Spain v. Latin America
On our CDs, the speakers all have a generic Latin American accent. On our website, we have speakers from both Spain and Latin America.
Spanish is Pretty Consistent
The pronunciation of Spanish is more consistent than the pronunciation of English. That is, the differences in pronunciation, region to region, are less for Spanish than they are for English.
The Most Noticeable Difference
The primary difference that most students will notice regarding Spanish in Spain as compared to Spanish in Latin America is the pronunciation of the “lispy” letter “z” — which in Latin America is pronounced like the letter “s”. It is our opinion that for the vast majority of students, pronunciation differences are so minor that they are of little consequence.
Regional Meaning Differences
More of an issue is that certain words carry different meanings in different areas. Not just Spain v. Latin America, but region to region. The same is true regarding certain expressions; some are used in one region, others are used in a different region. In Camino del éxito we have attempted to use “neutral Spanish” – Spanish that is fully comprehensible throughout the Spanish speaking world.
Finally, is the issue of the “vosotros” conjugation, which is used in Spain, but not in Latin America. On our CDs, we do not present this topic, while in the verb section of studyspanish.com we do offer it as an option. So, the student can choose whether or not they want to include this topic.
The Bottom Line
We believe that too much is made of the differences between Spanish as spoken in various places, and the student need not be overly concerned with this topic.