The origins of the Mexican Language
Spanish originated form the Iberian Peninsular and is still spoken in every part of Spain, even if some parts of Spain also have their own language (such as Basque and Catalan for example).
When the Spanish conquerors entered Central and South America, they brought with them the culture, religion and language of Spain. Mexican Spanish today is a combination of the old Spanish and Mayan and other native languages to the regions.
The Conquest of New Spain, a great and tragic history, begins in April of 1519 when a Cortes lands in Veracruz, about 200 miles from the Aztec capital. Cortes had a singular mission: defeat the Aztecs and take their gold. To do so, he had less than 400 soldiers, 16 horses, 14 pieces of artillery, 11 ships, plenty of guns and ammunition, and cajones. His first act upon landing was to burn all but one of his ships – he wanted no turning back. That he was able to defeat an empire with just a few hundred men seems nothing short of miraculous, but some of el conquistador’s success, however, can be attributed to plain and simple luck.
Due to the geographical distance between Spain and Mexico, the languages developed differently and today there is a considerable number of words that are used in one region and not in another. Sometimes the same words are in use, yet for different things.
Some particularities of the Mexican Spanish:
1) Mexican Spanish: Güey
English: dude, guy
2) Mexican Spanish: Pelo chino
English: curly hair (but literally: Chinese hair)
3) Mexican Spanish: Cagar
English: to scold (but literally ‘to defecate’)
4) Mexican Spanish: Bronca
English: ‘fight’ or ‘problem’ (but literally ‘aggressive woman or girl or wild female animal’)
5) Mexican Spanish: Macho a Nahuatl
English: ‘someone to be imitated’
6) Mexican Spanish: Hablar
English: Used instead of llamar in the sense of ‘call’
7) Mexican Spanish: En un momento
English: ‘hold on a second’
8) Mexican Spanish: Popote
English: (drinking) straw
9) Mexican Spanish: Padre
English: ‘cool’ (attractive, good, fun)
About Mexico’s capital: Mexico City
Mexico City (Spanish: Ciudad de México) is the Federal District (Spanish: Distrito Federal), capital and largest city of Mexico. It is also the largest city in the Americas and the world’s third largest metropolitan area by population, after Seoul (being largest) and Tokyo. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole. Mexico City is the most important political, cultural, educational and financial center in the country.
About Mexican Spanish:
As it happens, the Spanish language is spoken by hundreds of millions of people all over the world. And everywhere it is spoken in a slightly different variation. This is not to say that Mexicans and Argentines don’t understand each other. But what it does mean is that there are words you use in one place, that you simply don’t use in another place. Mexican Spanish has assumed quite an important role in the Spanish speaking AND the English speaking world due to the proximity of Mexico with the USA.
The Spanish language came to Mexico by means of being a Spanish colony. The Spanish spoken in Spain then evolved differently from the Spanish spoken in Mexico. This is why there are words, phrases and expressions in Mexican Spanish, that are not commonly used, or sometimes totally unknown to people from Spain.
This site is an attempt to collect all the features of Mexican Spanish that are different from the Spanish spoken in other places.
Feel free to contribute to the collection as it should be ever expanding.
Happy Spanish learning!
Saludos, the Mexican-Spanish Team
To get an overview of what Mexican Spanish means and where it comes from you can start by looking at the Wikipedia article. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexican_Spanish
Mexican Spanish comes in most useful when you are traveling to the country or when you have business relations there. A site that can help you with a lot of background information for planning your trip and for many other things is this one: http://www.mexico.com/
The Guadalajara Language centre, http://www.glc.com.mx/, will be a useful stopping point for you if you are trying to learn Mexican Spanish or simply brush up the Spanish you already know.