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Does North Mexican Spanish sound "angry" to native speakers of Spanish from elsewhere, like the lady in this video suggests? (She's not a native speaker)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yd-LSkRdAzk

Are there other regions of the Spanish-speaking world, where the local dialect is "angry" too? If not "angry", is their accent perceived as low-class or uneducated?

  • 2
    Hello Max and welcome back to Spanish Language. As is now, the question is quite subjective and broad. You would increase the possibilities of having an interesting answer if you provided more examples (a link outside the stack is not very useful), your research and your hypotheses. – fedorqui 'SO stop harming' Mar 17 '18 at 23:50
  • North mexican does not sound angry. Actually I'd say that the point is that south mexican is quite formal and polite compared to other versions of Spanish in Latin America. So any other dialect sounds rude compared to south mexican. – Santiago Mar 19 '18 at 13:37
  • @Santiago She was talking about the intonation, I believe. – MaxB Mar 19 '18 at 18:27
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    I missed the party on this one. being a Mexican born and raised trough first childhood in Guadalajara in a relatively middle-income household, and around half-way through moving to the Northern state of Baja California, a few miles south of the Northwesternmost corner of Continental Latin America, my experience general is: YES the northern way of accenting spanish, along with a general cultural environment that values frankness over politeness, it does sound angry and makes one feel being shouted to i felt that for my whole first year here. Now its my adopted attitude and proud of it. =) – hlecuanda Apr 16 '18 at 8:20
  • This question should be deleted. But, FYI, no language is inherently angry. This is not about the Spanish language per se. – Lambie Jul 23 at 17:09
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Even Northern Mexico has different accents.

I'm from the northwest and I have travelled most of North and Center Mexico,

I can tell you a few differences I have found:

About my accent, I can give you that others have described it as "happy", literally as a happy cowboy/farmer riding his horse.

I can tell you that the northeast sounds more aggressive, but not angry. I would address it as: with higher conviction and determination.

There's the perception that northern Mexicans are angry and aggresive because media covered them like that during the 40's and 50's, becoming the general perception that has lasted over the years due the lack of communication between North and Center mexico. A big dessert divides the country making communication harder.

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  • That's fascinating, Erin. Question about this part: "there's the perception that northern Mexicans are angry and aggresive because media covered them like that during the 40's 50's becoming the general perception" -- when you talk about the general perception, do you mean the perception among other people in the north of Mexico? Or in the D.F.? Or in Mexico in general? Or beyond the national borders? If you're aware. Thanks. – aparente001 Mar 23 '18 at 16:06
  • i don't think this perception go beyond borders, at least not in the US – Mike Mar 26 '18 at 15:25
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Does North Mexican Spanish sound "angry" to native speakers of Spanish from elsewhere?

It's true that I have not spent a huge amount of time in northern Mexico, but I still would venture an answer to this of "No," and here's why: I learned my Spanish in Mexico, and wherever I go in the world, people (Spanish speakers, that is) quickly identify my Spanish as Mexican, and no one reacts to what I'm saying as though they felt I sounded angry. (Unless I really am angry.)

The attitude of the speaker made me uncomfortable, in a number of ways, for example:

  • her criticism of the northern vocabulary such as "ride," "troca," and "inmueble"

  • her criticism of the northern intonation patterns

  • her identification with her fellow foreign missionaries

In fact, what I could glean of her approach to being a missionary didn't create a positive impression.

In short, her editorial, if that's what her youtube recording was, struck me as thoroughly subjective and culturally arrogant.

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  • She's referring to other Mormon missionaries, if it wasn't obvious. – MaxB Mar 19 '18 at 6:45
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The question clearly says "to other Spanish speakers".

I agree that many Spanish dialects may sound angry to English speakers, but I don't think other Spanish speakers consider any Mexican as speaking "angry". As a native Spanish speaker I certainly don't think Mexicans sound angry, nor from the north of Mexico or any other part of Mexico.

We Latin people are more "loud" than English speakers and that is what might be interpreted as angry.

As for the uneducated part that is also a no. I think it is prejudice from people outside latinamerica to see us as poor and uneducated but we ourselves won't automatically see some loud Mexican as uneducated. We have to wait and see what he is saying and then make a judgment about his education level same as if we were talking to an Argentinean, Chilean, French, German, etc.

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I think in general to English speakers, Spanish sounds angry. I lived in Spain and when I first starting walking down the street, I thought everyone was fighting. After a while, I started to realize that that was just a normal conversation. Spanish is a much more emotionally expressive language than English. English values logical expression of meaning while Spanish more values emotional and poetic expression of meaning. That being said, I don't think Spanish speakers would perceive it as more angry than other dialect.

As far as the uneducated aspect of it, it would be unfair to say that. It is largely perceived by English speakers to be uneducated because of the large number of manual laborers that come to the United States, but in the rest of the Spanish world, it is probably perceived as just another dialect with its unique vocabulary. This is probably true because every language group has educated and uneducated users.

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  • I agree completely. I'm native Spanish speaker but I had the same feeling the first time I saw Italians speaking. As you said Spanish sound more "emotional" than English and for me Italians are even more so. As for the answer north Mexicans (or all Mexicans) they don't sound angry to me. – DGaleano Mar 23 '18 at 14:13
  • I don't think Max was asking how it's perceived by English speakers/US residents (I'm guessing that when you said "here" you meant the US?). – aparente001 Mar 23 '18 at 15:01
  • Hi @aparente001, thanks for your observation I should not have used the word "here," but I'm assuming that Max is in the US (that could be a mistake, but I've met so many people where I live that have this idea about people from Mexico) I used English as a basis to explain why he may have gotten that perception and then I contrasted it to how Spanish speakers may perceive Mexican Speakers. Hope that helps explain my answer. – Karlomanio Mar 23 '18 at 15:25
  • @Karlomanio - Did you look at the annoying video? Just checking. (If you didn't, I would not recommend that you waste your time watching it. I rather regret having done so.) – aparente001 Mar 23 '18 at 16:13
  • I don't speak Spanish at all. For what it's worth, to me, the Spanish in Narcos sounds calm, while the Spanish speakers in the U.S. (overwhelmingly from Mexico, not sure which parts of Mexico) typically do not. – MaxB Mar 23 '18 at 20:39
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I am from Sinaloa and I whenever I speak with people who are not from Northern Mexico, they often ask me to “calm down” or they ask me why I’m angry.

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I've dealt with people of the north of México (because of my job) and at the begining I thought the same as you, but let me tell you something:

There is not an absolute answer, it is not a conclusive true or a conclusive false, everything is relative and depends on many things.

For instance, if you are not familiarized with high tones of voice it would be a true for you, but, if you do, the situation could be anything and normal.

Other things to consider are:

  1. Culture.
  2. Personality.
  3. The way you relate with other people.
  4. Communication occurs from verbal and not verbal ways.

In other words, the result of the communication is based in the answer you received, I mean, everything is part of the interpretation we give or/and the context we are prepared to exposed to other people. Under the context of your example I would say, It's not personal it's Strictly business.

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    I thought the same as you -- I don't really have an opinion, personally. – MaxB Mar 22 '18 at 9:44
  • I don't think is that relative. The question clearly says "to other Spanish speakers". I agree that many Spanish dialects may sound angry to English speakers, but I don't think other Spanish speakers consider any Mexican as speaking "angry". – DGaleano Mar 23 '18 at 14:20

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