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The Sweet Sound of Español Caribeño

January 27, 2021


When you think about Spanish, you likely have visions of a beautiful woman dancing the tango or images of skeleton faces roaming the streets of Mexico while celebrating the Day of the Dead. However, with more than 450 million native speakers, Spanish is second only to Chinese as the most spoken language in world. So, it is not surprising that it evolved into a globally diverse language. Unfortunately, there is not a best dialect for someone who needs to communicate with Spanish speakers in differing parts of the Americas. Similar to other globally popular languages, accents and dialects tended to evolve naturally with pronounced regional, generational, and ideological distinctions. Often considered to be one of the sweetest sounding accents, Caribbean Spanish (español caribeño) is the language of the islands that tells but one story of Latin America’s culturally diverse and linguistically unique regions.

Six Popular Spanish Dialects of the Americas

Linguists often say there are as many ways of speaking Spanish as there are Spanish speakers. As the language morphed, it was seasoned by a variety of local rhetoric and cultural trends that developed among speakers of the same generation, occupation, gender, and ideology. Listed below are popular Latino accents that evolved:

  • Caribbean Spanish – Spoken in the Caribbean region of the Americas, this dialect resembles Spanish spoken in the Canary Islands and more distinctly the dialect spoken in western Andalusia.
  • Dominican Spanish – Dominicans tend to speak with great energy and often shortened phrases with last syllables of a sentence elongated for exaggeration, and a number of words borrowed from Taíno, the island's native tongue.
  • Mexican Spanish – Spanish was brought to Mexico in the 16th century and this dialect has become popular in parts of the United States and Canada. Pronunciation of words in Mexican Spanish often differs greatly from other dialects.
  • Central American Spanish – Although each country has its own variation, it is the Spanish primarily spoken in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama.
  • Andean Spanish – Spoken in western Venezuela, southern Columbia, northern Chile, and northwest Argentina, it is considered the purest Spanish spoken in the Western Hemisphere due to its syntactic and phonological terms.
  • Chilean Spanish – Chilean Spanish is not just one dialect. It refers to numerous local accents as well as the many words borrowed from the region’s indigenous languages.

Today, Spanish speakers visiting the Caribbean are often surprised when they are unable to understand what is being said. The variances in spoken words used in each geographical area is considered to be a unique dialect of Spanish, and the Caribbean accents developed independently as migration preserved a special blend of sounds from the Spanish colonists, indigenous tribes, and African slaves.

Spanish Is Not the Only Language Spoken in Spain

Fact is Spanish is only one of the many languages that are spoken in Spain. And, Caribbean Spanish, like other Spanish dialects around the world, encompasses historical influences that easily distinguish it from the Euro-Spanish that is universally taught in schools. While there are commonalities in dialects, the words created from the numerous lingual influences have given rise to more distinct ways of speaking Spanish. This can be heard in genres of Latino music, such as Puerto Rico’s reggaeton, the Dominican Republic’s bachata and dembow, and Columbian or Cuban salsa. Proving there is not a right or wrong dialect when more than one group of speakers speak the same language. Despite the fact that Spanish speakers outnumber English speakers in the Caribbean, outsiders often miss the rich cultural identity that makes español caribeño as unique as its people, music, cuisine, and cultural expression. Indeed, Caribbean Spanish has a colorful dialect to match its colorful history; but for anyone to claim that one dialect of Spanish is superior to another, is an expression of his or her ignorance and prejudice as well as a lack of education regarding how each accent evolved over time.

Our multilingual teams are well versed in the style and substance of spoken and written Spanish dialects. Moreover, with multiple locations across the United States and a well-established network of strong business partners, ProLingo can provide quality interpretation and translation services that target your Spanish-speaking audiences anywhere in the world. Call ProLingo today for the best solutions at the best price and with unparallel customer service and support.

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