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Old 29th August 2007, 10:11 PM   #31
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: CT, USA
Posts: 45

Originally Posted by ZeroTX View Post
Is it really that difficult? I am going out of my way to be sure I'm learning Latin American Spanish with a very Mexican-specific accent.

That said, I want to travel to Spain and I surely hope that I'm not totally lost with my primarily Latin American vocabulary! (I use the term "vocabulary" loosely, as I'm still a beginner)

I wouldn't worry about it. I'm puerto rican and I've travelled to Spain several times with no issues. Granted, my accent tends to drift slightly in the direction of Spain while I'm there. However, my suspicion is that there are enough Latin Americans in Spain that this isn't an issue and hasn't been for some time.

In 2004, my wife and I were in Milan, Italy and happened upon some cleaning folks in a shopping area. They were from South America and upon hearing my wife's (broken) spanish, directed her to simply find the cleaners whenever she might need some help (directions, translation, etc) since they were mostly spanish-speakers. While we never needed the help, it was nice to know the safety cushion was there.

If Latin Americans are that prevalent in Italy, I can only imagine there must be plenty working in Spain as well.

As a real-world comparison, my wife is portuguese. Here in Hartford, CT we have a fair amount Portuguese as well as Brazilians. Additionally, the local portuguese church has a priest from Angola; he is joined by regular visitors from his home country. While accents may get in the way sometimes (and then only minimally), they can certainly make themselves understood.

Paco may be referring to vocabulary. If you go into the situation fully cognizant of the differences, you'll be fine. I'm not entirely fluent, but my sense is that advanced (native) speakers may sometimes need to "downshift" to a more basic, paced spanish. But they'll be able to converse easily.
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