The different varieties of the Spanish language spoken in the Americas are distinct from each other as well as from those varieties spoken in the Iberian peninsula, collectively known as Peninsular Spanish and Spanish spoken elsewhere, such as in Africa and Asia. There is great diversity among the various Latin American vernaculars, and there are no traits shared by all of them which are not also in existence in one or more of the variants of Spanish used in Spain. A Latin American "standard" does, however, vary from the Castilian "standard" register used in television and notably the dubbing industry.[1] Of the more than 498 million people who speak Spanish as their native language, more than 455 million are in Latin America, the United States and Canada in 2022.[2] The total amount of native and non-native speakers of Spanish as of October 2022 exceeds 595 million.[2]

There are numerous regional particularities and idiomatic expressions within Spanish. In Latin American Spanish, loanwords directly from English are relatively more frequent, and often foreign spellings are left intact. One notable trend is the higher abundance of loan words taken from English in Latin America as well as words derived from English. The Latin American Spanish word for "computer" is computadora, whereas the word used in Spain is ordenador, and each word sounds foreign in the region where it is not used. Some differences are due to Iberian Spanish having a stronger French influence than Latin America, where, for geopolitical reasons, the United States influence has been predominant throughout the twentieth century.

Main features

Pronunciation varies from country to country and from region to region, just as English pronunciation varies from one place to another. In general terms, the speech of the Americas shows many common features akin to southern Spanish variants, especially to western Andalusia (Seville, Cádiz) and the Canary Islands. Coastal language vernaculars throughout Hispanic America show particularly strong similarities to Atlantic-Andalusian speech patterns while inland regions in Mexico and Andean countries are not similar to any particular dialect in Spain.

Local variations

North America

Further information: North American Spanish

Central America

Further information: Central American Spanish

The Caribbean

Further information: Caribbean Spanish

South America

Further information: South American Spanish

See also


  1. ^ Lipski, John M. (August 6, 2001). "The role of the city in the formation of Spanish American dialect zones" (PDF). Pennsylvania State University. doi:10.14713/arachne.v2i1.21. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 30, 2005.
  2. ^ a b El español: una lengua viva – Informe 2022 (PDF) (Report). Instituto Cervantes. 31 October 2022. Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 November 2022.