[SOLVED] [OPEN DISCUSSION] Castilian vs Latin American Spanish

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Misafir
Pending moderation

Hello,

I was wondering what are the vocabulary differences between Castilian and Latin American Spanish?

And, if anyone can give me a link to a Castilian dictionary or a Castilian slang dictionary, that would be great.

Thank you!

Moderator of Romance Languages
Üyelik: 31.03.2012

There's a dictionary for Castilian here if you need it.

There's also a couple of articles about the differences in the following:
http://blog.esl-languages.com/blog/destinations-worldwide/latin-america/...
http://lingualinx.com/blog/spanish-dialects/
http://www.infoplease.com/spot/hhmaccents1.html

I wouldn't be able to explain very clearly except for the difference in pronunciation, grammar and pronouns. It's sort of how English spoken in the US and English spoken in the UK can be mutually understood but there's a difference between them (pronunciation, grammar, pronouns etc.)

I'm probably the last person who should be saying anything about this, since I speak Latin American Spanish. There's a couple of active members on this site who would be more fitted to answer your question, sorry!

Misafir

It's no problem. Thanks for the links Regular smile

Misafir

Phantasmagoria provided great links.

I didn't found a dictionary of Castilian Slang who was also in English, but I think this could help:

http://www.wikilengua.org/index.php/Jerga_juvenil/Espa%C3%B1a

Misafir

Thank you very much for your help, Nestre.

Aɴɴɪɴɢᴀɴ & Mᴀʟɪɴᴀ
Üyelik: 10.05.2012

Spain conquered South America in the XVI century after its discovery. In America people have learnt the language of their colonisers, but because of the distance and the slow loss of this big Empire, American Spanish and Castilian Spanish developed differently:
-American Spanish simplified the sound of the C from /θ/ to /s/ (this is known as seseo) and kept some words which are now considered ancient in Spain. Plus American Spanish was influenced by the aboriginal languages of South America which provided words for things that didn't exist in Europe.
-European Spanish is very conservative and didn't accept words from other languages like American Spanish did (especially from English), so it needed to create new words for things that in American Spanish were expressed with foreign words.

I hope I've answered to your question

Misafir

Thank you for the history, but I was thinking more specific linguistic differences.

Aɴɴɪɴɢᴀɴ & Mᴀʟɪɴᴀ
Üyelik: 10.05.2012

It's hard to answer because even among American countries the words differ. I can quote some differences though:
-Coger (to take in Castilian, to fuck in Latin America)
-Plátano (banana in Castilian, the fruit of the Musa Acuminata in Latin America)
-Móvil (mobile phone in Castilian)
-Celular (mobile phone in Latin America)
-Ordenador (computer in Castilian)
-Computadora (computer in Latin America)
-Pluma (pen in Latin America)
-Bolígrafo (pen in Castilian)
-Garaje (garage in Castilian)
-Garage (garage in Latin America)

As you can see most differencies concerns only the most familiar words, the real difference is phonetics, but still a Spaniard can understand a person from Latina America and vice versa (most of the times).

Misafir

I see. The examples are very helpful (including the vulgar ones). Thank you so much!

Aɴɴɪɴɢᴀɴ & Mᴀʟɪɴᴀ
Üyelik: 10.05.2012

I forgot to mention autobús (bus in Spain) and guagua (in Cuba) or colectivo (in Argentina) ahah

Moderator / hippie-abraça-árvore
Üyelik: 30.04.2014

... but in Chile or Peru "guagua" means "baby" not autobus...

A special form of Spanish is Rioplatense spoken in Argentina and Uruguay where they use "vos" instead of "tú".
Also in this region (Rio de la Plata) they use a slang called "Lunfardo".

Moderator / hippie-abraça-árvore
Üyelik: 30.04.2014

I learned Spanish in Latin America and what confuses me most in the European Spanish is the verb conjugations for 2. person plural. In Latin America they don't use "vosotros", they always use "ustedes", even among friends.
So instead of "Vosotros queréis?" it's "Ustedes quieren?"

