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https://www.duolingo.com/Jsprwstr

Will there ever be lessons teaching 'vos' and/or 'vosotros' verb forms?

Jsprwstr
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I know this is an issue that has been under discussion many times before, and I've heard the argument for not including 'vosotros' forms (it's European Spanish), but 'vos' is prevalent in huge areas of Spanish-speaking America, including in parts of Mexico, and Duolingo Spanish appears to be most like Mexican Spanish. I think it may be incredibly useful if we could practise these additional verb forms on Duolingo. What are the thoughts of Team Spanish on this?

4 years ago

24 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/rspreng

My take: The vast majority of the Spanish speaking world, population-wise, uses neither vos nor vosotros. Duo teaches a Spanish that will 'work' anywhere in the Spanish speaking world. I think calling adding either "incredibly useful" may be a bit of a stretch. :) Adding 'vos' or 'vosotros' is easy to do on one's own, but trying to teach one or both on Duo just makes things more confusing for those that do not need them, IMO. I learned the vosotros and I have been to Argentina, and those verb forms are a very, very small part of the problem of communicating with Spaniards or Argentines. Issues of pronunciation and vocabulary far outweigh them, in Spain and the Southern Cone.

Mexico is not in South America, bu the way :).

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jsprwstr
Jsprwstr
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Oh sorry, I've changed it.

Anyways, 'vos' is widely used, and 'tú' in fact doesn't work everywhere. In Costa Rica and Nicaragua it isn't used at all, for example, and in some places it is considered extremely rude. Read the wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voseo

P.S.: It's funny that you should've gone to Argentina, because apparently, 'vos' is used most widely there. Anyways, I never claimed that 'vosotros' is used in Spanish-speaking America, because that's really exclusively Castilian Spanish. I think 'vos' would be a worthy addition to the Duolingo Spanish course though, which after all professes to teach 'universal American Spanish' ('American' here used in the original sense of the word). In short, my point isn't that you couldn't possibly get by without 'vos', just that it is useful, and worth teaching.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
AlexisLinguist
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To your point: "I think 'vos' would be a worthy addition to the Duolingo Spanish course though, which after all professes to teach 'universal American Spanish' ('American' here used in the original sense of the word).", Duolingo states that the Spanish you learn will be understood by "everybody" (meaning all Spanish speakers) but not that it teaches you different words used regionally. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/laurahale

It isn't different words used regionally. Its absence is more akin to learning to speak English without learning "you" and any grammar associated with "you".

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/laurahale

The thing is though: While vosotros may not be incredibly helpful in South America, if you use it, people will still understand what you say. If you don't use it and don't know it and it is completely alien to you, then when it is used, you will be completely in the dark. Worse yet, not having vosotros in your Spanish speaking arsenal may actually make it harder for you to learn it when you need it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlejoPF
AlejoPF
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I think duo should include vos and vosotros as optional lessons, because there's a lot of people (principally European) who has learnt European Spanish; and I think there's people interested in learn dialects that use 'vos' (for example: Argentinian, Honduran, Paraguayan, Costa Rican, Paisa (in western Colombia), Marabino (western Venezuela), etc.).

And even if people don't want to use those words, at least they should learn to understand them.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Fettes

As others have said, this is supposed to be Latin American Spanish. That doesn't mean it wouldn't make a good bonus skill to buy in the lingot store though! hint hint DL team

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/laurahale

I'd rather they take the hint, stop the false advertising and change the Spanish flag to that of Mexico. It is misleading to use the Spanish flag when it isn't Castillian Spanish. They do this with Portuguese by using the Brazilian flag, not the Portuguese flag.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Fettes

I would actually prefer it if the flag for the Portuguese course was changed to that of Portugal and English to the British flag.

Also, relax. It's a free app/site. No need to get so worked up about it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jsprwstr
Jsprwstr
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'Vos' is 100% Latin American Spanish, though.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Turtle492
Turtle492
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I agree - the plural informal version of 'you' is a bit hard for english speakers to get used to, but in actual conversation with native speakers it's incredibly useful. If you use the singular all the time with a group of people, it feels like you're excluding everyone in the group other than the person you aimed the question at, whereas you might have meant it for everyone (at least, that's what I've found with German). The vosotros forms are often quite different to the other conjugations and it would be really helpful to learn them alongside the other forms.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PopTartTastic

"Vosotros" is used only in Spain and sometimes in Argentina and African Spanish, but it's not nearly as common, since the general population of Spanish speakers don't use it. "Vos" is only used in Argentina, and isn't really that common either. You can learn them on your own if you like. Also remember, that both have their own conjugation when it comes to verbs, so be careful when using them.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tomista
tomista
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Vos is used in more places than just Argentina. I had a teacher from Honduras who told me they use it there. I do agree with the rest of your comment however.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/auxbuss
auxbuss
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I'd like to the vosotros to be available, perhaps as an option. It's weird that it's absent, since it's the common form in Spain, in my experience.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BritBlue
BritBlue
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I also just posted a new discussion about this very subject! I think there does seem to be quite a few of us who would like this. I live in Europe and want to learn European Spanish, I have to keep referring to other resources to try and keep on top of the differences, I think it at the very least it would be nice of Duolingo to perhaps produce a 'sticky' thread or a FAQ thread for those of us who want to learn about these....

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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My questions are:

  1. if I don't use Vos, will it make me not able to communicate with someone? Or, will they still understand me if I'm using Usted?

  2. If I use Vos instead of Usted, will Spanish speakers be more likely to understand me in general?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Samsta
Samsta
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Remember that "Vos" is equivalent to "Tú" (it's informal), not "Usted" (which is formal). For the internet, I think it's safe to just use "tú" or "vos" (if your speaking to someone from a country that uses it). "Vos" may sound strange to some Spanish speakers, but all Spanish speakers are pretty comfortable with "tú," so when in doubt choose "tú."

You also have to realize that you don't need to adapt your Spanish to everyone you talk to. I use "vosotros" instead of "ustedes" no matter who I'm talking to (unless it's a formal situation), just like a native speaker from Spain would. Do people from the south (of the US) stop using "y'all" when they talk to people from other parts of the country? Of course not.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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True, I use y'all regardless of who I'm talking to. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rachvx
rachvx
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haha me too!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
AlexisLinguist
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I'd say they would understand you perfectly. Ustedes/Usted is simply the polite version of you (Like if someone called me miss or madam -- which makes me blush, but that's beside the point).

They would just think you were being really polite, but nothing more.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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Thanks for the tip! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
AlexisLinguist
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Trato, trato. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlejoPF
AlejoPF
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Ustedes is formal just in Spain; in LatAm, it's neither formal nor informal. :) There are a couple of dialects which usted is used in informal situations.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LauratheJedi

I just find it extremely confusing to practice my Spanish on Duolingo considering that my family is from Argentina and everyone uses "vos".

2 years ago