The Differences Between Spanish in Spain and Canada

Spanish is the official language of Spain, but it is also spoken in many Latin American countries, including Canada. In Canada, Spanish is frequently used by Hispanics and immigrants who came from Spanish-speaking countries. There are several key differences between Spanish in Spain and Canada. For example, in Canada you might use the word “later” to mean “after,” but in Spain this word would be used for “time.” Canadian Spanish is also more formal than Spanish in Spain.

Differences in Pronunciation

Spanish in Spain is usually pronounced more closely to the Portuguese language than it is to Latin American Spanish. This could be because Portugal was once a part of Spain. Hence, there are many subtle differences in the pronunciation of Spanish in Spain and Canada.

For example, in Spain, the letter ‘j’ is pronounced as ayj while in Canada, it is pronounced as yid. Another common difference is that Canadians replace the letter ‘h’ with an ‘h’ sound in words like “chico” (boy) and “ocho” (eight). Moreover, Spanish speakers tend to add an ‘a’ sound at the end of words like “español” (Spanish) and “pan de hacer” (bread dough).

Here’s another good example: “la taza es azul”

In Spain, it would sound like: “la ta[th]a es a[th]ul”, whereas, In Canada, you would hear: “la ta[s]a es a[s]ul”

Differences in Vocabulary

There are a lot of differences in vocabulary in the case of Spanish in Spain and Canada. The Spanish language in Spain is heavily influenced by Latin American culture. This means that there are many words that are specific to South America, such as “chuleta” which is a type of pork chop and “panza” which means stomach. In contrast, the Spanish language in Canada is more similar to European languages. This means that many of the Spanish words that are used in Spain don’t have equivalents in Canada. Moreover, Canadian culture tends to be more informal than Spanish culture. This can lead to different expressions being used, such as “hola” which is commonly used in Spain but isn’t considered polite in Canada.

Here are some more examples:

  • a pen is called bolígrafo or boli in Spain but in Canada, it is called a pluma or lapicera.
  • a peach is called melocotón in Spain whereas in Canada it is called durazno
  • a car is called coche in Spain but carro or auto is called in Canada
  • a cell phone in Spain is called móvil but in Canada, it is called celular

Another Few Examples:

Spain – Canada – English

  • patata – papa – potato
  • conducir – manejar – to drive
  • ordenador – computadora – computer

Ustedes vs Vosotros

In Spain, Ustedes is the formal singular form of “you” and is used when talking to someone older than you. Vosotros is the informal plural form of “you” and is used when talking to someone your own age or younger. To say “you all,” use Todos. For example: “Ustedes están bien?” would be translated to “Are you all right?” while Todos están bien would be translated to “Everybody is fine.”

Vos vs Tú

In Spain, vos is the informal second-person singular pronoun and it is used when talking to someone you know well. For example, if you are talking to a friend and you want them to toast for dinner, you would say: Vos qué os parece (you what you think). In Canada, the informal second person singular pronoun is tú. For example, if you are talking to a friend and you want them to toast for dinner, you would say: Tú qué opinas (you what you think).

Ceceo vs Seseo

There are two main Spanish dialects in the world: Ceceo and Seseo. Ceceo is used in Spain and much of Latin America, while Seseo is more commonly spoken in Canada.The two dialects have a few key differences. For one, Ceceo uses the letters “ch” and “j” as replacement for letters “c” and “j”, respectively. Additionally, Seseo speakers omit the sound “h” from words like huevos (eggs) and cerveza (beer). Canadian Spanish also tends to be shorter than Spanish from Spain.

Difference in Past Tense

Spanish spoken in Spain and in Canada can differ significantly in terms of the past tense. In Spain, the past tense is regular, while it’s irregular in Canada. This can be confusing if you’re not familiar with the differences, so here are a few examples:In Spain, “yo he dicho” means “I have said,” while “yo he dicho que” means “I said.”

Difference in Slang

There are many differences between Spanish in Spain and Canada. One of the most important differences is the slang. In Spain, slang is used daily and is part of the culture. Slang can be different depending on where you are in Spain. For example, in Andalusia, people use a lot of cutesy slang while in Barcelona, people use more vulgar language. Canada has its own set of slang which can be confusing for Spanish speakers. For example, ‘toasted’ in Canada means toasted cheese while it means toasted bread in Spain.

More Example:

Spanish in Spain slang words: guay, majo, vale.

Spanish in Canada slang words: güey, chido, órale.

Castellano vs Español

When it comes to Spanish, there are two main varieties: Castellano and Español. Castellano is the official language of Spain, and is predominant in Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia. On the other hand, Español is the most common language spoken in both Canada and Mexico. There are slight variations between the two languages, but for the most part they are nearly identical. That being said, knowledge of one variety can be helpful when traveling to the other.


Whether you’re a Spanish speaker living in Spain or a Spanish speaker living in Canada, there are bound to be some significant differences between the way Spanish is spoken in each location. In this article, we have taken a look at eight of the most important differences between Spanish in Spain and Spanish in Canada.

If you’re looking to improve your Spanish language skills, then you’ll want to check out AmazingTalker. They offer online courses that will teach you all about the differences between Spanish in Spain and Canada. You’ll learn about the culture, the language, and the grammar. Plus, their video lessons are interactive so you can understand what you’re learning in a real-time setting.

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