Speaking in tongues (the "learning languages" thread)

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JD
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Re: Speaking in tongues (the "learning languages" thread)

Post by JD »

Jennifer wrote:
24 Jul 2020, 06:58
Huh. Dora pronounces the double-l in pollo almost like the English "j." (She did the danza del pollo at the end of her current adventure, which ended on the back of a giant friendly chicken--it sounds like she was saying "dansa del pojo.")
I get the impression that the pronunciation of ll can vary widely between accents, from a straight-up "y" sound to something more like "yj" or even "sh". (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ye%C3%ADsmo)

The first 1:15 of this video kind of gets into the pronunciation of y/ll in different accents:
https://www.yout ube.com/watch?v=taGbC6kk8VA
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Re: Speaking in tongues (the "learning languages" thread)

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Jennifer wrote:
24 Jul 2020, 06:58
Huh. Dora pronounces the double-l in pollo almost like the English "j." (She did the danza del pollo at the end of her current adventure, which ended on the back of a giant friendly chicken--it sounds like she was saying "dansa del pojo.")
I get the impression that the pronunciation of ll can vary widely between accents, from a straight-up "y" sound to something more like "yj" or even "sh". (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ye%C3%ADsmo)

The first 1:15 of this video kind of gets into the pronunciation of y/ll in different accents:
https://www.yout ube.com/watch?v=taGbC6kk8VA
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Kolohe
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Re: Speaking in tongues (the "learning languages" thread)

Post by Kolohe »

Jennifer wrote:
24 Jul 2020, 06:58
Huh. Dora pronounces the double-l in pollo almost like the English "j." (She did the danza del pollo at the end of her current adventure, which ended on the back of a giant friendly chicken--it sounds like she was saying "dansa del pojo.")
Yes, I forgot the ll phoneme is identical (I think) to the y one and has the same (sometimes) 'j in english' pronunciation.
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Re: Speaking in tongues (the "learning languages" thread)

Post by Jennifer »

FWIW, Jeff thinks maybe the Dora Latino episodes give her a Mexican accent. I mentioned being surprised by her pronouncing double-l as "j" (seriously, had I not recognized the chicken-dance music AND her arm movements, I never, ever would have guessed that "dansa del pojo" was actually "danza del pollo") -- several of his colleagues speak various forms of Spanish, and IIRC he said the one from Puerto Rico pronounces pollo kind of like "poyo," whereas the Mexican man says "pojo."

Did manage to revolve one mystery, though: I was going nuts trying to figure out who or what "soro" was -- nothing came up in the translation sites -- by my fifth or sixth episode I FINALLY figured out she was actually saying zorro, "fox." (There's a fox who apparently is the closest thing the Doraverse has to an actual "bad guy." One of the repeated aspects of each episode is, there's a part where Dora and her friends (perhaps aided by the TV-viewing audience) yell at the fox. I was able to figure out ONE such instance -- "Zorro no robes! Zorro no robes!" is "Fox, don't steal!" Now that I actually know who "soro/zorro" is, hopefully it'll be easier for me to figure out other things she says to him.)

Still wondering about various words that seem to have a "t" sound in them. After seeing another beach episode, I'm pretty sure the word she pronounces "plata" is actually "playa," beach.

I'm also mildly curious about the show "Wonder Pets" -- specifically, when I mentioned hoping I'm not watching something like "Rugrats," where the characters repeatedly misuse or mispronounce words -- when I looked up the show to read about it in English, I learned one standard part of the formula is, the first couple times the Wonder Pets try to fix whatever is the problem, they do NOT succeed, and eventually their failures make one character respond with his catchphrase: "This is vewy sewious!" I have no idea if something like THAT might be behind some of my various failures to find/spell a certain word in the online translator -- typing "very serious" into an English dictionary will net you some useful information, but "vewy sewious" won't give you jack. And furthermore, for all the things I don't know about the rules of PROPER Spanish spelling and pronunciation, I know even less (by which I mean, NOTHING AT ALL) about what the commonplace Spanish "childish mispronunciations" are.
Last edited by Jennifer on 24 Jul 2020, 20:05, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Speaking in tongues (the "learning languages" thread)

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The thing is, I'm pretty sure the y in playa is actually a semivowel, so the first a (to my ear) picks up a bit of dipthong and elogates into more of an (English) 'eye' sound than the short a of plata. (Plah-tah vs Ply-yah/Ply-jah)
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Re: Speaking in tongues (the "learning languages" thread)

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It's really high pitched here (and not great audio quality) but the opening few sentences does have her saying playa in a way that I find it hard to confuse with plata. Fwiw.
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

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Re: Speaking in tongues (the "learning languages" thread)

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There's a video I came across recently (which I can't find now) where a bunch of Spanish speakers from various countries were asked to mimic the accent from other countries, and when the others mimicked a Mexican accent, (several different times), the actual Mexican guy went 'ok, why does everyone do a Mexican accent like they're some kind of hick*'?

