Majoring in Spanish

Guest 224   Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:10 pm GMT
If I am a student in Southern California that is studying to major in Spanish, which type of Spanish will they emphasize?

Spanish from Spain or Spanish from Latin America?

Spanish from Spain is obviously more standardized, but considering that I am in Southern California, Latin American Spain is much more prevalent.

Que' piensan ustedes?
Skippy   Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:51 pm GMT
I did a semester of Spanish at San Diego State (just for fun, b/c I'm a nerd) and my impression was that I was being taught Mexican Spanish (though perhaps some other Latin American variety) but definitely not Spanish from Spain.

It probably depends on the professor, school, etc. But I'd assume Mexican Spanish.
Guest   Wed Jul 18, 2007 1:54 am GMT
First of all Spanish from Spain is as different from Argentine Spanish as Mexican Spanish is from Colombian Spanish, therefore is not like a "Spain vs Latin America" thing.

Now as for which one is the most "standardized", All latin countries use "Ustedes" for (You (Plural)), and only Spaniards use "Vosotros", so you tell me which one is the most standardized?
Guest   Wed Jul 18, 2007 3:26 am GMT
In my opinion, the one from Spain is most standardized. Spaniards use both "ustedes" and "vosotros". Just because they use vosotros does not show that it is not standardized. Ustedes is the same as usted. It's just plural. Vosotros is just like tú. It's just plural. To the creator of this thread, learn "Latin American Spanish". You don't live in Spain, so there really isn't reason you should emphasize on Spanish from Spain. They say they teach Spain from Spanish around here, they don't. Doesn't really matter, SPANISH IS AWESOME! :]
furrykef   Wed Jul 18, 2007 4:31 am GMT
They would probably teach you general Latin American Spanish... not necessarily Mexican in particular. The differences among the dialects are minor enough that you can usually deal with them. They're usually simple vocabulary differences, much like differences between American and British English.

- Kef
Guest   Wed Jul 18, 2007 4:45 am GMT
I don't get it. How is that you say that you don't speak Spanish, but you know so much about it? Are you reading about Spanish, but not speaking it.
Ryan   Wed Jul 18, 2007 12:33 pm GMT
"The Spanish they teach in high school and college is promarily literary Spanish. Students are introduced to little conversational Spanish. You will have to find native speakers if you really ant to learn conversational Spanish."

I don't know what college you went to, Brennus, but the one I went to specifically emphasized conversation and made you take separate laboratory classes in conversation, where one conversed with native speakers that the university hired for that specific purpose. Of course, not every language had this kind of setup (the less spoken ones did not), but French, Spanish and German definitely did. I was under the impression that most universities were like mine and emphasized conversation as much as literary skills, but perhaps I'm wrong. On the other hand, high schools are not a good place to learn conversation unless you attend some private school that has the money to hire native speakers to converse, but I'm sure many schools in the Los Angeles area, for instance, definitely hire native speakers to teach their Spanish classes. I did not learn from native speakers in high school though.
furrykef   Wed Jul 18, 2007 6:22 pm GMT
<< The Spanish they teach in high school and college is promarily literary Spanish. Students are introduced to little conversational Spanish. You will have to find native speakers if you really ant to learn conversational Spanish. >>

That's not the impression I have. We didn't really learn expressions such as "¿Qué onda, compa?" (Mexican for "What's up, man?"), but the Spanish we did learn doesn't strike me as overly formal... so far, in my e-mails with a penpal from Mexico and another from Spain, I don't think I've encountered much that doesn't fit at all into what I learned in high school. We use a lot more vocabulary and grammar than I learned back then, but I don't think that has anything to do with a literary/non-literary boundary.

- Kef
Ryan   Wed Jul 18, 2007 8:45 pm GMT

I misunderstood what you meant by "conversational Spanish." Obvious no school's program is really going to teach you all the colloquialisms, no matter what country that school is in. I assumed that you meant that high schools and colleges did not prepare one for at least basic conversation skills, which I did not believe was accurate at least at the university level here.
Spaniard   Wed Jul 18, 2007 11:12 pm GMT
"El mero chingón? Guapo del barrio ? Guaguita de mantecado? etc. They're not going to teach you any of that in school."

You won't be missing much!

Another example of an "Spanish" sentence you don't need to learn: "Vacuméame la carpeta".
furrykef   Wed Jul 18, 2007 11:43 pm GMT
<< "Vacuméame la carpeta" >>

OK, I'll put your folder in a vacuum right away. ;)
Guest   Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:09 am GMT
I don't think he meant that
furrykef   Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:57 am GMT
Thank you, Captain Obvious.
K. T.   Thu Jul 19, 2007 5:22 am GMT
What register of Spanish?

Just learn standard Spanish. Talk with everyone, but strive for a middle ground.
Spanish   Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:07 pm GMT
Absolutely, Colombians speak excellent Spanish. On the other hand any educated Spanish speaker speaks something very close to standard Spanish. But if you want to understand the language of uneducated people... you might have to study over 100 dialects. We have plenty of those in Spain too.