I grew up in Arizona and have a degree in Spanish Lit, so my language skills are pretty solid. But having learned Spanish from school, not home (and not used it other than on vacations in the last 25 years), plus having learned it in a very Chicano and Mexican area, I struggle with oral comprehension when speaking with people from certain places — Puerto Rico and Argentina spring to mind. Ecuador is easy, as are Panama and Guatemala. But I haven’t been to CR yet. So my question, for anyone from the southwest US, is how tough is it to acclimate to the Tico accent?
Tranquila. Costa Rica Spanish Is Surprisingly clear and good. I Arrived after not having spoken Spanish since highschool, and Was up to speed in no Time flat. Slang and idioms are different, But you'll do fine. I could not Handle either México or Spain. Costa Rica Will be a cakewalk for you after one month. You'll Have 4 million teachers!!
Well, I've not been to every Country, but would say most like Colombia or Venezuela. Their Diction here Is good, everyone Knows how to read, a better educated population than most. They elected to have exucated people rather than an army. Admirable!!
Spanish is an extremely difficult language - some people have a natural propensity to learn languages quickly - if you do not have this natural ability, you are in for a very long haul learning spanish - also, the best spanish in the western hemisphere is columbia - Costa Rica ranks near the bottom!!!!
You probably meant Colombia. As a language teacher, I can tell you that your evaluation of Costa Rican Spanish is wrong. Ask other people who have traveled in Latin America, and you will see that you are wrong. Sorry!
I do not agree that Spanish is extremely difficult. In English many of the vowels are pronounced many different ways and a word spelled the same can have many meanings depending on situation.
At least in Spanish all the vowels generally pronounced the same. The verb tenses need to be studied. You actually have to study. The nonsense of just picking it up from talking to locals is nonsense. You have to understand the verb tenses and their exact meaning.
So unless you want to sound like a redneck in US who use only present tense in English and sound not too intelligent you need to study. They might understand the gist of what you are saying but....
I should clarify my question -- I'm asking what the Costa Rican Spanish ACCENT sounds like, particularly compared to Spanish in Mexico. Vocabulary in any post-colonial Spanish speaking country will always be Castilian mixed with a good size dose of whatever indigenous language existed there prior to the 1500's - there is no avoiding memorizing a region's specific vocabulary and slang. But how letters are pronounced is a messier issue for me..
To my ears, Mexican Spanish "sounds" exactly as written, because that is how I was taught to pronounce the words on a page. Argentinian Spanish, to me, sounds like they are mispronouncing all the R's. Puerto Rican Spanish, to me, sounds like they are leaving off the ends off half the words. Lots of Spain has that lisp. So when listening to someone speak I get this time lag while my brain tries to convert the "wrong" Spanish into Spanish as I know it, and then translate to English.... and meanwhile I've missed the next two sentences.
And yes, I think Spanish is one of the simpler languages to learn. It has an approximately 90,000 word vocabulary base, compared to, for example, English's 120,000. There are relatively few irregular verbs, only one odd-ball case (the subjunctive), few silent letters...
I also learned Spanish in school in the USA and used Spanish on vacations in Mexico over a number of years. My wife and I retired to Costa Rica in 2013 and we took some refresher classes in Spanish in CR. I would say that I have not found CR Spanish pronunciation to be much different. And I have been told in CR that my Spanish pronunciation is relatively good. (As you noted, Argentinian Spanish pronunciation is noticeably different.)
Love the naysayers---so Europeans can speak 3-4-5-7 languages and us dumb Gringos are too stupid to learn Spanish and it will be SOOOOOO HARD for us. Better not try to live in another country because we just can't handle the challenge. Lest I remind you naysayers Americans are tough ass people and the last thing that will stop us from success is having to learn a language.My Spanish sucks but only because I lean on my wife for hers.
Dear Count, I've been in C.R. off and on since 1992 and have married here. I'm familiar with different spanish accents having travelled to Spain, and throughout Central America. I've also been to Coloumbia and Venezuela and lived in Mexico for over a year. If you think in terms of the accents in the U.S. Spain would have an accent similar to Boston and Mexico and Nicaragua similar to the South, strength wise. Costa Rica is purely Mid-western. There almost is no accent. Listen to the accent in this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C09PNzm9ML8
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