*used the word 'naco' - which I don't think is a 'bad word', it is from what I understand derogatory. (Like 'hick')
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

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Re: Speaking in tongues (the "learning languages" thread)

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Chilling out in the living room right now, with the TV on Spanish Nick Jr. -- I was thinking "for all that I have been finding Dora Exploradora genuinely educational, I DO wish they'd show something else for awhile" ... apparently there's a followup series with Dora as a tween or teenager living in the city with her human friends. They're airing a block of THOSE now. (Sigh.)

I'm starting to understand a couple tiny bits, though -- instead of "blah blah blah blah blah," I'm hearing "blah blah this is good, Pablo blah blah his monkey blah blah this way."

When I actually "watch Spanish TV" (as opposed to, "doing something else, with Spanish TV on in the background"), I also have my laptop open to Spanish/English and English/Spanish translators. I also have a paper notebook where I'd writing down words and phrases I successfully recognized and translated/looked up, plus a couple English word and phrases I pre-emptively looked up in Spanish, on the theory "Those words are bound to come up a lot" ... damn, there's a lot of confusing homonyms. I knew "porque" was "why." But I just-now went ahead and looked up the Spanish word for "because," which is ALSO "porque."

I just discovered my first example of something which has a "parallel structure" in English, but not in Spanish (and also, my first example of "I thought I knew how to say something en espanol, but NOPE"): in English, we would say a certain choice is "this way" or "that way," which sound similar even if you don't know the language.

But in Spanish, after determining that "por aqui" means "this way" (Dora and her friends say it a lot), I guessed "that way" might be "que aqui," since the translator said "that" is "que" ... but when I checked the English/Spanish translator, it actually said "this way" is "de esa manera." I wrote that down, and henceforth I'll pay attention to try and catch either preschool or teenage Dora saying that phrase.
Last edited by Jennifer on 24 Jul 2020, 19:24, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Speaking in tongues (the "learning languages" thread)

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Kolohe wrote:
24 Jul 2020, 18:10
There's a video I came across recently (which I can't find now) where a bunch of Spanish speakers from various countries were asked to mimic the accent from other countries, and when the others mimicked a Mexican accent, (several different times), the actual Mexican guy went 'ok, why does everyone do a Mexican accent like they're some kind of hick*'?

*used the word 'naco' - which I don't think is a 'bad word', it is from what I understand derogatory. (Like 'hick')
Heh. Right now my "goal" -- such as it is -- is simply "If I could watch and understand an entire never-seen episode of a Spanish show for preschoolers, I'd be happy with this HUGE improvement over my current Spanish knowledge." Ideally, I would also like to be able to understand casual-Spanish conversations when I hear them, and even make myself understood if I need to say something in return.

But even under ideal circumstances -- like, if some company actually paid me a good salary to enroll full-time in a dedicated Spanish as a second language course -- I doubt I could ever be as fluent as I am now in English (or even as I was when still only a teenager). Even if I do ever reach a point where I can honestly say "I can read, write, listen and speak in Spanish," from a native speaker's perspective I'd probably sound like a nine or ten-year-old, at BEST. A nine-year-old whose parents do not respect education, do not read for fun and do not have any books.
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Re: Speaking in tongues (the "learning languages" thread)

Post by Jennifer »

Kolohe wrote:
24 Jul 2020, 18:03


It's really high pitched here (and not great audio quality) but the opening few sentences does have her saying playa in a way that I find it hard to confuse with plata. Fwiw.
Hmm. I think that might be one of the episodes I've seen -- I KNOW I've seen and heard her do the "splish, splash, splosh" thing, but don't know if that was a one-time deal, or another repetitive feature in multiple episodes of the show -- I dunno, I'm still hearing a "T" sound there. Or maybe -- I just re-played that bit a couple times, and paid extra-close attention to that bit -- something closer to a "d" sound? I forget the actual linguistic terms for various consonant sound-types, but when I hear Spanish Dora say "playa" I definitely hear something like a T or a D or one of the other sounds that involve quickly moving your tongue against the roof of your mouth to make an "air stoppage," so to speak. (As opposed to English consonant sounds like "L", which also put your tongue on the roof of your mouth, but can be dragged out in a single syllable -- you can drawl out the consonant a bit, in a word like "welllll," and still have the word be only one syllable, but you can't drag out the second consonant in "weddd" or "wettt," without pronouncing each consonant "separately")

Nick Jr. Latino's Dora seems to pronounce some type of air-stopping consonant between the two syllables of "playa." At least that's what it sounds like to me.

