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- What are the 11 things
that you should not do in Spain?
Today we're covering those unwritten social rules
that I've learned the hard way so you don't need to.
(speaks foreign language)
Let's go!
(Spanish guitar music)
- Hey guys I'm James Blick.
- And I'm Yolanda Martin.
- And welcome to Spain Revealed.
This channel's all about helping you
explore Spain like a local.
And look, Spain is a pretty easygoing place,
but in the eight years I've been here
there's a number of things that I've learned,
a number of rules that I've learned,
with your help Yoly, that are things that you just don't do.
They're what we would call social faux pas.
- And the things that if you keep in mind,
you will be a bit more in sync
with the locals when you're here.
- And so we're gonna count down from 11.
We're gonna go through the rules that I've learned.
In each case I'm gonna state the rule,
and I'm gonna get your take on it Yoly.
- And stick around until the end,
because number one is really important.
- Okay, rule number 11.
Here in Spain we don't say thank you and please,
gracias and por favor constantly.
When I first moved here,
I felt like I was saying it all the time,
because in English we do say thank you and please a lot.
When we're in shops, when we're you know,
in our constant day-to-day interactions with people,
we're constantly using those words.
But here in Spain, I just had this weird feeling
that I was saying it too much.
And so, how does that work here Yoly?
- I think it's a matter of tone,
you know, so you imply the thanks or the please
a little bit more in the way we speak.
So, you know for example, at a bar you're going to say
(speaks in foreign language)
So that's more like you know,
can you pour me a beer when you can?
So, you know by--
- And was there a little rise in inflection there.
- Yeah, there's like that kind of,
like a nice sort of inflection of the voice.
And also, yeah and in that ito,
you know, meaning like a term of endearment.
So, instead of (speaks in foreign language)
you say (speaks in foreign language).
- So a little diminutive.
- Yes exactly!
Which kind of eases everything a little bit.
- It softens it.
Yeah, so instead of using the words
please and thank you constantly,
it's like, it's interesting how you are
building into the language, and into the tone,
those kind of social cues.
And that is really hard for a new Spanish speaker.
I know for me, I still tend to,
if I don't think I can get the tone right,
maybe there is a lot of noise,
and I can't quite get it right,
I will use (speaks in foreign language),
just to kinda make sure that I'm not being impolite.
I know that there's been times when I have not used them,
and you've said "Oh, you didn't quite get the tone right,
it sounded like a command."
- But I mean, it is allowed
to say (speaks in foreign language)
you know, so you want to really, yeah, make it clear,
then go ahead, say (speaks in foreign language).
- Exactly. Okay rule number 10.
When you're eating at a Spanish table,
don't put your bread on your plate.
This was really interesting when I first moved here,
because we use bread constantly here.
You know, bread is used to mop up food
and to push things onto your fork,
but I would often have a piece of bread,
and everybody has a piece of bread while they're eating.
And I would find a spot on my plate,
but we don't do that here right?
- No it's more, I guess that bread is considered
a utensil as well, in a way,
so, you put it next to your knife and fork.
Also, if you put it on your plate, it might get soggy,
so you don't want to be then using your hands
to pick out the bread and soak the things,
and it's all soggy.
- It's interesting, and I love how in the end,
the fact that we don't put bread on the plate
actually reflects the root of that,
is how we use bread differently here.
They say we use it as an utensil,
I think that's very cool.
I love it because it feels very medieval,
to have your big chunk of bread
sitting right on your table.
So, I think it's really fun, and something I really enjoy.
So, rule number nine.
And it's another eating one, eating ones are fascinating,
and that is, you shouldn't have either of your hands
under the table when you're eating.
I grew up being told off for having my elbows on the table,
and you're not allowed to do that here either.
- No, no, no.
- But there's this extra one that didn't exist
in New Zealand, of not having one of your hands
under the table while you're eating,
and you tell me off for this quite often, because I forget.
So what is this rule all about?
- Yeah, I mean, I have no idea why it is.
I was told once that it might be just to make sure
that you don't have a knife under the table,
that you might stab me.
More back to medieval times--
- So much trust in our relationship.
- It's true that I feel kind of weird
if I have someone that is kind of eating,
and their hand is there.
It's like, just show yourself there.
