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Old July 20, 2011, 03:14 PM
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That's very interesting. I didn't know that.

But yeah, I was including Mexico as part of North America, as it is usually considered to be. (Technically it is all North America as there is no Central American continent, but you know what I mean.)

But I know that the Spanish that is spoken in Guatemala is pretty different from the Spanish that is spoken in Belize and the Spanish that is spoken in Costa Rica apparently differs from everywhere else, since from what I understand they don't roll their Rs there.

I'm sure the slang and favored expressions differ as well. I remember that one of my Spanish teachers in Guatemala had nothing good to say about Mexican Spanish. He said it had been too influenced by English.
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  #12  
Old July 20, 2011, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by SPX View Post
I'm sure the slang and favored expressions differ as well. I remember that one of my Spanish teachers in Guatemala had nothing good to say about Mexican Spanish. He said it had been too influenced by English.
Well, you have to consider Spanish as a whole to be as multicoloured as English as a whole -including people in Asia that have English as their first language-. Mexico or Argentina have a huge variety of accents and lexicon within their geography, as it happens in the States or English speaking Canada. About some pervasion from English an other languages, it's not bad unless it tries to take the place of functional terms. For instance, I see with horror the Mexican term "controversial" which substituted the correct terms "controvertido" and "controvertible", but in my neck of the woods they are increasingly imposing the English-French meaning of "bizarro" up to a point that one anthem that used to say homeland was brave now it's saying that she is a crazy b**ch. The "billion" thing is another worrying issue. If the American use has ruled out the British -and international- meaning of billion and sentenced the correct term "milliard" to oblivion, what I am going to accomplish in my every day battle to resist the legion of regional innumerates trying to explain me what is really called "mil millones" or "millardo"?

In these kind of forums and in language lingo there's another pervasion of English, the term "nativo" as a supposed direct translation of native (speaker).
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Old July 20, 2011, 07:10 PM
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Yes, Central America. I do consider that a relatively small areas in comparison to what surrounds it, i.e. South America and North America proper.

But like I said before, you can even reduce it to a much smaller area than that. I've not been to Belize, but I've heard that their brand of Spanish is a good bit different Guatemala, which borders it. I know that they also speak a version of English there and apparently the two have been mixed together quite a bit. I was once told a story by a Guatemalan who went to Belize. He said he got quite confused when someone used the verb "wantar" -- to want.

Wanto
Wantas
Wanta
Wantamos
Wantan

That really cracked me up.

Last edited by Rusty; July 20, 2011 at 07:34 PM. Reason: removed comment that no longer applies
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  #14  
Old July 21, 2011, 12:41 PM
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But Belize is a Kriol and English speaking country. There are minorities that "speak" Spanish, but "wantamos" is certainly something done by someone that doesn't know enough vocabulary but do know the structure of the language, like me saying "Ich worke" instead of "Ich arbeite". You have to watch us "trying" to speak French, Italian and Portuguese.
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Old July 21, 2011, 12:59 PM
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I know that English is the national language of Belize, but according to Wikipedia:

Only 4% of the population speaks English as their first language, and only 33% of the population speaks Kriol as their first language. However, 46% speak Spanish as their first language and the majority of Belizeans are able to speak it very capably.
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Old July 21, 2011, 02:12 PM
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What contradicts Wikipedia's article about Belizean Kriol -no wonder-. But the article in Spanish about "lenguas de Belice" goes along with your data (using 2000 census).

Certainly, we could go on and on, as you may see appropriate characterizing Spanish as highly variable geographically the same way I could argue about English spoken in New Orleans -together with Chinese, Italian, Russian and many more- and "me gotta go pole the pirogue down the bayou ... for tonight I'm gonna see mon cher amí-o", together with Cajun form Thibodeaux and all a shade of creoles, native American and assorted astray languages that through just 80 miles ends up with "Isleños", descendant of settlers from Canary Islands who went there 260 years ago and who speak Canarian Spanish today. This certainly involves two million people and not 350,000 Belizeans -7,000 of which speak Mennonite Low German-, but I won't gather from that any anecdotal data about the variability of the English language in a comparatively small area.
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Old July 21, 2011, 06:38 PM
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I think that regardless of whether it's English or Spanish or any other language it's odd that it can vary so much, especially among countries that are bordering neighbors.

Everything you say is correct, but it's also a little misleading. I mean, the kind of English spoken in Washington state is pretty much the same thing you're going to hear in Ohio, and that's a pretty big geographic area.

As for Louisiana, there are certainly areas where you are going to hear some very strange English, but by and large New Orleans isn't one of them. I used to live in Bay St. Louis, MS, which is just an hour or so away from New Orleans, and I have spent extensive amounts of time there. Most of the city's residents speak English pretty much like everyone else.
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Old July 22, 2011, 01:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPX View Post
I think that regardless of whether it's English or Spanish or any other language it's odd that it can vary so much, especially among countries that are bordering neighbors.

Everything you say is correct, but it's also a little misleading. I mean, the kind of English spoken in Washington state is pretty much the same thing you're going to hear in Ohio, and that's a pretty big geographic area.

As for Louisiana, there are certainly areas where you are going to hear some very strange English, but by and large New Orleans isn't one of them. I used to live in Bay St. Louis, MS, which is just an hour or so away from New Orleans, and I have spent extensive amounts of time there. Most of the city's residents speak English pretty much like everyone else.
I just did a characterization of English that mimicked the characterization of Spanish that you have done based on Guatemalan Spanish and the melting pot of the former British colony of Belize (former British Honduras).

I hope you now understand: No matter how important your personal experience may be you should be informed and look diligently for hard data before pulling general conclusions, or even "sub-continental" ones. This is germane to a language forum, where an important topic like not mixing up cognates like colegio and college should be dealt in extension without it not being diluted (now this thread is probably easier to find by googling Belize than by googling colegio college)
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Old July 22, 2011, 12:19 PM
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All I was saying was that it's weird to me, regardless of the language or continent. It just seems that that these sorts of changes would be very subtle over short distances as very small changes occur down the line. Yes, it makes sense that you would find dramatic differences when comparing point A to point Z, but not point D to point F, if that makes sense.

And yes, we've wandered off topic a little, but I'm a moderator on another forum and I can tell you that that's how some of the best conversations come about.
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Old July 22, 2011, 02:08 PM
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So, a city like Brussels and its surroundings might be a nightmare for you. You are expecting the existence of many dialects and pidgins just to allow a seamless language transition. That is not possible. You also are extending the historic experience of your country and native language -which you didn't bother to state in your profile, important as it is in a language forum, though easy to spot from you ideology- to the world. What English did they speak in Ohio in 1750? In Kansas in 1800? In California and Oregon during 1845? The answer to that will make you understand one of the main reasons for the seamless quasi-uniformity of English north or Grandee River.
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