Latin America: Much More Than a Language in Common
Spanish is spoken as an official language in more than 20 countries worldwide, most of them located in the Americas. In a new section on our website we invite you to familiarize yourself with the particularities of the different Spanish-speaking territories.
Spanish around the world
Spanish is the official language in more than 20 countries located in Latin America and Europe, with a total of 440 million people speaking it as their mother tongue. In Africa, Spanish is the official language of Equatorial Guinea, a former Spanish colony.
It is also the second most-spoken language by large minority populations in other countries, including 23% of the United States, representing another 52 million Spanish speakers. Although not the official language in Guyana and Belize, much of their population speak Spanish given their proximity to Spanish-speaking countries.
Much more than a language in common
There is no doubt that linguistic barriers should not exist between Spanish speakers given that in addition to sharing the language, grammar, and spelling, we also share literary movements. However, throughout the Americas, the Spanish spoken in each country and region has distinct characteristics, due to cultural differences, influences from other pre-existing languages, intonation and idiomatic uses. In practice, these traits can hinder communication.
For example, if you go to the movies in Mexico, and you want to order popcorn, you would order palomitas de maíz, whereas in Argentina, you would order pochoclo or pororó. In Chile and Mexico, hotdogs are called hot dog (English voice), while in Argentina, they are panchos and in Venezuela perro caliente, a literal translation from English. When Argentieans go to a restaurant we call for the mozo, in Mexico the mesero, in Venezuela the mesonero, and in Chile the garzón. Colombians take the bus while Mexicans take a camión. In Argentina, a bus is commonly referred to as either colectivo or bondi; and Cubans use guaguas (the same word used by Chileans for babies).
Examples of these abound all across Latin America. Every month in #SpanishAroundTheWorld, Rosario Traducciones will share with you interesting insights into the particularities of each Spanish-speaking nation, because familiarizing yourself with their differences will ensure that we captivate our Spanish-speaking audiences with the most localized forms of expression.