Western hemisphere | Spanish can be tricky to learn
Beginner learners of Spanish may find it difficult to adjust to the various forms of Spanish that exist in the Western hemisphere. The multitude of different accents, verb forms, word interpretations, and distinct colloquialisms make the language somewhat tricky to navigate, yet they are also what make it such a uniquely vibrant and dynamic language.
What is funny about Spanish is that unlike many other languages, there is technically a clear right and wrong when it comes to vocabulary and grammar. The language is in a sense maintained and revised every year by the Royal Spanish Academy, which is located in Madrid, Spain. Despite this fact, the language is notorious for having so many variants across boundaries and regions.
Western hemisphere | Specific Examples of Distinct Spanish Forms
Of course, there are linguistic divides within the boundaries of a single country. Nonetheless, it is true that more often than not, each country’s form of Spanish has its own particular feel to it. Below are some examples of the variety of forms found across Central and South America, as well as in Spain.
• In Spain, there is less influence of English than in Latin America, English terms are less adopted. For example, in places such as Mexico or Costa Rica it is common to hear terms such as hanguear, which is essentially the phrase “hang out” combined with a Spanish ending. If you’ll excuse the generalization, the average Spanish person would find this to be a travesty, the demise of a great language. Keep in mind that Spain is also one of the few places where you can use the relatively archaic vosotros without coming off as strange or ironic.
• Chilean Spanish has unusual deviations in the colloquial forms, such as “como estai?” This is a modification of the vos grammar form that is most commonly found in parts of South America.
• Conversely, Costa Rican Spanish can come off as strangely formal because of the use of usted. To even further confuse things, Costa Ricans often use a fluid mix of usted, tu, and vos.
• Mexicans speak a particularly lively form of Spanish. There are more colloquialisms accepted in daily speech, and speech patterns and pronunciation are oftentimes more lyrical than in other countries.
• Argentina has a distinctly Western European feel, particularly due to the pronunciation of ‘ll’ and ‘y’ as ‘sh’ (in most countries, ‘ll’ and ‘y’ are pronounced with a hard ‘j’ sound). For this particularity as well as other details, Argentinian Spanish rolls off the tongue somewhat more smoothly than the hard sounds of some other forms of Spanish.
These are just a few examples of the highly localized nature of the Spanish language, which at times can make translation also an act of localization depending on the region you want to translate for. If you have some more to add or simply disagree, leave a comment below!
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