It's very cultural I guess, I have that feeling.
- There is something very Spanish in that, I love it.
It makes me conjures memories,
think thoughts of the Spanish Inquisition.
I might have a dagger under the table
or something like that.
But I think that, when we think about,
and I believe this is the case,
the root of why we shake hands,
is to show that you don't have a weapon,
to kind of reveal yourself to someone.
And I think it's probably the same thing.
You let us know in the comments
if that exists in any other country where you're watching,
'cause I'm really curious about that one.
But remember, keep your hands above the table!
Okay, rule number eight.
If someone comes to your house
at about 5:00 p.m., don't offer them a drink,
a beer or a glass of wine.
And so, what happened here, and I really remember this
when we first moved here, is that a couple that we know,
Diego and Sonya, they came over,
and you were talking to Sonya I'm not sure but,
Diego, I offered him a beer, and it was five p.m.,
and he was like, I don't want a beer,
I want a cafe con leche.
And I was like, oh, of course, it's like,
too early to have a beer.
But, in New Zealand you would offer someone a beer
if they came over at five p.m.
So, unpack this a little bit for us.
- Yeah so, you know in the end, we have lunch later,
we have dinner later, so of course
beer o'clock is not five p.m.
it's like eight p.m., nine p.m. usually.
So we do delay the time of having a beer.
- I really like that way of thinking about
beer o'clock is not at five p.m.
Beer o'clock is eight p.m. in Spain.
That's very, very cool.
He had his cafe con leche, I quickly put the beer
back in the fridge and grabbed the--
- Felt embarrassed.
- Felt like an alcholic and made coffee,
I didn't have a beer even though I was ready for one,
we'd just moved here.
And so, what happened is, he did have a beer later,
but he just needed his cup of coffee and things like that.
Okay, rule number seven.
When you go to someone's house for dinner,
or a party, you don't stay behind to help with the dishes.
Now, I'm curious about this one because,
maybe it was just the time we were living in New Zealand,
or something about our circle of friends,
so I'm really keen to hear your thoughts.
In New Zealand I felt like you would sort of stay behind
and help with the dishes or help tidy up,
but here, I remember being really surprised
that once the party's over, once the dinner party's over,
you just leave, you're out.
- I'm out.
- Which is great if you're at someone's house,
and terrible if they're at your house.
So, is there something here Yoly?
- I would say that a little bit of tidying up
is allowed and thanked for, so yeah,
people might get up and they take the dishes
to the kitchen and stuff like that.
But then to go as far as to actually doing the dishes,
that is a little bit much.
I don't think a lot of people do that here in Spain.
- So something to keep in mind,
because, if maybe you said to your Spanish hosts,
hey, I'll stay behind and do the dishes,
how would that make them feel?
- I saw your face - You know just go away, now.
Give me a break.
I already had you for like three, four hours.
- Let us know in the comments,
do you stay behind and do the dishes
when you go to friend's houses for dinner?
Okay rule number six, and this is another one
about social situations.
You know, you're not gonna do the dishes,
but the other thing is, when you go into a party
for example, often in English, at least in New Zealand,
I think the culture is, and I suspect in the states,
in the UK, one of the first questions
you will ask people is, what their job is.
You know, oh, so what do you do?
And that's kind of a safe way to start a conversation.
But if you said here in Spain,
(speaks in foreign language)
What's your job?
How would that be for a Spaniard?
- Yeah well, it's definitely not the first question
that you'll ask, you know?
We tend to you know, we're socializing,
we're like having fun, so usually,
unless you're really passionate about your work,
you don't talk about work straight away like that.
Maybe, if it's relevant at some point,
you're talking about what you do in your day-to-day,
then, yes maybe you're going to say what do you do?
But, other than that, yeah,
usually you don't get straight there, no.
- Yeah, it's almost a bit pesado, would you say?
- Yes, a little bit pesado.
- It's a great word, pesado.
Pesado means to be intense, and so I think sometimes
in social situations in Spain,
I found that I could come across as a bit pesado.
Because I will come in and I will be like,
hey what's your job?
And it's like whoa, back off!
- I'm having fun here.
- Exactly, let's kinda ease into the conversation.
