Dialects and different pronunciation are common in all languages. People living in a certain region develop their own way of speaking, and sometimes even own vocabulary. Spanish is spoken all over the world, from Spain to the Philippines, from Mexico to Equatorial Guinea, and it is natural that each country went its own way when developing the language and that the Spanish pronunciation reflects the country it is spoken in.
But, there is no reason to worry, all Spanish speakers still can understand each other with ease, whether they are speaking Castilian Spanish from Northern Spain, or harder-sounding Honduran Spanish. The difference in Spanish pronunciation is subtle.
The biggest difference noticeable by Spanish language students is what is in Spanish called distincin or seseo. Simply, it is the way people in different countries pronounce ‘c’. The same Spanish pronunciation, and the use of the Castilian Spanish, is common in Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay (where it is called RioPlatense Spanish.)
Some people consider Castilian Spanish the ‘proper’ Spanish. It is slightly elitist way of looking at the Spanish language, and not fair to many other Spanish speaking countries, which developed the language, culture and literature in their own right. Simply, the language is taught differently in different countries, and you can learn to speak ‘proper Spanish’ according to your teacher, whether it is Castilian or the Spanish of the Americas. You also learn Spanish pronunciation characteristic for the country in which you learned Spanish.
The Spanish pronunciation in different Spanish-speaking countries is also influenced by other local languages, particularly of native Indian peoples.
Pronouncing some Spanish words is not easy for North Americans, and the invention of podcasts and online radios to teach Spanish is hugely facilitating learning. High quality Spanish language websites, like News in Slow Spanish (www.newsinslowspanish.com) use audio files to demonstrate proper Spanish pronunciation. Of course, the pronunciation will be different depending on if the file was made by a teacher from Mexico or from Malaga. News in Slow Spanish teaches Castilian Spanish, but it has a section devoted to the Spanish spoken in other countries, called Explorando Latinoamrica. That way, you can get the idea of both pronunciations. And if you are traveling to Spain, you will know to brush on your Castilian pronunciation, and if you are vacationing in Mexico, you can go through a few Latin American podcasts, just to make sure you will be understood when ordering food, so that you do not get something you did not want.
News In Slow Spanish has helped many students gain self-confidence and achieve quick and lasting results. Visit the shows website www.NewsInSlowSpanish.com and see for yourself why creators of the program have chosen this motto: You know Spanish more than you think!
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