Learning a language is a lot like learning about other people. Some are a very quick study. Others tend to be more complex and harder to digest. Learning Spanish can be thought of in much the same way.
Spanish is a very complex language. It is not one all-encompassing language, as many like to assume. There are many different levels. Those who study this language professionally need to learn the difference between the two. The type of Spanish you learn is interlinked with the speed at which you study. Some tend to pick up Spanish very quickly. Some need the extra time, even with the help of Spanish Translation Services or Business Translation Services.
1) There are variations in the pronunciations and accents being used. It all depends on which area you live in or region. Some accents will be incredibly thick for Castilian and not so thick with Latin American Spanish.
You may have to adjust your studying to what is happening in a specific area. Everyone goes through this, even those who live there full-time. Pay close attention to the accents while you are there. One of the best ways to learn is to absorb what others are doing.
2) Some like to think the rules are meant to be broken. When in Rome, right? This is not true. Those who are in a region that speaks Latin American Spanish primarily, it is better to know the correct verbiage. Some tend to misuse the object pronouns. Stay clear of this. You want to be seen as a pro at this, even when you are not. Misusing the indirect and direct object pronouns is one way to be out of place with everyone else. Leismo is known as "the misuse of an indirect object pronoun".
3) There will be major vocabulary differences between the two. Here is an example. In Chile, they use the term "auto". In places far north they use the term "carro". Say you use "to drive" in one area. When it comes to the Peninsular and Latin American countries, this will change. You have to be observant of this.
4) There are going to be more changes to the vocabulary, depending on where you are visiting. Take these two words, "ordernador" and "computadora". They both mean “computer”, the electronic device. The first one is for the more Peninsular regions. The second one is for those located in more Latin American regions.
5) You will be met with laughter, ridicule, and embarrassment in some areas when you use the wrong word. Say for example you use the word "coger". In Peninsular Spanish regions, this means to "catch a cab". In these areas, using the phrase “Voy a coger un taxi” is fine to use.
In Latin American Spanish regions this word above means “to fornicate”. There is a major difference. Using these words is not bad, you just need to use it in the right place and way.