And it's a little bit like more
(speaks in foreign language)
How's it going?
and you work towards it. - Yeah
- Another thing you often catch me out on Yoly,
is that somebody, a Spanish speaker,
would be telling a story, and I will ask them what happened
while they're still in the middle of the story.
it's almost like I expect them to cut to the chase.
- You want a conclusion really fast, yeah.
- And maybe that's a difference
between English and Spanish, that in English,
do we cut to the chase faster sometimes?
- I reckon, yeah, so, the conversational style is different
I think in Spanish.
- The person telling the story will take longer to get there
they will kind of build - Going around in circles.
- to the conclusion and almost circle the story,
coming closer and closer to the conclusion.
Where as, I'm expecting it to go like that,
And Yoly's told me off after parties,
like, "You've got to give people time to tell their story."
- Sounds like I'm always telling you off.
- it's true! Yoly is not always telling me off,
I want to make that clear.
You're always helping me understand
this wonderful culture.
So, rule number five.
Don't be surprised if people raise their voices.
So when we first started going out
and I would hear you call your mother,
I didn't speak Spanish,
so I didn't understand what you were saying,
but it sounded like you were arguing
the whole time with her.
- Which I probably was anyway.
- You weren't arguing the way I thought
it sounded like you were arguing.
There's this certain kind of intensity often
that you can get into in Spanish conversation
that sounds very heated, but it's not necessarily.
Is that correct, do you think?
- I reckon, yeah.
And also, we do have a louder way of speaking,
I do think that we speak loud, so yeah,
that might be also sometimes kind of confused with,
Oh are they having an argument.
- Totally, whereas I feel like my conversations
with my mother, if they had that same tone,
or that same kind of level,
I would hang up and think "I think we just had--"
- (Laughs) I know what you mean
- I would just feel terrible.
So I think that, yeah, just don't be surprised
when you're hearing that,
and don't assume that it's necessarily an argument.
It may sound heated, but it's not necessarily,
so that's just something important so you don't misread
a situation.
Rule number four, don't generalize about Spain.
- Which is something that we're doing right now.
- Which, exactly, is something we're doing right now.
And, it's actually something I get a lot of comments about
in the comment section of the videos.
I'll make certain statements,
or we will make statements in these videos,
and people will say,
"Yeah, but that's something that happens in Madrid.",
"That doesn't happen in Galicia.",
"That doesn't happen in Catalonia".
And I think, this is obviously a country,
but, it's easy from the outside to
see it a little more simply-- - Yeah.
- than maybe, someone inside the country sees it.
So, tell us a little about that Yoly.
- I think that people here feel very passionate
about their region.
You know, so even the village where their parents came from.
Yeah, I think the regionality,
you need to look at Spain like as a really regional country.
It's very important to be aware of that,
you know, not making a lot of generalizations
about the food, the culture, the habits, yeah.
- Exactly, because you might talk about flamenco,
now, there's not a lot of flamenco in Galicia for example.
It's not a traditional art form out there,
whereas it is in Andalusia.
Now there may be a flamenco show up there,
potentially for tourists and there's people who
love flamenco in Galicia, for example.
But, I think you have to be careful
about these generalizations,
and as you say with food as well.
Like, paella is not from all of Spain.
And so, I just think it's important
to kind of educate yourself a little bit about that,
because, if you were speaking to a Spaniard,
and you made certain generalizations about Spain,
you might not show yourself to be as culturally aware.
And if you show yourself to be a little more
culturally aware, then I think that will be appreciated.
- Yeah
- Okay rule number three.
If you're traveling in Barcelona or you're in Catalonia,
do not call Catalan, a dialect of Spanish.
It's its own language.
And this is a trap I see a lot of people fall into.
Because, it could, from the outside
potentially look a little similar, right?
- Yeah, exactly, not quite a language, but it is!
It is a language and a co-official language in Spain,
as well as other languages in Spain.
Yes, spoken by fewer people, of course
then Castilian or Spanish.
But yeah, definitely co-official and a language.
- Exactly and I think, also something, a little tip,
that is kinda complex,
but let's see if I can simplify it a little bit.
Particularly when I'm traveling around Spain,
and there's other languages spoken,
whether it's Galician or whether it's Basque,
I'm mindful of when I talk about Espanol,
like Spanish language, I call it Castellano,
because it's a little more specific because, potentially,
and tell me if I'm right here, Yoly,
that if I am speaking to somebody who is in Galicia
or is in Catalonia, and I call Castellano, Spanish, Espanol.
