Spanish Phrase Book v. Latin America Phrase Book
Replies: 1 - Last Post: Feb 4, 2013 4:55 PM Last Post By: polyglot25
Feb 4, 2013 1:41 PM
Spanish Phrase Book v. Latin America Phrase BookTraveling to Peru and Ecuador in April and I don't know very much spanish at all.
Any thoughts on which phrase book would be the most appropriate to bring? I've gotten conflicting advice...some say the Spanish phrase book will be fine, others say there is a large difference between Spanish and Latin American Spanish.
Feb 4, 2013 4:55 PM
If you can lay your hands on a Latin American phrasebook then surely that seems more useful since Ecuador and Peru are, er...in Latin America?
There are differences between Latin American Castilian and Spanish Castilian - certainly not enough to make communication even slightly more complicated, but enough to make you stand out if you use certain Spanish words and/or phrases. There are also differences, some marked, between the varieties of Castilian spoken in different countries on the continent. For instance, I met many grocers in Chile who had no idea what an aguacate was, while if I used the word palta in Colombia I would sometimes get blank looks. Both words mean "avocado"!
As a first time visitor though these fine distinctions won't be of any concern, so just grab your phrasebook and be adventurous! Peruvians and Ecuadorians will greatly appreciate someone trying to learn their language. There is nothing more irritating than witnessing lazy gringos say "please" and "thank you" in English to Latin Americans...
Be careful with your use of pronouns in South America. In many places tú is not widely used - and Spanish vosotros almost never. Stick to the polite forms usted and ustedes and you won't go wrong.
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