Differences Between American and Castilian Spanish

Julian   Friday, July 09, 2004, 03:37 GMT
Jordi and Juan,
There is currently an art exhibit at the LA County Museum of Art (LACMA) on casta paintings from 18th century Mexico. Though the paintings are beautiful in their artistry, the accompanying texts are quite startling in their outright racism. The paintings were supposedly done to showcase the new races being created in this "paradise" setting of the New World, but in reality they were warning of the consequences of breeding with "inferior" (i.e. darker) races and advocating that these "inferior" races keep breeding with fair-skinned Spaniards so that in time their descendants would become "pure white", "well-mannered", and "intelligent". Apparently, these types of paintings were popular in its day, but seeing them on display gives you a clear idea of how intensely the colonizers screwed with the native peoples' minds and brainwashed them into self-loathing.
Jordi   Friday, July 09, 2004, 06:01 GMT
Juan, Julian and MJD:
As I told you Mexican, Venezuelan and Colombian soap operas are quite popular in Spain. I'm always startled at "how European" Central and South American main soap opera actors and actresses look. More often than not they've got clear eyes and light hair. I've seen publicity on Televisa Mexican Satellite TV and European looks abound. On the other hand, you'll find that the domestic service and other secondary characters always look "more native". This is a fact and that goes on in those countries. I agree with you that it isn't fair at all and that a lot of self-hatred seems to be going on in countries controlled by European imitating elites.
Regarding the teaching of Spanish in the US I reproduce a text from the Spanish Education Department where it says that 1300 European Spanish teachers were working in 27 states across the US in 2003, giving classes in or of Spanish. The demand for European Spanish teachers is growing year after year. I would also say that it isn't fair but it's also a matter of prestige as seen by US authorities. I personally know a couple of young graduates from my hometown who have worked a year or two in the US teaching Spanish in bilingual programmes. According to the information I reproduce below demand is growing for European Spanish teachers in Maths and Sciences. I can assure you that almost all young Spanish graduates prefer to return to Europe after a stay. The reasons would be long to explain.
Juan, I apologise for not reading my post again and obviously in some countries (Argentina, Uruguay) most would come from the ship whilst in others the amount of native blood would be the majority. I've personally spoken to Central Americans who have told me that they had no native blood at all and you only had to look at them to realise that they were mostly native in origin. That is, of course, unfortunate.
That reminds me growing up in Australia in the 70s where I personally had several British teachers in my Primary and High School programmes. Perhaps the situation has changed a generation later. I don't imagine there are British teachers giving classes in US Primary and High Schools. We all know that things are different at university where visiting professors come from all over the world. I'm speaking of primary and secondary teaching where the influence of teachers on speech patterns can be greater. I reproduce, in Spanish, the information from the Spanish Education Department:
"Por medio del Programa de Profesores Visitantes, la Consejería de Educación y Ciencia en Estados Unidos organiza la contratación de profesores españoles de educación primaria y secundaria por parte de distritos escolares estadounidenses. Los estados y distritos escolares participantes en el programa mantienen acuerdos de colaboración con el Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia (MEC) a través de la Consejería. Estos acuerdos sirven de marco para el desarrollo de éste y otros programas que tienen como objetivo la mejora de la calidad de la enseñanza de la lengua y cultura española, así como la formación de los profesores que la imparten y el estrechamiento de los lazos culturales entre España y EE.UU.

En los últimos años ha habido un aumento de la demanda de profesores de todas las asignaturas, especialmente matemáticas y ciencias.

Los profesores españoles seleccionados obtienen visados J-1, que les permiten trabajar en los distritos escolares para los que han sido contratados por un periodo mínimo de un año y máximo de tres. En algunos casos existe la posibilidad de ampliar la duración del visado.
Durante el presente curso escolar hay un total de unos 1.300 profesores españoles trabajando en 27 estados."
Xatufan   Friday, July 09, 2004, 22:16 GMT
¡No les entendí ni jota!

Aye, Venezuelan, Mexican and Colombian sopa operas (yes, I wrote sopa and not soap) are really famous por aquí. Venezuelan sopa operas are a bit stupid (at least, that's what my mummy says). Years ago, I saw "Carita de Angel". It was interesting.

Jordi: In Televisión Española Canal Internacional I see "El Secreto". Pretty exciting!

