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A Spanish Dialect Primer

culture dialects Dec 17, 2020

With 21+ different Spanish-speaking countries worldwide, there are most certainly un montón de different dialectos. Featuring different vocabulary and various accents or expressions, it can be hard to keep track of so many different ways of speaking. While people from different Spanish speaking countries would ultimately understand each other perfectly, its both important & interesting to know how & why they vary.

Here are a couple of key differences:

Pronunciation

The Spanish Lisp or 'el ceceo'

Probably the most emblematic feature of any accent from Spain (there are numerous regional dialects within the country) is the ceceo or the way Spaniards pronounce their Zs and Cs (before an I or E) -which sounds like a 'th'.

In Latin America however, these two letters are pronounced as 'S'.

Ex. Nací en Zaragoza pero vivo en Barcelona.

Pronunciation from Spain: Nací en (th)arago(th)a pero vivo...

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Speak Argentine With Carlos Gardel

dialects Nov 05, 2020
 

¿Che, como estás?

Beloved tango legend Carlos Gardel is one of Argentina's national icons and has been celebrated throughout Latin America for his espousal of tango music. While its believed that Gardel was born in France, he grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina and thus spoke in a rioplatense dialect, which he uses in the lyrics of his tangos. 

In Argentina and Uruguay, it’s most common to vosear or to use the vos conjugation instead of , which means ‘you’ in English. Other countries in Latin America also use vos, however, the vos has completely replaced the  in Argentinean and Uruguayan Spanish, making it a very obvious way to note these regions' form of speech.

Check out his song Por una cabeza for more context.

In the first couple of lines of the tango, Gardel sings:

Por una cabeza, de un noble potrillo
Que justo en la raya, afloja al llegar
Y que al regresar, parece decir
No olvides,...

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Multiple Meanings of Coger

dialects Nov 02, 2020
 
As we know, Spanish is spoken in many different countries and thus, has different dialects and accents. What can also happen though, is that the same word can take on a different meaning in a particular context: 
 
In Colombia, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, Spain, Panamá, Perú, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, the connotation of coger is innocent, and refers to the act of picking something up, catching a form of transportation, or carrying an object.

Some uses:
Voy a coger el autobús.
Translation: I'm going to catch the bus
Coge un abrigo, por la noche refresca.
Translation: Carry a jacket, it gets colder at night.
Coja esa basura que se le cayó al suelo.
Translation: Pick up that garbage that fell to the floor.

In Argentina, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, México, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela however, it means... to sleep with someone
 
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