Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spanish Vocabulary of Spain and Mexico

The official language of Spain and Mexico is Spanish. Spain is the country of origin of one of the most widely-spoken languages in the world. However, Mexico is the country with the largest number of Spanish speakers. Though the two countries share the same official language, the two countries have a number of differences in vocabulary.

Many of the different words pertain to food and drink. Here is a list for comparison with the Mexican word on the left and the Castilian on the right.

betabel remolacha (beet)
chi'charo guisante (pea)
chabacano albaricoque (apricot)
durazno melocoto'n (peach)
toronja pomelo (grapefruit)
calabacita calabaci'n (zucchini)
camaro'n gamba (shrimp)
papa patata (potato)
camote batata (sweet potato)
pay tarta (pie)
botana tapa (snack)
charola bandeja (tray)
mesero/mesera camarero/camarera (waiter/waitress)
jugo/zumo (juice)
popote pajilla (straw for drinking)

Here is a list for cars, roads and travel.

cajuela maletero (trunk of a car)
carretera de cuota carretera de peaje (toll road)
banqueta acera (sidewalk)
boleto billete (ticket)
manejar conducir (to drive)

Here is a list for vocabulary of the home.

clo'set ropero (closet)
foco bombilla (light bulb)
reca'mara dormitorio (bedroom)
departamento piso (apartment)
regadera ducha (shower)
refrigerador frigori'fico (refrigerator)

The next list is for personal items.

pluma boli'grafo (pen)
celular mo'vil (cell phone)
arete pendiente (earring)
anteojos gafas (glasses)
computadora ordinador (computer)
gancho percha (coat hanger)

Another difference is the word "hello" used for answering the telephone. In Spain this word is "diga" but in Mexico it is "bueno". The word for "hello" in other situations is "hola".

Though Spanish is spoken in both Mexico and Spain, the vocabulary of these two varieties of Spanish reveals many differences. These differences of vocabulary may be comparable to the differences between British and American English. After centuries of separate development, it is not surprising that such differences exist.

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