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IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

How do native Spanish speakers sound to each other?

Asked by IchtheosaurusRex (8661points) August 15th, 2008

I met a man who is originally from Venezuela yesterday, and his accent sounded almost German. Most of the native Spanish speakers I’ve met to date have been either of Mexican or Cuban origin, and I can hear the differences between their accents, too.

Now, everyone in the U.S. speaks with a regional accent, and we sound different from people in the U.K and other English speaking countries, but it got me wondering. Spanish is spoken in a lot of different places. How do native Spanish speakers sound to each other, and are the differences in their accents any more pronounced than those of English speakers?

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14 Answers

flameboi's avatar

Each country, and certain regions within each country have a differen accent…

srmorgan's avatar

There are strong regional differences both in Spain and in Latin America. The Chilenos and Argentinos that I have met will use what is almost a “J” sound where other Spanish speakers will use a Y sound, for example Joe me Jamo, instead of Yo me llamo.

In New York I noticed that many people from Puerto Rico would use a gutteral H sound instead of R at the beginning of a word such that Geraldo Rivera ended up as Geraldo Hivera,
There are lots of variations as in any wide-spread language.

SRM

pathfinder's avatar

This works as among the countyes.I mean if you are in some another part of Spanish speaking area you need to listnen what local people talk.

bearfair's avatar

As everyone has said above, Spanish sounds different from country to country. It also sounds different in different parts of the same country. I lived in a small city in SW Spain called Cadiz for a year, and anytime I traveled to Barcelona or Madrid or Granada or wherever, people sounded totally different. Also, people could tell that I had been studying Spanish in Cadiz because of my accent- not my American accent, my Spanish accent. There are definitely big differences in regional accents there.

dulcecorazon's avatar

Definitely everybody sounds different, not only regional speakers, especially because of their educational background. (In a Robotic American Accent.)

sinscriven's avatar

Like the difference between American and British English, the difference is pretty apparent.

I speak Mexican Spanish, and it’s really obvious to me when someone is from South America, as their tones and method of speaking sounds more European in tone, if not from the Spanish, then the Germans, or the Dutch, or Portuguese. As srmorgan mentioned, General Latin American spanish i’ve noticed has a different sound for the letter LL, which has a sound like (yeh) in Mexican spanish, to them reads like (jeh).

Castillian Spanish, as spoken in spain sounds a lot different to me, aside from the same LL/J difference, they speak much much faster, and have a sort of lisp to the way of their speaking. And then there’s catalan, and aragonese, and that might as well be a different language.

srmorgan's avatar

@sinscriven
The feature of the Castilian accent (Castellano) that is most noticeable is the substitution of a “th” sound in most Spanish words that use a zeta (Z) as in manzana or zapato or a soft C as in calcetines which would sound Kalthetines.. The first C is hard and is the same in all Spanish dialects; the second c would be soft and then the S at the end of the word would sound like a “normal” S.

The other obvious difference is how the number five is spoken, it sounds like finco instead of cinco as in the rest of the Hispanic world.

Within Spain, people from Madrid (Madrilenos) would pronounce their home town like Madrith.. with the “th” actually extended such as Madrithhhh… This is not to sound like Daffy Duck saying thufferin thuccotash. It’s hard to convey the exact sound orthorgraphically.

SRM

sinscriven's avatar

@srmorgan
Thanks for enlightening me on that, that explains the whole sounding like a lisp thing.

That how Madrilenos say Madrid thing is going to bug me for a while, it’s the one thing google wouldn’t give me an answer to.

icebox355's avatar

Very fast and quiet

SeventhSense's avatar

From my understanding Spain is the most formal;like Britain is to the English language. They use the vosotros. The vosotros form is used on a daily basis in Spain and rarely even heard in the rest of Spanish speaking world outside of church and in books and films that come from Spain, although people in other Spanish-speaking countries do understand it.

elcastellano's avatar

Actually SeventhSense you’re wrong, we ain’t the most formal. We cuss like sailors. and vosotros was around befor venerial diseases, Vds. sorry ustedes. Bilingual joke. Ok humor aside.

anywhozits, as one whos heard mostly spanish castilian, and mexican castilian, I find it hard to understand other dialects don’t know why (except for peruanos and colombianos, and boricuas for some reason). And before anyone argues on it being called castilian, I know several mexicans that call it castellano too. I also no some that say español. and I use to say hablo español all the time, but I learnd some historia and now I say castilian. Now we don’t speak with a lisp. There wasn’t no lisping king, if that was true then we’d pronounce s’s with a z (zeta or theta.). @ sinscriven your wrong to. We don’t substitute the theta for s it evolved that way and it’s here to stay. (I will say there are ceceante regions, lisping reagions, where they over correct and pronounce s as if it were z) Actually if I’m not mistaken I believe in my studies we learned that the zeta or theta sound evolved first from ts sound then the s from ts sound came about. Look at it this way, would you say I need to take a bass for I need to take a bath or Hey bess for Hey beth. Just givin y’all somethin to think about. Os dejo algo en que podéis pensar. Language is just quirkey, get used to it and accept that some regions have their pronounciations and others there’s, learn your version and you’ll be fine anywhere, as long as you use edumacated castilian then you’ll be fine. Sorry pronunthiathiones. Or better yet: pronunziaziones. laters

elcastellano's avatar

Take that back I understand porto rikens some times

SeventhSense's avatar

@elcastellano
Well formal inasmuch as the country with the most weight as per the language…Vulgarity notwithstanding.

Strauss's avatar

When I studied Spanish in school, it was, of course, Castillano. I lived in Texas for some time and became almost fluent in Spanish when speaking and working with native Spanish speakers there. When I later moved to Florida, I had someone who called herself a “Puerto-yorkan”, who said my Spanish sounded very formal to her (her term for it was high-class).

I have also noticed differences in the Spanish spoken in California, Colorado, and even different regions of Texas. There seem to be larger differences in speakers from various South American countries,

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