Last week’s language quizzes got me thinking about how the pronunciation of languages varies from region to region and country to country. When I hear someone speaking English, I can usually work out or guess which country they come from, and possibly which region. I don’t always get it right – I’m not very good at distinguishing US and Canadian accents, for example – but this is mainly due to lack of familiarity with the accents in question.
I can tell the difference between the Spanish of Spain and Latin American Spanish, but can’t pin speakers down to a particular country. The recordings I used for the quiz yesterday were all from radio stations, and I suspect that radio presenters tend to speak a fairly standard version of Spanish, which perhaps minimises the differences between the countries. If the recordings had been of ordinary people, maybe the differences would have been more noticeable. Or maybe Spanish doesn’t vary from country to country as much as English. Can anyone shed more light on this?
Can you tell where people come from by the way they speak your language?