Latin American Spanish course
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  • Along the same vein as the requests for a Mexican accent and turning off vosotros, how about a course geared more towards Latin American Spanish (instead of Spain). Plus, the word choices as well would be more from that area of the world. I really don't want to learn vosotros but if I don't, the course will just keep asking me questions about it. Where I plan on going, this won't ever be used.

    last edited by Marina Shutova
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  • Still very curious to hear the Lingvist team's response on this.

    This is a non-trivial problem for me, since every occurrence of vosotros essentially breaks my flow. I'd love to use, pay for and help improve Lingvist, but in its current state it is not worth the time investment.

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  • works@Lingvist

    ¡Hola!

    Thanks for contacting Lingvist!

    Regarding your suggestions, let us explain the reason why we have chosen Neutral Spanish as the base for our English-Spanish module.

    As you know, there are five Spanish dialectal regions (México/Centroamérica, Andes, Río La Plata, Chile, Caribe and Iberia/Europa), which imply an enormous variety of accents and words -even grammar rules. Unfortunately, it is not technically feasible for us to include such range of differences in a single course, at least for now. Thus, Neutral Spanish allows the greatest number of Spanish learners/speakers to understand the message without the use of local terminology and certain verb tenses.

    However, we will be adding more contents in the future as we understand the importance of offering a more in-depth view on the different varieties of Spanish.

    In any case, we have also included the pronouns usted/ustedes in the sample conjugation tables that you can check in our Grammar Hints section, where you will also find some insights into the differences in the use of personal pronouns between European and Latin American dialects.

    If you are interested in going more deeply into the dialectal varieties of Spanish, please check the following links:

    http://cvc.cervantes.es/lengua/voces_hispanicas/default.htm

    http://cvc.cervantes.es/lengua/espanol_economia/02.htm

    We really appreciate your relevant and valuable feedback.

    ¡Feliz aprendizaje!

    last edited by Javier
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  • "why we have chosen Standard/Neutral Spanish"

    What is the standard/neutral spanish?

    Is the standard/neutral English the British English? Is the American English a dialect?

    Ja, ja, ja. Wow. That sounds so condescending.

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  • works@Lingvist

    ¡Hola!

    Thanks for contacting Lingvist!

    From a purely linguistic, non-ideological point of view, Neutral Spanish is just an attempt made by linguists and translators to choose terms that most Spanish speakers will understand, by avoiding the use of vernacular terminology and specific verb tenses. Since we want our users to be able to communicate and be understood by the entire Spanish-speaking population, we offer them the opportunity to learn the Neutral type so they will then be able to adapt what they have learned to their favourite variety of the language.

    If you are interested in going more deeply into this topic, please check the following links:

    http://cvc.cervantes.es/obref/congresos/valladolid/ponencias/unidad_diversidad_del_espanol/1_la_norma_hispanica/demonte_v.htm

    http://www.rae.es/diccionario-panhispanico-de-dudas/que-es

    ¡Feliz aprendizaje! ;-)

    last edited by Javier
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  • Thanks Javier. I'm not trying to be difficult, but Lingvist is a software based on frequency/stats. Let's take as an example the use of "vosotros" vs "ustedes". 46 million people (Spain's population) use "vosotros" and 600 million people use "ustedes". Which one is "vernacular" to you?

    I speak Spanish. I'm here in Lingvist learning French. I love it. But this is something your users are asking you. Many people want to come to Latin America. They are not asking you for Mexican Spanish or Chilean Spanish. I have no problem understanding any of those 600 million Latin Americans. Sometimes, when I'm watching a movie from Spain, I turn on the subtitles!!

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  • works@Lingvist

    ¡Hola de nuevo!

    We understand your point of view, but, bearing in mind the standpoint we have taken for this course, we must aim at offering the most flexible and all-round approach to Spanish.

    Regarding the example you have provided, both vosotros and ustedes are part of our frequency lists, which means both are commonly used words in the media, books, and specialised sources from the Spanish-speaking world. That is why both words are taught in our Spanish course. In that sense, we also provide specific instruction on the differences between European Spanish and some Latin American varieties in cases such as this one (i.e. the use of personal pronouns).

    However, as I mentioned on my first post, we will be adding more contents in the future as we understand the importance of offering a more in-depth view on the different varieties of Spanish.

    ¡Feliz aprendizaje!

    last edited by Javier
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  • Hi - I have to agree with the others here. I just signed up to try Lingvist and loved it, until I realised I can't choose not to learn "vosotros". Sadly, I'd say that's a dealbreaker and so I would ask you to reconsider. Best, E

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  • works@Lingvist

    ¡Hola!

    Thanks for contacting Lingvist!

    As I have previously specified, we know there are users who are interested in a single variety of the language, but we also know there are others who are interested in other varieties as well. Be that as it may, the differences between Spanish dialects cannot be reduced to the use of ustedes and vosotros, as there are many other which have to do with areas such as pronunciation, vocabulary, and even grammar.

    As I explained in a previous post, adding all those differences is not technically feasible for the time being, so our standpoint has been to include Neutral Spanish as the base for our Spanish course. By learning Neutral Spanish, our users will be able to adapt what they have learned to the variety of their choice once they have come into contact with it.

    Thus, as both words are part of our frequency lists, we have added them to the course and also included general instructions on how they are used in some areas of Latin America and Spain, so our users will understand the differences.

    We will keep adding content to both the module and forum to make your learning experience as complete as possible.

    ¡Feliz aprendizaje!

    last edited by Javier
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