Difference between Latin American and Spain Spanish?

Hey everyone.

I’m trying to get into learning Spanish and have come to a bit of a crossroads. For many products for language learning, there’s two forms of Spanish. Latin American and Spain. What exactly are the differences? Like Rosetta Stone for instance. I can get Latin American, or Spain.

Is the difference just with pronunciation? If I were to learn Latin American Spanish, would I be able to go speak and read in Spain without any problems? I’m more interested in Spain, but I’m really curious as to what the differences are and if the differences are big enough to cause problems?

Thanks in advance!
OK, so ‘you’ is different. Is that all?


  1. I imagine the differences are similar to the differences between British and American English, but less pronounced. I expect that you would understand just about everything, just as how we understand the Australian terms ‘mate’ and ‘bloke’ despite never using those words ourselves.

    There are some differences in the vocabulary – coger is a really rude word in Mexico, but has no such meaning in Spain. When I was in Spain, the doors said empujar and tirar (pull) – when I was in Mexico, the signs said not to tirar (throw) trash on the roads. The vosotros form is used in Spain, which I like better than just using ustedes for both. I expect there are colloquialisms specific to each variety, as well as various idiomatic usages.

  2. Besides the pronunciation, another important difference is that in Spain people use "vosotros" instead of "ustedes" which is used in Latin America.

    you = vosotros (Spain)
    you = ustedes (Latin America)

    That way you have to change the verb conjugation. For example:

    Simple Present:

    Ustedes comen
    Vosotros coméis

    Simple Past:

    Ustedes comieron
    Vosotros comisteis

    …and so on… ;o)


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