All this -éis and -áis in European Spanish sound really weird to me...

Junior Member
Üyelik: 09.06.2016

Hi,

The linguistic differences between LA Spanish and Castillian are in vocabulary and conjugation of verbs. There are also some differences in the use of tenses.

But this happens within all Latin America, even when we have the same language, there are several differences from region to region.

I think, it would be better if you focus on one specific dialect from Spanish (Mexican, Peruvian, Argentinean, etc) to know the differences or to compare it to Castillian.

Regular smile

Misafir

Well, actually, I want to learn Castilian but I wanted to make sure that I don't use Latin American slang with a Castilian accent.

Junior Member
Üyelik: 09.06.2016

I see.
Are you moving to Spain to learn?
And yes, there are differences in accents, buut you can learn from videos in youtube, series and movies. That's how I learnt Teeth smile
Abt slangs, yes, I am pretty sure there are lots of differences in slangs, as they are based on cultural contexts.

Moderator
Üyelik: 15.02.2013

Nestre, I thought she was asking about the language, not the slang!

Misafir

I'm asking about both. I just wanted to know if someone could specifically explain some of the differences between the dialects, as shown in the vocabulary written and links given above.

Moderator
Üyelik: 15.02.2013

Castillian and Spanish are the same thing: Spanish.
When 'Queen Isabel de Castilla', completed the "Reconquista" at the end of the XV century, her language had grown and extended through the peninsula. Since Spain was then unified, the language, now national, was, eventualy called Spanish. Then, the same language was carried to 'Las Américas".
Now a days, the differences in the spoken language between Spain and Hispano America, are mostly in pronunciation. Number one:
ce - ci, in Spain --> se, si, in Hispano America
za - zo - zu, in Spain --> sa - so - su, en Hispano America.

In Grammar, the most important one is the fact that, in Hispano America, the familiar form 'vosotros', in the verbs, it's not used. It goes like this:
Spain -
Singular Plural
Yo Nosotros
Tú - usted Vosotros - ustedes
él - ella Ellos - ellas

Hispano América
Singular Plural
Yo Nosotros
Tú - usted Ustedes
él - ella Ellos - ellas
These are the pronouns. The thing is that, with the formal "usted/ustedes", the verb is used in third person (not second), and the language, naturally, sounds different.
Aside from this, there are linguistic differences, as it happens within Spain itself, among the different Hispanic countries, or any other country in the world.

The dictionary I use for translations English-Spanish/Spanish-English, is "Diccionario Internacional Simon and Schuster".
There, if there is a difference in the meaning, or use, of a word, in any Hispanic country, it is explained.
And my Spanish dictionary is: 'Diccionario de la Lengua Española'. (International)

Note: I am Castillian, geographycally speaking, and I always say "I speak SPANISH"

Moderator
Üyelik: 15.02.2013

Maluca,
for those who use -áis and -éis, "utedes hablan, ustedes quieren" sounds weird when talking to a friend.

Another weird thing is to call Spanish "European Spanish". (?)
When I lived in South America, everybody spoke Spanish. I spoke Spanish. They callad their language, Spanish, and I called mine Spanish, as well.

Misafir
labellerose wrote:

Well, actually, I want to learn Castilian but I wanted to make sure that I don't use Latin American slang with a Castilian accent.

Well, Castilian Spanish is so varied that only not using "tú" (you) and some words give away that the person is talking Latin American. I think that the main words are coche/carro (car), falda/pollera (skirt), ordenador/computadora (computer), querer/amar (to love), ponerse de pie/pararse (to stand up), alquilar/rentar (to rent), piña/ananás (pineapple).

There is a list quite complete here:

https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anexo:Diferencias_de_vocabulario_est%C3%A1...

