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In English, Castilian Spanish is the variety of
Peninsular Spanish Peninsular Spanish ( es, español peninsular), also known as the Spanish of Spain ( es, español de España, links=no), European Spanish ( es, español europeo, links=no) and Iberian Spanish ( es, español ibérico, links=no), is the set of varie ...
spoken in northern and central
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
, or the language standard for radio and TV speakers. In Spanish, the term ''castellano'' (Castilian) refers to the Spanish language as a whole, or to the medieval
Old Spanish language Old Spanish, also known as Old Castilian ( es, castellano antiguo; osp, romance castellano ) or Medieval Spanish ( es, español medieval), was originally a dialect of Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular or Colloquial Latin is a r ...
, a predecessor to modern Spanish.


Terminology

The term ''Castilian Spanish'' is used in English for the specific varieties of Spanish spoken in north and central Spain. Typically, it is more loosely used to denote the Spanish spoken in all of Spain as compared to Spanish spoken in Latin America. In Spain itself, Spanish is not a uniform language and there exist several different
varieties of Spanish 200px, Dialects of Spanish spoken in Argentina. Some of the regional varieties of the Spanish language are quite divergent from one another, especially in pronunciation and vocabulary, and less so in grammar. While all Spanish dialects adh ...
; in addition, there are other official and unofficial
languages in the country
languages in the country
; Spanish is official throughout Spain. ''Castellano septentrional'' ("Northern Castilian") is the Spanish term for the dialects from the Northern half of Spain, including those from Aragón or Navarre, which were never part of
Castile
Castile
. ''Español castellano'', the literal translation of ''Castilian Spanish'', is not a common expression; it could refer to varieties found in the region of Castile; however, those varieties are not uniform either.


Regional variations in Spain

Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
has several regional variations of the Spanish language, which can be roughly divided into four major dialectal areas: * Northern Spanish (northern coast,
Ebro , name_etymology = , image = Zaragoza shel.JPG , image_size = , image_caption = The Ebro River in Zaragoza , map = SpainEbroBasin.png , map_size = , map_caption = The Ebro r ...
and
Duero The Douro (, , ; es, Duero ; la, Durius) is the highest-flow river of the Iberian Peninsula. It rises near Duruelo de la Sierra in Soria Province, central Spain, meanders south briefly then flows generally west through the north-west part of c ...

Duero
basins, upper
Tajo The Tagus ( ; es, Tajo ; pt, Tejo ; see below) is the longest river in the Iberian Peninsula The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese and Occitan: ''Peninsula Iberica'' ** ** * french: Péninsule Ibérique * mwl, Península Eib ...

Tajo
and upper
Júcar left The Júcar () or Xúquer () is a river on the Iberian Peninsula The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese and Occitan: ''Peninsula Iberica'' ** ** * french: Péninsule Ibérique * mwl, Península Eibérica * eu, Iberiar penintsul ...

Júcar
basins). The dialects spoken in this area are referred to as ''Castilian Spanish'' (only in English). A large area of the historical region of Castile is excluded. * Transitional area between North and South (
Extremadura Extremadura ( , ; ext, Estremaúra; pt, Estremadura; Fala: ''Extremaúra'') is an autonomous community of Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Es ...

Extremadura
,
Murcia Murcia (, , ) is a city in south-eastern Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map ...

Murcia
,
Madrid Madrid ( , ) is the capital and most populous city of Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_ ...
,
La Mancha La Mancha () is a natural region, natural and historical region located in the provinces of Spain, Spanish provinces of province of Albacete, Albacete, province of Cuenca, Cuenca, province of Ciudad Real, Ciudad Real and province of Toledo, Toled ...
). The dialects spoken in this area contain traits which are associated with
Andalusia Andalusia (, ; es, Andalucía ) is the southernmost autonomous community eu, autonomia erkidegoa ca, comunitat autònoma gl, comunidade autónoma oc, comunautat autonòma an, comunidat autonoma ast, comunidá autónoma , alt_name ...
, such as implosive s-aspiration (systematic or conditioned by context).
Extremadura Extremadura ( , ; ext, Estremaúra; pt, Estremadura; Fala: ''Extremaúra'') is an autonomous community of Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Es ...

Extremadura
and
Murcia Murcia (, , ) is a city in south-eastern Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map ...

Murcia
are often grouped together into a Southern variety with Andalusia. *
Andalusian Spanish The Andalusian dialects of Spanish (Spanish: ''andaluz'' ; Andalusian: ) are spoken in Andalusia Andalusia (, ; es, Andalucía ) is the southernmost autonomous community eu, autonomia erkidegoa ca, comunitat autònoma gl, comunidade aut ...
*
Canarian Spanish Canarian Spanish (Spanish terms in descending order of frequency: , , , or ) is a variant of standard Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language * ...


