I wrote this article on wrong facts about Spain many years ago, back on 29 March 2014.
I got horrified when I re-read it a few minutes ago, Thursday 16 April 2020, during the coronavirus crisis.
Anyway, I have decided I will include many more facts about Spain, in my current eyes, but leaving a bit of the original essence. I will be back soon!
— The original essence —
I’m going to share with you 5 wrong “facts” about Spain, but before I’d like to tell you why it’s been almost three months without publishing a single article in my blog. Make a guess:
a) I’ve been busy doing lots of translations.
b) I’ve been busy doing lots of useless things in my free time.
c) I’ve bought a piano after 8 years inactive and went mad.
d) Hey, I’ve been writing lots of mental articles!
e) a, b, c & d And the right answer is:
Now I’m ready to keep going 😉
INTRODUCTION TO STEREOTYPES
All right, let’s talk briefly about this interesting topic. We all build cultural stereotypes based mainly on what we watch on the TV, things we read in books or on the Internet, and stories from friends and relatives. Far from reality.
Like you, I have in my mind my own stereotype of cultures I don’t know. In some respect it’s quite normal, and it’s just the result of the ignorance on such cultures.
Learning about a culture takes years of “real” experience. My blog, for instance, will give you a little approach on Spain, from my “own version” of Spain. You gotta do the rest of the job!
5 WRONG FACTS ABOUT SPAIN
Here is a collection of wrong facts I’ve been hearing since 2010, when I officially started doing translations for the English-speaking community:
1. We speak faster than any other language. I have to admit that this makes me laugh. When I first moved to the US I though exactly the same. Americans to me spoke faster than any human being I had met up until that point. Nevertheless, as I progressively learned more and more English the mystery was solved. Same impression when I started with German and Norwegian languages. You will notice when you increase your Spanish level. I really don’t think there’s any language spoken faster than the rest of them. Perhaps little more speed, but nothing dramatic.
2. We all love the bullfighting. This is a good one. I don’t know anybody in my close circle who even care about the bullfighting. In fact, many people (myself included) think of it as a cruel practice that has nothing to do with any form of arts.
3. We all love wine. Wrong! Many people I know don’t enjoy it at all, including myself, of course. Back in early 2013 I went to a wine processing factory in the Murcia region and tried a “super high quality wine” (according to them) around ten years old. You know what? To me it tasted as the cheapest one you can find in any Spanish supermarket.
4. We all love Flamenco. Well, as you may know, flamenco is a popular music style from some areas of Spain. Only in some areas. And “some areas” does not even mean “everybody from that area”.
5. We are all patriotic people. Come on. Do you really have that impression of the Spaniards? Forget it. Patriotism is not taught at school, and many people think of it as a way of “fascism”. But… when the Spanish National Football Team plays… then most people (including the “fascist detectors”) become “more Spanish than the Spanish flag” (what a pure Spanish saying).
TIME FOR THE ABSOLUTE, UNIVERSAL AND UNIQUE TRUTH
Sorry, it does not exist, and you know it!
Northerners may say: “What? Most of us love wine in Spain!” whereas Southerners may add: “Flamenco is the only real music style in Spain”. Bullfighting supporters will defend their point of view. And many people who don’t even know what patriotism means will verbally fight you stating that they are patriots. No probs. Diversity is good.
However, I don’t (and don’t pretend to) have the universal truth. It’s very obvious that in this article I’m telling you my own version of the events. I’ve spent part of my life living out of Spain and working with people from other countries, so my points of views are just different. I like thinking that I’m part of such diversity 😉
The best way of breaking up myths regarding stereotypes is moving and living with the natives of a certain culture. The Internet, TV and other sources can help, and confuse at the same time.
I know, we have a life and it’s not that easy leaving everything to move to a foreign country. Wait, why not? I know a lot of people who’ve done it!
Anyhow, you can always ask a native. Actually you should ask many people, not just one single person. It’s simple, that person will be influenced by both a national and local culture, and her/his opinion will vary from other people for sure.
Wanna learn much about it and discover more wrong facts about Spain? I encourage you moving to Spain (if you are not already here) to define your own impression of the country… or at least visit the country if you have a chance.
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