SYDNEY LOVER wrote:

-American Spanish simplified the sound of the C from /θ/ to /s/ (this is known as seseo)

roster 31 wrote:

ce - ci, in Spain --> se, si, in Hispano America
za - zo - zu, in Spain --> sa - so - su, en Hispano America.

But in Spain, Andalusia, Extremadura and the Canary Islands which are roughly 1/5 of the population they also talk like this. The "seseo" is dialectal in Castilian Spanish.

In fact Latin American pronounce like this because they received a lot of people from Andalusia and the Canary Islands.

roster 31 wrote:

Note: I am Castillian, geographycally speaking, and I always say "I speak SPANISH"

Yes, people in Spain only say Castilian if they live in a part where there is a second official language (Catalonia, Basque Country...) and sometimes for political reasons.

Misafir

Thanks!

Moderator
Üyelik: 15.02.2013

Yes, Nestre, you are right: After the 'descubrimiento" and during the 'conquista', most Spaniards In America were from the South, where they 'sesean'. Later on in history, the North emigrated. Cuba was for them "The promised land".

Moderator
Üyelik: 15.02.2013

Labellerose,
The difference in words, may be understood here and there but, the 'slang' is very particular, and you can't pick up slang in Mexico, for instance, to use it in Ecuador.
Stick to the language that, in spite of the possible differences, it will be understood.

Moderator of Romance Languages
Üyelik: 31.03.2012

I would probably stay away from the slang spoken in Mexico and or the way they use Spanish. The Spanish spoken in the city is what others refer to as "Neutral Spanish" with no accent whatsoever (or is it really?), compared to the heavy accents in the north and south. The slang is a little harder to grasp, especially when words have more than one meaning, and when two or more are put together they create a whole new meaning haha! The slang usually has a story behind it or is a comparative to something that makes no sense in modern times Regular smile Not only that, but English words are now "Spanishized" (made up word) as in, we add an '(i)ar' at the end of English words and it now becomes a Spanish word. This of course applies to a younger generation, but also to Mexican Americans and their Spanglish (that includes me, but I only do this with family and friends and is viewed as immature/unprofessional at my job).
ex:
hangiar - "hang" + "iar"= to hang out with
textiar - "text" + "iar"= to text

Moderator
Üyelik: 15.02.2013

I said Mexico as an example. I could have mentioned any other Spanish speaking country.

Is ia "hangiar"" I would have said "janguear". (?)

Moderator of Romance Languages
Üyelik: 31.03.2012

I didn't say that because of what you said Rosa, I'm saying it because even I have a hard time understanding the Spanish spoken in Mexico sometimes, even worse with the slang (depending on the area/state it is spoken). Mexico is a melting pot too, not everyone is simply 'Mexican' there, indigenous people have influenced the language a lot, and that's what makes us a little different Regular smile

Moderator
Üyelik: 15.02.2013

And the proximity to the United States.

Editor
Üyelik: 08.09.2014

The Spanish I know is Latin American (even if I am able to use Spanish grammar) and, what I might ask might be a little weird, but would the people from Spain somehow "mock" me for the accent? Sure, there are different accents in Latin America: Cuban, Mexican, Colombian, Argentinian and so on... But how do people indigenous to Spain feel about each one of them? Just like, for example, some Brits find the Australian accent funny.

I am simply curious, because, even when I was in Spain, I never really thought of asking that, mainly since I was quite young.

Misafir
Future Dr. Juanita wrote:

The Spanish I know is Latin American (even if I am able to use Spanish grammar) and, what I might ask might be a little weird, but would the people from Spain somehow "mock" me for the accent? Sure, there are different accents in Latin America: Cuban, Mexican, Colombian, Argentinian and so on... But how do people indigenous to Spain feel about each one of them?.

