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Saturday, April 1, 2023

Is Mexican a Language? A Concise Introduction to Mexican Spanish

mexican spanish

Mexico is an extremely common vacation spot for vacationers. It’s no shock that everybody desires to take a look at the Mayan ruins, white-sand seashores, unique wildlife and superb meals.

However in the event you’re assuming—hopefully as you pack your suitcase and seize your passport!—that you recognize what language is spoken there, we’d higher have a phrase.

Positive, Spanish is spoken in Mexico, however it’s Spanish with a Mexican twist.

Is that this sufficient to make “Mexican” its personal language?

Let’s test it out!


Fast Reply: Nope, “Mexican” is Not a Language

Spanish is essentially the most generally spoken language in Mexico. Though Mexican Spanish has its personal distinctive slang, expressions and phrases, it’s nonetheless similar to normal Spanish, so it’s thought-about a Spanish dialect and a part of Latin American Spanish. We’ll go into the main points beneath!

Curiously, essentially the most broadly spoken indigenous language in Mexico, Nahuatl, is usually known as “Mexican”—don’t confuse it with Mexican Spanish, although.  

Is Mexican a Language or Dialect?

A language is a structured type of communication. Spanish is a language.

A dialect is a regional model of a language. Castilian Spanish and Latin American Spanish may differ in some ways however they’re nonetheless varieties of Spanish they usually’re mutually intelligible—that’s, somebody from Spain can simply perceive somebody from Peru, and vice versa.

The road between dialects and languages is definitely pretty blurry and never uniformly agreed on, so it may be tough to find out if a way of talking is a language or a dialect.

To make issues much more difficult, you’ll discover regional dialects even inside the nation itself.

In fact, as we talked about earlier, this isn’t to be blended up with the “Mexican language,” of Nahuatl.

The truth is, Spanish isn’t even the official language of the nation, though it’s essentially the most broadly used one: To offer indigenous teams extra rights, the official language was deliberately left clean so numerous languages could possibly be utilized in official paperwork and authorities affairs.

We by no means mentioned this may be easy!

Contemplating their similarities, and the truth that the Spanish language in Mexico nonetheless follows practically all the identical guidelines as normal Spanish, for the aim of this publish we’ll be calling Mexican a dialect of Spanish (extra particularly, Latin American Spanish).

That mentioned, the Spanish spoken in Mexico (very like many languages) was strongly influenced by its location and historical past. Let’s learn the way!

All About Mexican Spanish

Mexican Spanish was influenced by the Nahuatl language that was used throughout the Aztec Empire. The empire flourished in central Mexico till 1519 when Europeans arrived on the scene.

There are many indigenous languages nonetheless being spoken in Mexico: Six million individuals in Mexico communicate a language that’s indigenous to the world.

These languages have left their mark and traces can nonetheless be heard in Mexican Spanish in the present day—however this can be a two-way avenue and Spanish has, in flip, influenced the event of the Nahuatl language and different indigenous tongues, as effectively.

It’s fascinating to notice that the English language has additionally been influenced by the Nahuatl language in numerous situations!

Mexican Spanish additionally incorporates loads of slang and a few of it is extremely colourful and enjoyable to make use of. Fortunately for you, a couple of slang phrases are on our listing on the finish of this publish.

Lastly, the proximity of Mexico to the English-speaking portion of North America signifies that plenty of what you’ll hear on the road and in retailers is a mixture of English married to Spanish. Many phrases and phrases are a mix of each languages.

An ideal instance of this fusion is the phrase actualmente (truly, at the moment). In normal Spanish, you’d use en realidad to get the concept throughout however this morphing of two languages into one phrase is broadly practiced and usually understood in Mexico.

Spanish in Mexico vs. Spanish in Spain

Mexican Spanish is often known as Latin American Spanish as a result of it differs barely from the Spanish spoken in Spain.

As we talked about earlier, you may make an extra distinction, separating Mexican Spanish from Latin American Spanish. Listed below are a couple of facets of the Mexican model of Spanish:

  • Mexican Spanish typically makes use of suffixes to indicate ranges of affection or respect. For instance, -ito (little) is continuously added to point out fondness. Juan turns into Juanito and even abuela (grandmother) turns into abuelita  in a present of heat and deference.
  • Colloquial expressions liberally pepper Mexican Spanish. One well-recognized phrase, guey , has been used for many years to name an individual with out truly saying their title. It definitely turns out to be useful—particularly in the event you’re not good at remembering names!
  • The vos (you) kind isn’t utilized in Mexico so miss vosotros (you [plural]) and insert ustedes (you [plural]) as an alternative.

    Vosotros is, nonetheless, nonetheless in use in some smaller villages and is present in print in Bibles so it gained’t be completely off the mark in the event you do use it.

  • There are a couple of nouns which might be utilized in Mexico and another Latin American nations that aren’t generally utilized in Spain. For instance, in Mexico, glasses would sometimes be lentes (glasses) as an alternative of gafas (glasses). And also you’d drive a coche (automotive), not a carro (automotive).

