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https://www.duolingo.com/deannahalenkamp

Latin American Spanish & European Spanish

I'm having some trouble understanding the differences between Latin American Spanish and European Spanish. If someone learns Latin American Spanish, will they be understood in Spain? Which Spanish is Duolingo teaching me now? Wow, I'm confused. If anyone could help me out, it would be much appreciated!

3 years ago

44 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/volcidash
volcidash
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Spain's Spanish: uses vosotros instead of ustedes, pronounces "ce" like "the," uses some different words. If you use Latin American Spanish (do know that this isn't really the way to put it, because Latin America spans across two continents and has many diverse countries and versions of Spanish) in Spain, you'll be understood, but they will correct you on some things and act all high and mighty about it.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/no.name.42
no.name.42
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It's not that they use "vosotros" instead of "ustedes." They use "vosotros" as an informal form of "ustedes."

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/deannahalenkamp

Do the verb endings change for vosotros?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/no.name.42
no.name.42
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Yes, you can see the conjugations here.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/deannahalenkamp

Thank you for the help! I really appreciate it.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/deannahalenkamp

Alright, interesting. Thank you!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/___Alejandro
___Alejandro
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American Spanish and European Spanish are mutually intelligible. As a Mexican Spanish speaker, I never had trouble understanding spaniards. The differences between them are similar to those between American English and European English. Not big deal.

As J.R.Nogal already pointed out, the main differences are 1) vocabulary, 2) accent and 3) some small differences in personal pronouns.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/deannahalenkamp

Really? I've heard many people claim that it's extremely difficult (with some of the changes in the vocabulary). But that's very good to hear! Thanks.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rspreng

The two are 98% the same. Fretting over the difference is like me, as a USA citizen, thinking I cannot go to Canada or Australia for fear of not being able to communicate. The issue is not whether one learns Latin American or Peninsular Spanish, bit how well one knows Spanish! ;) I have learned my Spanish in the USA, Argentina, and Mexico, and the problems I have with European Spanish are very rarely related to a 'vosotros' or vocabulary issue.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/deannahalenkamp

Oh gosh, thank you so much! I feel so much better about this now!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rspreng

Yep. Just learn Spanish! Some folks here on Duo get caught in trivialities. ;)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/deannahalenkamp

Yes, I've started to notice! Thank you so much for the advice.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/avanade
avanade
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Hola! Spanish taught in Duolingo is, strictly speaking, of Latin America or Europe? Can anyone please confirm, tell? I am so curious. ;D

Also if one is taking DELE exam, which is designed by Spain, it might be an issue if one is armed with Latin American Spanish only, perhaps?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/superdaisy

Any country you go to is going to have some differences in vocabulary. Maybe just brush up on differences before you travel?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/deannahalenkamp

Yes, that's what I'm going to try :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ward79
Ward79
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I speak Spanish and there aren't many differences between European & American Spanish... and here Duolingo is teaching you American Spanish:)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/deannahalenkamp

Thanks so much! I was hoping to learn European, but if I can be understood there - that's what matters. Thank you!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pseudocreobotra

There are some other resources that you can use to learn European Spanish =) I use Duolingo too despite not really being interested in L.A. Spanish as it's quite good for drilling the basics.

But it's always better to supplement it with some other resources... And you can use those resources to get familiar with European Spanish. For example, I like https://www.lingualia.com/ and http://www.vocabulix.com/. Those are also waaay stricter regarding your spelling... Which is good IMO.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/deannahalenkamp

Oh my gosh, thank you so much for the help! I really appreciate it! I'll definitely check those links out.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/J.R.Nogal
J.R.Nogal
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It is Latin American Spanish. There are some differences between Latin American Spanish and European Spanish , in lexicon, accent, and in the second- person plural (In Latin American the second-person plural pronoun is 'ustedes', and the endings are '-an, -en, -on'; and in Spain the pronoun is 'Vosotros' and the endings are -ais -eis -ois'.

Examples:

Latin American
Ustedes son altos
Ustedes van a la Universidad.
Ustedes comen ensalada.
Una camiseta (a T-shirt).
Un camaron (a shrimp).

Spain
Vosotros sois altos.
Vosotros vais a la Universidad.
Vosotros comeis ensalada.
Una remera (a T-shirt).
Una gamba (a shrimp).

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lizsue
lizsue
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In Latin American Spanish, Ustedes is both the plural of Usted and the plural of tú.

