If you are a Spanish learner, it is significant to understand how many different Spanish dialects exist. Dialects refer to differences in speech and grammar. Furthermore, there is no such thing as “better” or “worse” dialects of a language. You just need to do your best.
There are 11 different Spanish dialects. To avoid any awkwardness, let’s go over the fundamental differences between all the dialects so that you can hold your Spanish conversations confidently.
But before moving on to the significant differences, it is very important for you to understand what a dialect is. A dialect is a language variation that changes the language (its pronunciation, grammar, etc.) while remaining mutually intelligible to other Spanish speakers.
In other words, even if someone from Spain and someone from Peru speaks different dialects, they can understand each other. The environment shapes and molds the language, just as Mexican Spanish is heavily influenced by its indigenous population and proximity to America.
Dialects can be confusing in any language, but it is critical to prepare for them as you continue to improve your Spanish. It is entirely possible that you will come across different dialects of Spanish as you practice and improve your skills. Understanding that dialects exist and the common variations of each is critical.
When learning Spanish, you may want to concentrate on a specific dialect. You may select that dialect based on your preferences and learning objectives. In case, you are still wondering why to learn Spanish, stick to this guide till the end and you will get your direction.
In this section, we will look at the most common Spanish dialects. Keep in mind that there are some regional variations everywhere, but this list will provide a general overview of Spanish dialects worldwide.
Spanish Dialects of Spain
The majority of Spanish spoken on the Iberian Peninsula is Castilian Spanish.
There are significant differences between Castilian and Latin American Spanish. Castilian speakers, for example, use vosotros in addition to ustedes (to mean “you all”). The use of the th sound when pronouncing the z or soft c sound is another distinction. Of course, depending on which side of the ocean you are on, some phrases and expressions have different meanings.
This dialect is most commonly found in the southern portion of Spain. One advantage of this variant is that it eliminates the distinction between the sounds produced by “the Spanish lisp.” This aspect of the dialect spread throughout Latin America from the Andalusian region (which explains why the lisp is missing in many Latin American regions).
Many letters are also dropped in Andalusian Spanish, such as the final -s from words and the letter d from almost everywhere.
This dialect is primarily spoken in southern Spain. With a few minor exceptions, it is similar to Andalusian Spanish. Murcian is thought to be a very rare dialect. It appears to be fading into the region’s other dialects, so you are unlikely to come across a speaker of this dialect.
Llanito is a combination of Andalusian Spanish and British English. Although the dialect has a strong Spanish foundation, it frequently borrows words from English, Genoese, Maltese, Portuguese, and other Mediterranean languages.
The dialect is spoken in the British territory of Gibraltar, and its location on the Iberian Peninsula, as well as its status as a British territory, account for the unusual mix of influences that gave rise to it.
Spanish Dialects of Latin America
If you break down the dialect’s name, you will see where it comes from the Rio de la Plata. Because the river runs through Argentina and Uruguay, both countries make extensive use of this dialect.
The medley of European words that have found their way into this dialect is one of its most distinguishing features. In everyday Rioplatense conversation, you may hear words from German, French, and English. Even within the dialect, there is variation, with different regions introducing new words and phrases.
Mexican Spanish is widely spoken not only in Mexico but also in parts of the United States and Canada.
This region’s dialect was heavily influenced by indigenous languages: as Spanish settlers introduced the new language to the continent, local residents incorporated words from their own languages into it. To this day, 6% of Mexicans speak one of the region’s many indigenous languages, contributing to the exchange of words and expressions.
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Caribbean Spanish is only spoken on the Caribbean islands and is closely related to Canarian Spanish and, to a lesser extent, Andalusian. However, because the Caribbean has seen a mixture of cultures over time, influences from African, English, French and indigenous languages can be found in this dialect.
This dialect is spoken in the Andes region of western South America. The Andes is one of the world’s longest continental mountain ranges, passing through several countries, but the language appears to be fairly consistent throughout its length.
Unlike in many other forms of Spanish, the final letters of words are frequently pronounced clearly in this region, and the sounds of j and ll are audibly different.
Central American Spanish is spoken throughout Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador. Some s sounds will morph into h sounds in this Spanish version, while others will be dropped entirely (like j and, in certain cases, m).
Spanish dialects around the world
It is spoken only in the Canary Islands. Because of its isolation from other Spanish-speaking countries, the dialect has had the opportunity to evolve and morph into a vastly different variation from traditional Spanish.
The dialect is more similar to Caribbean and Andalusian Spanish than Castilian: there is no Spanish lisp or vosotros form. It also has its own quirks, such as differences in word order and tense usage.
Over time, the people of the islands have added their own vocabulary to the language. Among the new words are rascado (drunkenness), chachi (niceness), and escachar (to squash).
This version is spoken in Equatorial Guinea, Africa. In fact, it is Africa’s only country where Spanish is the official language!
Equatoguinean is similar to Iberian Peninsula Spanish in that it uses vosotros and ustedes interchangeably. However, it is heavily influenced by the area’s native African languages, as well as French, Portuguese, and even German.
As a result, the pronunciation differs greatly from that of other parts of the world, sometimes even employing a French-like r sound.
Because of the many distinguishing characteristics of this dialect, if you plan to visit (or live in) this part of the world, you should strongly consider learning more about it from La Academia Ecuatoguineana de la Lengua Espaola.
These were the famous Spanish dialects. The simplest thing to do is to learn to speak Spanish in the dialect you will most likely use. Do not choose a dialect that you will never have the opportunity to speak. If you want to know how to type Spanish accents, do enroll yourself with italki. The lesson plans are designed to meet all the speaking and writing requirements of the learners. Here, you can learn not only the features and characteristics of formal language but also learn slang such as Colombian slang to have informal conversations.