If you study Spanish in Buenos Aires, you will notice that Argentines love to talk. When or with who? They don’t care. It’s something I’ve noticed directly when I arrived here in Buenos Aires. If you’ve studied Spanish in other countries before, like I did, you’ll also discover that Argentines use many other words and slang while communicating in Spanish. To make it even more difficult, porteños (the residents of Buenos Aires) pronounce words differently. However, I can ensure you that you’ll pick it up quickly, this Argentine Spanish. Make some local friends, drink a mate and talk. I’ve already caught myself talking like a true porteña a couple of times by saying ‘plasha’ instead of ‘playa’ or ‘me shamo’ rather than ‘me llamo’.
I’ve been here in Buenos Aires now almost six weeks and, learning Spanish and doing an internship and therefore, I got excited to share the words that I’ve been learning with you. Enjoy and don’t forget to impress your Argentine friends with your new vocabulary!
1. La pileta
If you’ve studied Spanish in Spain you’ve probably learned to say ‘la piscina’. If you’ve traveled to Mexico, you might know it as ‘la alberca’. In Argentina, though, they use ‘la pileta’ when talking about a swimming pool.
2. La frutilla
The first time I went to buy an ice-cream here in Argentina, I was surprised to not see ‘fresa’ on the menu. They have strawberries everywhere, right? True! Argentines call them ‘frutillas´.
3. La cancha
Argentines are passionate, especially when it comes to football. Boca Juniors and River Plates are by far the biggest rivals here in Buenos Aires. Going to a game? You’ll go to ‘la cancha’ which is typical Argentine word for stadium.
This word is used to describe a person that doesn’t want to work. A typical phrase Argentines use is: ‘¡Sos flor de atorrante vos, eh!’. There isn’t a precise translation in English but you can think of ‘you’re such a bum’.
There are many words in Spanish to describe a bus. In Argentina, instead of ‘colectivo’, you can also say ‘bondi’.
Argentines use this word all the time. It basically means dude and can be used in the following context: ¿Qué hacés chabón? (What are you doing, dude?). It is mostly used amongst the young generation.
Quilombo is originally from Brazil and mostly used by its black population. However, in Argentina it has a complete different meaning. Quilombo literally means a mess. ¡Qué quilombo!
8. Un birome
‘Pluma’, ‘bolígrafo’, ‘lapicera’ are all words to describe the same thing: a pen. Argentines make it even more complicated with their own word ‘birome’.
9. La posta
¡La posta! The absolute best, the real thing. It also comes with a specific gesture.
This last word on my list is also only used by Argentines. They simply use it when they want to express something positive. Cool!