How difficult is it to learn between Spanish dialects (Castellano and Latin American)?

I’m a Filipino college student taking up Spanish as a 3rd language (4th, if you consider the Visayan dialect dissimilar from "Filipino"). I’ve already studied English and am passably proficient at it.

The school offers two Spanish classes, one offering Castellano (Spain Spanish) and another offers Latin American Spanish.

I’d like to learn both, and I anticipate working a lot with Latin Americans, but I also might transfer to Marbella, Spain in the near future.

Which learning transition would be less problematic?

Learning Latin American Spanish and then taking up Castellano, or learning Castellano prior to studying Latin American Spanish?


  1. In my opinion the easiest transition will be to take the Castellano first. As you say you have the possibility to transfer to Marbella in the near future; therefore focus on that first. Actually when Spanish people visit the Latin American countries they have no problem what so ever in communicating….after all the grammar which we learn is school is Gramatica Castellana. Your communication with Latin American should be OK with your knowledge and training in Castellano.

    By the way….in all Spain not all people speak Castillian…each region has their own dialect.

  2. It’s exactly the same. The only main difference to be found being the way you call persons: in Spain you have to say:

    yo, tu/usted, el/ella/ello, Nosotros/Nosotras, VOSOTROS/VOSOTRAS y ellos/ellas;

    in Latin America you replace vosotros/vosotras with USTEDES and therefore, the way verbs are conjugated:

    in Spain you say vosotros sois, tenéis, estáis (you are, have, are); in Latin America you say ustedes/ ellos son, tienen, están.

    In my opinion, Latin American Spanish is far more beautifully spoken than Spain Spanish, both sound musical, but that one does it in a smoother style. Listening to old movies from Hollywood dubbed by mexicans is a Pleasure, music to my ears!!! Enjoy learning… and good luck.

  3. Castellano is spoken with a "sha/o" for the double L’s
    Amarillo in castellano- A-mar-ee-sho

    Latin spanish- double L’s with the "y" sound
    Amarillo- A-mar-ee-yo

    Basically the same. I like castellano. It sounds nice. The latin way gives hard sounds at times like the "Mexican" spanish. I think it sounds rough.

  4. As Deep_Sinatra said, they are the same with different accent. And the diference its just in LA we don’t use vosotros/tras at all. We learn it at school, understand it and know how to use it but when speaking we never use it.

    Another difference is that some countries when speaking they use the form "Vos" instead of "Tu". This is the case of all Central America, Argentina, parts of Colombia, Uruguay y Paraguay. However, "Tu" is the form used in most of the countries and those who speak using "vos" understand it perfectely and use it from time to time.

    Those are the main differences between Spain Spanish and LA Spanish. Besides those there are just diferent expressions and words to refer to things just as Englsih from Autralia and English from New Zeland.

  5. Are the same. Probably Castellano in more oldish. We all speak the same language, just a couple of native words immerse in the sentences. I’ve been at Latin, Central, Latin Caribbean, Spain, all are the same Spanish, believe me. That’s my first language and I live at the Caribbean and had gone to all those places.

  6. Most answers were accurate. Covering all the differences between Spain Spanish and Latin American Spanish would be too complex but the main differences are found in pronunciation.

    Spain Spanish uses ”vosotros/as” and the conjugations thereof while Latin American Spanish only uses ”ustedes” both in formal and informal contexts.

    You’ll find that many Spaniards (but not all) will pronounce the ”z” differently, differenciating it from the ”s” sound; that phenomenon is called ”ceceo” or ”seseo”. In Latin American Spanish the ”z” and ”s” sound fairly the same.

    There are also differences in vocabulary. Spain Spanish uses ”coche”, while Latin American Spanish uses ”carro” for example, which dates back from colonial times. Fruits and vegetables are usually not the same as well as household terms at times.
    The word ”coger” is extensively used in Spain, meaning ”to take”. but in Latin America it rather has a sexual connotation, meaning ”to fuck”.
    That leads to slang, which will of course be different.
    Spaniards will say ”¿Qué tal (estás)?”, instead of ”¿Cómo estás?” or ”Qué tal el cine? ”, meaning roughly ”how was the movie?”.
    You’ll also continually hear ”vale” or ”vale vale”, meaning ”okay”, which is non-existent in Latin America.

    Generally speaking, Spaniards will speak much faster than their Latin American counterparts and Southern Spain dialects are the hardest to understand for foreigners (usually).

    Just keep in mind that all the varieties of Latin American Spanish as a whole once came from Spain, therefore can still all be found in Spain today and vice versa. Both regions are still influencing each other to this day.

    But I find it rather appalling that your school actually goes as far as separating both varieties. It would be a lot more logical and would make for a much more complete education if both were taught in the same course, that’s how I learned Spanish; professors would tell us about the differences and we would be aware of both. The differences are definitely not dramatic enough to separate them academically, that is just plain stupid.

    And by the way, calling it ”castellano” is also wrong. Castellano refers to the dialect of Castilla and not to Spain Spanish as a whole. As someone already said, there are many varieties within Spain itself.

  7. To “curious_lalalala” The word “coger” is also use in Puerto Rico and Colombia as “to take”… I am from Puerto Rico and my friend from Colombia also use it. It doesn’t mean “to fuck” for Puerto Ricans. Now when I am around central americans… I do not use it ’cause I know is bad for them.


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