Spanish Variation - Mexico
Language Resources

Mexican Spanish

Spanish is one of the most spoken languages worldwide, but is the Spanish spoken in Mexico any different to the language that we speak in Spain? Here we can show you some of the main differences:

Grammar

  • Voseo- the pronoun “vos” is often used in some areas instead of “tú” to mean “you”.
  • The biggest formal grammatical difference is the use of the polite form “ustedes” which is not used frequently in Spain. It is commonly used in Mexico instead of “vosotros”, regardless of the formality of the situation.

Vocabulary

  • Vocabulary is where you will encounter the most differences between the languages. As well as having some completely different words, many of them have become Americanized, given Mexico’s proximity to the U.S.A.
    Or in few cases, some words can have different connotations in Mexican Spanish to that of Spain. Here are just a few examples of the many differences there are.

  • Mexican SpanishSpanish (Spain)English
    acáaquíhere
    aretependienteearring
    bolsabolsohandbag
    papapatatapotato
    jugozumojuice
    plumabolígrafopen
    camiónautobúsCoach, tour bus

    Here are a few examples of those words which have been Americanized:

    celular móvilmobile phone
    cortetribunalcourt
    paytartapie
    refrigeradorFrigoríficorefrigerator
    computadoraordenadorcomputer
    largartocaímanalligator
  • Connotations- “coger” - this verb meaning “to choose, to grab, to catch (a bus)” can have rude connotations in Mexico.
  • Slang is another massive difference, which either country are likely to not understand, so it is best avoided if you want to be understood!

Pronunciation

  • “Yeismo” ie. Pronouncing “ll” as “y”
  • “Seseo” ie. The pronunciation of the consonants “c” (followed by “e” or “i”), "z" and "s" is the same: pronounced “s”.

Reasons:
Nahuatl is a Uto-Aztecan language, which has massively influenced the language spoken in Mexico, where it is spoken by approximately 1.5 million people.
Americanisms have indeed also taken place. That said, for two countries so far away from each other, which have developed separately for approximately 200 years, it’s a wonder there aren’t more differences between them. At least there are films and television series available to watch in each country, meaning that the other parties can get used to the accent and differences in speech.

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