Speaking like a native
In English, it's easy to tell who's a native speaker and who isn't. Not everyone speaks perectly English, just as not everyone does in Spanish. I'm mainly talking about relaxed speech. I've noticed some apeakers dropping s's, r's, and even d's. This makes speech sound very fluid when speaking. Does this apply to all speakers? I know natives don't speak 'bookish' Spanish, but what are some things native Spanish speakers do when speaking or even what grammar they don't use? Is there are a common thing they all do, regardless of dialect?
Hmm honestly I don't think there is a common "thing" we do. The things you're talking about are dialect stuff. I find that the most beautiful dialects are those who do NOT leave out letters such as s's, r's, etc. Some countries are more 'bookish' than others. For example, in Chile we speak really fast and this has its price = we leave out letters and we sometimes don't articulate very well. I'm sure other latinamerican countries hate our dialect because of that. I find the peruvian dialect pretty awesome, because they pronounce every single letter and it makes them sound very gentle and polite.
My advise is, NEVER avoid bookish Spanish. That way you will be understood better and sound OK. I once met this German girl who lived in Bolivia for a year and she got used to their accent and adopted it! She had an obvious foreign accent but she was intentionally leaving out letters and it was HORRIBLE. She should have sticked to the neutral Spanish she was learning at school (I was in her class in Germany).
Oh, and about sounding fluid; leaving out letters doesn't make you more fluid. Confidence and connection between the sounds of each words is key.
Thanks for your reply, it helps a lot : ). Even if I don't use the dialect though that drops a lot of letters, like Caribbean (the letter r is completely optional, no kidding), there will still be people who do. Is there a general thing you've noticed native Spanish speakers do while talking? I know you said there's all dialect stuff, but can you list a few things you know, please?
I don't think butchering a language makes it sound "more natural";-) In French for instance, many natives make grammar mistakes (use of "après que" + subj, lack of use of the subj where there should be one, use of "malgré que"...) that does NOT make it ok, it rather hurts my ears. If you add a foreign accent on the top of that, you won't sound more like a native, you'll just sound like someone who can't speak proper French.
The only thing I do in any language I learn is to use some colloquialisms, like "peli" instead of "películas", "finde", "por fa", "un tipo", "una caña" etc.
For one, the Voiced Stops (b, d, g) become approximants- giving them a much softer sound- when they are between vowels.
Yeah, I heard about the voiced stops becoming approximants, even with 'd' disappearing completely. I once listened to the Cuban dialect for a bit and caught on how often they dropped the 'r' between letters. Dropping the voiced stops, how would they be said? Would they even be completely silent?