The Andalusian Accent

Pronunciation varies across time, place, and country. Being a native English speaker, I know there are tons of different accents for the language: British (and its many variations), Boston, Southern, and Irish. I never really thought of how different Spanish accents would be from one another.

What I’ve learned the most in my time in Spain is how different Spanish accents are across the country. In high school I took four years of Spanish. They told me I was learning Spanish from Spain. Little did I know how different the language here would be from what I had been taught.

For anyone interested in coming to southern Spain, Andalusia specifically, and hoping to understand what is being said, here are a few tips to help you out.

Andalusian Accent Image 1

Practicing my Andalusian accent by reading Harry Potter in Spanish

Vosotros

Vosotros isn’t dead. Forget what your Spanish teachers taught you. Vosotros is the term used to refer to ‘you guys.’ It was always brushed to the side because it wasn’t relevant to speaking the language. Well, little did I know entering the country how very important this form of a verb was. Vosotros most certainly isn’t dead.

S

I learned the different ways of pronouncing certain letter combinations in Spanish classes: the double l, ñ, and different vowels. What I didn’t expect to hear was the dropping of the letter “s.” A simple saying such as “muchas gracias” turns into “mucha gracia.” Usually it is only dropped at the end of the words but I have heard exceptions such as “Epaña.”

Cs, and Zs are not what they seem

Dropping the “s” in gracias is not the only thing changed about how the word is pronounced. Words with the letter “c” or “z” are oftentimes pronounced “th.” It’s almost as if the whole country has a bit of a lisp. So rather than simply saying gracias, you’ve got to say ‘gra-thi-a.’

D

The letter “d” is in the same boat as “s.” It is not uncommon for the “d” to be dropped from the end of a word. A common example of this would be supermercado being pronounced ‘supermercao.’

All these things combined make me listen a little harder to what people are saying in order to try and understand. As locals have told me, if you can understand the Andalusian accent, you can understand most Spanish accents.

¡Hasta Luego!

(Ah-ta Luego)

Cassie is a student at Plymouth State University and an official API student blogger.  Cassie is currently studying abroad with API in Seville, Spain.

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