yo estás cansada. That's bad language use because it's grammatically incorrect.

    Again, it's not bad Spanish use, it's a correct and acceptable form of Spanish. Even in the worst case scenario of you completely internalizing the use of vosotros (lol, the tragedy) , native Spanish speakers will understand you and not miss your point even if they don't use this form. If a native Spanish speaker from Spain goes to Guatemala, they will know immediately that they're speaking to a Spanish speaker from Spain. Nobody, literally nobody, will think it's bad language use. In your case, they will think you learned Spanish from Spain but nobody will think it's bad language use, lol. This seems to be a radical concept to some of you out there.

    I have a group of people using this app to learn Spanish with me, we are all aware of the distinctions and it's not a problem, ever. And we are all focusing on Mexican Spanish, fully aware that they don't use vosotros in Mexico. Part of language mastery means you can tell these things apart and have no problem with them.

    I'm learning my 5th language and I promise you that I'm always aware of the region-specific variants even if I don't use them without actually whining about it like it's the worst thing in the world.

    The things you complain about aren't a secret in Spanish, it's something we learn almost immediately after learning the alphabet. Lingvist isn't misleading you or lying to you.

    The reason why I asked this question here in the first place is is because I find this indignation so weird, some of you are acting like the Spaniard overlords are out to get you by messing up your life with vosotros and the reasons I have read are slightly more or less ridiculous than what you wrote.

    Have a nice evening. I'm done here.

  • If you're not going to read the replies or ignore everything in them I don't know why you're even bothering asking, but anyway:

    It IS a bad habit they are teaching. This program teaches the language through repetition until it becomes reflexive, but including the vos forms it codifies them as being the way one speaks. Further, it teaches them as ustedes being formal and vosotros being informal. For most of the Spanish speaking world, including an entire hemisphere, that is not only unused, that is an outright lie.

    Now please, actually try reading, thinking, and forming an argument this time. Just going "nuh-uh" isn't an argument.

  • @nick-gorton I'd say it's a case of unnecessary exaggeration and unrealistic expectations. I don't think it's patronizing to include it, an actively used form of the plural you. It's still commonly used even if the anti-vosotros camp doesn't like it/care for it.

    It's not like anyone is bombarded with vosotros forms so much that anyone is prevented from learning. I think the Lingvist team could use their time on adding more things to learn to the app or giving us more languages. I use Lingvist daily and I also don't care about vosotros but I have never felt that it's something that I need to avoid because as I said, it is a negligible number of words in the course.

  • It would be nice to be able to customize one's experience. And let's be honest it would be easy for Lingvist to do this.

    As to why people get their panties in a bunch? Because where there is something a language learning program could easily do and yet doesn't it feels like you are being patronized.

    If it were easy to turn it off I would. But a much bigger ask I would have is to let people customize the flow of new vocabulary. I'm almost 50, and I don't learn as fast as I did in my youth. I find that some days when I would otherwise practice more, I don't because I'm worried they will throw new vocabulary at me and I haven't mastered what I've recently learned. Again it feels like I'm being patronized and squeezed into a learning style that I'd rather not.

  • @javier I have no problem with this, it's totally fine. Some people treat it as if it's the worst thing it could happen to a Spanish learner in the history of language learning.

  • @peeposaurus but that's exactly what I'm saying, it's not a bad habit and it's not a big deal. Every textbook and resource I have ever encountered explicitly states the difference and it's often color coded too.

  • works@Lingvist


    Thanks for sharing your ideas and concerns with the Lingvist community!

    Both vosotros and ustedes are part of Lingvist's frequency lists, which means that both are commonly used words in the media, books, and specialised sources from the Spanish-speaking world. That is why both words are taught in our Spanish course.

    In that sense, our grammar hints provide specific instructions on the differences between European Spanish and some Latin American varieties in cases such as this one (i.e. the use of personal pronouns).

    ¡Feliz aprendizaje!

  • Because it's teaching a bad habit. If no one you are talking to uses it then you have been taught wrong. The program teaches that it is used as the common word, and through repetition reinforces that, but it is only the word in one dialect that most of the people learning here will not be encountering, and every time we speak to someone it is only going to be something that causes confusion and will be, objectively, wrong.

    And yes, it will take that much of our time, because it's time being taken away from the forms that are right for the Spanish we are speaking, and then it will take even longer to get rid of the reflexive habits they have pushed upon us, and takes up time being less intelligible when we could have just learned it right in the first place.

    It would be like teaching English, but still teaching that "you" is used formally and the common form is "thou" and that a quarter of the verbs still conjugate to "-eth".

  • Well, i think that the mexicans are people really complicated with his nationality. They think that the world spin around Mexico

    I am not a xenofobic, mi girlfriend is mexican, and i am from Colombia. I mean, she thinks that what im saying is truth too

    Sorry for bad English. Soy un principiante

Log in to reply

Recent topics: