What is the difference between Origional Spanish and Spanish (Latin American)?

I have the choice to learn between Spanish (Spanish) and Spanish (Latin American). What is the difference between the two languages? I know that Latin American means the southern countries in South America (e.g. Argentina, Brazil) but whats the diference between the LANGUAGES.

Thanks.

6 Comments

  1. In Spanish there are lots of differences. Latin Spanish is the Spanish talked in America, it includes Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Argentina, Bolivia, etc. And between them are also notorious differences (mostly on slang’s, but also in the way some words are spelled). For example, in Mexico you would say "Cubeta", in Argentina, "Tacho" or "Balde" while in English it’s "Tray".
    However in Spain Spanish the most significative thing is the strong pronunciation of words with "z", in Latin America, the "z" sounds more like "s" and not that strong. Also the Spain Spanish "ll" in Latin America sounds more like a "y" wich shounds like "sh" in English. However, the basic rules for language construction between Spain Spanish and Latin Spanish are the same. I would recommend you to learn any and check the book "Diccionario Panhispánico de Dudas" that holds most differences bettween all the Spanish versions out there.

    Gustavo Z
  2. In Spain Spanish, there are certain differences in words used (i.e. "vosotros" rather than "ustedes"), use of "le", and other differences in pronunciation (do not omit "s" and "r" at the end of words, like Latin American Spanish does). Also, Brazilians do not speak Spanish, but Portuguese, and not only South America speaks Spanish (Mexico and Central America, as well as Cuba and the Dominican Republic, speak it as well)

    Jonas Rand
  3. First of all, Latin American, as you’re referring to, includes all Spanish speaking countries in “Las Américas” (including the Caribbean, eg. Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico). However, since Latin America also includes other Latin language speaking countries like e.g Brazil, where they speak Portuguese, at least in Spanish the term is “hispanoamérica” – referring to only the Spanish speaking countries “over there”.

    All Spanish speaking countries in Americas have their own accent and some own/local “twist” on, or variation of certain Spanish words; this is due to various influences over the years from indigenous languages among other. In general, phonetically the languages (similarities and differences) are divided into the following dialect areas: 1) Spain (but excluding the Andalucia region in the South). 2) Andalucia, the Canary Islands and also the coastal areas in “Americas”. 3) The interior of “Americas”. This means for instance that parts of Spain and parts of America have very similar accents. Countries like Cuba and Dom. Republic are coastal, as we know, so their Spanish is similar and also harder to understand, just like in the region of Andalucia in Spain. (They speak quite “sloppy” seemingly ;-).

    In Spain, on a phonetic level, in most parts they have a phenomenon called “ceceo”, causing them to lisp when pronouncing the sounds: Ci, ce. That’s why most Spanish say “cinco” (five) with a lisping sound, while an Am. Spanish/ Lat. Am. speaking person doesn’t. Also, in Spain they have something called “sibilante”, meaning a “whistling” sound when pronouncing “s” after vocal…. This is very characteristic of Spanish in Spain, and you will notice it quite quickly. There are of course many other differences here…but….
    When it comes to the lexicology/ the words, there are also differences. Common ones are:
    Car: Coche (spain) vs Carro (Am.), Apartment: Pisa (spain) vs Apartamento (Am), Potato: Patatas (spain) vs Papas (Am). And there are so many more….generally Am. Spanish has a much greater English influence on their Spanish, as you see in the “Apartamento” example.

    I would say, from own experience that they speak much faster in Spain then in Am. (excluding Caribbean region where they also tend to do so…). Hope this was at least a bit informative; the point is that the answer to your question is actually part of a subject study you can study for many years at the University, …hehehe. Depending on your previous experience with Spanish, I don’t think it matters what you learn – it’s still Spanish/Castellano (which is the same thing) 😉

    Elisa

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