Choosing a country: Accent
If the accent of the native speakers is very difficult to interpret, this will impede your progress as you learn Spanish.
As you can probably imagine, each Spanish-speaking country has its own accent, different sets of particular idioms, slang and exclamations.
Costa Rica is a great place to learn Spanish, because Ticos speak more slowly and are clearer in their pronunciation than in other countries. Even so, you will find some small differences:
- There is variation between the pronunciation of the c’s and z’s in the Spanish language. Spaniards lisp their c’s and z’s (more like the unvoiced “th” sound in “think”), while Costa Ricans do not.
- Most Spanish-speaking countries pronounce the letter “r” as you would in English (“read”), while Costa Ricans pronounce it as an approximant consonant as is done in English (the sound of "l" in the English word "like").
- Another contrast is the near absence of "T " and in Costa Rican Spanish. Instead they use “vos” for the familiar first person singular. “Usted” is the dominant second person singular pronoun in Costa Rican Spanish, instead of “vos” for other Spanish-speaking countries.