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Spanish Regional Languages : Andalucian

By Mr Grumpy - Fri 15th Jan 2010

After writing a number of blogs on Spanish Regional Languages, I realised that I hadn’t actually paid any attention to the largest Region of Spain – Andalusia.

Before we go any further, I need to get this point out of the way – many purists argue that Andalucian is not actually a language in it’s own right, rather a dialect. However, this being Spain a mere foreigner like myself would be hung, drawn and quartered for suggesting this affront to the very proud regional identity of Andalucia, and as such for the purposes of this blog I will class it as a ‘language’ .

Linguists believe that Andalucian is the second most widely spoken dialect/language in Spain after Castillian, and many other branches of the Spanish language have their roots in Andalucian due to the mass emigration seen from this Region during the last few centuries. Canarian Spanish, Caribbean Spanish, Chilean Spanish and Rioplatense Spanish are all though to be based on Andalusian.

Apparently one of the most noticeable features of the Andalucian language is the complete lack of ‘Vostros’ and instead being replaced by ‘Ustedes’ for second-person plural. Andalucians also seem to have a fondness for dis-regarding the genders of certain words that are also observed throughout the rest of Spain. It also seems common for vowels to be completely omitted from certain words, and even the endings to be cut short.

The Andalucian dialect is generally looked-down on by the Spanish media, and many TV cartoon characters are also depicted speaking with an Andalucian accent. In the public eye actors Antonio Banderas, and to a lesser extent, Paz Vega, are known to speak with strong Andalucian accents, but revert to Castilian accents for on-sceen and voice over performances, unless Andalucian Accents are specifically called for.

As far as a specific difference in vocabulary is concerned, the words are very few and far between - so much so that the few words that are actually different to Castilian are considered to be slang as opposed to a totally separate language.

Comment on this Blog

Absolutely Michelle - The Mrs and I almost bought an orange farm up by the Sierra Nevada's in a village called 'Ugijar'. I think the main reason that we didn't go through with it was because neither of us could pronounce the village name, and the locals used to laugh at our pathetic attempts.
Mr Grumpy - Fri, 9th Apr 2010
Andaluz - less a language, more a dialect or just an accent. I've been in Malaga for 6 years and never heard Ustedes used for 2nd person plural - just vosotros. The accent here though is tough to understand at the start, sloppy and lazy but I love it!! As I learnt my Spanish here my Spanish friends often laugh at my anglo-andaluz accent. And, as I often say, if you can understand Spanish in rural Andalucia then you can understand it anywhere!
Michelle - Thu, 8th Apr 2010

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