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Is The Colombian Accent The Best Accent For Learning Spanish?
Several subscribers to my Spanish language learning newsletter have asked me if the Colombian accent is the best accent for learning Spanish. Since I have lived in two different cities in Colombia (Barranquilla and Medellin) and I have also traveled to many different cities and “pueblos towns” in the country, I will try to answer this question.
By the way, a client emailed me a link to an interesting article online about “Colombian accents” becoming “big business” in film and TV productions, working in call centers, and more.
But to answer this question, yes, the “Colombian” pronunciation is the best for learning the Spanish language. I say this for 5 reasons:
1. The pronunciation of “Colombian” is easier to understand compared to other Spanish speaking words.
2. The Spanish you hear spoken in Colombia is “neutral” in the rest of the world.
3. Colombian Spanish is also very “undiluted” when you compare it to, for example, the Spanish of Mexico which was heavily influenced by the Aztec Indians.
4. The large influx of people from the Old World from Italy has caused the Argentine pronunciation to sound like Italian.
5. In fact, Colombian Spanish is the “purest” Spanish in the world. Although “purer” than the Spanish spoken in Spain it has been, and continues to be, heavily influenced by Arabs and Muslims.
With that being said, I would like to inform you that the word “Chikolombi” is a misnomer. Not only are there many dialects in Colombia but the pronunciation that people refer to when talking about the Colombian accent is the “Rolo” pronunciation.
Mr. Rolo is a man from Bogotá, Colombia, the capital of the country. And most (but not all) Colombian “novelas” or soap operas are written in Bogotá. And Rolo’s pronunciation is easy to understand compared to other Spanish speakers.
Here’s what I saw for myself in Colombia…
The pronunciation of Rolo is completely different from the pronunciation of Paisa (Medellín). In my opinion, Rolo’s pronunciation sounds “flat.” And Paisa’s voice is like music.
People from the Atlantic coast of Colombia or “Costeños” also have a different accent than the Colombian one. The Costeños clip letters on some words and their pronunciation sounds like the Dominican or Puerto Rican pronunciation I used to hear in Nueva York (New York).
When I went to Cali, Colombia they also had a different accent.
And the people from the Pacific coast of Colombia in the department of Chocó – who are descendants of African slaves also have a different pronunciation.
And when I went to the Caribbean islands of Colombia, to San Andrés and Providencia, I also noticed that the people there also had a different language. Most of the people living on the Colombian islands were not from mainland Colombia. And although they all spoke Spanish fluently, when they spoke Spanish, their accent reminded me of the Panamanians I met in Brooklyn, New York, who were also from the Panama Canal Zone, and were descended from Jamaicans and other West Indians. . to Panama as part of the Canal crew.
I also realized that the language and culture of San Andrés and Providencia, Colombia had been heavily influenced by Jamaican or Rastafarian culture which was evident in their music, clothing, food, etc. In fact, he seemed more comfortable speaking English with Patios than speaking Spanish. Sometimes in San Andrés and Providencia, Colombia, I felt like I was still in one of the old “barrios” (neighborhoods) of the northwestern Bronx, New York, where there is a large Jamaican population.
So far there are 6 different Colombian words that I have recognized. And I’m sure there are more.
For example, if I were to go to the Colombian region surrounded by the Amazon mountains, I would also find that the Colombian people there, most of whom are indigenous, also have a different language.
So I just want you to know that there is no single Colombian accent as many “novelas” show. And when people say that the Colombian accent is the best for learning Spanish, what they are really saying is that the Rolo accent or the Bogotá, Colombian accent is the best.
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