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troubleinharlem's avatar

Why is Spain Spanish different than Mexico Spanish?

Asked by troubleinharlem (7981points) June 22nd, 2010

I’m in Spain right now, and they pronounce the ‘c’ as a ‘th’ sort of sound. Why is it different, when they speak the same language?

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12 Answers

bob_'s avatar

Because people speak the same language in different ways. How many people say “you all” in Texas? All I heard was y’all. How come nobody said y’all when I was in New York?

That’s the case with Spanish, that’s the case with any other language you can think of.

troubleinharlem's avatar

@bob_ : Well, yes, that’s true, but Spanish started out over in Spain, so why don’t they speak it the same way? Why did it change?

Or did it start over in Spain?

Jeruba's avatar

Why don’t we in the U.S. sound like Brits?

Languages and dialects evolve. Spain and Mexico are widely separated, their histories following different courses, and Mexico has been subject to many influences that have not touched Spain (and vice versa). Mexico also has an indigenous population with a different language history; Spain is a country in Europe, touched by neighbors that are nowhere near Mexico. The parallel with the U.S. is not too far-fetched.

dpworkin's avatar

The Catalan lisp began when a member of Spanish Royalty spoke with a lisp, and the lisp became the Prestige form to which all others migrated. Dialects tend to be regional, so that people who speak the same dialect but are separated by distance tend to diverge over time, which is why there is such a thing as an accent. On the East Coast of the United States accents change sometimes within 20 miles. The Bronx and Brooklyn accents, are different from one another, and from the Hoboken Accent, even though the three places are within miles of one another.

In the specific case of the Catalan lisp, tecnically there was a movement away from “th” as an allophone of the phoneme “s”, but that is not the only structural difference. It is merely the only structural difference you happen to perceive.

bob_'s avatar

@troubleinharlem I see that @Jeruba and @dpworkin have already answered your questions, but let me know if you have any other doubts.

Y’all be cool!

gailcalled's avatar

@troubleinharlem: You will find both subtle and not-so-subtle differences in the Spanish spoken in all the Central and South American countries. (exthept Brathil).

dpworkin's avatar

They don’t speak Spanish in Brazil, dolling. They speak Portuguese in Brazil.

gailcalled's avatar

@dpworkin: (I thertainly know that. I was trying to be suttle)

ApolloX64's avatar

I had the opportunity to host a French exchange student for a few weeks here in Ontario, Canada last year; and when he was out and about in downtown Kingston he asked a woman for some directions. When she noticed his accent, she got all excited and started speaking French to him. He had to stop her and ask her to speak English since he couldn’t understand a word, she was speaking Quebec French.
The differences between the two are sometimes subtle, but a lot of Quebec French is littered with short-forms and slang terms that Parisian French never integrated (not to mention accents), so watching the two interact is nothing short of hilarious.
Then there was the time I had to join a group of French Canadians in Thailand and they wanted to socialize with a French group, and they ended up sitting there unable to understand one another. But that’s a story for another time. (Ahhh… good times.)

dpworkin's avatar

Actually Quebec French is linguistically much closer to what was spoken in Paris 200 years ago then Parisian French is now.

anartist's avatar

I think Brazilian Portuguese and Portuguese Portuguese may be the same thing. Anybody know—is Brazilian Portuguese more like 18th or 19th century Portuguese Portuguese?

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