https://www.duolingo.com/SheilaJohn80172

Is there any way of changing the settings to Castillian (European) Spanish, not American Spanish?

6 months ago

17 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/anomalousjack

Sheila, the answer to your question is 'no', there is no way to switch to Castillian available here. I too would like that option, but as DL is an American company, it seems they have chosen to lean more heavily towards the forms most common in Latin American countries. That means that you will be asked questions with the vocabulary and verb forms most common in these countries, BUT if you give correct answers to those questions using the Castillian, your answers 'should' be accepted. If it's not accepted, you then have the option to report it. At the beginning of the course, these nuances are less noticable, but as you progress, I think you will find the differences between the two become more evident to you, as they did to me. This is so in the case of some grammar, some vocabulary, and some of the audio too.

Therefore, you have a choice to make for going forward. You can do the DL course as it stands and learn the language nuances that are more prevalent in Latin American countries while doing your own research outside of DL to learn the Castillian nuances (yes, it is confusing, and a lot more work, but personally I find this part interesting). Or, you could use another resource. As there are several resources available I've found that allow you to make that choice (Rosetta Stone, Babbel, Busuu etc), further indicates that some noticable differences DO indeed exist between the two. Unfortunately, usually you have to pay for these other courses and so only you can choose the right course based on how important learning European Spanish is to you personally. Good luck.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SheilaJohn80172

Thank you, Jack -- that's really helpful. Although I'm based in Europe, I'm learning Spanish mainly to help me on my travels in South America, so I'll probably carry on with Duolingo for the time being. I'm also interested in the differences between local variants of the language and will certainly report any more inconsistencies I notice.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SheilaJohn80172

Thank you. I appreciate that the resource can't take into account all dialects and accents. However (to give just one example) I was recently marked wrong for suggesting the correct European word "coche" as a translation for "car" (rather than the American "carro"). In the other direction, the program seems to accept European words such as "bill" (for "check"). It's all a bit inconsistent and confusing. It would be good to be able to set the program in one direction or the other. As a Euro-based student, I'd like to know if I'm being fed an American-skewed version of Spanish.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Chilotin
Chilotin
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All dialects are (or they should be) accepted in answers. If you are marked wrong, report it. I've done it and it has been accepted.

By the way, Duolingo doesn't teach American Spanish because it doesn't exist (that it would be like "Non-Australian English"), it teaches a soft version of Mexican Spanish that can be understood everywhere, since Spanish dialects are not so different and speakers have passive knowledge of the rest of main dialects. From your example, "carro" is used in almost all Latin America excepting the Southern Cone and "coche" is used in Spain, Equatorial Guinea and some American countries.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/b05aplmun.ca
b05aplmun.ca
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For what it{s worth, "coche" is already an acceptable translation for "car" in most Spanish sentences. When you find an exception, report it.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SheilaJohn80172

I have reported it, but still get marked wrong each time I use "coche". So I've caved in and use "carro" just to shut the program up!

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LICA98
LICA98
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you mean the standard version of Spanish

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Chilotin
Chilotin
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There is no standard version because there are differences impossible to standardize. Prestige dialect of Spain is based on dialects from Central and Northern Spain that are divergent of common Spanish at some point.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/b05aplmun.ca
b05aplmun.ca
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There is no one "standard" version of Spanish, any more than there is one "standard" version of English.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ignatznkrazy
ignatznkrazy
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Walk into a grocery store in Mexico and ask for melacotones. You will get blank stares. That doesn't seem standard to me.

Even as reactionary as the RAE is, it admits regional usage.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/elizadeux
elizadeux
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If you already know some Spanish and have an intermediate level in reading it, you could try the reverse tree - English for Spanish speakers. The sentence discussions are filled with people from all over the world, including Spain, commenting on how something would be said differently in their own country. I've found it to be quite educational.

Another really good resource is this grammar book. It tells you what is common and accepted (or not) in various parts of the world. https://www.amazon.com/New-Reference-Grammar-Modern-Spanish/dp/1444137697/ref=mt_paperback?_encoding=UTF8&me=

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lindakanga
lindakanga
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On Duolingo, you are correct that the course that is taught here is American Spanish.

Yes, it is one of the dialects of Spanish. As also is Castillian (European) Spanish.

However - if you could assist in creating some posts and resources that help highlight the differences, that help teach Castillian (European) Spanish, they would be greatly welcomed.

Please note, I am not seeking to speak on behalf of Duolingo. And Duolingo, in all my experience with the community in multiple ways supports and encourages the learning of different language dialects.

And I wish to encourage you to share and assist in creating additional resource for this language knowledge, here on Duolingo, or to assist in highlighting other free resources that can assist in this regard.

Another resource you could check out is TinyCards, to create some resources that may assist in this regard.
Also Memrise. You can create your own "decks of cards" to assist in learning other things. And if you search their resources, you may also find some that others have previously created.

As well as other resources on the internet.

Hopefully someone else will come by soon and also suggest some other resources.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Klgregonis
Klgregonis
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You're probably not advanced enough yet to do this easily, but learning Catalan through Spanish will give you a pretty good handle on European Spanish. I found myself having to use a different vocabulary and (very rarely) different grammar to get correct answers in that course. Also, if you're curious about other dialects, learning Guarani through Spanish will give you an idea of Argentinean and Uruguayan Spanish.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Chilotin
Chilotin
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Spanish in Guarani course is Paraguayan Spanish, close to Rioplatense ("Uruguayan + part of Argentinian") but different because of... strong Guarani influence.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Klgregonis
Klgregonis
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Thanks. I wasn't sure exactly what it covered, I just knew it was different. Unfortunately, there are a ton of problems with the Guarani course in general - lots of inconsistencies in what they will accept even for the same word in VERY similar sentences. I sort of gave up on it, too frustrating and no responses to reports at all.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Chilotin
Chilotin
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You're welcome. It is a common belief, even in Argentina and Uruguay, that voseo is only Rioplatense, but it is used in all countries, excepting the islands in the Caribbean Sea (it died in the last century in some parts of Cuba), Spain (it died in the last century in some regions) and Equatorial Guinea (it never arrived).

The Guarani course was abandoned.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SheilaJohn80172

Thanks for your replies. I'll report an inconsistency whenever I notice it. Though, of course, as I get to advanced levels, they'll be more difficult for me to detect!

6 months ago
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