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Like any language that’s widely spoken, Spanish is made of distinct dialects. Broadly, they’re separable into New World and Old World varieties. Within the former, you have Mexican, Central American, Caribbean, Andean-Pacific, Rioplatense, and Chilean. In the latter, you have Northern Peninsular, Central-Southern Peninsular, Southern Peninsular, Canarian, and Philippine Spanish.
Within the subgroups of Spanish dialects, you have even finer distinctions. For instance, the Spanish of Spain itself has five significant subcategories where the pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar can differ substantially. That’s not to minimize the value of being generally comfortable with Spanish—it will be invaluable. The majority of the language is fairly stable, from the mountains of Spain to the heart of Mexico City.
Getting comfortable with the nuances of Spanish dialects can take some time. But remember, you don’t have to tackle everything at once. As you move forward on your language journey, you’ll learn to distinguish the exact meaning of the word through the context of the sentence.
Learn Spanish Words and Phrases
People choose to learn Spanish for a myriad of reasons. Many find themselves surrounded by the language in their daily lives. After all, Spanish is heard in popular music, movies, and TV shows. Other people want to learn Spanish based on their plans to volunteer, vacation, or work in any of the 20 countries where Spanish is the official language. Regardless of your reason for learning Spanish, you can get off to a great start by first learning how to pronounce some very basic words and phrases. It is a necessary step to understand and be understood by any of the 437 million people around the world who speak Spanish.
Often times, new Spanish learners get sidetracked trying to memorize lengthy lists of Spanish vocabulary words and phrases. Then they become frustrated because they have little-to-no ability to participate in everyday Spanish conversation. That’s why it’s strongly advised that new Spanish language learners focus on understanding and pronouncing basic words and phrases most commonly used in real-world Spanish. This smart and practical approach to learning Spanish will help you become a confident and comfortable Spanish speaker.
You should note that Spanish does have some pronunciation distinctions that can make it a challenge for language learners. As one example, the letter r is pronounced differently and takes some practice for most new learners. This distinct sound is formed by tapping the tip of the tongue on the roof of the mouth, about a third of the way back in the mouth. Some Spanish language experts suggest new learners practice making the “tt” sound, as it sounds in the English word butter.
Honing the skills to accurately pronounce Spanish requires immediate feedback on your pronunciation efforts. Rosetta Stone helps you dial in your pronunciation with our TruAccent™ speech-recognition engine. TruAccent compares your voice to native and non-native speakers—in real-time—so you get the feedback you need for the most accurate pronunciation. It’s also adjustable, which allows you to tweak your accent as needed. TruAccent is a powerful tool for helping you learn and speak the Spanish language.
After you have developed the ability to understand basic Spanish words and short phrases, you can move onto the longer phrases used in everyday conversation. Rosetta Stone’s 10-minute language lessons are designed to lead you along this natural path to learning. You’ll first focus on learning Spanish basic words and phrases, then you’ll move onto learning longer Spanish phrases, and then towards learning to speak Spanish with confidence.
Try Our Award-Winning App
Surround yourself with Spanish whenever, wherever with the Rosetta Stone app.
Download a unit and knock it out on the train or a flight. Select a 5-10 minute lesson and sneak it in while you wait in line or for your ride to show up. And explore dynamic features, like Seek and Speak, where you can point at an object in the real world and get a translation.
The best part? You don’t have to choose between app or desktop. Both come with your subscription and sync, so you can switch between devices seamlessly.