What are we learning here? Spanish or Latin American?
I think it is Latin American Spanish, which makes sense as this is an American website. I am brushing up my disused Spanish from school, in the UK we learn European (Castillian) Spanish and I have noticed a couple of differences in vocabulary - "jugo" for fruit juice first jumped out at me as I'd never heard it before, I learned "zumo" which is accepted as an alternative answer. Also "papa" = "patata". It seems the system will accept European Spanish as alternative answers but presents Latin American Spanish. It would be a useful feature to be able to choose between the two.
There are similar differences between British and American English. We can definitely understand each other but there are some words which might be confusing or raise an eyebrow - in British English "fag" means cigarette, for example. There are lots of regional variations of English within the UK too, if I find people from 50 miles away using words I am completely unfamiliar with it's not surprising to find differences halfway across the globe. It's one of the joys of language learning. :)
DarcyHart, in a lot of Central and South American countries, the "vos" form is used as the second person familiar... just to help confuse you even further!
I asked myself the same question! I'd say it's more south american-spanish. They don't even teach us the "vosotros" person in verbs, because in south america they rather use "ustedes". I wanna learn vosotros too!!!
@pianofish, I'm English too!
So, do we agree that Latin American and Spanish do not impair each other? And if you start with one you can finish with the other? Basically I want to learn Spain Spanish, can I carry on with duolingo then tie loose ends together with Spain Spanish down the road?
@DarcyHart: Latin American Spanish and Peninsular Spanish are the same (grammar-wise, with some regional variations--there are variations even in different parts of Spain).
As Spanish is spoken in more than 20 countries, you are bound to find differences in vocabulary. Even between Latin American countries, there are wide differences in vocabulary. For example, in most of South America the verb "coger" is very vulgar (it is akin to the English F-word). But in other countries (like in the Caribbean and on the Peninsula, "coger" means "to take").
I think this website will help you learn Spanish for use in Spain. I'd only recommend finding material on the conjugation of "vosotros" as it's commonly used in Spain (although "ustedes" as an alternative is understood). I only recommend it so that you are not lost when you encounter it being used.
Also acquaint yourself with some of the regional vocabulary words used in Spain (although again, it's not a real big issue since most Spanish speakers are aware of the differences from other countries). Native Spanish speakers always have encounters with different vocabulary words and it's often used as a conversation starter to talk about the differences from other countries.
My understanding is that most of the basics of Spanish are the same, and it's only newer or informal words that are regional. But it still adds a nice learning curve to studying Spanish... I thought Usted was formal but Tu was informal, in both countries?