Speaking argentino

There are plenty of articles and posts on how to speak like an Argentine (or a porteño, someone from Buenos Aires); here is an example. So I won’t repeat all of that, but I did want to write about how my Spanish has changed in this year, and try to make a list of some of the words I have stopped using and the Argentine equivalent that I have replaced them with. I have definitely become less formal; even with all the time I spent at the IDB I still kept to some of the formal ways that I had learned in Central America. Here, I don’t think I have used usted (the formal “you”) almost at all! And, I have succumbed to the vos… I spent a lot of time in Nicaragua and always refused to start using vos (a different informal way of saying you, used in many Latin American countries), sticking to tu or usted the way I had learned in Panama. But here, it was impossible…

Here are some words that have slowly made it into my vocabulary (I will add to the list as I think of new things). The list is in no way comprehensive, and just shows particular words that I have started using (many of which I tried to resist!)

  • Bancarse: basically, to put up with.
  • Cita/turno: I always said cita to refer to an appointment, whether it was with a doctor or a hair stylist. Here, I have to say turno.
  • Colochos/rulos: In Nicaragua, they use the word colochos to refer to curls or ringlets, and I love that word! Here, rulos.
  • Que tal, como andás instead of como estás
  • Pereza/fiaca: In Panama, to say that you feel lazy or not wanting to do something, they say “que pereza” or “tengo pereza.” In Argentina, fiaca.
  • Fila/cola: I was used to saying fila (line, queue) but here they all say cola
  • Ponele: One of my favorite Argentinisms! “Supposedly”, “yeah right”, and a variety of other meanings.
  • Laburo: Work. I don’t use it , but I remember it from the IDB and I hear it all the time. From Italian. Same goes for birra instead of cerveza. I don’t use it but hear it a lot.
  • Colectivo/combi/bondi: All words for bus. Colectivo is the regular city bus. Combi is a smaller, more comfortable medium distance bus (like the ones I take to go to Buenos Aires.) Bondi is the Lunfardo word for colectivo. (And Lunfardo is a dialect that grew out the lower classes in Buenos Aires in the late 19th, early 20th century.)
  • Zafar: Not even sure how to translate it but I use it all the time! To get by, saved by the bell.

As for words I have lost, I think I have to say I miss pues the most! It is more of an injection than a real word, but is used quite a lot in Central America at the end of phrases, for instance. Vamos, pues!

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One Response to Speaking argentino

  1. hei! habia perdido tu pagina cuando actualicé mi navegador hace un tiempo pero ya te encontré :). Me causo gracia este post, y me hizo acordar de cuando era adolescente y se empezo a usar el término “bancar”. Me acuerdo de que la gente mayor se quejaba de ese “nuevo lenguaje” de los jóvenes y decían que no nos entendían… pensar que ahora ya es parte del vocabulario común jaja. yo tampoco uso mucho ni bondi ni birra aunque depende de con quienes esté, pero lo que si hago es hablar “al vesre” (al revés) , una costumbre bastante lunfarda y que una vez que se te pega es difícil de perder . Y zafaste bastante bien con la traducción de “zafar ” 🙂

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