Originally Posted by ptrichmondmike
There's a short section on vulgar slang, but the author deosn't recommend using it, and he take great pains throughout to steer you toward proper usage of the colloquialisms. I will have to wait until I'm home after work to give you specifics, though.
Yes, Mexicans are more than forgiving toward gringos who at least make an attempt to converse. When I served on the board of the Mexican Cultural Institute of San Diego, my mainly Mexican colleagues affectionately called me "Miguelito," and when I asked why not Miguel, they said -- chuckling --"because you speak baby Spanish." (Board meetings were conducted in an uproarious Spanglish.) I currrently live in a city which has transformed from mainly black to mainly Latino in the past 15 years, and there are some excellent grocery stores carrying a wide range of Mexican products. I always speak rather clumsy Spanish at the meat counter and checkout, and after a few visits I began to get "a little extra" added to my orders. For Christmas last year, the butcher gifted me 3 pounds of my beloved chuletas ahumadas with a cheery "Feliz Navidad."
That said, why NOT learn how people really talk?
That was a cute joke from your colleagues on the MCI, but, of course, calling you "Miguelito" was essentially a way of showing affection, not a negative comment on your Spanish.
How people "really" talk depends on many factors: geography, age, education, social class,and the social context of the conversation. That's why I tend to teach my students standard American usage, which will be appropriate in most settings and to most of the English-speakers they're likely to meet here or when they travel. I'm looking forward to hearing some specific examples from this book.