Dream AlcaláPersonal experiencesWhat language is spoken in Alcalá?

What language is spoken in Alcalá?

¿Qué idioma hablan los Alcalaínos? You guessed it, Spanish. Of course, Spanish is an extremely heterogeneous language. 

Becca Fogel, Nueva Jersey, USA.

Even within Spain, the Spanish accent and slang varies significantly. So what distinguishes Spanish in Alcala? You may hear people describe the Spanish in Alcala as «madrileño» referring to the type of Spanish spoken in the Madrid area.

One of the characteristics of this Spanish the tendency is to use «th» sounds in place of «z» or «s» sounds in certain linguistic settings- such as in the word «zapatos» (shoes). In addition the “b-v” and “y-ll” sounds are often pronounced almost exactly alike.

In Spain, “ustedes” is used only in a formal context. Everybody uses “vosotros” instead. There are other minor differences like the widespread use of «le» instead of «la» and «lo» as direct object, especially referring to men. And the letter “j” as well as the letter “g” before the letters “i” and “e” are pronounced as a stronger velar fricative and very often the friction is uvular, while in Latin America they are generally guttural as well, but not as strong.

But perhaps the most characteristic is the aspiration of the implosive «s«, which is often replaced by «j«. This aspiration of “s” is particularly visible before velar consonants «se ha escondido en el bosque» sounds like «se ha ejcondido en el bojque«.

A final characteristic of madrileño Spanish is that the accent is fairly traditional and easy to understand (lucky for us foreigners!), especially compared to the accent in some other regions of Spain. For instance, in Andalucia, speakers tend to «eat their words,» or not annunciate very clearly.

Overall, Alcalá is a great place to learn or improve your Spanish language skills, with a relatively traditional accent, and even more important, friendly people who are happy to engage in conversation.

Plus, many people in Alcala are bilingual, particularly with English, so if your Spanish skills are not yet up to par, don’t worry – you will find people with whom you can communicate.

 

Selected vocabulary differences

Castilian Spanish
Latin American Spanish
English language
vale de acuerdo okay
gafas anteojos, lentes eyeglasses, spectacles
melocotón durazno peach
patata papa potato
judía, alubia chícharo, frijol, habichuela poroto bean
jersey chaleco, suéter jumper, sweater
coche auto, carro car
conducir manejar to drive
estacionar, aparcar parquear, estacionar to park
ordenador computadora computer
zumo jugo juice
chulo, guay chévere, chido, piola cool (slang)
tío tipo dude, bloke (slang)

Additional information:

 

photo credit: luipermom via photopin cc