ETA: On further viewing, this is NOT the same dub as the one Nick Jr. Latino shows. It's not just that Dora's voice is much more high-pitched -- I watched the video a little further, until they got to the backpack song -- on NJL, Mochila's voice is a woman, but in your video, Mochila definitely sounds like a man (or at least a boy). Moreover, the stress is on a different syllable: in NJL's Dora, it's pronounced "mo-CHEE-la." But in your video, while Dora herself still says "mo-CHEE-la," the actual backpack sings "MO-chee-la, MO-chee-la."

ETA again: also, at the end of the backpack scenes, when Mochila "eats" the contents of the backpack, NJL's always says "yum yum yum, delicious." I couldn't make out what THIS backpack said before "delicioso," but it was NOT "yum yum yum."

In any other context, this much knowledge about Dora from a childfree person would be really, really disturbing.
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Re: Speaking in tongues (the "learning languages" thread)

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Kolohe wrote:
24 Jul 2020, 18:03
It's really high pitched here (and not great audio quality) but the opening few sentences does have her saying playa in a way that I find it hard to confuse with plata. Fwiw.
Oddly enough, while I did distinctly hear her say "playa" at first, I started to kind of zone out, and then I thought I did catch her say "plata". Maybe it's just how one's Anglophone ear is trained.
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Re: Speaking in tongues (the "learning languages" thread)

Post by Jennifer »

[Grumble] Well, I'm not making the progress I thought: I'm currently chilling in the living room, with Nick Jr. Latino on in the background, and decided to do some English-language reading about the various Dora shows. (The older Dora in the City is supposed to be 10 years old, FWIW.) I also found a Dora wiki with episode synopses. The "chicken dance" episode I saw last night was also the series premiere. When I actually watched the show in Spanish, they sang a song about "la colina roca," which the translator said was "rock hill." Later, they did the dance del chicken on the back of a giant red chicken, and when I typed what I thought I heard into the translator I got "rock chicken," which makes no sense, so I figured I misheard, and did NOT write that phrase in my little translation notebook.

According to the Dora wiki I linked to, the episode is actually about visiting a RED hill and a RED chicken. Not "rock." The English-to-Spanish translator says red is "rojo." So, presumably, when I thought I heard Dora singing about "la colina roca, la colina roca" over and over, she was ACTUALLY saying "la colina rojo"?

I don't know how the devil I confused THOSE two.
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Re: Speaking in tongues (the "learning languages" thread)

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Sounds like Jennifer's experiencing the 13th Warrior method of learning languages!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVVURiaVgG8
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Re: Speaking in tongues (the "learning languages" thread)

Post by JD »

Kolohe wrote:
24 Jul 2020, 18:10
There's a video I came across recently (which I can't find now) where a bunch of Spanish speakers from various countries were asked to mimic the accent from other countries, and when the others mimicked a Mexican accent, (several different times), the actual Mexican guy went 'ok, why does everyone do a Mexican accent like they're some kind of hick*'?

*used the word 'naco' - which I don't think is a 'bad word', it is from what I understand derogatory. (Like 'hick')
Hell, most Americans' attempt at a "Southern" accent either sounds like a toothless Appalachian hillbilly or Scarlett O'Hara.

I was thinking about this recently because I watched "Knives Out" recently. Apparently the script said that Daniel Craig's character had "the gentlest of Southern lilt", but he went full-on Foghorn Leghorn with it. It was so bad even he ended up making fun of it.
https://www.youtu be.com/watch?v=4_yV-7s2lWM
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Re: Speaking in tongues (the "learning languages" thread)

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The Chris Evans character says in the actual knives out movie 'will you quit that Foghorn Leghorn crap' - and another layer of the joke (not sure if it was completely intentional) is that Evans is not at all using his natural Boston accent, which would undeed be regionally appropriate for the setting of the movie.
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Re: Speaking in tongues (the "learning languages" thread)

Post by Jennifer »

Item: while Nick Latino's Dora pronounces pollo as "pojo," on El Pequeno Reino de Ben y Holly just now (dub of a British show called "Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom"), the fairy queen (I think) pronounced it "poyo."
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Re: Speaking in tongues (the "learning languages" thread)

Post by Jennifer »

I think Ben y Holly also pronounces red "roca" (no idea how to spell it); there's a pirate with a red beard (actually named Redbeard in the English original), and everyone calls him something ending in "roca."
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Re: Speaking in tongues (the "learning languages" thread)

Post by Jennifer »

Disappointment: we got our cable TV back, finally (turns out the lightning did NOT fry our cable box but our cable modem, which I did not previously know existed). I checked the Latino channel options -- they don't seem to have Nick Jr., and the HBO Latino doesn't even air Spanish Sesame Street.

