4 abr 2017

Spanish Accents And How To Spot Them

It is a well known fact that Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, after Chinese and English. However, did you know that this has produced so many different dialects, and with that, accents, that it would be impossible to describe them all in this article? We understand that it can be almost impossible to understand someone with an accent you have never heard before – so much so that it may not even sound like Spanish! Here, we will break down a few of the most common accents in the Hispanic world so you can tell them apart, and let you in on a few local phrases too.


Castilian is what many Europeans are describing when they refer to a “neutral” Spanish accent, spoken in central and Northern Spain. It is also the accent most students of Spanish are taught to pronounce. For example, say “gracias” out loud. Did you pronounce the “c” as a “th” sound? This is the Castilian way, and we will see how other Spanish accents say the same word differently.


Often described as the most distinctive accent in Spain, there goes a saying of the natives of this area: “Los andaluces se comen las palabras” - “Andalucians eat up their words.” It is common in Andalucía to drop the “s” and “d” sounds in words. For example, the following sentence is written as an Andalucían would pronounce it – can you work out what it would be in normal written Spanish?

“¿To’o u’te’e e’tan e’peran’o el autobu’?”


Being one of the most popular languages in the world, of course Spanish is not limited to Spain! Most countries in South America have Spanish as their main language, including Mexico. Some may say this is the opposite of the Andalucían accent we explored before, as Mexicans tend to pronounce every letter in Spanish words. Remember how “gracias” is pronounced in Castilian Spanish? In Mexican Spanish, and all other Latin American countries, the “c” is said as an “s” – this is known as “seseo.” To help you understand Mexican Spanish better, why not take a look at these local phrases?

“No tener dos dedos de frente” – To be as thick as two short planks, not very bright
“¡Aguas!” – Be careful! Take care!


Argentinian Spanish has a lot of the same characteristics as other Latin American countries, but due to heavy Italian influence, especially in the capital of Buenos Aires, they have some speaking habits that may not seem very Spanish at all! You have probably been taught to pronounce the Spanish “ll” as a “y” sound – not in Argentina! In Buenos Aires, it resembles an English “zh”. They also use “vos” instead of the “tú” form. You may hear Argentinians saying some of the following phrases – here’s what they mean!

“Tener mala leche” – To have bad luck
“Estar en el horno” – To be in trouble

So now you know a little more about how diverse the Spanish accent can be, and hopefully you can tell a few accents apart! Did you enjoy learning about the accents?

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