Is "Mexican" a language?

My neighbors’ parents were born in the country of Mexico and both speak English and Spanish fluently.

Anyhow, today at work someone said, "He speaks Mexican good (sic)." and I corrected him by saying, "Mexican is not a language. Do you mean Spanish?". He said, "No. There’s a difference between Mexican and Spanish."

So, when I saw my neighbors I asked them. They told me there was a difference but couldn’t explain what the difference was.

My thought is that American and Australians have venacular common to their culture, but we don’t say that we speak American. We speak English.

So, I’m lost. Is Mexican a language and, if so, what’s the difference between Mexican and Spanish?

17 Comments

  1. There is no such a language called "Mexican"

    Mexico, like most countries in Latin America, speak SPANISH.

    They have different accent and slang (as well as other countries which have their own slang) but the language is Spanish.

    iricm
  2. Mexican is not a language, however they speak a slightly different version of spanish ( and in the states most frequently speak spanglish ) sooooo because its not proper spanish people call it speaking mexican ♥

    juju
  3. Mexican is not a language…..ppl who speak spanish and r from mexico do speak a different form of spanish than ppl who speak spanish and come from Spain or Portugal or Chile…..its just a different dialect….(i know its kind of confusing)

    beinblonde21
  4. Mexican is a combination of Spanish and native Indian.
    That is why its called Mexico the dialect is not the same as the people in Spain.
    They have a few words that are similar and you can ‘get by’ if you know Castillian
    but Mexican is a language all on its own.

    Tapestry6
  5. No, it is not.
    But your neighbor can speak spanish with a mexican dialect, which is different from the spanish spoken in Spain.
    Maybe that’s your colleague referred to as ‘Mexican’ language.

    cass
  6. Spanish in each Spanish-speaking country is much more different than different varieties of English, for a number of reasons.

    "Mexican" is not a language but "Mexican Spanish" arguably is, just like Colombian Spanish, Puerto Rican Spanish, and so on. Maybe not fully languages but they are often more mutually incomprehensible than one might expect from dialects.

    Fwiw what we understand as "Spanish" is referred to as Castilian (Castellano) in spanish, it means the dialect that comes from the House of Castile the monarchy from Madrid.

    transorbian
  7. haha no mexican isnt a language
    however what that person may have been trying to say is that he speakes mexican spanish good.
    there are many types of spanish like mexican spanish,latin american, central american, south american etc.

    Queen Preeti
  8. Mexican is a dialect of the Spanish language. Just like British English and American English are different but they are in the same language family

    C
  9. I am from Mexico and there is no such thing as "Mexican language" Methodisms are something different, like we Mexicans call "pastel" (cake) and in South America they call it "torta" ,etc.so there’s a difference so by meaning "Mexican language" they probably meant "they spoke good Spanish but from Mexico. relatively speaking Spanish speakers from Hispanic countries we all speak Spanish language and different dialects (Mayan,Nahuatl,etc.) but some words change depending on the region.

    x
  10. A few facts to lay out:

    There is no "Mexican" language. Over 250 languages are spoken in Mexico. Of these, Spanish is the most widely spoken and is the language of the government. Most of the other 250+ languages are indigenous languages spoken by members of Mexico’s indigenous community. Not a single one of these languages is known as "Mexican" as many of them are vastly different from one another and none have any kind of association with the politics, government or culture of Mexico as a whole.

    Mexicans speak a fairly strong dialect of Spanish. A dialect is a form of a language that can be understood by most speakers of another dialect of the same language. If you were fluent in the Spanish of any other country in the world, you would have no trouble understanding Mexican Spanish. There is a much greater difference between Spanish of Spain and Mexican Spanish than there is between American English and British English, but there is still no debate that they are both the same language.

    The only challenges to this are presented not by linguists or scholars of the Spanish language, but by nationalistic Mexicans with politically charged motives. They wish to claim their dialect of Spanish as their own language, just as some Belgian speakers of Dutch wish to claim their dialect of Dutch as the "Flemish language." The argument is about politics, not linguistics. Anyone with any knowledge of the Spanish language outside of Mexico would laugh at these ridiculous claims, just as we ridicule people who think we speak the "American language."

    Mikhail
  11. haha well im mexican and i hear this all the time….technically no its not another language, its just spoken a bit different, trust me i can tell the difference between mex people from other latin countries so

    Karen

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