An effective way to get snug with Mexican Spanish could be to watch Mexican vlogs, telenovelas and motion pictures. You could possibly additionally attempt FluentU, a language studying platform that helps you study by means of genuine Spanish media clips from totally different Spanish-speaking nations—together with Mexico. These include interactive subtitles, quizzes and transcripts so you may dig deep into the vocabulary and different components of the language. 

Standard Mexican Phrases and Phrases

Now that you recognize a lot about Mexican Spanish, listed below are some frequent phrases and expressions that’ll make you are feeling proper at dwelling in Mexico!

No hay pedo. (There’s no fart.)

Earlier than you begin sniffing the air, let’s get proper to the guts of this. It has nothing to do with flatulence!

What this phrase truly means is that “There’s no drawback!” or that “All the things’s okay!”

It’s the perfect method to present that you simply’re down with a state of affairs, problem or particular person.

It’s an expression that’s virtually assured to make individuals smile so it’s a terrific one so as to add to your Spanish abilities.

Nunca falta el negrito en el arroz. (There’s all the time a spot within the rice. [Literally: Never miss the black in the rice.])

Rice is a staple meals in lots of Spanish-speaking nations, together with Mexico. White rice is a aspect dish served with most meals. That goes for breakfast, too.

This modest phrase illustrates that in life, as in rice, nothing is ideal. There could also be slightly black spot or imperfection in even the happiest life—or within the fluffiest rice.

Rice typically has little stones in it, relying on the place it’s harvested. Many cooks are accustomed to eradicating as lots of these stones as attainable earlier than cooking the rice.

So in case your dinner order comes with a tiny speck in it, do not forget that it’s not the top of the world.

There are a few methods to interpret this phrase.

A small imperfection is nothing to somebody who sees the worth in the entire dish (or state of affairs) and simply removes the little black spot.

If somebody appears to be like for a adverse in even the great occasions (or biggest meals) they’re prone to discover one thing “fallacious” like slightly black spot.

Fault-finders will search out the little black spots of their rice whereas those that low cost the little issues will look previous an imperfection. So this little phrase holds plenty of which means behind it!

¡A poco! (Somewhat!)

This phrase is used to point shock.

Be taught your neighbor is shopping for a ship? ¡A poco!

He’s transferring to Paris? ¡A poco!

And it’s all as a result of he gained the lottery? ¡A poco!

This little phrase is expressive with out being wordy so it’s a great one to make use of liberally.

Sepa la bola. (The ball is aware of.)

While you’re requested a query that you simply don’t have a solution to, this little phrase says so much. The truth is, it says all of it!

It’s like a verbal shoulder shrug and it means “Who is aware of?” or “I don’t know!”

And that’s all you have to say!

En todos lados se cuecen habas. (Broad beans are cooked in every single place.)

Assume you’re particular or that you simply’ve received one thing occurring that’s the one one in all its variety? Assume once more!

This phrase cuts that line of considering down—and it does it utilizing a vegetable.

It signifies {that a} state of affairs isn’t distinctive—that it’s as frequent as beans.

It’s a pleasant method of claiming you have to recover from the state of affairs—and perhaps your self! It may also be used if you really feel like one thing taking place to you is an excessive amount of to deal with.

Chela (Beer)

Chela is a slang phrase for beer.

It made this listing as a result of beer is common in Mexico. Spend any period of time there and also you’re prone to hear this one so much.

If you happen to’re going to Guatemala, this can be a phrase that you simply’ll hear there, too.

Estoy crudo. (I’m uncooked.)

That is one other Mexican phrase that brings meals into issues.

The expression may make you consider greens, however it’s truly a method to inform somebody that you’re hungover or that you simply’ve already had an excessive amount of to drink.

You simply may wish to preserve this one useful. Mexican events could be legendary!

¡Te están haciendo de chivo los tamales! (They’re making goat tamales! [Literally: They’re making your tamales from goat!])

Only a few individuals order goat tamales. Like, nobody. Most individuals order pork, rooster or beef tamales.

But when somebody says that your tamales are being made out of goat—don’t push the dish away.

It simply signifies that you’re being lied to or cheated on.

In different phrases, one thing’s being misrepresented! That beef does look suspicious…

Todos dicen que maten al toro, pero el toro no mate a nadie. (The entire area tells them to kill the bull, but the bull ought to kill nobody.)

This Mexican expression is an statement of the inequality and injustice on the earth.

It reveals that life isn’t truthful, particularly in the event you’re the bull.

For extra common Mexican expressions, take a look at this video:


Given the listing of phrases above and the assets I’ve talked about, it simply goes to point out that there’s a variety of Mexican Spanish to study, recognize and use.

Talking Spanish in Mexico is usually a actual journey!

Decide up a few of these Mexican phrases to assist elevate your international citizen standing. Chat with locals and revel in each minute of your go to!

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