I know that there are differences in Spanish according to where it's spoken. So when I am trying to train my listening skills with a movie, should I consider possible different versions of Spanish or movies are usually dubbed with only one accent of Spanish?

  • 5
    A long time ago it was usual to have just one version, using what was called "neutral Spanish". You can hear that in many classic Disney films, up to The Jungle Book or so. Neutral Spanish managed to sound foreign in all Spanish speaking countries :)
    – Gorpik
    Dec 28 '15 at 9:21
  • @Gorpik That doesn't seem good for anyone.
    – Joqus
    Dec 28 '15 at 15:53
  • 2
    @gorpik we actually did that in English for a while too, even for the live action movies! It was intended to be this weird hodgepodge of British RP and eastern US accents. Dec 28 '15 at 15:54

Most movies will have two separate dubs. One is European Spanish, and the other is a (heavily Mexican) pan–Latin American one.

A handful of cartoons have also received Rioplatense (Argentina/Uruguay) dubs, but I believe the studio that did that one stopped which is a bit of a shame — Rioplatense Spanish is awesome.

For me, it creates this odd dynamic whereby the Spain dub is able to capture the nuances much better because it can focus on a single dialect and use lots of local idioms and references — but you may have difficult catching that nuance if you're not familiar with European Spanish and Spanish culture. The Latin American dub has to be more general and can't rely upon local idioms as much because it's oriented for a large number of markets: it tends to use a good bit less slang unless they decide to make a particular character intentionally very Argentine or very Cuban, for instance. As a result, if you're not very familiar with slang or culture, it will be much easier to understand.

  • I will travel to Chile, it seems that to learn with movies is not a good idea because I will not sound local, do you agree with that?
    – Joqus
    Dec 28 '15 at 4:01
  • @Jocus you can use dubbed movies to practice your overall Spanish, and then find native Chilean films or TV shows to pick up on the various features of Chilean Spanish. For example, in Chile they use vos, but with conjugate different than those of Argentina, you'll never see those in a dubbed movie, but you will in native movies like La nana. Dec 28 '15 at 4:04
  • @Joqus Interesting! Most of the dubbed movies in Spanish are using the Latin American one. But careful, I've seen some movies dubbed with heavily Mexican slangs. It's hard for you to decide whether the dub is good or not. Anyway, you don't need a perfect Spanish if you want to travel to Chile, but careful, once you're being integrated, chilean people will start to use a different Spanish, and it'll be hard to understand, because we (I'm chilean) put the —ai ending in most of our words. For instance, ¿cómo estai? (¿cómo estás?) As you can see, tilde and s are substituted.
    – Schwale
    Dec 28 '15 at 11:59
  • Even the subjunctive has modifications: no quería que lo terminarai (no quería que lo terminaras/terminases) Well, there are a lot of more, but of course you won't hear those right away because they'll speak correctly and they won't confuse you since you're learning.
    – Schwale
    Dec 28 '15 at 12:01
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    @Joqus yes, but most differences are relatively minor. The most obvious ones are seen in second person pronouns and conjugations, and in the object pronouns. Vocabulary is another big difference. Any other grammatical difference will probably be subtle enough that as a nonnative you likely won't even notice and certainly won't affect understanding — they're just things that will sound odd to natives, like when an American hears a Brit say they are "at hospital" instead of the American "at the hospital" Dec 28 '15 at 17:07

Español neutro le decimos en argentina. Es casi odioso de escucharlo. Poco tiene que ver con el español empleado en latinoamerica y españa.

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