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Dialects of Spanish are so interesting!

 

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Old October 29, 2012, 05:30 PM
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Dialects of Spanish are so interesting!

One of the things that most interests and fascinates me about the Spanish language are the different dialects that Spanish has. For example the way Spanish is spoken in different Spanish speaking countries such as México, Cuba, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, Spain, New Mexico(New Mexico has a tradition of speaking Spanish that goes back to the Spanish colonial days before the U.S. took over in 1912) and so on and so forth. Actually there are 21 different Spanish speaking countries so right there that would be 21 different dialects. I started out learning Spanish in California from my Spanish speaking neighbors. I had Spanish speaking neighbors from several states of Mexico, two different regions of Cuba, El Salvador, Colombia(different parts of Colombia a proposito), Guatemala, Argentina Bolivia and even a neighbor from southern Spain. I noticed from the beginning that they all spoke with different accents and with some vocabulary differences. Different expressions etc. etc.

First though what is the definition of a dialect? I had a very good and interesting Spanish teacher from Mexico that explained it this way. (A dialect is a change in a language that still permits understanding. Actually that is my definition. Different accent and some vocabulary differences.) Any way my Mexican teacher explained that basically there are two types of dialects for Spanish or any other language. So dialects can be divided into geographical(regional) and social dialects. A geographical (regional dialect) would be for example different geographical locations. For example: Spain, Cuba, Mexico, Argentina etc. etc. Also another way to look at dialects which my teacher explained is that dialects can be divided into horizontal and vertical dialects. A horizontal dialect runs horizontal and is about a geographical location such as different Spanish countries and different locations within a Spanish speaking country. Your vertical dialects are composed of the amount of education a person has, social position, rural or city living etc. etc. So somebody from Cuba can speak a Cuban dialect but there can be still a different dialect spoken by a Cuban because of being a lawyer, teacher, doctor or based on education and for being from a rural setting such as a farmer. Think of how a person from a small rural town or a farmer in Arkansas or Oklahoma might speak compared to highly educated person from the same state.


Does anybody else have the same interest in dialects as I have?

Last edited by Villa; October 29, 2012 at 06:03 PM.
   
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Old October 30, 2012, 07:05 PM
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Yes, I too am interested. Rightly or wrongly, I have heard (from a well-traveled native Spanish speaker) that there is not as much variation in the Spanish of those 21 countries as there is among the English of the U.S., Great Britain and Australia.

Last edited by Glen; October 30, 2012 at 07:08 PM.
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Old November 01, 2012, 12:23 PM
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Yes, I too am interested. Rightly or wrongly, I have heard (from a well-traveled native Spanish speaker) that there is not as much variation in the Spanish of those 21 countries as there is among the English of the U.S., Great Britain and Australia.
Hola Glen. Glad to hear you like to study and or are interested in Spanish dialects como yo.

Your well-traveled native Spanish speaker does have a point. A Spanish speaker from anyone of the 21 Spanish speaking countries can go to anyone of the other 21 Spanish speaking countries and communicate just fine. But then again a Spanish speaker can go to Italy even and communicate and learn Italian rápido. I did.

¿De dónde eres, a proposito/BTW Glen.?
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Old November 01, 2012, 05:17 PM
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¿De dónde eres, a proposito/BTW Glen.?
Soy gringo de pasaporte, latino de corazón. De hecho, mis amigos mexicanos me llaman "el anglojicano".
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Old November 01, 2012, 07:23 PM
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Soy gringo de pasaporte, latino de corazón. De hecho, mis amigos mexicanos me llaman "el anglojicano".
That's a good one.
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Old November 02, 2012, 03:49 AM
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One Actually there are 21 different Spanish speaking countries so right there that would be 21 different dialects.
Actually, there must be many more than that. Apart from the various dialects within mainland Spain, there is a very marked dialect here in Tenerife. I am told that each Canarian Island dialect differs from each other, but I doubt the differences are so great.