I know I should not complain about the Pluto Nick. Jr. Latino streaming TV, which is totally free -- beggars can't/shouldn't be choosers -- but my "learn Spanish from children's TV" attempt would be MUCH easier if I could record episodes and watch them later at my leisure. Watching programs on Pluto is like watching TV in the primitive days before anyone had so much as a VCR plus blank tapes, only worse -- with old-school TV, at least you could get a TV Guide and find out what's airing several days in advance. But Pluto streams don't run according to any consistent schedule, aren't published in advance, and even the in-screen guide only gives listings for the next three hours.

Luckily, I see that in 90 minutes, Nick Jr. Latino will finally quit its current stream of "Fresh Beats Band of Spies" and start a block of "Go DIego Go," another Dora spinoff for preschoolers that should be more explicitly educational than "Fresh Beats." I already found the English-language Dora fandom wiki pages describing what will happen in the two upcoming episodes (Diego will rescue a baby sloth and a baby humpback whale, respectively). I doubt Diego will see any red things, though, so the rojo/roca thing remains a mystery for now.

ETA: Hey, the Fresh Beats episode playing now is the same one from a couple days ago! I recognized when he said "Santa vino."
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Re: Speaking in tongues (the "learning languages" thread)

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my dos centavos is that you should check out the free version of duolingo. but i would rather eat el shotgun than watch dora again...
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Re: Speaking in tongues (the "learning languages" thread)

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If you have Hulu, Curious George in Spanish is pretty cute.
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Re: Speaking in tongues (the "learning languages" thread)

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No Hulu, I don't think, unless perhaps there's a free partial version as one of the internet-TV channels. I did find a few online Spanish episodes of the show "Arthur," and bookmarked them --- my plan is eventually, I will watch an episode in English and then immediately watch the Spanish dub. But that needs to wait until my basic vocabulary (at least common nouns and adjectives, plus key verbs) has improved, not just because "Arthur" is for much older children than the Nick Jr. audience, but because a lot of shows translate "overall concepts" rather than "literal words." Like in that Dora episode, where I was pleased to figure out she was saying "Fox, don't steal!" -- in the original English Dora, I've learned, the fox's name is Swiper, and what she actually says is "Swiper, no swiping!" I also found and bookmarked the Nick Jr. Latino website, which has lots of video clips.

But it does appear that -- of course from the perspective of any Spanish native speaker, even if I do get proficient in the language I will ALWAYS speak with a heavy "foreign accent," but I also actually HEAR the language with a "foreign accent," too. It's not just me hearing a T or D in "playa," when Kolohe said he did not -- on Facebook, I have a post about this, asking about the "red/rock" "rojo/roca" confusion, and --- long story short, there's a certain Nick Jr. clip where, according to a Spanish-speaking friend of mine, a girl is saying "pajaro rojo" -- red bird. But, I swear, I hear both J's as C's -- "pacaro roco."
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Re: Speaking in tongues (the "learning languages" thread)

Post by Jennifer »

dhex wrote:
26 Jul 2020, 07:36
my dos centavos is that you should check out the free version of duolingo. but i would rather eat el shotgun than watch dora again...
Even though I've only seen a handful of old episodes, all in Spanish so I understand almost nothing, I can tell that yeah -- if I had a kid who liked Dora in English, hearing it would drive me insane. I could handle Ben Y Holly, though, because it's one of those kids' shows that throws in several sops to any adults forced to watch -- according to my online wiki readings, one episode is a parody of the old British show "Thunderbirds," another parodies the Adam West Batman -- but Dora and Blue's Clues (saw a couple on NJL just before going to bed this morning) clearly aren't even TRYING to save the sanity of any adult person watching.

But at the same time -- the traits that would make me LOATHE Dora, Blue, Wonder Pets and similar shows if I constantly had to hear them in English, makes me really like them in Spanish, at least for now: they're written for people who don't even have the basic language skills one could expect of a typical kindergartner yet, so everything is very simple and very repetitive -- and where Spanish is concerned, "Doesn't even have the linguistic skills of a kindergartner" is a precise description of me.

