Yesterday I had the chance to chat with a woman from Venezuela who lives part of the year in our little town in Colorado. The moment she realized that I had lived in Mexico, she started speaking Spanish and of course I followed. I immediately admitted that while my pronunciation is far from perfect, I do love to speak Spanish.
Latin American Spanish has many forms, though, and I soon realized that she was dropping the ends of some of her words and doing other things that seemed strange to my ears, being used to Mexican Spanish.
I had no trouble understanding her. When English speakers learn Spanish, we tend to learn either Spanish as spoken in Spain, or a generic Latin American version. But just as we can understand people from England, Scotland, Australia, and New Zealand — sometimes with a few laughs and misunderstandings — chances are that whatever version of Spanish you learn originally will enable you to converse in any country in the Spanish-speaking world. It may take some adjusting at first, admittedly.
This topic came up again today, when a friend came over for lunch. He learned his Spanish mostly in Denver, going to parties and events designed for getting native speakers and learners together. “I find the Mexican accent the hardest,” he admitted. I don’t even notice it!
Well, I got curious and did a bit of websurfing. Here are a couple of articles on Latin American Spanish:
This one describes many different regions and what the Spanish is like there.
And here’s another: http://www.spanish.bz/dialects.htm
I enjoyed them both.
Filed under: Rosana's Ramblings