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HANDS-ON: SPANISH > ¿WHICH SPANISH?

¿WHICH SPANISH?

Spanish is a lot like English in that it’s spoken in numerous countries, but rarely spoken consistently among countries. The most pronounced differences in Spanish are found between the Spanish spoken in Spain (often called Castilian or Iberian Spanish) and the Spanish spoken in Mexico, the U.S., and parts of Latin America. Castilian Spanish is more formal than Mexican Spanish. The general line of thinking is that the closer you get to the U.S., the more informal the Spanish becomes. Within the U.S., there is a growing use of “Spanglish,” a mix, or fusion, of Spanish and English. The phrase tiempo is money is an example of how Spanish and English are now used interchangeably in many parts of the U.S.; entirely new words have also been created. Some people view Spanglish as a language all its own; others view it as a bastardization of English and Spanish. Although you probably won’t localize your web site with Spanglish in mind, it’s important to be aware that this trend exists.

FYI

Although Castilian (Spanish) is the official language of Spain, it’s not the only language used in Spain. Other distinct languages spoken in Spain include Catalan, Galician, and Euskera (the Basque language).



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