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Rease Kirchner is a freelance writer, Spanish translator, preschool tutor and whatever else she feels like doing. After spending nearly 2 years living in Argentina, she moved back to the US to explore her own continent. You can keep up with her funny adventures, travel tips, and food recommendations from around the world on her blog, her and on .

I studied Spanish, formally, for 9 years. Around my 6th year of study, I did an intensive immersion program in Mendoza, Argentina and a year after I graduated, I moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina where I lived for nearly two years. After all that, you’d think I’d be the first person to tell you that Argentina is the place to go to learn Spanish. Unfortunately, Argentina does not get my vote.

Sure, studying and living in Argentina was highly beneficial to my Spanish speaking skills. Spending a prolonged period of time in any Spanish speaking country is bound to do some good. However, I had the advantage of having a strong academic background in Spanish before I went to Argentina.

During my time in there, I watched countless friends try to learn Spanish from scratch and I noticed so many things that did not quite match up with my formal education.

1. The accent is not what you’d expect.

Chances are, you’ve heard native Spanish speakers in movies and music, or perhaps even interacted with a native speaker in person. You might think you are prepared for what you consider a “Spanish-speaking accent.” The problem is, there is no single Spanish-speaking accent because there are way too many countries that speak Spanish. The types of accents English speakers are generally exposed to are often limited to Mexican, Spanish (from Spain), Puerto Rican, and Cuban.

The Argentine accent is an entirely different beast. Argentina has a heavy Italian influence, so many Argentines speak with the sing-song rhythm that Italians use. They also pronounce their “ll” as “sh” instead of the “y” sound you are taught in school.



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