Mexican Spanish, like all varieties of Spanish, has its own unique characteristics and features that distinguish it from other varieties of Spanish. While it shares many similarities with the Spanish language as a whole, including what is often referred to as “academic Spanish” (a Spanish more closely related to the language spoken in Spain and used to teach Spanish in American schools), it also has a number of notable differences that make it distinct. Knowing these differences and how to incorporate them in transforming your writings to a Mexican audience can elevate your writing’s ability to reach your Mexican audience immensely. Our translators at Language Concepts are skilled in localizing your content to specific Spanish countries and dialects.
Mexican Spanish is the variant of the Spanish language spoken in Mexico. It is one of the most widely-spoken Spanish dialects in the world with millions of native speakers. Mexican Spanish has its own set of rules and conventions that differ from other dialects of Spanish, especially in pronunciation.
Mexican Spanish has a more nasal sound than the other dialects, with an emphasis on the syllables. Additionally, Mexican Spanish has a more open pronunciation, with more vowels and diphthongs than other dialects. For example, the letter “z” is pronounced “s” in Mexican Spanish, whereas it is pronounced “th” in other dialects. These differences in pronunciation over time led to differences in spelling as well.
Another difference between Mexican Spanish and other dialects is in the use of loanwords. Mexican Spanish has a large number of loanwords from Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs, as well as from other Native American languages. For example, the word “chocolate” comes from the Nahuatl word “xocolatl”, which means “bitter water.” And the word “cuate” comes from the Nahuatl word “cualtl” which means “twin” and Mexicans use it to refer to a friend.
Additionally, Mexican Spanish has a large number of loanwords from English, such as the word “hot dog”, which is “jocho” in Mexican Spanish.
There are many words that are commonly used in Mexican Spanish, but they are not used by speakers of other varieties of Spanish. Some examples include:
"Chamarra" – meaning "jacket," this word is commonly used in Mexican Spanish to refer to a jacket or coat, especially a casual one.
"Chapoteo" – meaning "splashing," this word is commonly used in Mexican Spanish to describe the act of splashing around in water, such as in a pool or at the beach.
"Chilate" – meaning "a traditional Mexican drink made with ground corn, cocoa beans, and spices," this word is commonly used in Mexican Spanish to refer to the drink, which is popular in the central and southern regions of the country.
"Churro" – meaning "doughnut," this word is commonly used in Mexican Spanish to refer to a fried pastry that is often served with chocolate or other sweet sauces.
"Elote" – meaning "corn on the cob," this word is commonly used in Mexican Spanish to refer to a cob of corn that is cooked and eaten whole, often as a street food.
"Firulaís" – This word is commonly used in Mexican Spanish to describe a “street dog”. It comes from the English phrase “free of lice”. This dates back from the 20th century when Mexican farmers brought their companion dogs to the USA and the US authorities required them to be “free of lice”.
"Jalea" – meaning "jelly," this word is commonly used in Mexican Spanish to refer to a sweet, fruity spread made from fruit juice and gelatin.
"Plomero" – meaning "plumber," this word is commonly used in Mexican Spanish to refer to a person whose job is to supply and connect or repair water pipes, baths, toilets, etc.
"Taco" – meaning "taco," this word is commonly used in Mexican Spanish to refer to a traditional Mexican dish consisting of a small, folded tortilla filled with various ingredients, such as meat, vegetables, and cheese.
"Troca" – meaning "truck". This word is commonly used in Mexican Spanish to refer to a large road vehicle that is used for transporting large amounts of goods.
These are just a few examples of words and there are many more, reflecting the unique and diverse nature of the language and culture of Mexico.
On the other hand, Mexican Spanish has a variety of words that are unique to the dialect, such as the word “güey”, which is used to refer to a friend or acquaintance. Additionally, Mexican Spanish has a number of unique words that are used to express particular concepts or feelings, such as the word “chido”, which means “cool” or “awesome”.
Overall, Mexican Spanish is a distinct dialect of Spanish that has its own set of pronunciation, loanwords, vocabulary and more that set it apart from other dialects. While the Spanish taught in American schools and the Spanish spoken in Spain may be the “default” or “academic” Spanish, Mexican Spanish is a unique variant of the language that has its own set of rules and conventions. It is important to understand the differences between Mexican Spanish and standard Spanish in order to be able to communicate effectively with a target Mexican audience, which is where we at Language Concepts are here to help you.