Spanish language in the Americas
Spanish language in the Americas, also known as American Spanish, (Spanish: español americano) refers to the Spanish spoken in the Americas, as opposed to European Spanish. Linguistically, this grouping is somewhat arbitrary, akin to having a term for "overseas English" encompassing variants spoken in the US, Canada, Australia, India, New Zealand and Ireland, but not England. The point is that there is great diversity among the various American dialects, and it would be hard to point to one trait shared by all of them which is not also in existence in one or more of the variants of Spanish used in Spain. Of the more than 469 million people who speak Spanish as their mother tongue, more than 418 million are in Latin America and the United States.
There are numerous regional particularities and idiomatic expressions within Spanish. In American Spanish, loanwords directly from English are relatively more frequent, and often foreign spellings are left intact. One notable trend is the higher abundance of loan words taken from English in Latin America as well as words derived from English. In Latin America they speak of la computadora while in Spain it's el ordenador, and each word sounds foreign in the region where it is not used. It is important to note that many of these differences are due to Iberian Spanish having a stronger French influence than Latin America, where, for geopolitical reasons, the United States influence has been predominant throughout the twentieth century.
Main features 
Pronunciation varies from country to country and from region to region, just as English pronunciation varies from one place to another. In general terms, the speech of the Americas shows many common features akin to southern Spanish dialects, especially to western Andalusia (Seville) and the Canary Islands. Coastal dialects throughout Latin America show more similarities to Atlantic-Andalusian speech patterns while inland regions in Mexico and Andean countries are, to a certain extent, closer to Castilian.
- Most Spaniards pronounce /z/ and /c/ before /i/ or /e/ as [θ], while most Latin Americans pronounce it as [s], the same as /s/. However, the absence of this distinction is also typical of parts of Southern Spain (notably Seville and Cádiz) and of the Canary Islands, and the predominant position of people from these areas in the conquest of and subsequent immigration to Latin America from Spain is largely the reason for the absence of this distinction in most Latin American dialects. The only exception to seseo in the Americas is the area around Cusco (Peru), where [θ] survives in a few words like the numbers doce, trece and, with some people, in the verb decir.
- Most of Spain, particularly the regions that have a distinctive [θ] phoneme, realize /s/ with the tip of tongue against the alveolar ridge. Phonetically this is an "apico-alveolar" "grave" sibilant]] [s̺], with a weak "hushing" sound reminiscent of retroflex fricatives. To a Latin American speaker, European Spanish /s/ is close to English sh as in she. Albeit, this apico-alveolar realization of /s/ is not uncommon in some Latin American Spanish dialects which lack [θ]; some inland Colombian Spanish (particularly Antioquia) and Andean regions of Peru and Bolivia also have an apico-alveolar /s/.
- As mentioned, Anglicisms are far more common in Latin America than in Spain, due to the stronger and more direct US influence.
- Equally, indigenous languages have left their mark on American Spanish, a fact which is particularly evident in vocabulary to do with flora, fauna and cultural habits.
- Doublets of Arabic-Latinate synonyms with the Arabic form are common in Latin American Spanish being influenced by Andalusian Spanish like Andalusian and Latin American alcoba. In this sense Latin American Spanish is closer to the dialects spoken in the south of Spain. Examples include standard habitación or dormitorio ('bedroom') or alhaja for standard joya ('jewel').
- See List of words having different meanings in Spain and Latin America.
- Disappearance of de which means "of" in certain expressions, as is the case with the dialect of Spanish in Canary Islands. Example: esposo Rosa instead of esposo de Rosa, gofio millo instead of gofio de millo, etc.
- Most American Spanish usually features yeísmo—that is, there is no distinction between /ll/ and /y/, and both are [ʝ]. However, Yeísmo is an expanding and now dominant feature of European Spanish, particularly in urban speech (Madrid, Toledo) and especially in Andalusia and Canary Islands, though in rural use [ʎ] is preserved, not only in central and northern Spain, but also in scatter areas of Andalusia and the Canary Islands . Speakers of Rioplatense Spanish pronounce both /ll/ and /y/ as [ʒ] or [ʃ]. The traditional pronunciation of the digraph /ll/ [ʎ] is preserved in some dialects along the Andes range, especially in inland Peru and Colombia highlands (Santander), northern Argentina, all Bolivia and Paraguay.
- Most speakers in coastal dialects may debuccalize syllable-final /s/ to [h], or drop it entirely, so that está [esˈta] ("s/he is") sounds like [ehˈta] or [eˈta], as in southern Spain (Andalusia, Murcia, Castile–La Mancha (except North-East), Madrid, Canary Islands, Ceuta and Melilla).
- Letters g (before /e/ or /i/) and j may be a voiceless velar fricative [x] in inland dialects (this sounds like German ch in Bach), and often firmly strong (rough), Castilian-style, in Peru. In Caribbean and other coastal dialects, as well as in all Colombia, it is usually [h] as in most southern Spanish speeches. Very often, especially in Argentina and Chile, [x] becomes fronter [ç] when preceding high vowels /e, i/ (these speakers approach [x] to the realization of German ch in ich).
- In many Caribbean speeches the phonemes /l/ and /r/ at the end of a syllable sound alike or can be exchanged: caldo > ca[r]do, cardo > ca[l]do. This happens at a reduced level in Ecuador and Chile as well and is a feature brought from Extremadura and westernmost Andalusia.
- In many Andean regions the alveolar trill of rata and carro is realized as an alveolar approximant [ɹ] or even as a voiced apico-alveolar /z/. The alveolar approximant realization is particularly associated with a native American substrate and it is quite common in Andean regions, especially in inland Ecuador, Peru, most of Bolivia and in parts of northern Argentina and Paraguay.
- Non prevocalic /n/ is velar [ŋ] in much Spanish American speech; this means a word like pan (bread) is often articulated ['paŋ]. To an English ear, those speakers that have a velar nasal for -n make pan sound like pang. Velarization of non prevocalic /n/ is so spread in the Americas that it is easier to mention those regions that maintain an alveolar, Castilian-style, /n/: most of Mexico, Colombia (except for coastal dialects) and Argentina (except for some northern regions). Elsewhere, velarization is common, though alveolar /n/ can appear among some educated speakers, especially in the media or in singing. Velar /-n/ is also frequent in Spain, especially in southern Spanish dialects (Andalusia and the Canary Islands) and also in the Northwest: Galicia, Asturias and León.
Local variations 
North America 
Central America 
- Costa Rican Spanish
- Guatemalan Spanish
- Honduran Spanish
- Nicaraguan Spanish
- Panamanian Spanish
- Salvadoran Spanish
The Caribbean 
South America 
- Amazonic Spanish
- Andean Spanish
- Bolivian Spanish
- Chilean Spanish
- Colombian Spanish
- Ecuadorian Spanish
- Paraguayan Spanish
- Peruvian Spanish
- Rioplatense Spanish (In Uruguay and most of Argentina)
- Venezuelan Spanish