Differences from American Spanish

The Spanish language is a
pluricentric language A pluricentric language or polycentric language is a language with several interacting codified standard forms, often corresponding to different countries. Many examples of such languages can be found worldwide among the most-spoken languages, incl ...
. Spanish is spoken in numerous countries around the world, each with differing standards. However, the
Real Academia Española The Royal Spanish Academy ( es, Real Academia Española, generally abbreviated as RAE) is Spain's official royal institution with a mission to ensure the stability of the Spanish language Spanish ( or , ) is a Romance languages, Romance la ...
(Royal Spanish Academy), based in
Madrid Madrid ( , ) is the capital and most populous city of Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_ ...

Madrid
, Spain, is affiliated with the national language academies of 22 other
hispanophone Hispanophone and Hispanic refers to anything relating to the speech of Spain (the ''Hispanosphere''). In a cultural, rather than merely linguistic sense, the notion of "Hispanophone" goes further than the above definition. The Hispanic culture is ...
nations through the Association of Academies of the Spanish Language, and their coordinated resolutions are typically accepted in other countries, especially those related to spelling. Also, the
Instituto Cervantes Instituto Cervantes (the Cervantes Institute) is a worldwide non-profit organization created by the Spanish government in 1991. It is named after Miguel de Cervantes (1547–1616), the author of ''Don Quixote'' and perhaps the most important figure ...

Instituto Cervantes
, an agency of the
Government of Spain gl, Goberno de España eu, Espainiako Gobernua , image = , caption = Logo of the Government of Spain , headerstyle = background-color: #efefef , label1 = Role , data1 = Executive power , label2 = Established , da ...
in charge of promoting the Spanish language abroad, has been adopted by other countries as the authority to officially recognize and certificate the Spanish level of non-native Spanish speakers as their second language, as it happens in Australia, Korea or Switzerland. The variants of Spanish spoken in Spain and its former colonies vary significantly in
grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the ...
and pronunciation, as well as in the use of
idiom An idiom is a phrase In syntax and grammar, a phrase is a group of words which act together as a grammatical unit. For instance, the English language, English expression "the very happy squirrel" is a noun phrase which contains the adjective phra ...
s. Courses of Spanish as a
second language A person's second language, or L2, is a language that is not the native language A first language, native tongue, native language, or mother/father/parent tongue (also known as arterial language or L1) is a language A language is a struc ...
, commonly use
Mexican Spanish Mexican Spanish ( es, español mexicano) is a set of Variety (linguistics), varieties of the Spanish language as spoken in Mexico. Spanish was brought to Mexico in the 16th century by Spanish Conquistadors. As in all other Spanish-speaking co ...
in the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
and
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...

Canada
, whereas
European Spanish Peninsular Spanish ( es, español peninsular), also known as the Spanish of Spain ( es, español de España), European Spanish ( es, español europeo) and Iberian Spanish ( es, español ibérico), is the set of varieties of the Spanish language ...
is typically preferred in Europe. Dialects in central and northern Spain and
Latin American Spanish The different varieties of the Spanish language Spanish ( or , ) is a Romance languages, Romance language of the Indo-European language family that evolved from colloquial spoken Latin in the Iberian Peninsula. Today, it is a world language, gl ...
contain several differences, the most apparent being ''Distinción'' (distinction), i.e., the pronunciation of the letter ''z'' before all vowels, and of ''c'' before ''e'' and ''i'', as a
voiceless dental fricative The voiceless dental non-sibilant fricative is a type of consonant In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a speech sound that is articulated with complete or partial closure of the vocal tract. Examples are , pronounced with the lips; , pronou ...

