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Ramón Monterrey
How I can tell if someone wants to insult me I want to know when a person is telling me an insult
Jun 5, 2015 7:47 AM
Answers · 5
It's not possible to give a complete list of insults for you to learn so that you can identify them in the moment. It would be a waste of time, trying. It's also possible for people to insult by using normal language, but which in context, conveys an insulting message. Often the tone indicates if an insult was intended. In my opinion, as a learner, you would have to rely on your instincts and perceptiveness in the first instance. Then you could ask the other person : I don't understand what you mean. Was it meant as an insult? It's obviously not an easy conversation to have.
June 5, 2015
Carefully listen to the person's tone of voice and watch their body language. Is their facial expression aggressive? Are they pointing a finger at you? Does their voice sound mean? Even if you do not understand the words you can get an idea if they are insulting you.
June 5, 2015
Culture has been called "The Silent Language." Unfortunately, telling whether someone is insulting you involves a good understanding of the culture as well as the language. I'm sure it is the same in Spanish. A famous incident in Owen Wister's 1902 novel, "The Virginian," illustrates this. First, the Virginian's friend calls him a "son-of-a-bitch." In the book they use a dash in place of the rude word (palabrota) "bitch." --------- "I suppose you have me beat," said Steve, grinning at him affectionately. "You're such a son-of-a——" --------- A little while later, a character (named "Trampas," an unusual name and I suspect Wister knew Spanish!) uses exactly the same words: --------- Therefore Trampas spoke. "Your bet, you son-of-a—." The Virginian's pistol came out, and his hand lay on the table, holding it unaimed. And with a voice as gentle as ever, the voice that sounded almost like a caress, but drawling a very little more than usual, so that there was almost a space between each word, he issued his orders to the man Trampas: "When you call me that, SMILE." --------- So, unfortunately, the same words can be a friendly joke, or a deadly insult. The difference is in the tone of voice, and the body language.
June 5, 2015
There are certain words and phrases which are used as insults in English - just as there are in Spanish. If you want a list just google for 'insulting words" or a similar phrase.
June 5, 2015
Ramón Monterrey
Language Skills
English, Spanish
Learning Language