There are some apps I want to check out, but my phone is old and slow, and if my laptop is in "tablet mode" (to run actual mobile apps), then I can't have it in "laptop mode" which I find preferable, for accessing the English/Spanish and Spanish/English translation sites.
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Re: Speaking in tongues (the "learning languages" thread)

Post by Jennifer »

I freaking LOVE the Spanish-language "Zoofari." (I lucked out; currently watching my second-ever episode, and I just happened to come into the living room just as it started.) I don't know if it's something about the narrator's accent compared to other shows, or just that I've had a couple days' practice now, but my written list of "successful guesses" -- hear what I think is a Spanish word, type its suspected spelling into a translation site, get back an answer that fits in the context of the show -- has almost a dozen words or phrases for this episode alone.)

And I'm using more applied knowledge, too -- I knew "perozoso" (sloth/lazy) from a Diego episode, and recognized "mono perozoso" as "lazy monkey."

Though I notice almost everything on my "successful guess" list is either noun, pronouns, adjectives or a couple commonplace adjectival (IIRC) phrases like como siempre/such as. Not a hell of a lot of verbs on the list, even though it's currently almost two pages long.
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Re: Speaking in tongues (the "learning languages" thread)

Post by Jennifer »

Damn it, does this language have any frequently used basic-vocabulary verbs that are NOT irregular? The English "be" is a pain in the ass to conjugate for someone not already familiar with the language -- to be, I am, you are, he/she/it is, they are, I was, you were, they were, but IF I were -- they don't even LOOK like they're related, but at least they're not all homophones for a dozen other common vocabulary words -- there's be/bee, "are" and the letter R, and that's pretty much it -- and the number of different conjugation and subjunctive possibilities is basically "what I just listed here" rather than "some bullshit-huge number that is orders of magnitude higher." Not to mention the whole "gendering EVERYTHING" bit.

/ frustrated rant
// seriously, though, I am starting to suspect Spanish has a LOT more homophones and homonyms than English does. Which makes sense, I suppose -- given how quick English is to adopt useful words from completely unrelated languages, I wouldn't be surprised if it has more phonemes in general, than Spanish or any Romance language. And I think the various shows I'm watching pronounce Spanish with at least three different accents, not counting a certain character who (at least in the English original, and likely the Spanish dub too) speaks with childish mispronunciations.
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Re: Speaking in tongues (the "learning languages" thread)

Post by Jennifer »

I mean, look at this:

https://www.dummies.com/languages/spani ... r-to-have/

Present tense
Conjugation Translation
yo soy I am
tú eres You (informal) are
él/ella/ello/uno es He/she/one is
usted es You (formal) are
nosotros somos We are
vosotros sois You all (informal) are
ellos/ellas son They are
ustedes son You all (formal) are

Preterit tense
Conjugation Translation
yo fui I was
tú fuiste You (informal) were
él/ella/ello/uno fue He/she/one was
usted fue You (formal) were
nosotros fuimos We were
vosotros fuisteis You all (informal) were
ellos/ellas fueron They were
ustedes fueron You all (formal) were

Imperfect:

yo era I used to be
tú eras You (informal) used to be
él/ella/ello/uno era He/she/one used to be
usted era You (formal) used to be
nosotros éramos We used to be
vosotros erais You all (informal) used to be
ellos/ellas eran They used to be
ustedes eran You all (formal) used to be

Future:

yo seré I will be
tú serás You (informal) will be
él/ella/ello/uno será He/she/one will be
usted será You (formal) will be
nosotros seremos We will be
vosotros seréis You all (informal) will be
ellos/ellas serán They will be
ustedes serán You all (formal) will be


Confession: I've never really seen the point of the subjunctive. I only learned about it fairly late, especially considering how advanced my reading and writing skills always were "for my age" -- basically, when discussing a hypothetical, or something that is not actually true, you say "If I were" rather than "If I was": "If I were a billionaire, I would...." is how to say it, not "If I was a billionaire, I would." Except -- the hypothetical/not-real element is already covered by the word "if": even misusing the subjunctive, anyone who says "If I was a billionaire I would..." is clearly someone who is NOT a billionaire.

And I have known for years "Other languages make far more use of the subjunctive than English does," but I don't yet know enough to see if Spanish has any "if"-equivalent making the "subjunctive tense" of was/were basically irrelevant.
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

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