It is fairly easy to imitate the dialect, you stuff a sock in your mouth and supress all word endings, and refrain from moving your lips altogether. So where another would say "más o menos" in Tenerife you hear "a o e-o".

The vocabulary is quite different to mainland Spain, having lots of words more often heard in Latin America.
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Old November 02, 2012, 07:41 PM
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Actually, there must be many more than that. [...]
You bet!

Mexico and Colombia have each, at least as many regional variations as Spain does... and I don't think the remaining 18 countries are much more homogeneous.
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Old November 02, 2012, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Perikles View Post
Actually, there must be many more than that. Apart from the various dialects within mainland Spain, there is a very marked dialect here in Tenerife. I am told that each Canarian Island dialect differs from each other, but I doubt the differences are so great.

It is fairly easy to imitate the dialect, you stuff a sock in your mouth and supress all word endings, and refrain from moving your lips altogether. So where another would say "más o menos" in Tenerife you hear "a o e-o".

The vocabulary is quite different to mainland Spain, having lots of words more often heard in Latin America.
Mexico must have at least 28 different dialects also. Much of the time I can tell which state a Mexican speaker comes from by the accent. Even in Cuba which is a fairly small island there is a very marked difference from the way they talk. I was in Manzanillo, Cuba for a few weeks and then went to La Habana which is about 500 miles away. It was sorprendente the difference of how the two sound from each other. They say even on the small island of Puerto Rico there are differences. One time I was in San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico and I asked a Mexican where the best Spanish was spoken and he said it was from there. He said he couldn't stand the way the Mexicans from Guadalajara and Guanajuato speak. Among native Spanish speakers it's well known that people from Argentina speak with an Italian accent yet supposedly there are parts of Argentina where they don't have an Italian accent. Personally I haven't heard them yet. In the coasts of Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela they speak very similar to the Cubans. But then again not all Cubans speak alike.

My neighbors across the street from where I live are from Yucatan, Mexico. They speak and are somewhat different than other Mexicans. Besides speech they also eat different Mexican food. They make their tamales with banana leaves for example. They speak algo como los central Americanos.
Anyway the Spanish of California is mostly Mexican dialect. But then again which Mexican dialect since there are Mexicans here from all over Mexico. Even in the U.S. the Mexican dialects are prevalent. 65% of all Spanish speakers in the U.S. come from Mexico. In California it must be 90%.

Last edited by Rusty; November 03, 2012 at 12:35 AM. Reason: merged back-to-back posts
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Old March 15, 2013, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Villa View Post
Hola Glen. Glad to hear you like to study and or are interested in Spanish dialects como yo.

Your well-traveled native Spanish speaker does have a point. A Spanish speaker from anyone of the 21 Spanish speaking countries can go to anyone of the other 21 Spanish speaking countries and communicate just fine. But then again a Spanish speaker can go to Italy even and communicate and learn Italian rápido. I did.

¿De dónde eres, a proposito/BTW Glen.?
Yes for a Spanish speaker is easy to understand Italian, and also French, Portuguesse... This is because the Spanish, the Italian, the French, and all the "Romance Languages" are also dialects, they are all Vulgar Latin dialects.
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Old March 17, 2013, 01:37 PM
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Yes for a Spanish speaker is easy to understand Italian, and also French, Portuguesse... This is because the Spanish, the Italian, the French, and all the "Romance Languages" are also dialects, they are all Vulgar Latin dialects.
Tienes razón amigo explorator. Sin embargo, we should mention or point out that Vulgar Latin is a misnomer because it really wasn't vulgar Latin as in disgusting or vulgar/objectionable language. A better name for Vulgar Latin could be "common Latin" or "colloquial Latin". Colloquial Latin was the spoken Latin through out the Roman Empire from Rome to what is now Spain, France, England, Germany, Greece, Israel and even Northern Africa.

Last edited by Villa; March 17, 2013 at 01:40 PM.
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