In European Spanish, Ustedes is still the plural of Usted but vosotros is the plural of tú.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rspreng

In parts of Mexico a T-shirt is a 'playera' and a jacket is a chamarra, not a chaqueta. There are at least eight different words for soda straw. An important issue is use of the verb 'coger.' ;)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/filipmc
filipmc
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Are you sure you did not mean to write "second person"?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/J.R.Nogal
J.R.Nogal
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You are right

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/no.name.42
no.name.42
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"Vosotros" is the second person plural, not third person.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/J.R.Nogal
J.R.Nogal
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You are right

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/deannahalenkamp

This helps so much. Thank you!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jgstcd
jgstcd
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One thing to keep in mind is that people often use the words European or Peninsular Spanish to refer to Castilian Spanish, but much of Spain doesn't speak that dialect. The dialect in Andalucia, for example, is quite distinct. In pronunciation it has a lot of similarities with many Latin American dialects, which is not surprising because a lot of the Spaniards who settled in Latin America were from Andalucia.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/deannahalenkamp

Alright, interesting. Thanks so much!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gigglethorpe

If you want to see what European Spanish looks like, take a look at works translated from English. When I read Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofal, I saw vosotros everywhere! Everyone talks like Spaniards in Pokemon X too. (If you're interested in video games, you can select Spanish, Italian, German, French, Korean, and Japanese when starting a new file in Pokemon X and Y, and I think Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire have that feature too).

From my limited experience with Spanish, the differences are comparable to those between American and British English. The standard TV Mexican and Venezuelan accents are easy to understand, and the TV Argentine accent takes a few minutes of adjustment. Colombians seem to talk faster if Yo Soy Betty la Fea is any indication.

Read Mafalda if you want to see what Argentine Spanish looks like. :)

Duolingo is mainly based on Latin American dialects. It gives you some leeway for dialect variations.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/deannahalenkamp

Thank you so much! This was extremely helpful. I'll probably check out Mafalda sometime.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/no.name.42
no.name.42
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Probably the biggest difference is that in Spain they pronounce "C"s before "I"s and "E"s as well as "Z"s like "TH" instead of "S." They also use a few different words and the pronoun "vosotros".

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/deannahalenkamp

Yes, that's what I've been learning so far. I'm very glad to hear that there isn't too much of a difference!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Qadain
Qadain
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There are also variations within Latin American Spanish (Cuban, Mexican, Mountain, Rioplatense, etc.) and European Spanish (north, south, and islands) as well. And of course each region has their own slang, just like each English-speaking country has their own. Duolingo teaches a pretty generic one.

For an example of how differently people in different regions can talk, you can try watching Destinos, the series that Spanish learners in school watch. There are episodes set in Spain, Argentina, Puerto Rico, and Mexico that

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/deannahalenkamp

Yes I've heard! It makes it somewhat confusing, no? Thank you so much for the advice - the series thing sounds interesting. I'll definitely check that out!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/liootas

Just like in English: there are variations within North American English (Canadian, American, etc.) and British (Irish, Scottish, Welsh English, etc.). However, Americans still understand Australians and vice versa. :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/deannahalenkamp

Yes, thanks! I'll try to learn a little bit from each, then :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lisajanea

I think it is like comparing US english to England english to Australian english, we all understand each other but there are words and phrases each country uses that others don't and we all have a slightly different accent. It sometimes takes people a while to understand the different accent and you ask what a few words are but the generally concept is the same and most words can be worked out in context :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/deannahalenkamp

Yes, so far that's what everyone has said! I'm glad there's not too much of a difference! Thank you so much.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pabos95
pabos95
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Duo can help you for a trip to spain, just take note that you will hear, for example, the word Gracias pronounced as Grathias instead of grasias. What changes is mostly some vocabulary, for example they say piso instead of apartamento and ordenador instead of computador. But probably even if you use latin american vocabulary they will unterstand, except in the case of very informal words.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/deannahalenkamp

Thanks so much! I'm very glad to hear this.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/m.tastic
m.tastic
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Don't forget Argentinean Spanish! "Vos" is used there instead of "tú".

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/deannahalenkamp

really? Well, that's very interesting!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gigglethorpe

You'll see "voseo" if you read Mafalda. :)

EDIT: "Vos"is conjugated slightly differently from "tú" in the present indicative (and the command form based on it).

Examples:

Vos hablás=You speak

Vos comés=You eat

Vos escribís=You write

Verbs don't change their stems in voseo. Instead of "tú tienes", Mafalda would say "vos tenés". See also "¡Decíme!", which replaces "¡Dime!

3 years ago