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Popular Spanish Dialects You Should Know

Popular Spanish Dialects You Should Know

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With 460 million native speakers Spanish is officially the second most popular language in the world. While you may assume these speakers are located in Spain, you’re entirely mistaken. Spanish is also used in other countries, mainly Latin America, which contains Mexico – the highest Spanish-speaking nation globally.

Not only is Spanish spoken in different countries, these nations also use different Spanish dialects which vary in terms of pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar.
Whether you are looking to target Spain’s Spanish speakers or Mexico’s Spanish speakers, Pangea Global offers quality Spanish translations in all these dialects.
So, to make things a little clearer, and to ensure your Spanish content resonates to your Spanish audience, we present to you the 10 most common Spanish dialects around the world:

1. Castilian

(Peninsular Spanish)

The most popular dialect in Spain is Castilian, which is mainly spoken in the Northern and Central areas of the country. It differs from other Spanish dialects through its varying verb conjugations, its vostros verb form, imperfect subjunctives and pronunciation, such as the letters “c” and “z” which are often pronounced with a “th” sound. Referred to as “the original Spanish language”, Castilian is one of the most widely known dialects around the world.

2. Andalusian

(Peninsular Spanish)

The next most popular dialect used in Spain is the Andalusian dialect, which is mainly heard in the southern part of the country such as Andalusia and Gibraltar. Most differences are determined by the ceceo/seseo distinction, the aspiration of the consonant ‘s’ at the end of words, the removal of the consonants, ‘d’ and ‘r’, and the dropping of final consonants.

3. Murcian

(Peninsular Spanish)

Murcian is a dialect that can be heard in the Autonomous Region of the Community of Murcia in the southeast of Spain. It is one of the least popular Spanish dialects as well as one of the hardest to learn. It is so distinct that some native speakers consider it a “separate” language from Spanish and refer to it as “llengua murciana”.

4. Canarian

(Canarian Spanish)

As the name suggests, Canarian is spoken in the Canary Islands. It is considered very similar to Caribbean Spanish and it is heavily influenced by the Portuguese language due to the island’s history (when Portugal tried to colonise the islands). Canarian is unique in terms of the aspiration of ‘s’, the emitted consonants, and the pronunciation of ‘h.’

5. Llanito

(Gibralter Spanish)

Home to Gibralter, the Llanito dialect is considered a combination of Andalusian Spanish and English, due to the area being a British overseas territory. Dubbed “Europe’s quirkiest language”, Llanito also has Genoese, Maltese and Portuguese influence. It’s extremely recognisable for its use of “English expressions or abbreviated English words” that are pronounced with a Spanish twist.

6. Latin American Spanish

(LATAM Spanish)

Latin American is a vast ‘dialect’ or ‘form of Spanish’ as it is used in several countries such as Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Argentina and Bolivia. In fact, Mexico in particular, has the highest number of Spanish speakers in the world – more so than Spain. With clear pronunciations and no dropping of words, LATAM Spanish is sometimes similar to Castilian and can be mutually understood, but it still differs in terms of pronunciations and grammar.

7. Rioplatense Spanish

(LATAM Spanish)

Rioplatense Spanish is spoken in Argentina and Uruguay, as well as in the River Basin region between the two countries. It is distinct from the dialects used in other Latin American countries, making it worthy of a separate mention. Rioplatense is characterised by its use of pronouns, its pronunciation (such as the sounds “y” and “ll”) and the intonation of its speakers, which has been compared to the Italian language, rather than Spanish.

8. Caribbean Spanish

(LATAM Spanish)

Caribbean Spanish is the dialect used in Caribbean countries such as Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and also in areas in the East coast of Mexico and Central America. It is unique against other dialects in the sense that it omits the letters “s” and “d” when at the end of a word, its emitted middle consonants, and the aspiration of the ‘r’ which is pronounced like the Portuguese ‘x.’ Once again, Caribbean Spanish is heavily influenced by Portuguese due to the area’s history.

9. Equatoguinean Spanish

(African Spanish)

This form of Spanish is the only kind you will hear in Africa. It is mainly spoken in Equatorial Guinea and is more like Peninsular Spanish than American Spanish dialects. The language has taken on characteristics from native Guineans and immigrant Germans of Cameroon such as its vocabulary and pronunciations.

So, there you have it – 10 common Spanish dialects around the world! If you are on the hunt to translate English to Spanish, vice versa, or any other language in the book, get in touch! Pangea Global is a professional translation service with several Spanish translators ready and equipped to take your project on board!

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