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What difference between European and South American Spanish ?Which does Duolingo use ?

3 years ago

11 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/AndrewMalmsteen
AndrewMalmsteen
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here in latin america there are a lot of accents and in spain too (that's the difference) and we have also different words in each country but you can speak spanish with american accent and people will understand you, that's not a problem :D

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/beadspitter

I have the impression that one of the main ways they're different is that Spanish-from-Spain uses 'vosotros' and that Latin American Spanish doesn't. But in fact, I'm not sure either part of that statement is a valid generalization. I only know that DL doesn't teach vosotros, and most Spanish-learning platforms I've come across seem to consider it optional.

The nice thing there is that 'ustedes' is more polite, so you're not going to offend any group of people if you haven't learned vosotros and address them as ustedes instead.

The rest that I'm aware of are regional differences that could as easily be differences between two Latin American countries as between Spain and a Latin American country - some different vocabulary, some different habits of speech, from pronunciation to how serious different swear words are, etc. What you learn for Honduras won't agree in every detail with what you learn for Peru, or Puerto Rico. What you learn for Mexico won't agree in every detail with what you learn for Spain. But it's all manageable and mutually comprehensible (except maybe for the swearing....).

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ilmarien
Ilmarien
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You generally use "vosotros" in Spain instead of "ustedes." (Ustedes is still used in formal speech, but Spain is pretty informal in general.)

Z and C before an I or an E are pronounced as a TH in most of Spain (not always in the south, but Andaluz Spanish is kind of its own thing anyway), and as an S in Latin America.

I believe Spain is even more into reflexive verbs than elsewhere, so you'll see stuff like "se me olvida" instead of "olvido." I'm not sure how common that is in Latin America but I have definitely seen it in European Spanish. Also other minor grammatical quirks (not sure if "a por" is used elsewhere), some vocabulary differences (ordenador, coger, molar, etc.), and a terrifying amount of slang. But slang is far from universal across Latin America either.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/solidgitarius
solidgitarius
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I believe Spain is even more into reflexive verbs than elsewhere, so you'll see stuff like "se me olvida" instead of "olvido."

That's not something unique of Spain. For example, there's a famous mexican bolero song known as "Se te olvida", author is Álvaro Carrillo.

Also other minor grammatical quirks (not sure if "a por" is used elsewhere),

Yes, "a por" is not that common outside of Spain. See here.

some vocabulary differences (ordenador, coger, molar, etc.)

Coger is a word known everywhere people speak Spanish, it's just that some people give it additional sexual connotations. Molar is slang from Spain.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tamuna10
Tamuna10
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It's not a great difference. Duolingo uses South American one. Either way, if you speak with Spanish people with Spanish you learned on Duolingo they will still understand, and you will understand them too.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/truelefty
truelefty
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It's not really different, but it is different.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tamuna10
Tamuna10
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Yeah, sure :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BrookeLorren
BrookeLorren
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I'm not so sure about that. When I went to Spain, they couldn't understand the most basic of questions, such as "¿Dónde está la base naval?" They looked at me like I had two heads when I said that.

It wasn't until the day I left Spain that I realized what I was doing wrong...

I was at the airport, and I asked one of the airport workers "Donde es Jaurez?" Which was one of the cities that the airport went to.

Again, I got the look like I had two heads.

Then, a lightbulb went on in the airport worker's head. Oh... "Donde es JUARETH" she said to me. Then she told me where the gate was.

It really doesn't take all that long to learn the accent... but if I was to take a trip to Spain, I would listen to some actual Spaniards speaking before I left, if I hadn't done so before. It makes a difference.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tamuna10
Tamuna10
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Yeah I agree, accents are really different. I took up Spanish accent by listening to Spanish film dubbing, because Duolingo teaches South American accent and I liked Spanish more

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rafa1001el

My english is basic, the difference is small, colloquialisms, the most used is of south america because there is more population

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cyneburg
Cyneburg
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Someone mentioned swearing is different in Latin America and Spain and that's definitely true. I've learned on my Spanish learning journey, swearing in Spain is more relaxed than in Latin America. For example de puta madre in Spain pretty much means awesome. Like someone can ask you como estas and you can reply estoy de puta madre and it's not considered vulgar or wrong, you're just saying I'm fantastic. In Latin America its totally wrong to respond with de puta madre as a personal status.Its just a straight insult in Latin America.

Another thing I've noticed is Latin American's like to say things the long way around and in Spain they like to get straight to the point. Latin Americans tend to be more formal, the Spanish tend to be more relaxed and that's reflected in using tú more and vosotros.

Duolingo uses a kind of generic Latin American Spanish but there are words that they've added that one can use. I learned for sandwich bocadillo but dl likes to use emparedado. But you can use either in dl and its considered right. With the kind of Spanish dl teaches, it won't be hard for people to understand you at all.

3 years ago