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  #1  
Old 14 Jun 2006
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Question Learning Spanish

Having searched through the hubb and found about the immersion spanish courses in Mexico, I have decided to learn a little bit of spanish before i hit mexico.

The question is for central and south america, do I opt for normal spanish or latin spanish, all comments and opinions gratefully appreciated.

Kind regards

Paul
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  #2  
Old 14 Jun 2006
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Cool

If you learn 'Mexican' Spanish you'll be understood throughout most of Latin America. In some of the more remote regions, the indigenous people learn Spanish as a second language and will likely have difficulty understanding you anyhow.

Besides, unless this is a refresher course to revive previous years of Spanish study, you aren't likely to learn a whole heck of a lot in an immersion course unless it lasts a substantial time (months). Greetings, numbers, a few simple questions for shopping or asking directions - don't get your hopes up that you'll learn a lot in a short course...
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  #3  
Old 14 Jun 2006
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Brclarke hit the proverbial nail on the head with this one. There are many differences between "Mexican" Spanish vs. "Salvadoran" Spanish, for instance, but you or I will never figure them out. It is similar to a truck being called a lorry (or a lorry being called a truck). But like someone from a Spanish speaking nation who learns English to ask for more simpler things such as directions or the time, the basic courses should suffice for the Spanish language, and don't worry about "normal" vs "Latin" Get what is the easiest to find.
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Old 30 Aug 2006
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Necesitas aprender castellano

In most southamerican countrys people speak castellano and not the regular "spanish" español.
Add to this influences from brasilian portuguese and regionalisms.......
But castellano is the best.
Mexican will be fine.
Saludos
KH
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Old 30 Aug 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flying Gringo
If you learn Spanish as it is spoken in Spain it will have the same effect in Mexico and the rest of latin america as a british accent has on american girls... Comprende?
Go and watch "Y Tu Mama Tambien" which illustrates the great humour that Mexicans and Iberians find in each others accents. My girlfriend (Basque) regularly takes the piss out of the Mexican accent and giggled all the way through it.

From what I understand by my Spanish speaking friends, Iberian Spanish is less formal and uses more slang than South American Spanish so it may be better to learn a South American version. Just remember that accents in South America are as diverse as Europe because most of the people there are European immigrants or decendants speaking Spanish. They will laugh at you, but they won't be insulted (they're not French).
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  #6  
Old 31 Aug 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog
Hi Paul,
I'd learn any sort of Spanish you can. All the regional slang and accents will soon be sorted once you're in country a week or two. But get the basics first.

I would enroll immediatley in a local begginers Spanish course there in the UK.
You will need to get to at least level two before an immersion experience will
do you much good. If you were under 6 years old this would not be true, as
kids are like sponges regards languages.

There are three main countries that have very distinctive accents in Latin
America. Northern Mexico (In DF they speak very good Spanish), Chile, and
Argentina. I spent years in Argentina so I "get" the accent. I have a hell of a time with Chilean Spanish. But Argentine Spanish is unique but beautiful.

Colombians, it is said, speak the best and purest Spanish in all of Latin America. Non indigenous Spanish speakers in most all the other countries all speak fairly "standard" Spanish, easily understood and free and heavy regional accents and slang. (to a point of course).

Saludos,

Patrick
A former lecturer of mine described Argentinian Spanish as Spanish with an Italian accent.
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Old 31 Aug 2006
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For as much Spanish as can be learned in 2 weeks(the absolute minimum) to say, 6 weeks(much better), it really isn't going to matter. You will be keeping it simple anyhow.
Having lived in Mexico and Costa Rica, the most obvious difference to me, is that the informal "Tu"(you) is not used here in C.R., except between lovers and perhaps within the family with small children.
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  #8  
Old 1 Sep 2006
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Thank you

Thank you all very much for the replies

Think I will do a family stay prob in Guatamela for about 3 weeks. I studied spanish at school but that seems such a long time ago. I am sorta hoping alot of it will start to come back to me as I travel further down.

Life is a steap learning curve and will all be part of the experience/

Thank you all once more

Paul
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  #9  
Old 1 Sep 2006
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Hola!

Hey Paul,

I spent a week in Granda recently, getting to grips with the absolute basics. when I got back too London I came across a website that I found really useful in concreting what I had learnt and keeping my pronunciation practice going. it includes South American and European Spanish pronunciation examples, so gives you an excellent idea what the difference is. Also, if you are focussing on South American Spanish you manage to miss out some of the mad pronoun conjugations - lucky bum!

See if this helps:

www.studyspanish.com

Click on 'free stuff' - naturally
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Old 4 Sep 2006
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Paul:
As a Mexican, I can say that there is not much problem about spanish differences between countries, maybe a few smiles or laughs for some words that the locals will not catch, but it happens even from state to state in our country, not to mention between countires.
Here are some words used in different Mexican locations for meaning "kid or guy": Chavo, Morro, Compa, Amigo, Cuate, Chiquillo, Chaval, Chamaco, Niño, Bato, etc.



If you learn any basic spanish, you are on the road, then take a notebook so you can track record of the new words you learn from place to place, you will have fun.

In conclusion I would say that you will comunicate efficiently once you learn any kind of spanish.


Good Luck in your adventure

Humberto
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  #11  
Old 5 Sep 2006
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I think is not possible to talk about a Latin American accent as any country have a different accent.
Don't worry about your pronunciation, as you try to speak Spanish all the people will appreciate your effort to communicate then will be very more friendly than the typical gringo that try to solve any problem with $5.00, but sure you are not the typical gringo tourist as you want to learn and travel riding a bike.

If you want to learn the best Castellano in all the word, go to Colombia. The Colombians speak with the most pure and beautiful accent and are the most friendly people in all the continent. Here in Chile we speak very bad, too fast and without modulation.
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  #12  
Old 5 Sep 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiasDePlaya
.........
Don't worry about your pronunciation, as you try to speak Spanish all the people will appreciate your effort to communicate then will be very more friendly ......
Yes. This where the gold is found...the people!
Helpful beyond what you could ever believe, if you're real and sincere.

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