Spanish (or Castellano) in Buenos Aires

Hola amigos. I’m writing to you from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I’ve spent quite a bit of time here over the past couple years and in this post I’d like to make a few observations about the language of Buenos Aires.

The main things that set Argentine Spanish apart from, say, Mexican Spanish is that:

1) They use “vos” instead of “tú”. Here’s more about vos if you are curious.

2) They pronounce “y and “ll” as “sh”. For example, “calle” sounds like CAshay.

3) They don’t call Spanish “español” they call it “castellano”.

The Spanish accent is quite a bit different from that of other Spanish speakers. To me it sounds like they are speaking Spanish with an Italian accent. Many of the people here have Italian roots.

“Argentinos” don’t speak as quickly as some other latinos and I find them easier to understand than “cubanos”, “panameños” or “colombianos”. But you do need to adjust to the accent and the use of “vos”. You see, it’s not simply a matter of using “vos” in place of “tú” because all the related verb conjugations change too.

In Buenos Aires it’s more common to hear “buen día” than “buenos días”. And “hola qué tal” is also popular. A popular informal goodbye among men is “suerte” or “suerte, viejo”. Of course, “suerte” means luck, and in this case “viejo” means buddy or dude, not old man.

The most popular insult is “boludo” which means idiot or jerk. And when something is cool it is “bárbaro”.

If you’re considering a language study trip to Buenos Aires, here are some personal experiences studying Spanish in Buenos Aires.

Bueno, voy al cafe para tomar un cortado. Hasta luego.

Author: Cacho

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