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South American Dialects - easiest for learners?

 

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  #1  
Old August 28, 2013, 09:12 AM
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South American Dialects - easiest for learners?

¡Hola!

I'm new here so please forgive me if this question has been answered before.

Next year I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to take a career time-out. I'm quite new to learning Spanish but I plan to go to South America for 6-12 months, take Spanish lessons, and immerse myself in the language.

I am trying to decide which country to go to. My current shortlist is Argentina, Chile, Peru or Uruguay. I have heard different opinions on how 'clear' the Spanish dialect spoken in these countries is. So, for those who have experience in South America, do you have views on which of these countries has clear, or not-so-clear, dialects / accents that would help or hinder an inexperienced learner?

¡Muchas gracias!

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  #2  
Old August 28, 2013, 09:34 AM
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I'd suggest Argentina. How come you want to go to there and why not Spain?

Sadly, I'm only going to Barcelona for three weeks and two days next year.
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Old August 28, 2013, 09:38 AM
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Well spoken Peruvian accents are nice and staccato. They are perhaps easier to understand than accents from other countries. Don't confuse accents with dialects. Uruguay has a dialect which combines Spanish with Portuguese that I have heard in movies filmed there, but Spanish is definitely the official language. Buenos Aires and Montevideo share a nice
porteño accent, but they make use of vos instead of tú, and this differs from standard Spanish, so I think Peru is your best bet of the countries you listed.
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Old August 28, 2013, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Withnail View Post
¡Hola!

I'm new here so please forgive me if this question has been answered before.

Next year I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to take a career time-out. I'm quite new to learning Spanish but I plan to go to South America for 6-12 months, take Spanish lessons, and immerse myself in the language.

I am trying to decide which country to go to. My current shortlist is Argentina, Chile, Peru or Uruguay. I have heard different opinions on how 'clear' the Spanish dialect spoken in these countries is. So, for those who have experience in South America, do you have views on which of these countries has clear, or not-so-clear, dialects / accents that would help or hinder an inexperienced learner?

¡Muchas gracias!

Withnail
I highly recommend Ecuador. Very similar to Peru but the people
speak clearer in my opinion. A Peruvian friend of mine who lives in
Italy now just called me this morning from Italy. He was speaking
to me in Spanish and I was having a hard time understanding what he
was saying. I think he only made it to the third grade or maybe never did go to school. My wife is Cuban and I have had extensive experience with listening to people talk fast but for the life of me it was hard to understand him. Eucador and Peru have different regions with different accents as most Spanish speaking countries do. I have had other Peruvian friends that I could understand perfectly but in my personal opinion the Ecuadorians speak Spanish better or clearer than the Peruvians. Ecuador has less of an Indian influence than Peru. Ecuador now uses the American dollar. Ecuador also has the Galapagos islands also.

I like the accent of people from Argentina. Buenos Aires the capital of Argentina is 3/4% of people of Italian origin and it is just logical that they speak Spanish with some what of an Italian accent. Ask most Spanish speakers and they will tell you this. Other than on this forum nobody has ever argued with me about this. Argentina is the country that has more Italian immigrants outside of Italy than any other country in the world for % of the population. I think it is great that they speak with an Italian accent. I have met many people from Argentina in Italy and in the U.S. My compadre is from Argentina.

My first Spanish teacher was from Colombia. She always told us that the best Spanish and clearest Spanish is spoken in Colombia so for many years I thought that the best Spanish was Colombian Spanish. Of course that is ridiculous. The best Spanish spoken anywhere is the Spanish where you happend to be at the time. Of course educated speakers of Spanish of any Spanish speaking country are going to speak better rather it be from Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina or any other Spanish speaking country.

Last edited by Villa; August 28, 2013 at 11:35 AM.
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Old August 28, 2013, 11:57 AM
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There is no "easiest" accent to learn. You will just adapt to the one in which you'll be immersed. Choose the place or the school that will raise the most enthusiasm in you. If you start unprejudiced, you'll learn much more and learning will be felt much easier.
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Old August 28, 2013, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelicaDeAlquezar View Post
There is no "easiest" accent to learn. You will just adapt to the one in which you'll be immersed. Choose the place or the school that will raise the most enthusiasm in you. If you start unprejudiced, you'll learn much more and learning will be felt much easier.
I agree with you más o menos Angelica but I have seen English speakers learn to loose their English accent better by learning to speak Spanish with Spanish speakers who speak with some kind of a very pronounced Spanish speaking accent such as people from Argentina, Cuba and even Mexico. I've also seen the same thing with people who learn English from people who have a definite thick accent such as English speakers from southern United States. I was on the beach one time in Italy and this young German girl came up to me and was speaking English to me with a very pronounced southern South Carolina accent that I knew about because my room mate was from South Carolina. She said her English teacher was from South Carolina. She did not speak with a German accent that she might have had if she had learned English with somebody with a neutral American English accent. (Whatever that is. Possibly the English from California.)
Also a while back somebody posted a video of an American/U.S. speaking with a perfect Argentina accent. He said people always think he is from Argentina even though he is a native English speaker. I had some Arab speaking neighbors who spoke Spanish very well. The wife sounded just like she was from Cuba. Naturally she learned Spanish
from Cubans.

Last edited by Villa; August 28, 2013 at 12:33 PM.
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Old August 28, 2013, 11:22 PM
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I'd go with the country that interests you the most, no matter what accent they have.
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Old August 29, 2013, 06:57 AM
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¡Hola a todos mis nuevos amigos!

Wow, this is a very friendly and helpful forum! :-) Thank you all so much for giving your views, they are most helpful. A few of you asked me questions so to reply:

Liquinn: Spain would be wonderful too, but I have always wanted to experience South America. It is the only continent (apart from Antarctica) that I have never been to and I have actually been 'saving' it until I had the chance to take a mid-career break for a year. I want to base myself out of one city where I can take lessons but also to travel around the whole continent once my Spanish is serviceable. The question is, where to base?

Poli: I've heard of the Argentinian / Uruguayan 'vos' issue although I have not experienced it. I'm assuming that this is not such an issue as to rule either country off my list, but I will take it into account as best as I can! Thank you for your comment on Peruvian accents, others have said this too.

Villa: Thank you for your very detailed and informative replies! I should look at Ecuador too, I guess. I didn't include it in my original shortlist because I am living and working in a non-Hispanic equatorial country at the moment (Brunei) and I am missing the changes in season - it's permanently summer here! This might suit some, but I prefer a climate where you can tell what season it is :-) That's why I was looking a little further south. But I will check out Ecuador too, so thanks again for the recommendation.

Saludos,

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Old August 29, 2013, 07:37 AM
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The interesting thing about tropical Latin America is that much of the population lives at high altitudes above insect plagues. Quito, which is probably right on the equator is said to be cold at night. The same for Cuzco, and I know Mexico City south of the Tropic of Cancer has cool temperatures at night.

Buenos Aires has perhaps the most active theater business in the Spanish speaking world and generally a lot of life even late at night. Montevideo has a reputation for safety and there's beaches and four seasons, but if it is clearly spoken and often slowly spoken Spanish, Peruvian and Ecuadorian accents are easiest for me.
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Old August 29, 2013, 08:01 AM
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Soon you will find what's an easy accent to listen too, or that it picks your curiosity.

I like tart, you like sweet and then there those who like bitter. Go with what you like.

Incredibly enough, I understand this guy better than this other one, and both were born in California and none suffers from a speech impediment of some sort.

See?

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