es-americas/latin spanish

Tex Texin
Sun, 15 Sep 2002 23:34:34 -0400

The following message went out on the locales list

It summarizes the contents of the Spanish web sites listed earlier.


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [locales] Re: es-americas/latin spanish
Date: Sun, 15 Sep 2002 23:55:31 +0200
From: Toni Rovira <>
To: Tex Texin <>,<>

> Toni,
> Any chance we could get summaries or highlights of the url's you
> provided, in English?
> tex

My pleasure. Actually we planned to include highlights of these url's on
web site, so it's not an extra effort :)
400 million people speak Spanish as their native language. Main problems
today: bad usage in the mass media, English influence, and gaps in
vocabulary, particularly in computer science. Most regional variations
minimal and have to do with vocabulary; enough though to give the
that a given material is ³done for another country² and annoy some
Some typical examples ("computadora" vs "ordenador", "reporte" vs
separator for decimals and thousands in Mexico, etc). Not true though
it¹s all about two different dialects: European and American. Microsoft
one standard Spanish, valid for Spain, Venezuela, Argentina, Mexico, etc
The author doesn¹t see any linguistic reason to differentiate between
European and American Spanish. If England and the US are, quoting
Shaw, two countries separated by the same language, this paradox doesn¹t
apply between Spain and Latin America. Practically every linguistic
peculiarity found in America is also found in some area of Spain today,
certainly in the "golden" literature of the 16-17th centuries. Spanish
surprisingly homogeneous. Also, the so-called Atlantic Spanish
different) is not spoken in America only but also in southern Spain and
Canary islands, while the Castilian Spanish is also spoken in certain
of Central and South America. Nothing to do with American vs European
English or Portuguese.
Spanish speakers usually understand words that they listen for the first
time in a different country. Why? Because these words share the same
³chromosomes². That¹s the basis to determine that these 400 million
in 21 countries speak the same language, the author says. Lots of nice
examples. It used to be an imperative to remove regional terms when
³correct² Spanish, but the tendency is to respect them, since their
is clear and they¹re now seen as a richness, not a ³threat².
About the possibility that lots of ³Americanisms² might be included in
next revision of the Diccionario de la Real Academia Española (DRAE). An
important step towards acknowledging the plurality of the language and
respect for the American forms. Why should Spaniards decide that
must write "Méjico" and not "México"?

The last 3 url¹s illustrate the situation in some specific countries.
Argentina, the child of two civilizations: one Spanish, European,
cultivated, the other native American.
About the regional and social differences inside Chile.
A defense of the linguistic variations in Puerto Rico and Venezuela.

If any of you have any further questions, I'll be glad to try to help.
if you know other nice url's, please let us know.


   Toni Rovira
   Localization Manager    Tel: +34 600 710 050
   LocalVersion - Localization and Engineering

> Toni Rovira wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> Here's my humble "granito de arena" to this interesting thread. I have
>> managed many localization projects into international Spanish and my
>> experience is that, for most companies and from a merely linguistic
>> point of
>> view, this is perfectly po$$ible. There's only one Spanish language,
>> there's
>> one "Real Academia", and we all refer to the same sources when in
>> doubt.
>> Certainly there are dozens if not hundreds of rich regional variations
>> (even
>> dozens in the same country!), but experienced linguists can write and
>> speak
>> so that everybody understands and noone is offended. Actually many of
>> the
>> differences are simply words that we all know but we wouldn't normally
>> use.
>> Of course, if you don¹t simply want the message to be clearly
>> understood,
>> but to sound attractive and customized to the target audience
>> (marketing
>> texts, for intance), then that's another story...
>> Un saludo,
>> Toni Rovira
>> PS: For those of you who can read Spanish, here are some url's I hope
>> you
>> enjoy:
>> n_210301.htm
>>                    Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
>>                        ADVERTISEMENT
>> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
>> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.