Mexican vs Spanish: What’s the Difference?

Mexican vs Spanish: What’s the Difference?

Do you speak Spanish? Yes?

And do you speak Mexican? 

 

Admit that you got confused for a moment there. But, there is nothing to be puzzled about.

 

The reason we’re asking these questions is that there are differences between Mexican Spanish and Spanish spoken in Spain, or also known as Castellano.

 

With more than 500 million speakers, Spanish is one of the most spoken languages worldwide. An interesting fact about Spanish is that, among Spanish-speaking countries, the largest one is actually Mexico. 

 

While most Spanish words are identical, there are many that Mexicans use, and Spaniards don’t. Most of the differences may seem familiar to you but there are some you probably never heard of. 

Having that in mind, we gathered in one place the most typical differences between these two dialects.

 

So, let the battle begin! 

Today, Mexican vs Spanish!

 

No matter if you want to learn Spanish that is spoken in Mexico, Spain, or perhaps Argentina and Chile, you can easily find native speakers, Spanish tutors from Lingoda who can help you with any Spanish dialect you want to master.

The Mystery of Mexican Spanish

Both Spaniards and Mexicans speak Spanish, just like other Hispanic countries. However, during centuries, the language evolved in two, a little bit different, directions.

To determine whether Mexican is considered a language or a dialect, let’s define these two words.

A language is a form of communication between humans, written, spoken, and both, where they use it conventionally.

A dialect is a particular form of a language that is used by a particular social group or region.

Although these definitions seem clear, the line between a language and a dialect can often be a point of misunderstanding.

To help you understand the difference, just take a look at the dialects in your country and you’ll see things more clearly.

 

We can’t use the term ‘the Mexican language’ for this one because it is mainly referred to as the Nahuatl language, one of the indigenous languages in Mexico.

To make this story more interesting, Spanish is not even the official language in Mexico. There is no official language. Spanish is the only de facto language spoken by the majority of Mexicans but it isn’t defined as the official one.

 

So, to get back to Mexican Spanish, it follows almost the same grammar, conversational, and other rules of Spanish. Therefore, we can say that in Mexico they speak a Mexican dialect of Spanish, or in other words, Latin American Spanish.

Mexican vs Spanish

Both in Mexico and Spain, Spanish is the national and language spoken by the majority. However, there are many differences between people that speak Castellano and Mexican Spanish.

Don’t think that they don’t understand each other. They do perfectly well.

It is like British English vs. American English. There are differences, written and spoken, but they understand each other perfectly. Even if they don’t use the same words, phrases, or expressions, it doesn’t mean they don’t understand them.

If you’ve had some difficulties understanding Spanish, it means that you might have heard some expression in other Spanish dialects. So, don’t be discouraged; on the contrary. Learn from your experience. 

Knowing the difference between Mexican Spanish vs. Spain Spanish can help you communicate better, expand your vocabulary, pronunciation, and improve your conversational skills.

Spanish vs. Mexican Vocabulary

Even in one country, there are differences in vocabulary, let alone in two different countries miles and miles away from each other.

Learning the differences will help you to be understood easily, whether you are in Mexico or Spain.

We ve listed some of the most common differences in vocabulary between Latino Americano and Castellano. 

In the first column, the given word is in English, in the second one, the word is translated from English to Spanish, Castellano, and in the third column, the given word is in Mexican Spanish.

 

 

Spanish vs. Mexican Pronunciation

Spanish doesn’t have very hard pronunciation. Unique, yes, but difficult... we wouldn’t say so. However, it can be quite confusing, indeed, when you hear the same word pronounced differently.

But like with any other language, when learning Spanish, you need to practice and you’ll be able to master the Spanish pronunciation over time.

In the next several lines, you’ll find some of the most common differences in pronunciation.

The ‘C’ and ‘Z’ sounds

The most obvious difference in pronunciation is definitely between the sounds ‘Ce,’ ‘Ci,’ ‘Ze,’ and ‘Zi.’

In Spain, it is pronounced with a lisp or as English ‘the’ ( θ). 

For example, when you are in Spain, and you want to order a beer, or, in Spanish, ‘una cerveza,’ ‘Ce’, and ‘Z’ sounds have to be pronounced as ‘therbetha.’