I'm almost saying that, their language
is not a Spanish language.
There can be some sensibilities around that.
- Yeah, yeah. Especially when compared
with the other co-official languages,
yeah definitely, so yeah something to keep in mind.
- Yeah, so I prefer to say Castellano.
Now, Espanol, I believe is an official term for Castellano.
- Both, yes so Espanol and Castellano mean the same,
pretty much.
- So I'm sure I'm gonna get some comments there on
that one but--
- Go ahead
- Exactly, go ahead, I mean, educate us,
let me know if I got this a little bit wrong.
But I prefer the err of the side of saying
Castellano when I'm speaking about Castilian
as a language.
Rule number two, and it's another language one.
And this one is, don't use "usted"
the formal form of saying you, willy nilly.
Don't go crazy with that.
I know having learned French,
I would use it all the time - Yeah.
- Because in French you are more likely to use the formal
way to address people, but here it's really reduced.
So, how does this work Yoly?
When would we you "tu", and when would we use "usted"?
- I reckon we use "usted" for really formal situations.
So, if you're meeting a teacher or something that there is
really like an upper sort of level.
- Someone older, a lot older.
- Someone older, yeah totally, someone older
like maybe like 80 years old and up.
- The only time I really use "usted" is when I'm offering
to help an old lady or old man on the metro.
- (laughs) Yeah, exactly.
- It literally is the only time that I use it.
(speaks in foreign language)
- Exactly (speaks in foreign language)
and I get really excited because
it's a great chance to use it.
I also want to help them, but you would use it
if you met the king,
you would use it with someone who is a lot older than you.
- Yeah
- Or in a lot more formal capacity,
but apart from that, it's "tu" all the way,
the informality. - Yeah I guess so.
- Okay, rule number one.
The most important one, you could say,
or just something that's really complex,
and you have to be pretty aware of.
And that's when you're talking to people,
don't get into the Spanish civil war,
or the dictatorship unless you know them pretty well.
It's just, it's such a complex issue, still in this country.
It's an open wound in a lot of ways,
and people's families were wrapped up in it
in a lot of different ways.
So I think you just have to be really careful
before you launch into it.
It's a fascinating subject. and one that's so important,
and interesting to learn about, and know more about,
but I think you just have to be, as I say, careful
before diving in.
So, help us understand this a little bit, Yoly.
- So, I'd say two things here.
First is, right after the civil war,
we had a dictatorship that lasted for 40 years.
So during those 40 years,
you weren't really allowed to speak freely
about the civil war you know?
So there was oppression, there was censorship.
So, the subject wasn't closed off after the war finished.
- Okay so, given that it wasn't closed off,
it's sort of like there wasn't a national understanding
of what happened. - What happened, yeah.
- Or, what the country believes or agrees on.
- Exactly.
There's no agreement yet.
- Exactly, so if you dive into it,
if it was closed off and dealt with,
then everybody would sorta be on the same page.
And I think that's the point,
so I think it's a really, really good way
of understanding it, what was the second point?
- I would say that, also, we're talking about a civil war,
that's one of the worst things that can happen to a country.
So we're talking about families being broken up,
villages that are split, cousins killing each other.
I mean really, really sad stuff.
So it's hard, to talk about an event like that, of course.
- Exactly, and people might have certain views now,
but their family back then might have had different views.
And there can be conflict within families
or had been conflict within families.
So I just think, yeah, it's a fascinating subject
to learn about and talk about,
but just be a little careful before you dive in.
I would love to know your thoughts
on what you think, about speaking about the civil war
with people.
So do let us know in the comments.
Because it's a really important topic here in Spain.
I hope these 11 rules have been really helpful for you.
Please let us know the ones that we've missed,
let us know in the comments below.
- Thanks for coming into our home.
- And subscribe to the channel
if you'd like to learn more about exploring Spain
like a local.
And, we'll see you in the next video.
- [Both] Hasta luego! - Ciao!
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在西班牙別做這件事 (11 Things You Should NOT Do in Spain!)

9 分類 收藏
Lily Wei 發佈於 2020 年 4 月 7 日
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