Talk:Spanish language in the Americas

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I'd prefer to talk about Spanish language in the Americas -- Error 05:11 22 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Concue, and moved. "American Spanish" more likely refers to the Spanish spoken in the US in the English language. Since both meanings have a claim on the term, and since neither would accespt the other, I've converted American Spanish to a DAB page. - BilCat (talk) 19:50, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

There is NO SUCH THING as Latin American Spanish[edit]

I am an expert on the different variants of the Spanish language. I have lived in Spain and in 5 Spanish- American countries. Spanish is my native language, together with English. My web page is:

I can assure you from personal experience, including systematic observation and note-taking, that there is no such thing as Latin American Spanish. Argentine Spanish is more similar to European Spanish than it is to Colombian Spanish. Mexican Spanish is similar to nothing. And that is a typical situation. Consequently the term "Latin American Spanish" is meaningless.

There are only two or three traits with respect to which the Spanish of the Americas is clearly distinguished from the Spanish of Spain. They are:

a. Phonetics: lisping (i.e. pronouncing like the English TH in “throat”). In Northern and Central Spain the letter Z and the letter C in the combinations CI & CE are lisped. In southern Spain and the Americas, on the contrary, Z, CI & CE are pronounced like S.

b. Pronouns & verb forms: In Spain a certain verb form and its attendant personal pronoun are used for the second person plural, but are not used anywhere in the Americas (or the Canary Islands). The pronoun in question is vosotros and the pertinent verb endings in present indicative are –áis or –éis, depending on conjugation. In the Canaries and the Americas the pronoun is ustedes and the verb forms are those of the 3rd person plural.

c. Pronouns & verb forms: There is a third trait that appears in all Spanish speaking countries of the Americas, but only in certain regions of each country (except in Guatemala & Chile, where use is uniform nationwide but diverges from usage in the other countries), and is nowhere used in Spain. It is the use of the familiar 2nd person singular vos instead of the standard tú. The attendant verb forms are variants of the verb forms for vosotros shown in (b).

These three traits are THE ONLY ONES in which the Spanish of Spain is clearly distinguished from that of the Americas. In every other respect it's a free-for all, i.e. the chances of European Spanish choosing option A and all American countries choosing the same alternative option B, is close to zero.

These three traits by themselves, in my opinion, do not suffice to constitute a language variant. Their combined effect on comprehension is not overwhelming. Certainly there are vocabulary differences between, say, Uruguay and Panama, that are far greater obstacles to comprehension than the one that these three differences combined pose to comprehension between Europe and the Americas.

Consequently to speak of an entity called ¨Latin American Spanish¨ is to conjure up a pathetic little creature consisting of only 3 parts, which are not, or only barely, interconnected, and are of little practical importance. In other words “Latin American Spanish” is a phantom, a mythological creature created for the convenience of busy lexicographers with little time for analysis.

Carl Stoll —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mumbo-jumbophobe (talkcontribs) 21:26, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

I think this is very well expressed. I suppressed some POV and wikified, and added as a section called "Common traits". (talk) 19:34, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

I agree with the above. I think the general line of this article should be explaining the non-existence of Latin American Spanish, something which is evident to anyone who is a native spanish speaker and has travelled both in Spain and Latin America.

I do not agree that Argentinian Spanish is closer to European Spanish than Colombian though. Colombian and European Spanish are definitely closer to each other, in my opinion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:32, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

Mutual intelligibility and amount of diversity[edit]

I think this article would benefit from a general indication of how much these varieties of Spanish differ, ideally in comparison to some benchmark that is graspable by English speakers (e.g. difference between British English and American English). This could also include a comment on the extent to which they are all mutually intelligible. (talk) 03:46, 14 December 2012 (UTC)