Probably, you have wondered, if in Mexico, Argentina or Colombia people speak the same Spanish.
Well, as a “latina”, who has lived and traveled in several Latin American countries, I can tell you that we speak the same Spanish.
The Real Academia Española, generally abbreviated as RAE, is the official royal institution responsible for overseeing the Spanish language. This Spanish is considered the correct, traditional and most pure variety of Spanish. You can find Spanish vocabulary meaning and grammar in the Dictionary of Spanish Language of the Royal Spanish Academy or DRAE.
Most people from North America, Europe or Asia who want to learn Spanish or get immersed in the Latino culture to practice it, don’t know or are not aware of the different accents, pronunciations and use of different expressions and words among all Latino countries as well as its cities. After spending several months living in Chile and then upon traveling to another Latino country one may realize that the Spanish accent, words and expressions they have learned aren’t used where they are now.
Think about English spoken in United States, England, Canada, and other countries. The accents all sound pretty different and different expressions and words are used as well, but it’s still the same language.
There is also Colloquial Peruvian Spanish, colloquial Mexican Spanish, colloquial Chilean Spanish, etc. Even for myself, who was born and raised talking Spanish, had to learn to “speak” Argentinian Spanish and Colombian Spanish when I was living in those countries – not because it is a different language, but because you want to understand and use the “everyday words and expressions” as you immersed yourself in their respective cultures.
And don’t forget about slang as those words and expressions are hard to learn and mostly use among different groups, such as teenagers or people in different social classes. Slang expressions are different in each country as well.
Language is especially important in marketing when referring to marketing materials as those are creative, culture-based and focused on targeted, highly relevant communication.
You may hardly notice the use of “different” Spanish when reading or watching the news. The vocabulary used in the news is highly formal Spanish and the accent most newsmen use to read the news is “standard” among all Spanish accents. What does this mean? That the accent, pronunciation, and vocabulary used is appropriate and understandable for most speakers.
Are there some ways to “categorize” certain types of Spanish speakers? I can tell you what I’ve heard: Peruvians and Colombians have the slower, clearer, and more “standard” or neutral Spanish, while some people feel Argentinians speak a faster form of the language.
So the question: Is the formal Spanish language the same in all Latin America?
The answer is yes. Formal Spanish is the same for all Latin American countries; It has the same structure and grammar. But people from every country have different accents, pronunciation and use a very wide range of vocabulary, idiomatic expressions, and slangs.
Watch this video to listen to some funny Spanish accents.