Different Spanish Dialects

In the United States, there are a number of different dialects that we’re pretty familiar with. The New York and east coast accent is pretty distinct and sharp in its own way. Traveling south means hearing the classic drawl, along with the equally classic “y’all”s and “I’m fixin’ to…”s. The Midwest gets quite the reputation for its long vowel sounds, and films like “Fargo” have really put this dialect on the map.

There are so many different dialects just in this country, that it practically goes without saying that the number of dialects in Spanish-speaking countries are nearly immeasurable. Take a look at some of the dialects around the world, and know that with Studio Español, our native Spanish-speaking teachers will do everything possible to provide you with the best Spanish classes available!

Why is dialect important?

Studying Spanish is, in itself, an incredibly valuable skill. But depending on where you go or who you talk to, you might experience some struggles in communication. These can usually be worked out, but you can save on time and confusion by knowing what to expect when it comes to the region you’ll be interacting with.

Words like “pecan,” “roof,” and even “bagel” are all proof that we say words differently, even within the same language. Pescado might be the formal way to say “fish,” but southern Spain will say that word as peh-couw, and other countries will have their own variations on how it’s pronounced. When you at least are familiar with dialects, you’ll be in better shape to hear — and understand — these variations. Plus, you’re showing cultural respect to people and places around the world by taking the time to understand a little bit more about the region.

With all that in mind, here are some of the Spanish dialects found around the world!

Mexican Spanish

There are actually 10 different dialects in Mexico, which have many historical influences. Mexico was colonized by Spain, which is how Spanish came to the region, yet Nahuatl (referring to the language of the Aztecs) impacted much of speech today. Words like “avocado,” “chili,” “chocolate,” “coyote,” and “tomato” all actually originate from Nahuatl!

Dialectal Differences:

  • The Chiapaneco dialect takes a bit of a hypocrisy-like tone
  • In addition to Nahuatl, there are over 90 native languages spoken in Mexico, all of which are thought to have influenced various regions and dialects
  • Norteño del Noroeste is a dialect that inflects with a sense of surprise

Spanish Spanish

It might seem ironic to say “Spanish” twice, but the dialects from the country where this language all began are some of the most distinct and well-known. The Andalusian dialect of the south is especially prominent, in which you’ll find the letter s often replaced with a th, or dropped altogether. Murcian Spanish is known for having an especially interesting dialect, and is actually considered endangered. It should be also noticed that Spanish is not the only language of Spain — Catalan is spoken in Barcelona, and Basque (Euskara) is spoken in Basque Country to the north.

Dialectal Differences:

  • The pronoun vosotros (similar to “y’all”) is used, and verbal conjugations change as a result
  • The combination of letters atl is more pronounced than in Latin American Spanish — the “at” and “l” portion are separated out a bit more

Rioplatanese Spanish

This describes the dialects that are spoken in Argentina and Uruguay, referring to the Rio de la Plata Basin. Forty percent of people from Argentina have Italian ancestry, which has significantly impacted the linguistic differences. There are many differences in various words as well.

Dialectal Differences

  • Vos is often used in place of the more commonly taught
  • In some regions, the final r and the final s are dropped from words

No matter the dialect you’re interested in or plan on learning about, know that our Spanish classes in Birmingham can make a significant difference in helping you learn and master concepts of this incredible language. With teachers who are all native speakers, fun lessons, and an emphasis on making lessons fun and enjoyable, you’ll be sure to enjoy one of our many course options.

Studio Español offers classes for businesses, individuals looking to learn a language, and even private language lessons to help grow your talents as a Spanish speaker. Get in touch with our school today to learn more!

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