voiceless dental fricative
, as in English '' th'' in ''th''ing. Thus, in most variations of Spanish from Spain, ''cinco'' (five) is pronounced as opposed to in Latin American Spanish, and similarly for ''zapato'', ''cerdo'', ''zorro'', ''Zurbarán''. A restricted form of ''distinción'' also occurs in the area around
Cusco Cusco, often spelled Cuzco (; qu, Qusqu ()), is a city in southeastern Peru , , image_flag = Flag_of_Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo_nacional_del_Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the St ...
, Peru, where exists in words such as the numbers ''doce'', ''trece'' and with the use of the verb ''decir''. Additionally, all Latin-American dialects drop the familiar (that is, informal) ''vosotros'' verb forms for the second person plural, using ''ustedes'' in all contexts. In most of Spain, ''ustedes'' is used only in a formal context. Some other minor differences are: * The widespread use of ''le'' instead of ''lo'' as the masculine direct object pronoun, especially referring to people. This morphological variation, known as '' leísmo'', is typical of a strip of land in central Spain which includes Madrid, and recently it has spread to other regions. * In the past, the sounds for "y" and "ll" were phonologically different in most
European Spanish Peninsular Spanish ( es, español peninsular), also known as the Spanish of Spain ( es, español de España), European Spanish ( es, español europeo) and Iberian Spanish ( es, español ibérico), is the set of varieties of the Spanish language ...
subvarieties, compared with only a few dialects in Latin America, but that difference is now beginning to disappear () in all
Peninsular Spanish Peninsular Spanish ( es, español peninsular), also known as the Spanish of Spain ( es, español de España, links=no), European Spanish ( es, español europeo, links=no) and Iberian Spanish ( es, español ibérico, links=no), is the set of varie ...
dialects, including the standard (that is, Castilian Spanish based on the
Madrid Madrid ( , ) is the capital and most populous city of Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_ ...

Madrid
dialect). A distinct phoneme for "ll" is still heard in the speech of older speakers in rural areas throughout Spain, however, most Spanish-speaking adults and youngsters merge "ll" and "y". In Latin America, "ll" remains different from "y" in traditional dialects along the Andes range, especially in the Peruvian highlands, all of Bolivia and also in Paraguay. In the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...

Philippines
, speakers of
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...
and
Filipino Filipino may refer to: * Something from or related to the Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas or ''Filipinas'' ), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, ...
employ the distinction between "ll" and "y" . * In most of Latin America, ''usted'' is more common than in Spain; however, in Latin America, this difference is less noticeable among young people, especially in Caribbean dialects. * In Castilian Spanish, the letter ''j'' as well as the letter ''g'' before the letters ''i'' and ''e'' are pronounced as a stronger velar fricative and very often the friction is uvular , while in Latin America they are generally guttural as well, but not as strong and the uvular realizations of European Spanish are not reported. In the
Caribbean The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes; ht, Karayib; also gcf, label=Antillean Creole Antillean Creole (Antillean French Creole, Kreyol, Kwéyòl, Patois) is a French-based creole, which is primarily spoken in the Lesser Antilles ...
, Colombia, Venezuela, other parts of Latin America, the Canary Islands, Extremadura and most of western
Andalusia Andalusia (, ; es, Andalucía ) is the southernmost autonomous community eu, autonomia erkidegoa ca, comunitat autònoma gl, comunidade autónoma oc, comunautat autonòma an, comunidat autonoma ast, comunidá autónoma , alt_name ...
, as well as in the Philippines, it is pronounced as . * Characteristic of Spanish from Spain (except from Andalusia and the Canary Islands) is the
voiceless alveolar retracted sibilant A voiceless alveolar fricative is a type of fricative consonant pronounced with the tip or tongue blade, blade of the tongue against the alveolar ridge (gum line) just behind the teeth. This refers to a class of sounds, not a single sound. There ...
, also called apico-alveolar or grave, which is often perceived as intermediate between a laminal/dental and . This sound is also prevalent in Colombian
Paisa region A Paisa is someone from a region in the northwest of Colombia, including part of the Cordillera Occidental (Colombia), West and Cordillera Central (Colombia), Central ''cordilleras'' of the Andean natural region, Andes in Colombia. The Paisa re ...
, and Andean Spanish dialects. *
Debuccalization Debuccalization or deoralization is a sound change A sound change, in historical linguistics Historical linguistics, also termed diachronic linguistics, is the scientific study of language change over time. Principal concerns of historica ...
of syllable-final to , , or dropping it entirely, so that ''está'' ("s/he is") sounds like or , occurs in both Spain and the Americas. In Spain, this is most common in southern Spain:
Andalusia Andalusia (, ; es, Andalucía ) is the southernmost autonomous community eu, autonomia erkidegoa ca, comunitat autònoma gl, comunidade autónoma oc, comunautat autonòma an, comunidat autonoma ast, comunidá autónoma , alt_name ...
,
Extremadura Extremadura ( , ; ext, Estremaúra; pt, Estremadura; Fala: ''Extremaúra'') is an autonomous community of Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Es ...

