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Types of Spanish Part 2

March 30, 2011 1 Comment »


At an international conference held in Valladolid 15 years ago, “Spanish and the Media”, the then director of a Miami newspaper commented on the various nationalities of the newspapers’ readers and , all , to which she added that the Spanish used could be described as international Spanish, understanding by this that it belongs to no one and to everyone at at the same time.

At that same conference, another speakers said that “U.S. Spanish consists of a set of subsystems that reflect the Spanish of the countries of origin of each group, which is also subject to English influence. Bilingual speakers tends to simplify their to compensate for the effort made when operating in two different languages. But this simplification also extends to the discourse have with each other, they tend to avoid regionalism, word plays or terms that may hinder the understanding of a message. ”

Among the members of the Spanish press in the U.S., there are journalists from different Spanish countries who, gradually and almost without realizing it, cease to use their own and write in a more unified Spanish that everyone can understand.

The decisions that can be made in regards to the variation of Spanish, should be made through the use of a general rule, the use given by all members of the community. For example, a demographic data base could help decide which words are most common in Hispanic countries.

The used in international news programs on television is part of what is considered to be neutral Spanish. In regard to , it is appropriate and corresponds to everyday language use. And in regard to the text itself, there is little disagreement about the syntax. For television, instead of thinking of a standard unit, the essential unity within variety should be fomented instead. Talk models of proper speech are are within each country or region.

One study analyzed the major news channels across the Spanish speaking world. The result showed that the number of different words, uncommon words or country specific words is relatively minimal, only 1 to 2%. Therefore, it was concluded that television is as important as any other media, regarding the unification of Spanish vocabulary.

In my next and final article, I will continue to share other aspects of this issue.


One Response to “Types of Spanish Part 2”

  • Commented on April 16, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    It was interesting to read someone actually say that there -is- an international Spanish. I am currently enrolled in a Translation program, and our professors often doubt the validity of the International Spanish locale as designated by some software providers. It actually makes sense the way you explained it.