I grew up about an hour and a half from Mexico’s border…and the border town of Tijuana. Yes, I made desultory visits to this town when underage to, um, check out the local artisan crafts. But the point being that I arrived speaking a Mexican Spanish with a Gringo (or Yankee as they say down here) twist. I pronounced the double “L’s” like a “Y” sound in English (example: Calle = Kah-Yay). This, and other Mexican-isms have started to mold into the Uruguayan ways.
Down here, and in Argentina, at times the people sound more Italian than Spanish. It’s definitely a more dramatic, flavorful way to speak. I am not saying that it is better, just different. It’s another variation such as Spain’s lisp, Colombia’s twang, and Chile’s confusing speed and shortening of words among others.
But now I am speaking with the local tongue, and my double “L’s” sound like “Jah” instead of the Mexican style. I enjoy hearing this accent, and I enjoy speaking it even more. I feel like I am speaking French and Portuguese along with Spanish. Or maybe this is just in my head. But day by day, conversation by conversation, it’s changing. Here’s to fluency…some day.