What is the major difference between European Spanish and Latin American Spanish?

I’ve always wondered this…I have heard that it is sometimes difficult to understand each other why is this, or is this true? Thank you/gracias šŸ™‚

8 Comments

  1. The major difference perhaps is not phonetic but in attitude: Latin Americans tend to be more "cursi," Spaniards more in your face. If you say "gracias" to a Spanish shop assistant for merely doing his job, he will think you are being ironic. Or compare a headline such as "Llegaron el Presidente y su mujer" which would appear transatlantic as "Llegaron el SeƱor Presidente de la RepĆŗblica y su seƱora esposa."
    Otherwise the Spanish of the High Andes is pretty close to the Peninsular norm, except for universal "seseo" (s for z–and hence, cosinar for cocer), and almost universal "yeĆ­mso" (y for ll), the replacement of "vosotros" by "ustedes", and distinguishing "le" from "lo" by case, not gender (e.g "lo conozco" for "le conozco"). There are of course considerable vocabulary differences. "Bus" translates differently in every Hispanophone country (camiĆ³n, busito, micro, coletivo, gĆ³ndola, autobus, guagua…), Peninsular "coche" becomes "carro." "Coger" is an obscenity from Bolivia southwards. The computer "ratĆ³n" is americanised as "el mouse" transatlantic.
    Platine Spanish uses "Vos" for "tu" (also found in Central America) and gives LL the sound of English J: cual es su apedzhido?.
    The Spanish of the Caribbean Sea and surrounding "Main" suffers from severe consonantal deprivation. Intervocalic D vanishes. S does too before another consonant and when word final. Portoricans are notoriously unable to tell L from R.
    Mexican Spanish is exceptional in weakening J into an almost English H: marihuana, MƩhico, and in calling the language "espaƱol" instead of "castellano."

    Laurence
  2. The MAJOR differences are:

    (1) the pronunciation of the letters z and c
    (2) the use of "ustedes" in Latin America versus "vosotros" in Spain.

    There are other MINOR differences – such as different vocabulary – but these differences occur just as frequently between different areas of Latin America as between Spain and Latin America.

    Native Spanish speakers from Spain and the various parts of Latin America have no particular difficulties in understanding each other any more than Americans and Britons do.

    GrahamH
  3. Spaniards actually speek a number of languages. Aside from spanish, different regions may speak Aranese, Basque, Catalan/Valencian or Galician. If this is not the problem, It’s likely an issue of dialect.

    Sax
  4. Its like American/Canadian and British English…….SOmetimes the pronounciation is different (Such as how Spain spanish pronounces the Z like "th", while latin america tends to use an "S" sound).

    Another difference, which is common among all languages, is the terms and colloquial (slang) terms used in every country, Such as how in America, people dont tend to say "Bloody Hell" while in Britain, its very common. The word "Chevere" (meaning cool) is such an example, only a few south american countries use it, while others (such as Mexico and Spain) do not use it as much.

    There are also language blends that are more common in some areas than others. Such an example is th eintroduction of the words "cool" "gay" and "O.K." . These are English words, but are highly used by the younger crowds in Mexico and South america (however, very little in Europe).

    Finally, the last major difference is the use of the formal tense. That is the "Vosotros" conjugations.
    Example::

    South American= Sus projectos son muy bellos. Corren al colegio?
    Spain= Vos projectos son muy bellos. Correis a la escuela?

    Both these phrases mean the same, however, the second is MUCH more formal and rarely used outside of Spain.

    leoster_man
  5. They are the same language, but they have differences obviously, is just like if I ask what is the difference between American English and British English. And yes, sometimes it’s a little difficult to understand when I hear someone from Spain talking because I am mexican, also I can say the same when I hear someone from South America talking. That’s pretty normal. You don’t speak like a british person don’t you?

    Sick&Sad World
  6. The only difference between Spanish from europe and the others ,is that, the others are a lazy variation of the original.
    The others, sounds especially boring. Me, personally hate the time south american people need to express every little thing.
    The last thing i want to remark is that Latin people use to think that their accent is cool.
    An advice to all of you: Spanish=Spain, English=Britain, French=France, etc.

    Spaniard in works

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