I'm going to talk from my experience and the one from people I personally know:

We don't like movies or TV Programs dubbed in Latin American (as they don't like them dubbed in "gallego") but we don't mock people for their accents. Mainly because most Latin American accents sound quite similar to Andalusian and Canary (specially that last one). A Latin American speaker should expect xenophobia only from those people who also would look in disgust at all the other people that are not from Spain.

But of course we make jokes about Latin American accents. Because we also make them about how people from Madrid, Aragon, Catalonia...

We joke about Argentinians accent, mainly because Argentinian men have a reputation as heartbreakers so we think it's the accent used by someone trying to hit on a girl. We find Cuban accent very sweet and make jokes about their difficulty in pronouncing the "r" ("ay, amol"), but in reality we are joking about the stereotype of Cubans as party-loving people. Mexican accent is joked about because it's incorporating a lot of English words and becoming difficult. We already need a dictionary to understand some reggeaton songs and since a lot of people think it's awful music, someone using that slang could expect a joke like "¡Perrea, perrea!" after saying a normal sentence.

But I think is good that everybody can joke about everything.

Editor
Üyelik: 08.09.2014

That is really helpful, thank you. I have always found Colombian accent to be really soft and I think it's closer to how I speak Spanish. But Castilian sometimes sounds weird to me.

Editor - Sculptor of Language
Üyelik: 11.06.2015
Future Dr. Juanita wrote:

I have always found Colombian accent to be really soft and I think it's closer to how I speak Spanish.

The way they speak in Colombia has a huge difference between the costa and, say, Bogotá.
It is like two different countries.
On the costa it is pure Caribbean, in the highlands it is more like Spanish.

Moderator
Üyelik: 15.02.2013

Hi, Nestre!
I agree with you: we don't mock people for their accents. As you said, there can be personal cases, but not 'country to country' mocking.
The Argentinians are a particular case. Because of their second person "voseo", and the original change in the verbal form ("vos tenés, vos sabés, etc), are exposed to 'friendly mock', but always with good intention and certain sense of humor.

Me llamó la atención que dijeras que los cubanos tienen dificultad en pronunciar la "r" porque, en mi experiencia, son los puertorriqueños los que la cambian a "l".
Lo que hacen los cubanos es evitar el modo condicional, prefieren el imperfecto de subjuntivo, y dicen, por ejemplo, "Si tuviera buena voz, cantara esa habanera". Cuando se trata del verbo 'haber', la forma "habría" no la usan nunca.

El reggeateon, además de vulgar, no hay quien lo entienda. ¡Gracias a Dios!

Misafir
roster 31 wrote:

Me llamó la atención que dijeras que los cubanos tienen dificultad en pronunciar la "r" porque, en mi experiencia, son los puertorriqueños los que la cambian a "l".

Ah, no lo sabía. Como todos los chistes de estereotipos no creo que se preocupe mucho de la exactitud. Además, también lo aplicamos a gente de la República Dominicana.

Vamos, que nos reímos un poco del modo de hablar dulce hasta parecer "pegajoso" que asociamos con la gente que vive en playas caribeñas y monta unas fiestas del copón toda la noche.

Y ahora voy a morirme un poco de envidia imaginando las playas esas....

Editor
Üyelik: 08.09.2014
Nestre wrote:

Y ahora voy a morirme un poco de envidia imaginando las playas esas....

Sí, yo también. Ay...

Moderator
Üyelik: 15.02.2013

Todos ellos en EI Caribe

Misafir

Los argentinos no son los únicos que vosean, pero sí los únicos con ese acento y conjugando el subjuntivo con el tuteo (dicen por ejemplo lo que vos tengas y no lo que vos tengás). ¡O al menos eso creo!
Porque he escuchado algunas cosas en Chile que no sé cómo explicar.

A mí me gusta el punto de vista de que el español es un idioma pluricentral, pero benditas sean la RAE y la Asociación de Academias; creo que ha hecho mucho bien su existencia porque el español, aunque algunos no lo crean así, sigue mucho más unido que el portugués (solo para poner un ejemplo, aunque hay otros), cuyas variantes parecen alejarse más y más con el tiempo.

