Latin American Spanish
Pimsleur's "Spanish" courses use an educated Latin American Spanish, with speakers from Colombia and Argentina in levels I, II, and III, and additionally from Mexico in levels Plus and IV. The Colombian accent is considered the most neutral Latin American Spanish accent. The scenes are situated in Mexico. The vocabulary has been selected to be understood across all Latin American countries.
In the United States, the term “Castilian” or “Castilian Spanish” usually refers to the dialect that is the official language of Spain, where it’s used in television and radio broadcasts. It is understood throughout the country, although there are marked regional differences. Pimsleur’s “Castilian Spanish” teaches the official dialect as spoken by the majority of Spanish-speakers in Spain.
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Spanish Speaking Countries
Spoken primarily in Central and South America and in Spain --- and by a sizeable and fast-growing population of speakers in the U.S. --- Spanish is the first language of more than 350 million people, more than any other language except Mandarin Chinese. It’s the official language of twenty-one countries and is one of the six official languages of the United Nations. Furthermore, Spanish is a common second language --- the most studied after English, and the third most commonly used on the Internet after English and Mandarin.
The difference between Castilian Spanish as spoken in Spain and Spanish as spoken in the Americas (now called Latin American Spanish) is due to the diminishing contact between Spain and the Americas over the centuries and to the influence of local languages in the Americas. These two main variants of Spanish are mutually intelligible; the difference between them is comparable to that between British English and American English.
About the Castilian Spanish Language