As you may already know, Spanish is spoken in plenty of countries, 21 to be precise. In total, the sum of all speakers makes Spanish the 3rd most spoken language of the world, with somewhere around 580 million people speaking it. However, there’s one country that, alone, makes up a fifth of that amount. We’re talking about Mexico, of course, which currently has 130 million people inside its borders, not accounting for the immigrants out of the country.
When people are starting to learn Spanish, they come to the realization that there are various accents all around the world. Who could’ve thought that, even when being neighbors, all Latin countries would speak Spanish in such different manners? Of course, we all comprehend each other, unless it’s a Chilean the one with whom we’re talking – just kidding. So, if you’re about to start with your Spanish lessons, worry not about the accent you pick, since all differences come down to pitch or vocabulary. Sometimes you may need to learn a pair of extra conjugations, take Spain and Argentina for instance.
Nevertheless, if it's Mexican the accent you’re into, hold tight and be warned about some facts you must know about this Spanish accent. Not that I want to scare you, but rather encourage you to continue down this path. Now, without further ado, let’s dive into it.
Yes, all foreigners claim and swear that the Spanish language is hella fast. Guess what, they’re not wrong after all. A recent study has shown that the speed of languages is a reality, given how many syllables are produced per minute. The punch line? Spanish was the fastest one of all the languages that were analyzed: English, German, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Italian, and some others. So next time you hear someone complain about how fast Spanish is, you may comfort them instead of calling that bs. What is more, the Mexican accent is actually one of the fastest among all Latin variants. Of course, Chilean is way faster, but a well deserved second place is not that bad.
Naturally, it’s impossible to generalize, given all differences that may occur inside a country as big as Mexico is, but speaking statistically, yes, we DO speak fast. Now, don’t let that scare you from learning Spanish, on the contrary, if you manage to understand and comprehend Spanish at the speed of a Mexican, then you’ll be able to understand anyone (but the Chileans).
Yes, we’re all aware that Spanish is spoken in 21 countries. And all of them went through some mayor historic changes and periods which means that they all have a great culture and, as a result of that, a vast vocabulary which will naturally differ from that of their neighbors. Nevertheless, something that we should take into consideration, is the fact that Mexico is one of the largest countries that speak Spanish. I’m talking about its area, and Mexico happens to be the second-largest country in terms of square area, just behind Argentina. And what does this mean? Well, it means that Mexico is so big, that time ago before the “Conquista” period, there were plenty of civilizations living inside what’s now considered Mexico. Just to name a few: Mayas, Aztecas, Olmecas, Totonacas, Huicholes, Toltecas, and so on. These civilizations did not end with the Spanish arrival, rather, they mixed into what’s now the Mexican culture.
This is, of course, can be translated into plenty of words that derive from those antiques and old civilizations. And that precisely is why today the Mexican Spanish is perhaps, one of the largest accents by the total amount of words. If you wish to learn a little bit more about the Mexican culture, you can do so in our culture section where you’ll find plenty of free lessons.
3. – Double sense
Let’s be honest about it. I do believe every single language on earth has double sense jokes. However, there’s no one quite Spanish, Mexican Spanish to be more precise.
Are you a hardcore language learner who never gets satisfied until you think you’ve learned everything there’s to learn in a language? Well, if that’s the case, then I got some good news for you: Mexican Spanish is perfect for you. Why? Because when you’re learning Spanish, if you happen to be in Mexico, you have to learn the language twice. The first one is the language we all know: verbs, nouns, sentences and so on. The second language you’ve got to learn is known as “Albur”. You see, Albur is a such a dense topic, that I wouldn’t have time to cover it completely. Needless to say, there are plenty of books that explain this fantastic, yet vulgar, aspect of the Mexican dialect.
What on earth is an albur? An albur is a double sense word that used in complex sentences between two or more people in order to win a competence that has taken place suddenly in the conversation. This, of course, may not be suitable for true beginners, or people who’d prefer to avoid this kind of nuances. Nevertheless, it’s something worth mentioning.
4. – Food
Wait, am I really telling you that food is somehow related to language? Yes, I AM. Don’t be too skeptic, it actually is. You see, Mexico is well known for many things. Among which food is located. Legend has it, both Peru and Mexico have the greatest food in all Latin America. This influences the way language behaves, believe it or not, and that’s why there are a lot of different words that were born with the sole purpose of describing specific dishes, yet nowadays these words have evolved and are now being used for different purposes. The list gets bigger when we include idioms such as “camarón que se duerme se lo lleva la corriente” or “como agua para chocolate”. Learning Mexican Spanish will definitely expand the way you view both language and food. Kudos for Mexico!
5. – Idioms, idioms, idioms
Let’s say you’ve been learning Spanish for a while (extra points if you’ve learnt for free on our online website). You practiced every day, you’ve taken some tests and have built some confidence in your speaking abilities. Then for some reason, you go to Mexico only to find yourself lost among plenty of sentences that make no sense whatsoever. What are these people talking about? What do they mean? This wasn’t in the boooooooooooooooks!
Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. It’s called idioms and trust me, we, Mexicans, have tons of them. All it takes is typing “Dichos y refranes mexicanos” in Google to find out “cientos y cientos” of them. A lot of students usually complain about the ridiculous amount of idioms that are present in the Spanish language. I usually take two approaches to that situation. The first one is letting them know that English has quite a lot as well. The second one is letting them know that idioms are a rich feature of a language. Not only they let you express things in a different manner, but they also let you know more about the culture where they were created. In sum, the more idioms a language has, the more you’ll enjoy learning it. Trust me on this one.
6. – Resources
I’ve always said that the numbers never lie. Let’s take a brief gaze into them. There are 580 million Spanish speakers, right? And 130 of them are Mexican. That’s an amazing 22%! Not to mention the Spanish-speaking community of the USA and the media that both nations are producing. If you wanted to learn Spanish the Mexican way, then you could do so online. No need to go straight to the country in order to immerse yourself in the language. There are plenty of Mexican songs, books, movies, podcasts, heck, even youtubers! On the other hand, if you wanted to learn, let’s say, Peruvian Spanish, you’ll find yourself in a tight spot. You see, Peru has only 30 million inhabitants. How much media do you think they produce? Exactly my point.
7. – Standard pronunciation
It’s funny how we’ve been talking about “Mexican accent”, however, the reality is different. All countries have a peculiar accent from which you can identify the speaker’s origin. Accents tend to be, well, accents. Meaning that some regions will speak higher or lower, or will pronounce some sounds in a different manner, and that’s alright. It’s an important aspect of languages. The thing here is that the Mexican accent is considered to be neuter. That is to say, it stays pretty much at the very center of the accent spectrum. This means that if you learn Mexican Spanish, you’ll be easily understood all across Latin America without any major hassle. This means that Mexican Spanish is perfect from a beginner’s perspective. Just think about it, if you were to learn English. Would you learn American, British, Australian or Scottish?
Sadly, this is the end of today’s post. However, don’t leave yet. Remember to make some use of our free online Spanish lessons! Don’t forget that we’ve got a Spanish podcast for learners as well. And most importantly, remember that all of our Spanish resources are free!
So, wait no more and start learning and speaking Spanish with confidence! See you soon.