How well do you know about the Spanish dialects?

What is your first thought when you hear someone speak Spanish around you or on television? Does it bring pictures of ‘Narcos’ episodes, delicious tacos and quesadillas or romantic Spanish poetry? You can spot these emblems of the Spanish culture and language all around you as Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world.

The Spanish language has many dialects spoken in different parts of the world. It is important to be aware of these dialects which will help you learn more about the Spanish culture. It will also be fun when you are able to recognise someone speaking in an unfamiliar dialect.

If you are in the process of learning the language through a proper degree or Spanish evening courses, this blog will satiate your curiosity on the dialects of the language.

Read on to know about six major dialects of the language that are spoken across the globe.

1. Castilian Spanish

This dialect is one of the most widely known and spoken of all the dialects of the Spanish language. The dialect is known for different verb conjugations than other dialects. For instance, the verb form of ‘Vostros’ is used informally in Castilian Spanish as opposed to other dialects.

Another major difference that you can observe is the –ra ending being used in association with the imperfect subjunctives in other dialects whereas there is a –se ending in Castilian Spanish.

2. Andalusian Spanish

Andalusian Spanish is the second-most spoken Spanish dialect in Spain. The dialect is very fluid and much softer than other dialects. This is because people speaking the dialect emit the consonants ‘d’ and ‘r’ to soften the sound of the words.

3. Rioplatense Spanish

The Rioplatense Spanish is spoken in many parts of Uruguay and Argentina. It has derived its name from the Rio de la Plata, a river between the borders of the two countries. This dialect is heavily influenced by the Italian language owing to the alrge number of Italian immigrants in those areas.

A significant distinction of the dialect is the substitution of the double l in classical Spanish with ‘sh’ in Rioplatense Spanish.

4. Caribbean Spanish

Caribbean Spanish is mostly spoken in the countries of Cuba, Puerto rico and the Dominican Republic. This dialect is known for its fast pace and colloquial terminology. Caribbean Spanish speakers also tend to drop the ‘d’ from the end of words. Thus, a common Spanish word ‘mitad’ becomes ‘mita’ in Caribbean Spanish.

Dominican Spanish is perhaps the most difficult to understand as the speakers in the region cut off huge chunks off a word. For example, instead of saying “esta,” they say it as “ta.”

5. Andean Spanish

Andean Spanish is spoken by people in Bolivia, Colombia, Equador, Peru and some regions of Venezuela. This dialect is influences by indigenous languages and well as its European heritage. You will probably find Andean Spanish the easiest to understand if you are learning Spanish as Andean speakers clearly pronounce their consonants.

6. Mexican Spanish

Most of the Spanish you hear in movies and TV shows is usually the Mexican dialect. Spanish is the mother tongue of most Mexicans and Mexico is the largest contributor to the Spanish cinema and media. It is very easy to understand the Mexican dialect as native speakers usually have clear pronunciation. This dialect is also known for the presence of most slang words.

Every Spanish dialect has its own quirks and unique stories behind the differences from the classical Spanish language. If you are a history buff, make sure you read up on these stories to make your Spanish classes more interesting and fun.

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