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Spanish In Spain VS Spanish In Latin America - What Is The Difference?

Maybe you have seen some products advertised as teaching Latin American Spanish or European Spanish, and you may have thought to yourself what is the difference? Are they not the same language? So, how different is the Spanish spoken in Spain from the Spanish of Latin America?

Well, the first difference between Latin American Spanish and the Spanish of Spain is the pronunciation of a few letters. In Latin America the soft “c” and the “z” are pronounced with an “s” sound while in Spain they are pronounced more like a “th” sound. This is sometimes referred to as the “Spanish Lisp”, and there is a legend that it dates back to old Spanish king that spoke with a lisp. It is, however, not a true lisp, and this legend is most likely false. Furthermore, from what I have been told, many Spaniards take offense if you tell them they speak with a lisp, so I would advise you not to call it a “lisp.”

In addition to the variations in pronunciation, there are some phrases are words that are used differently between the regions. For example, in Latin America, if you wanted to tell someone, “I miss you”, then you would say, “Te extrano.” To say the exact same phrase in Spain you would say, “te echo de menos” or “te echo en falta.” Another example would be the use of the word, “carro” which in Spain means cart while in most areas of Latin America it means automobile. You will encounter few variations between the meanings of the words and phrases between Latin America and Spain, and you will also even come across deviations among Latin American countries. You will find that every country has its own unique vocabulary and slang.

As you can see these differences are very minor. In fact, it is the same types of deviations you would find between the English spoken in the United States and the English spoken in Great Britain. Despite the variations in English between these two countries, a citizen of the United States can still easily communicate with a Briton. It’s the same in Spanish, so if you learn Spanish in Spain you are going to be able to communicate with citizens of Mexico. Despite the minor regional differences, they are the same language.

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