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Spanish Dialects in Buenos Aires

April 13, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 115

Wherever you learn Spanish, you will find that the locals speak with their own particular accent and local vocabulary. If you learn Spanish in Argentina--especially Buenos Aires--you will hear plenty of people speaking porteño, which is the local Spanish dialect. This dialect came about due to the influence of Italian and other European immigrants.

The word porteño can be translated to mean a "person from the port." The reason that this porteño dialect is so unique is because it adapted some words and speaking styles from people who immigrated from Italy and Spain. In the 1880s, large waves of immigrants arrived from European countries. The Rio de la Plata area of Argentina was flooded with immigrants of European descent. Inland areas, on the other hand, saw fewer immigrants and therefore experienced less linguistic interference from foreign tongues. A larger dialectic group referred to as rioplatense resulted from this immigration and reflects the linguistic style of Spanish in Buenos Aries, La Plata, Santa Fe, Rosario and Montevideo (Uruguay).

It is interesting to note that there were a few different waves of settlers that influenced the language in the Rio de la Plata region. Between 1870 and 1890, immigration was dominated by Spanish, Basque, Galician, and Northern Italian people. From 1910-1945, more people came from Spain and Southern Italy. Additionally, there was a Jewish immigration. At this time, there was also a wave of English speakers who arrived from the United States; these people were quite influential and many were upper-middle class. All of these changes had an impact on the way the language transformed and adapted over the years.

The people of Buenos Aires see themselves as culturally distinct from the people of inland Argentina, a difference that is reinforced by the difference in language. They consider themselves to be more similar to the people of Montevideo, as that city also had a high level of European immigrants.

So what are the prominent differences between the porteño dialect and traditional Spanish? One main contrast is that the word "vos" is used for informal second person singular - not "tú." Additionally, the letters "ll" traditionally pronounced like an English "y", make a "sh" sound in the porteño dialect. Another common slang you will hear is the word "che," commonly used to get someone's attention in an informal way.

The Rio de la Plata region is not the only part of the Spanish-speaking world that has its own unique dialect. There are 21 countries that have their own variations of standard Spanish. Linguistics tells us that everyone speaks a dialect that is a variation of a language; no one speaks Standard Latin American Spanish in his or her daily lives. This is true for all languages, but especially for one as widespread as Spanish.

When you learn Spanish in Argentina, it is important to understand the porteño dialect as well as the standard American dialect (Standard Latin American Spanish). By becoming proficient in both dialects, you will be able to understand Spanish speakers around the world as well as the people on the streets of Buenos Aires.

When you study Spanish in Argentina through Latin Immersion, cultural lessons are an integral part of their Spanish immersion school in Buenos Aires.

Source: EzineArticles
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