Spanish in Spain and Spanish in Latin America vary slightly as
the languages have evolved since the colonization of the Americas.
The most obvious influence is the use of indigenous words in Latin
America and differing pronunciation.
Find out more about Spanish courses in
Spain and Latin America!
In Spain, the North Castilian dialect is generally considered
to be the standard variety. In Latin America as diverse countries
as Mexico, Colombia, Peru or Bolivia have their own regional dialects
but share one standard variety also known as "High Land Spanish".
Castilian Spanish vs. Latin American standards
- Pronunciation of ci and ce as th. In Madrid,
gracias sounds like "gratheas" while most Latin Americans would
pronounce it more like "gra-see-as"
- In Latin America pronunciation stresses every letter and features
strong r sounds
- Vocabulary was influenced by the indigenous population
- Compared to other regions of Latin America, Argentine and parts
of Uruguay have been strongly influenced by Italian. In Buenos
Aires vos is used to refer to second language singular
instead of tú. (That is comparable to a - nonexistent -
English region using thou insteat of you. The letter
ll is pronounced as j rather than y.
Is this a problem for learning Spanish?
We are talking about standard varieties, not regional dialects.
Dialects and slang can be strong and difficult to understand, no
matter where you are going. However, standard varieties are hardly
ever mutually incomprehensible and are all totally acceptable in
official context and examinations!
In all recommended language schools you are taught standard Spanish.
Acquiring some local slang and dialectal vocabulary is fun and adds
excitement to your Spanish learning experience. However, your main
activities will be centered around standard Spanish!