Spanish is the fourth most spoken language in the world, behind Mandarin, English, and Hindi. It’s not surprising that for some people with other native languages, it can be complicated to learn because each country or region has its own variants and differences. A perfect example is the comparison between Spain, the European country, and all the countries belonging to Latin America.

Although both regions speak the same language, confusion often arises among native speakers themselves. This is because in Spain, Spanish is used in a very different way than it is typically used in countries such as Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, Chile, Peru, etc.

Adapting language to each country in marketing campaigns is important for several reasons. Each country has its own unique culture, customs, and traditions. Language can be an important part of a country’s culture, and using language that is inappropriate or offensive can negatively impact a marketing campaign. Adapting language to each country can help ensure that the campaign is culturally appropriate and resonates with the target audience. Also, language that is unfamiliar or confusing to the target audience can make it difficult for them to understand the message of the marketing campaign.

Adapting language to each country can help ensure that the message is communicated clearly and effectively, and can help make the marketing campaign more localized and relevant to the target audience. Overall, adapting language to each country in marketing campaigns is important to ensure that the campaign is culturally appropriate, effectively communicates the message, is localized, and maintains a positive brand image.

Spanish and Mexican: peculiarities about Spanish language in each country

The most notable difference is the pronunciation of words and letters. There are significant differences, for example, in Spain, they tend to pronounce the letters “S” and “C” with a sound similar to a “zeta” or “theta” when they are followed by a vowel and as an “S” when followed by a consonant. In contrast, in Latin America, both “S”, “C”, and “Z” are usually pronounced as an “S”, whatever the case may be. However, in Argentina, it could be mentioned that they have a pronunciation of these letters similar to that used in Spain.

Undoubtedly, the biggest challenge for speakers of other languages, especially English native speakers, is the pronunciation of “R” and “RR” because they are sounds that do not exist in many languages. These should be pronounced with a strong and vibrant sound produced by vibrating the tongue with the upper part of the mouth. “R” is pronounced with a soft and brief sound, while “RR” is a stronger and longer sound.

In terms of grammar, Spanish-speaking countries usually follow the rules established by the Real Academia Española (RAE), so it can be said that it is universal. Still, there are differences in grammar and syntax depending on the region; in the case of Spain, “vosotros” is usually used to refer to a group of people, while in Latin America, “ustedes” is used.

Examples of differences between Spanish in Spain and Spanish in Latin American countries

Idioms also present differences because each country has its expressions. For example, in Spain, they often say “qué pasada” when they want to refer to something exceptional, while each country in Latin America has a different way of making that same reference with other words: “qué chimba” (Colombia), “qué fino” (Venezuela).

These are other examples:

  • Pronunciation: In Spain, the pronunciation of the letter “c” before “e” and “i” is a “th” sound (as in “thin”), while in Latin America, it is pronounced as an “s” sound. For example, the word “cinco” (five) is pronounced “th-ink-o” in Spain and “sin-ko” in Latin America.
  • Vocabulary: There are several words that are used differently in Spain and Latin America. For example, the word “coche” means “car” in Spain, but “baby carriage” in some Latin American countries. Similarly, the word “plata” means “silver” in Spain, but “money” in some Latin American countries.
  • Grammar: There are also some differences in grammar. For example, in Spain, the present perfect tense (“he comido”) is used more frequently than in Latin America, where the simple past tense (“comí”) is used more often.
  • Slang: Finally, there are many regional slang words and expressions that are unique to each country or region. For example, in Mexico, “chido” means “cool,” while in Spain, “guay” is used instead. Similarly, in Argentina, “laburar” means “to work,” while in Spain, “trabajar” is used instead.

Use of “tú” and “usted/ustedes”

In both Spain and Latin America, “tú” or “vos” (the latter being generally used only in Argentina and Uruguay) is used to address a person in informal situations. When the term “usted” is used, it is understood that the situation is formal and that respect is being shown towards the other person.

On the other hand, the term “ustedes” refers to a group of 2 or more people and is mostly used in Latin America, both in formal and informal situations.

In the case of Spain, there are two ways to address plural groups of people. Normally, in informal situations, the term “vosotros” is used, while in formal events, speeches, galas, or any other formal situations, the term “ustedes” is used.

Image: Depositphotos

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