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Understanding irony in conversations II

\"syllable-ito-isimo".

(Listen to this entry as a "blogcast" or continue scrolling down to read it)


As we told you in the previous entrywe will continue to give you hints to help you understand irony when speaking in SpanishIt is a very common resource but not always easy to identify for students from other countries and cultures.

It is not even ALWAYS obvious to speakers of the same language and culture, so sometimes, in addition to the ironic intonationwe accompany the phrase of other elements we are going to explain to you below.

 

Syllabication

Consists of pronouncing the words separating each of the syllablesmaking a slight pause between them: i-can't-can't-can't-can't-can't.

This is a call attention to the listenerThe user is warned that irony is being used in what is being said, and it is an element of the complementary to the ironic intonation.

In the example you can hear below, "El picante me encanta", the separation of the word "me encanta" (meen-can-ta) into its different syllables helps to understand that the speaker is using irony.

Of course, ironic intonation is also present and, together with the syllabication, it tells us that the meaning of the adjective we are using is the opposite of what we really want to convey: that I don't like spicy.

 

The use of superlatives and diminutives

The superlative can be used to exaggerate the strength of the statement and make it suspect to the ears of others. Y the diminutive can be used to trivialize reality and make fun of it of reality and, therefore, also to return to the suspect the comment so that the listener pays attention and looks for other meanings. 

A: How was the conference? ↓ / Interesting, isn't it?

B: In-te-re-san-san-si-ma →

In this example, the word "most interesting" is pronounced with the help of three elements:

  • Ironic intonation.
  • Syllabication.
  • The use of the superlative.

This makes it an ironic phrase and the listener can understand that he or she did not find the lecture interesting.

Now listen to this example:

C: I thought you wouldn't make it / I've been waiting for a ra-ti-to


The phrase "I've been waiting for a while" is pronounced with the help of: 

  • Ironic intonation.
  • The use of the diminutive "-ito".
  • The syllabication in the word "ratito".

 

Listen to the following audios, in which ones do you think irony is used? Write in the comments which ones you find ironic and which ones you do not..

AUDIO 1

  • Quite a little car your brother has bought, hasn't he?
  • Yes / you see / what will you need a 4×4 for?

AUDIO 2

  • How nice she is
  • Just as nice as you are

AUDIO 3

  • Oh the other day he read / I saw in a / in a toy store a very nice airplane / super nice

AUDIO 4

  • It's a beautiful day

AUDIO 5

  • How was the movie the other day? I ended up falling asleep and couldn't watch it.
  • Good / not bad but / very long

AUDIO 6

  • You went to-you went to Madrid the other day, didn't you?
  • Yes, and it was a very short trip.

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