Voy a Guatemala en junio...
...and I just want to know if I should bother learning to use "vos?" This Duolingo grammar article, https://www.duolingo.com/comment/24109329, indicates "vos" is used in a number of Latin American countries, including Guatemala. Duolingo's Spanish course doesn't teach "vos" at all. Would it be better for me to just address people with Usted and tú?
I'm going to Guatemala to do volunteer work and I'll be staying in the same area (a village located near Lago Petén Itza) for a few weeks. I'll probably have to interact with the locals (mostly women and probably their children), and as far as I've been told most of them don't speak English or maybe a few words at best. My knowledge of Spanish is also basic (I'm trying to get all the crown levels in my Spanish tree to at least a level 3, but I wonder if this is a good strategy?) so communication is going to be interesting.
Are there any native Guatemalan Spanish speakers out there who can tell me some things I should be aware of, when it comes to communicating with the locals?
Thanks for your advice/help!
I went to Guatemala. you will do great with duolingo Spanish. you may hear people respond with y vos in place of y tu but there uses are so similar just use tú and be aware that vos exists and you will be fine. The Guatemalan Spanish is very clear and easy to understand. There are many people that speak Spanish as a second language after the many variants of the mayan languages (of which are very cool). There are different types of voseo (use of vos) from what i have read. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voseo here is a link if you want an in depth description. Enjoy Guatemala is truly one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Use Usted as first approach and wait until to the other person switches to vos or tú (this behavior is useful in all countries). I'm not familiar with Guatemalan Spanish (part of Central American Spanish) but according my readings, there are differences between men and women speech. It seems like tuteo is more accepted or preferred when you are a woman.
Duolingo teaches a soft version of Mexican Spanish and Guatemalan is very similar, excepting voseo. So, this course should be very useful.
¡Que tengas buen viaje y que tu trabajo sea muy provechoso para la gente!
¡Muchas gracias! Voy con un amigo de la familia que ha estado yendo allí por lo menos 10 años, aproximadamente dos veces al año. Ella trabaja principalmente con las mujeres como parte del programa de autosuficiencia de las mujeres. Realmente espero ayudarla a ayudarlos. (via Google Translate)