El español en la unidad que tiene es realmente un caso especial, y eso debería de alegrarnos mucho.

Moderator / hippie-abraça-árvore
Üyelik: 30.04.2014
Editor (and) усталый старик
Üyelik: 11.10.2014

I think the DarlJoshua's statement about American Spanish simplifying /θ/ to /s/ and Spain not doing it is way off historically. In much of Spain seseo is the norm, and strangely enough the areas in which it is the norm include Westen Andalucía (not low-incom low-prestige rural working class, they have ceceo not seseo, but everyone else) and Las Islas Canarias which are the places rather a lot of the people who colonised the Americas came from. I'm not sure what proportion of people in Spain use both /s/ and /θ/ but I think it's less than 60% (but probably not less than 50%) and it's far less than 10% in the areas from which the Americas were mostly colonised. That sure doesn't seem as if the merging of those two phonemes happened only on the Western side of the Atlantic.
I imagine that by the time the Americas got a significant proportion of new immigrants who either had the two distinct phonemes or used /θ/ for s as well as for z and for soft c the local pronunciation was already pretty much fixed.

Editor (and) усталый старик
Üyelik: 11.10.2014

DarkJoshua, no-one who lives in the part of spain where I am calls a guagua an autobús - and there are over 2 million of us in this autonomous community all saying guagua (and here, probably, is where the Cubans got the word from).

Misafir
Quote:

The Spanish I know is Latin American (even if I am able to use Spanish grammar) and, what I might ask might be a little weird, but would the people from Spain somehow "mock" me for the accent?

Regular smile

I'm Latin American, and nobody from Spain has ever made fun of me for not having a Spanish accent.
On the contrary! They have always been respectful, kind, and really lovable. I have really close, good
friends who are from Spain, and it doesn't matter what accent we have or where we were born.

Whether you're going to Latin America or Spain, don't be afraid.

If you should meet someone rude and nasty, realize the sickness comes from that individual person, and never from you.
No one person or group you ever meet can represent a nation.

I have found Spain to be amazing, and I love it.

Moderator
Üyelik: 15.02.2013

I love you, rainymoon, in any language, pero
Ique viva España!

Misafir

Awww, Rosa! How sweet. I love you, too!!!

Misafir

Me pasó algo raro, pero sigo aquí; nada más aparezco como "guest" (ni idea de por qué, qué raro).

Moderator
Üyelik: 15.02.2013

These "thanks" I receive by 'Guest', are they yours?

Junior Member
Üyelik: 19.09.2017

One thing I noticed when I spoke with Spaniards was the different meaning of "quedar" has. I later learned that it meant "to set up a rendez-vous with someone" instead "something that remains after." Also, I noticed extensive use of the words "gracioso/a," and "mola" to mean "endearing" and "cool" respectively. Someone can correct me on the exact definition of these words, but I think they're very cool. One expression I love hearing is "tiene buena pinta" which I've heard from both someone from Andalucia and Barcelona, so I guess it's a country-wide phenomenon.

As far as Latin-shaming is concerned, I don't particularly feel offended whenever foreigners, namely people from the United States, analyze the language for he or her own benefit for sounding like a native. My suggestion is whatever dialect you feel more passionate about, go for it. All the more power to you.

In my country, El Salvador, we have strange words such as "cipote" to mean a little boy or young man, "cachimbear" to mean hit or strike, "embrocar" as a synonym to "guardar" but kind of implies a clutter or "amontonazo." I've noticed also that my mother sometimes uses an outdated "hostigar" which is related to Spanish "hostia" which means a nuisance or annoyance. She also says "entretener" to mean "delay, hold up" sometimes, instead of the original sense of seeking pleasure or enjoyment out of a certain medium such as television or music.

I hope my comments are helpful in sounding like a native in Spanish, no matter where your heart takes you.

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