Colombian Spanish, U.S. Spanish, and Dora the Explorer Spanish

In Colombia, you can hear Latin America’s clearest, crispest Spanish. As a result, Bogota is home to everything from call centers to telenovela production houses. The original Yo soy Betty, la Fea was shot and produced in Colombia. It was broadcast in most Latin American countries, before new versions were produced all over the world: in the U.S. Ugly Betty; in Vietnam Cô gái xấu xí; in Turkey Sensiz Olmuyor.

Also in this pod, a conversation with philosopher Oscar Guardiola-Rivera about what the spread of Spanish in the United States is doing to the language, and to America. There are now particular identifiable dialects of Spanish specific to certain U.S. regions, and sometimes specific to certain groups: Cuban-American, Puerto Rican, Mexican-American, etc. The language is leaving its mark on the country too. It could be argued, for example, that in Miami, if you don’t speak at least some Spanish you’re at a disadvantage.  Guardiola-Rivera is the author of What if Latin America Ruled The World?

Finally, Dora the Explorer and Kai-Lan: two fictional TV stars who introduce American kids to their first words of Spanish and Chinese. In Dora’s case, she also introduces Spanish speakers to their first English words, which may be why  this doctored online image of Dora garnered so much attention earlier this year.  The intention of the illustrator wasn’t clear. Was she sympathizing with opponents of the spread of Hispanic culture and language via illegal immigration, or was she mocking them? Both sides embraced the image, and poor Dora got it in the neck.  For the record, Dora does plenty of travelling in her cartoon world; she appears to cross many borders, quite unhindered. As for her nationality, she appears to be American — at least that’s how she sounds — of undefined Hispanic heritage.  (This is totally beside the point, but it doesn’t stop many of us from speculating…). One other thing about Dora: We English-speakers know her as a character who introduces kids to Spanish words. Well, the Spanish language version of the show Dora la Exploradora introduces kids to English words.

 


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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Colombian Spanish, U.S. Spanish, and Dora the Explorer Spanish

  1. I have seen this before… Sad really..

    We should not forget this is just fiction people…

  2. Ximena Fernandez

    I agree with Ana Iglesias’ comment because Colombian Spanish is more understandable compering it to the Spanish spoken in Argentina, Chile, or Venezuela because they have a peculiar accent; and even with the conjugation of the words, they are a bit more complicated. For example the conjugation of the verb hablar (to speak), ser (to be), and poder (to be able) is really diferent in this four countries.
    Verb Colombia Argentina Chile Venezuela
    Hablar habla hablás hablái habláis
    ser es sos soi/erís sois
    poder ha has habís/hai habéis

    On the other hand, I don’t agree when the reporter says that Colombian Spanish is the best even better than the Spanish spoken in Spain; it is like saying American English is better than the English Spoken in Britain or other countries in Europe which is not true .Every language spoken in different counties is unique because it has been influenced by many different situations over the course of history such as immigration, even the culture itself makes an influence in language, for example Spanglish, slang words, or even normal words that mean something in one place and something totally different in another place. For this reason, I don’t think a specific language spoken in a country is better than the same language spoken in a different country. In other words there is no best or worst language, all of them deserve to be treated as equal.
    Ximena Fernandez Quinteros
    NVCC student
    CST 229-01
    Professor Tirpak

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