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How Do the Spanish Language and Culture in Spain and Those in Latin America Differ?

April 09, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 106

Comparing the Spanish language and culture in Spain and the Spanish language and culture in Latin America is like comparing British English and American English. The differences of the languages in the two regions are not that extreme. In fact, Spaniards can understand the language spoken in Latin American soap operas, and Latin Americans can understand the language used in movies from Spain as well. However, there are still several differences between the two.

One of these differences is observed in pronunciation of some phonemes. For instance, most Spaniards pronounce the /z/ and /c/ before /i/ or /e/ like the "th" in "thin." On the other hand, most Latin Americans pronounce this phoneme as /s/. It is still notable, though, that this difference is not apparent in some parts of Spain, particular in the southern region. Aside from the pronunciation of /z/ and /c/ before /i/ or /e/, Spanish language in Latin America also includes "yeismo," which means /ll/ and /y/ do not differ in pronunciation; both of them are pronounced like the "s" in "measure." This is evident among Latin Americans, especially those living in South America.

There are also some areas in Latin America where people tend to drop the /s/ sound, like "está" sounding like "etá." However, this is also evident in southern Spain, particularly in Andalusia, Melilla, and Murcia. Some Latin Americans, especially those in Peru, also tend to pronounce /j/ like the "ch" in "loch," although some Latin Americans in the Caribbean pronounce it as "h." People in the Caribbean also tend to pronounce /l/ and /r/ similarly. For example, "caldo" may be pronounced as "cardo." This can also be observed in Chile and Ecuador.

Another aspect in comparing Spanish language and culture in Spain and in Latin America is grammar. In fact, it is said that the most prominent differences of the two are using the pronoun "vos" instead of "tú" and "leismo" of Spain. The pronoun "vosotros" and its corresponding verb forms for the second person plural familiar is actually more commonly used in Spain than in Latin America. In fact, this is said to be its most important feature, although this is not common in the Canary Islands and Western Andalusia. On the other hand, Latin Americans often use "ustedes" and its verb forms.

The vocabulary in each language is also taken into consideration, especially the use of suffixes. Although everyone can understand "lápiz" as a crayon or pencil, everyone may not have the same meaning for the word "lapicero." In some areas, it means "pencil holder," while others may think it is a mechanical pencil or a ball pen. Latin Americans may not understand that the meaning of "computadora" in their region, and that of "ordernador" in Spain are actually the same (Both mean "computer".). The word "chifa" may refer to a Chinese restaurant in Peru or Chile, but this is not heard of in Spain. Compared to the Spanish language in Spain, Spanish language and culture in Latin America also includes many words borrowed from English, which are called Anglicisms, simply because of its stronger influence from the US compared to Europe.

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Source: EzineArticles
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