Two types of Spanish

In Spanish you can speak to people formally or informally.

Some people think, “Well I’m an easy going person, I’ll speak to everyone informally.”

Big mistake!

You see, if you use informal Spanish with the wrong person it can be disrespectful. Perhaps the word informal itself gives us a clue. The word is the same in Spanish as English, however in Spanish it also means unreliable.

Plus, in Spanish speaking culture there is a lot more attention to etiquette than there is in the English speaking world.

When you’re first learning Spanish it’s good to speak with most people formally, especially people you have just met.

But as you learn more Spanish you’ll find yourself getting invited to people’s houses to eat.

You might even get asked to weddings, baptisms or quinceañera(a popular coming of age party in Latino culture).

Many times at these get togethers, informal Spanish is better. It can make you seem more open and friendly.

Yet, it’s still not always appropriate. It depends on the people, the situation and the context.

So, how do you know when to speak formally and when to speak informally?

I’ll give you some ideas that have helped me on the next post Two Types of Spanish part 2

In the meantime get started on the Synergy Spanish Informal Dialogs course and leave me some feedback here.