If you, however, go to Mexico, then you should pronounce them as ‘S,’ that is, ‘servesa.’

The ‘B’ and ‘V’ sounds

Then there is the well-known difference between B and V sounds.

In Spain, these sounds are pronounced the same way, which means that in Spanish, there is no sound V.

In Mexico, the sound ‘B’ is pronounced as you see it, like the English B, and the sound ‘V’ is pronounced a bit lighter than the V in English; something between B and V.

‘Yo’ or ‘Jo’

Some of you would never see the difference between the following sounds. Some would say that they noticed it as soon as they heard a Mexican or a Spaniard. It’s the difference in pronouncing the sound ‘Y.’

Spanish people pronounce it like the English say the ‘Y’ sound.

Mexicans, on the other hand, pronounce it as English people pronounce ‘J.’

The perfect example is the pronoun ‘Yo ( I).’ 

In Spanish, ‘Yo’ is pronounced lightly and not so roughly, while in Mexican Spanish, people say it as ‘Jo.’

Spanish vs. Mexican in Grammar

Since it’s a matter of different dialects of one language, there is no difference in their grammars.

However, the usage of grammar differs from region to region.

Vosotros vs. ustedes

The well-known difference is addressing others, that is, between ‘vosotros’ and ‘ustedes,’ which is translated as ‘you.’

In Spain, the word ‘vosotros’ is used in the plural, informally, while the word 'ustedes' is used in Mexico both formally and informally.

You may see the difference in the following example:

The present perfect tense

Spaniards use the present perfect tense for recently completed actions.

Mexicans, however, use the present perfect tense like it is used in English.

Let’s take a look at this example: ‘I went to London this summer.’

In Castellano, it sounds like this: ‘He ido a Londres este verano.’

In Mexican Spanish: ‘Fui a Londres este verano.’

Leismo, Laismo or Loismo

‘Leismo’ is the incorrect usage of the indirect object pronoun ‘le,’ and indicates a male person.

‘Laismo’ is incorrectly used instead of the word ‘la,’ using it for female gender. 

And as you can see for yourself, ‘Loismo’ is the incorrect form of pronouns ‘lo’ and ‘los.’ 

People mainly use it in the central region of Spain.

If you are confused, check the following example:

English: ‘I saw him yesterday.’

Spain Spanish: ‘Le vi ayer.’

Mexican Spanish: ‘Lo vi ayer.’

Spanish vs. Mexican Slang

Do you know the definition of slang?

Slang is a type of language regarded as very informal, mainly used in speech rather than in the written form. It’s used by a particular group of people, usually younger generations.

There are many forms and types of slang used not only between dialects but within one dialect as well. 

Naturally, there are many differences and typical phrases and expressions in Mexican Spanish and Castellano.

If you find this topic interesting, then take a look at the Mexican Spanish slang expressions.

Conclusion

It’s not essential to know all the differences between these two variants of the Spanish language. But, it’s quite useful.

If you're interested in improving your Spanish skills, you should try some of these cool options:

Check out Babbel for fun, interactive lessons that fit into your day easily.

If you want something more in-depth, there's a great Spanish course on Coursera that covers everything from the basics to more advanced topics.

And if you prefer learning with a personal touch, Lingoda offers classes with native speakers that can really help you practice speaking.

Not only will you improve your conversational skills, as well as the grammar ones, but you will expand your vocabulary, too. There are many benefits.

Both Mexico and Spain are one of the top tourist destinations, so why not be prepared before booking a flight to Mexico or Espana? 

Be well prepared and knock locals off their feet with some words and slang expressions. 

After all, it’s fun to keep track of these differences so that you can impress the locals.

Which of these two languages do you speak? Mexican or Spanish? Tell us in the comments below!

Why does Mexican Spanish sound different?

Mexican Spanish sounds different because it's another dialect of Spanish. It's used in Mexico and the biggest difference between these two languages is in the pronunciation of the letters S and Z.

Can Spanish understand Mexican?

Yes. Mexican is Spanish with some differences in vocabulary and pronunciation.

Is Latin American Spanish the same as Mexican Spanish?

Mexican Spanish belongs to the Latin American Spanish group. Latin America includes Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

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