Extremadura
,
Murcia Murcia (, , ) is a city in south-eastern Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map ...
,
Community of Madrid The Community of Madrid (; es, Comunidad de Madrid ) is one of the seventeen autonomous communities eu, autonomia erkidegoa ca, comunitat autònoma gl, comunidade autónoma oc, comunautat autonòma an, comunidat autonoma ast, comunidá a ...
,
La Mancha La Mancha () is a natural region, natural and historical region located in the provinces of Spain, Spanish provinces of province of Albacete, Albacete, province of Cuenca, Cuenca, province of Ciudad Real, Ciudad Real and province of Toledo, Toled ...
, etc., as well as in the
Canary Islands The Canary Islands (; es, Islas Canarias, ), also known informally as ''the Canaries'', is a Spanish archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of island ...
; in the Americas it is the general pronunciation in most coastal and lowland regions. * Words containing the three letters together -atl- , are pronounced in a different way in Castilian Spanish as compared to Mexican Spanish. In Spain, words like ''Atlántico'' and ''atleta'' are pronounced according to the syllabication ''At-lán-ti-co'' and ''at-le-ta''. Instead, in Mexico, the pronunciation follows the syllabication ''A-tlán-ti-co'' and ''a-tle-ta''.


Vocabulary

The meaning of certain words may differ greatly between all the dialects of the language: ''carro'' refers to
car A car (or automobile) is a wheeled motor vehicle Electric bicycles parked in Yangzhou's main street, Wenchang Lu. They are a very common way of transport in this city, in some areas almost outnumbering regular bicycles A motor vehicle, also k ...

car
in some Latin American dialects but to
cart A cart or dray (Aus. & NZ) is a vehicle A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine A machine is a man-made device that uses power to apply forces and control movement to perform an action. Machines can be driven by animals and peo ...

cart
in Spain and some Latin American dialects. There also appear gender differences: ''el PC'' (''personal computer'') in Castilian Spanish and some Latin American Spanish, ''la PC'' in some Latin American Spanish, due to the widespread use of the gallicism ''ordenador'' (from ''ordinateur'' in French) for computer in Castilian Spanish, which is masculine, instead of the Latin-American-preferred ''computadora'', which is feminine, from the English word ''computer'' (the exceptions being Colombia and Chile, where PC is known as computador, which is masculine). Speakers of the second dialect tend to use words and polite-set expressions that, even if recognized by the
Real Academia Española The Royal Spanish Academy ( es, Real Academia Española, generally abbreviated as RAE) is Spain's official royal institution with a mission to ensure the stability of the Spanish language Spanish ( or , ) is a Romance languages, Romance la ...
, are not widely used nowadays (some of them are even deemed as
anachronisms An anachronism (from the Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately ...
) by speakers of Castilian Spanish. For example, ''enojarse'' and ''enfadarse'' are verbs with the same meaning (to become angry), ''enojarse'' being used much more in the Americas than in Spain, and ''enfadarse'' more in Spain than in the Americas. Below are select vocabulary differences between Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries. Words in bold are unique to Spain and not used in any other country (except for perhaps
Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea ( es, Guinea Ecuatorial; french: Guinée équatoriale; pt, Guiné Equatorial), officially the Republic of Equatorial Guinea ( es, link=no, República de Guinea Ecuatorial, french: link=no, République de Guinée équatoriale, ...

Equatorial Guinea
which speaks a very closely related dialect). 1Latin American Spanish consists of several varieties spoken throughout the Americas so the examples may not represent all dialects. They are meant to show contrast and comparing all variants of Latin America as a whole to one variant of Spain would be impossible as the majority of the vocabulary will be reflected in other variant.


See also

*
Andalusian Spanish The Andalusian dialects of Spanish (Spanish: ''andaluz'' ; Andalusian: ) are spoken in Andalusia Andalusia (, ; es, Andalucía ) is the southernmost autonomous community eu, autonomia erkidegoa ca, comunitat autònoma gl, comunidade aut ...
*
Canarian Spanish Canarian Spanish (Spanish terms in descending order of frequency: , , , or ) is a variant of standard Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language * ...
* Castúo *
Murcian Spanish Murcian (endonym An endonym (from Greek: , 'inner' + , 'name'; also known as autonym) is a common, internal name A name is a term used for identification by an external observer. They can identify a class or category of things, or a single ...
*
Standard Spanish Standard Spanish is a linguistic variety, or lect, of the Spanish language Spanish () or Castilian (, ) is a Romance languages, Romance language that originated in the Iberian Peninsula of Europe. Today, it is a world language, global languag ...
– the standard form that is very different from the medieval Spanish language-base


References


External links


WordNet 3.0. Princeton University
{{Spanish variants by continent Castile (historical region) Spanish dialects of Spain