Latin America and Spanish Varieties or Dialects?
What Spanish variety/dialect should I learn?
Well, first of all, in Spanish the word dialect has a slightly different meaning from its English version.
We consider a dialect to have differences in the writing, pronunciation, and some grammatical changes that would be mutually understandable between speakers of other dialects.
Therefore we don’t consider Spanish’s accent varieties to be dialects. We all have the same grammar and the same writing, the same rules of pronunciation, and even if our accents have a different pitch or intonation, this wouldn’t result in a change of what is being said ( since Spanish is not a tonal language like Chinese).
Nevertheless, we do have a different vocabulary and in every Spanish-speaking country the “informal speech” is different, but, why is that so?
In all the territory that is inaccurately called “Latin America”, the Spanish language changed due to the mixture process our ancestors Native Americans, the different African ethnic groups, and the Spaniards that came from different parts of Spain initiated. (This also applies to the Portuguese and French conquerors who also arrived in America and mixed with the locals and the Africans).
In Venezuela, which is my country of origin there were many Native American ethnics groups by the time of the conquest, nowadays only 34 ethnic groups had survived. They of course had contributed with words that became part of Venezuelan Spanish vocabulary, music, beliefs, and many other cultural aspects.