Is this spanish the spanish of Spain or the Spanish of Latin America?
¿Está este español el español de España o el español de América latina?
By "this Spanish" do you mean the language used by our teacher Paralee or people visiting the forum? As far as I've noticed, Paralee uses Peninsular Spanish vocabulary, but her accent sounds like Latin American.
If you avoid slang or obvious localisms (the names of foods/plants/animals), the average Spanish hearer would have a hard time telling the origin of the speaker. On the grammatical level there are almost no differences (although, in a few cases, there are preferences).
If you mean differences in pronunciation, for Spanish speakers these offer no problems (although some Spanish learners find this to be a difficulty"). The differences in pronunciation tend to be 1) few 2) consistent and 3) easy to adjust to (mostly because of reason #2).
Spanish is the same all over. What really happens is you get accent and sabor all mixed into it, and it sounds different. Word combinations make a difference as well. It's like when people start learning spanish, they forget how people speak english all over the US. People in the North and South use the same words, what they don't have in common is the accent and the combinations. But they think somehow spanish is all sterile and every speaks it like they teach you in books. Pues, esto es una mentira. Bueno, le doy un exemplo...yo le digo a un groupo, Ustedes dos. That's my personal style. Another may say "ambos" which is the same thing. Long story short...there is one spanish. There are a great many different ways to speak it. Just like there is only one egg....oh but there are a great many different ways to scramble that egg!
Regarding my good friend's comment, I don't know. I generally know where a person is from when they start to speak, be it a columbian, puerto rican, cuban, mexican, ect. People from Brasil, Spain and Argentina especially stick out to me. Spainards especially, the way they throw the "th" sound around like it's going out of style. Argentinas just cant wait to turn a "ll" into a "y" and they never use "tu". Brasiilans are just insane. You wanna talk about Spanglish??? Try Brasilspanish. It'll drive you crazy all day long. Maybe I have a talent for that, but it seems the people around here know where people are from for por culpa de como hablan.
If you were to go to Wordreference.com (where all replies indicate the "native language" of the poster), you would find that many members from Latin America, identify themselves as speakers of "castellaño". This is widely taken as synonymous with "Spanish" (just as the typical speaker from Australia/New Zealand/the US does not say "I speak Australian/Newzealander/American but, rather, "I speak English.").
To mix it up a little bit, in Europe we also say "castellano" when refering to the Spanish language spoken in Spain. I am not the right person to say when (in Europe) should you say español and when castellano, but I've noticed at least that Spanish people who don't speak español/castellano as their main language, use the word castellano. You might ask what language do Spanish people then speak if not español? Well, they also speak: -Basque -Valencian -Galician -Catalan
But somebody from Spain can explain more about these and you can easily find information on them from the internet.