If you are considering teaching your child to speak Spanish, or even learning it yourself, it’s a good idea to learn a little bit about the language itself and not just the phrases and grammar.

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People all over the world have a different way of speaking. For example, in the United States, if you decided to do some traveling, you would find that people have different accents from state to state. Someone from Texas wouldn’t speak the same way as someone from Maine. Did you know that it’s the same with Spanish? The Spanish language has different dialects that vary from not just country to country, but also from continent to continent.

For those planning to learn Spanish, it’s wise to learn about the different dialects to see how the language varies. There are a number of different Spanish dialects and in today’s blog, we will discuss the Castilian and Latin America dialects. To learn more about the other popular dialects, keep an eye out for part two of this multi-part series!

Castilian Dialect

The Castilian dialect is where it all began: Spain. Castilian is spoken in the peninsula and central Spain. About 99 percent of the population in Spain speaks the Castilian dialect of Spanish as either their primary or secondary language.

In the Spanish language, there are two words for the second person plural form. In English, we would say “y’all,” “you all,” or “you guys” for the second person plural. In the Spanish language, you would either use “ustedes” or “vosotros.” In many of the Spanish dialects, this is the differentiating factor. For the Castilian dialect, one would use vosotros instead of ustedes.

Another more commonly known distinction about the Castilian dialect is how people who speak in this dialect tend to drop the letters “c” and “z” and replace them with a “th” sound. For example, with the word Barcelona, you most likely read that with the “c” sounding like an “s.” People who speak with the Castilian dialect would say it as Bar-th-elona.

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Latin America Dialect

The Latin American dialect is an umbrella term that refers to Spanish-speaking countries in North and South America. If you were to take a language learning program in the United States, this is most likely the version of Spanish you would learn. As with any accent or dialect, there are particular sub-dialects associated with each country.

As mentioned above, the Castilian dialect uses the word vosotros in second person plural. The main differentiation is that the Latin American dialect uses the ustedes counterpart when referring to “you all” or “you guys.”

Phrases and “Slang” Terms

In every part of the world there will be different phrases and slang terms that are associated with the culture in that area. The Spanish language is no different. For example, in Costa Rican culture the phrase “Pura Vida,” or “Pure Life,” embodies the epitome of life. Pura Vida is used by those who are native to the Costa Rica area to reflect their abundance of natural resources like their volcanoes and rainforests. If you plan to visit a Spanish-speaking country, try and do some research into what phrases or slang words might be important to their culture.

If learning the Spanish language is something you are interested in learning or teaching to your child, Teach Spanish 2 Kids is a great resource. We offer a variety of Spanish learning tools to help you learn Spanish phrases and grammar. View our products on our website or contact us for more information about our program! Also, don’t forget to check out part two of this multi-part series where we will discuss more types of Spanish dialects.