Laura is native to Uruguay and is an English teacher and she really enjoys the study of linguistics.
It became clear to me when I saw her bookshelves filled with linguistic books. She told me that it was through the use of these books that she taught herself English.
If you missed that, yes, SHE TAUGHT HERSELF ENGLISH. I was amazed.
English is my native language and looking through these books confused me! And they were using English words!
Laura happily shared tips on my pronunciation of words like tengo and pero so I wouldn’t sound like a total gringa on my onward travels! And she taught me how to pronounce words the Uruguayan way in preparation for my travel in Uruguay!
For example, in Uruguay double l’s are not pronounced how I learned them.
Take the word caballo (horse)
How I learned it: cah-bah-YO
How Urugayans pronounce it: cah-bah-SHOW
And if the l’s are in the front of the word like llama (name)
How I learned it: YA-ma
How Uruguayans pronounce it: SHA-ma
And the one-syllable word yo (I)
How I learned it: YO
How Uruguayans pronounce it: SHOW
Soon I’d be leaving Laura, ready to put my new knowledge to use!