Can you get by in spanish with 138 words?

1
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OK, I've been seeing this google ad around the site lately that says, 'You can get by in spanish with just 138 words' or something to that effect and that those few words unlocks a plethora of expressions.

So, I've been wondering what everyone thinks about this. Do you agree? If not, just how many words will do? For what setting, professional, informal, a dinner party, etc?

For me, I'm kind of thinking...nooo. I mean, wasn't there a gorilla or something that learned American Sign Language and learned an unprecedented 500 signs around? And even then, I don't think that gorilla could really carry a conversation, haha. OK, don't take that example too seriously. I may just be remembering something from the movie 'Congo'.

"Amy..want..rain..drop" "Uh, what did she say?" "She says she wants a martini"

-Charlius-

7909 views
updated SEP 20, 2009
posted by Charlius
You might be able to say a lot with those 138 words. The problem comes when the person you are talking to replies with a lot of words that are not part of your vocabulary.

6 Answers

1
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Comida, cerveza, mujeres, deportes, sueño.

Cinco palabras es todo. smile

updated JUL 23, 2011
posted by Goyo
..hmmm...
¿Qué? ¿Qué?
You forgot baño. I mean, if you're gonna learn "cerveza", you better learn "baño" as well! :) jejeje
Good call Valerie! jejeje
1
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Select 138 of your necessary words, visit with some friends and use only those words. You will find out soon that you really can get along with 138 words ... alone.

updated SEP 20, 2009
edited by Zoltán
posted by Zoltán
1
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I guess it depends on the individuals definition of "get by". Many people, including some of my friends and family, would be more than happy to go to Mexico, etc. and "get by" with just a few expressions. They are satisfied, even proud, to be able to ask where the bathroom is or say "hola" to people they pass by. And that is great for them. With 138 words, I'm sure you can say more than that.

However, for those who are on this site, I think we are after real communication. We want to really have conversations with people and get to know them. So for us, 138 words does not even scratch the surface.

updated SEP 20, 2009
posted by Nicole-B
I agree completely!
0
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I guess you can....if the person or the place you go to uses the same 138 words and they speak slowly enough for you to catch them. Everyone I know speak quite rapidly...pues...if you have the same 138 words have entonces pues que si, lo puede. I don't think you could get by around here on 138 words. wink

updated SEP 20, 2009
posted by ChamacoMalo
0
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You may be able to get by if you ask questions that require only "yes" or "no" answers. If you want to be able to understand anything other than that you will definitely need to know more than 138 words.

updated SEP 20, 2009
posted by colen35
0
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Yes, I think it is true that you only need 138 words! confused smile

updated SEP 20, 2009
posted by Destroyed99