Juan: 13 years old.
Jordi   Friday, July 09, 2004, 23:48 GMT
Dinos, niño precoz, lo que no entendiste e intentaremos ayudarte porqué deseamos que entiendas de la pe a la pa y que dejes de entender ni jota.
Xatufan   Sunday, July 11, 2004, 02:27 GMT
Well, the thing I don't understand is that you are talking about a weird organization and not about the Spanish accent from Catalonia. Ironic.
Jordi   Sunday, July 11, 2004, 04:52 GMT
I don't recall speaking of any organisation whatsoever although somehow we've ended up speaking of the dignity of native peoples and cultures in the Americas, often considered inferior to European cultures. The Catalan accent, when speaking Spanish, can be quite strong although we are fluent in both languages. One highly distinctive aspect is the highly velar quality of our "l" consonant, much closer to English than to Castilian.
Eugenia   Sunday, July 11, 2004, 21:25 GMT
Juan   Monday, July 12, 2004, 09:11 GMT
Sorry....I got side-trakced. I will try not to do so in future.
alicia   Tuesday, July 13, 2004, 19:44 GMT
you will be perfect in argentina with your castillian spanish ... and with your english, too
bon boyage !
buenos aires
Juan   Tuesday, July 13, 2004, 22:58 GMT
<<castillian spanish>>

Castillian Spanish. That's like saying English English.

Spanish = Castillian

They are synomym of each other at least in the Spanish speakin world. I think English speakers tend to assume that Castillian is only spoken in Spain. The terminology I use when referrring to dialects in Spain is PENINSULAR Spanish.
Xatufan   Tuesday, July 13, 2004, 23:51 GMT
I'm not so sure, Juan. In Spanish, our language is called either español or castellano. There are synonyms. (In Galicia, País Vasco, Catalonia you should call it castellano cuz they get angry because they know that their regional languages ARE ALSO Spanish, ¿no, Jordi? )

But remember: English and Spanish are different languages and maybe Castillian refers to the Spanish accent. I don't know.

Eugenia: ¡Joder, tía! ¡Qué chulada!
Juan   Wednesday, July 14, 2004, 00:04 GMT

Okay, okay not including Spain then. :-)
Juan   Wednesday, July 14, 2004, 02:38 GMT

But that's understandble because they have different laguages in Spain. I think it's unfair to refer to one of those dialects (even if its the main one) as "Spanish" and the others as not being Spanish. Catalan and other languages have as much as claim to being called "Spanish" as Castillian does. But such a problem does not exist in Latin America, for starters we don't even speak Catalan.
Jordi   Wednesday, July 14, 2004, 05:58 GMT
Castellano is the traditional name of Spanish. Calling it Spanish would be like calling English, "British". Is there such a thing as a "British" Language? In Great Britain they have English, Welsh, Mansh and Gaelic and French in the Channel Islands. "English" is the language that was originally spoken in the Kingdom of England whilst "Castilian" is the language that was originally spoken in the Kingdom of Castille, a part of Spain and not the whole. Nowadays, "castellano" and "español" are considered synonyms in the Spanish Constitution of 1978. Originally, there is also a political reason for that, since all non-Spanish speakers would have to consider Spanish their own native language being, as we are, Spaniards. According to some politicians we would, therefore, have to be bilingual from birth and linguists know that there is no such thing as bilingual speakers from birth. I'm not saying that Spanish isn't a beautiful language, which it is, but I'm a Catalan speaker from birth and my parents have never pretended to bother anyone with the choice, the same way I've spoken Catalan to my two children from birth and trust they will follow my example in the future. Catalan has been spoken for the past thousand years, the same way as Castilian. Just think in countries like Switzerland, Belgium or Canada where there are different languages in the same state. Obviously, I agree that all Catalans should know Spanish and that they should also know a third language, preferably English.
"Castellano", for the name of the language, has also a long tradition in many Latin American countries. In fact, "castellano" is much more neutral for many Castilian-speaking Latin Americans and not only for non-native Spanish speaking Spaniards. It doesn't refer to the name of a State (Spain) but of the region where the language was born (Castile). Exactly what happens with English since England isn't a state, the state is called United Kingdom of Britain and Northern Ireland and England is a region within that State.
By the way, 40% of Spanish population live in areas with an "official" language that is not only Castilian since Catalan, Basque, and Galician-Portuguese are official in their territories and the languages have now been compulsory in schools and regional governments for the past 25 years. Good on Spain for evolving although it's hard on some who can't understand this.
So if "English" is English, "Castilian" is "Castilian". After all, the historical kingdoms at war were always England and "Castilla". We Catalans, had often little to do in those wars. In the last important one, back in 1714, the English were on our side and the French on the Castilian one. Unfortunately, we lost that one and our historical independence went down the drain and Castile decided everybody in Spain had to be Castilian. It's hardly a coincidence that the first thing they decided was to ban official languages other than Castilian. If you go to the archives you'll find documents are written in Catalan one day and Castilian the day after. Language, unfortunately, has always been "compañera del imperio". Since most of you in this thread speak Castilian you'll know very well what I mean.
So why don't we call languages by their original names?
Eugenia   Wednesday, July 14, 2004, 16:11 GMT
Yo hablo Argentino :P
http://www.elcastellano.org/miyara/ Es un diccionario Argentino - Español, muy bueno :)