mexican spanish vs spain spanish

Although Spanish is spoken in both Spain and Mexico, there are differences in the way the language is used in these two countries. Because of these differences, one of the main worries Spanish learners have is that they will not be able to communicate effectively in one country if they learned the other country’s language style.

This is, in fact, an unnecessary concern. While there are variations in the way the language is spoken, Spanish speakers from either country will still be able to communicate wel one another. For the serious Spanish speaker, however, these differences are important to learn about.

It is Vital to Be Aware of Differing Formalities Between Countries

An important difference between the Spanish spoken in Spain and Mexico is found in the style of language that is used. The class system and the social hierarchy in Mexico contrast with that in Spain, which has caused there to be more rules regulating when formal or informal speech and tense is appropriate.

The social rules are not as strict in Spain, and the language reflects this fact by applying less limits on their language.

Slang and Modern Terminology May Cause Confusion


Another difference between the Spanish spoken in Spain and Mexico is the usage of modern words, such as those used to represent advancements in technology. Because these words have been recently created, not every Spanish-speaking nation is in agreement on what word is to be used.

For instance, a computer is referred to as ‘ordenador’ in Spain, but in Latin America it is referred to as ‘computadora’.

You will find variations such as this for words referring to technology, but in all likeliness, a Spanish person would still know what you are trying to refer to if you accidentally called a computer a ‘computadora’ in Spain.

 

Grammatical Dissimilarities are Another Roadblock to Understanding

Although Spanish is spoken in both Spain and Mexico, there are differences in the way the language is used in these two countries. Because of these differences, one of the main worries Spanish learners have is that they will not be able to communicate effectively in one country if they learned the other country’s language style.

This is, in fact, an unnecessary concern. While there are variations in the way the language is spoken, Spanish speakers from either country will still be able to communicate well with one another. 

For the serious Spanish speaker, however, these differences are important to learn about.

It is Vital to Be Aware of Differing Formalities Between Countries

An important difference between the Spanish spoken in Spain and Mexico (and other Spanish-speaking countries) is found in the style of language that is used. 

Another big difference between the Spanish spoken in Spain and Mexico is the usage of modern words, such as those used to represent advancements in technology. Because these words have been recently created, not every Spanish-speaking nation is in agreement on what word is to be used. 

The class system and the social hierarchy in Mexico contrast with that in Spain, which has caused there to be more rules regulating when formal or informal speech and tense is appropriate. The social rules are not as strict in Spain, and the language reflects this fact by applying less limits on their language.


Slang and Modern Terminology May Cause Confusion

For instance, a computer is referred to as ‘ordenador’ in Spain, but in Latin America it is referred to as ‘computadora’. You will find variations such as this for words referring to technology, but in all likeliness, a Spanish person would still know what you are trying to refer to if you accidentally called a computer a ‘computadora’ in Spain.

Native speakers of Spanish in Chile, Uruguay, Mexico, Argentina, and other Latin American countries each have their own slang and local dialects. The same is true for the regions of Spain, but dialects in European Spanish are more similar to each other than those of Latin American Spanish.

Some things are similar — past tenses and active tense, except when using Vosotros.

In the Caribbean, there is a strong accent with influence from Africa and across the Americas that isn’t as present in Mexico or South America.

Grammatical Dissimilarities are Another Roadblock to Understanding

The final variation in the Spanish spoken in Spain compared to Mexico centers on the ‘vosotros’ tense of grammar for verbs in Spain. In Spain, the ‘vosotros’ tense is used when conjugating verbs in the plural form of ‘tu’, with ‘tu’ being the informal singular for conjugating verbs. In Mexico however, they simply use ‘ustedes’ for the informal and formal forms of the plural ‘you’. While the ‘vosotros’ form is considered proper for informal conversation in Spain, many Spanish classes do not teach it.

The Bottom Line

While there are several key differences between the Spanish that is used in Mexico and that used in Spain, the differences are not so great that you would have an issue communicating in these countries. 

Latin American Spanish is often easier understood by English speakers in North America because they hear it on a regular basis. When Spanish is translated into English on TV shows and elsewhere in media in the United States and Canada, it is typically Latin American Spanish.

Spain Spanish, also known as European Spanish, is more commonly heard by Europeans. Castilian Spanish also — you’ll rarely hear a Castilian Spanish dialect in the United States.

There may be certain differences that one might not understand right away, but this would in no way cause a halt to the conversation. If you visit either country and find yourself having trouble with certain words, there will more than likely be someone who is willing to explain their meaning to you, so just ask and continue on with the conversation.

English speakers can learn more about basic Spanish in our FREE Spanish Survival Crash Course!

References

1. http://www.omniglot.com/language/articles/mexicanspanish.htm

2. http://www.livelingua.com/spanish-teachers.php

3. http://www.enforex.com/language/spanish-variations.html


Learn more about basic Spanish in our FREE Spanish Survival Crash Course!

References

1. http://www.omniglot.com/language/articles/mexicanspanish.htm

2. http://www.livelingua.com/spanish-teachers.php

3. http://www.enforex.com/language/spanish-variations.html



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