The Spanish spoken in Argentina has many differences to the Spanish spoken in Spain, in all aspects of the language. It is said to be the language with the most variations in the South American continent.
So why the Spanish spoken in Argentina is so different?
The language in Argentina has been strongly influenced by the Spanish colonization first and then by the massive European immigration to the country.
The Spanish language came first from the Spaniards during the Spanish colonization in Argentina 1536. But it was not until the large wave of European immigration to Argentina in the late 19th and early 20th century that the language really changed. Argentina was barely populated at this time, and many important Argentines thought that it was important to populate the country. In the Constitution of Argentina of 1953, European immigration was encouraged and made easy & this brought in people from all over Europe, who were searching for a better life, from places such as France, Spain and Italy in particular.
When the Italians first migrated to Argentina, they managed to speak in Spanish, just with an Italian flair. Word borrowing from the Italian language has been inevitable, as well as the accent and intonation from certain Italian dialects. For one such example, Argentinians regularly use the word “chau” to say “bye”, deriving from the Italian’s “ciao”.
Differences of Argentinian Spanish
- “S”, “c” and “z” are pronounced the same.
- The Spanish letter “ll” and “y” have the same pronunciation. This is very bizarrely pronounced as “sh” in some regions, and “j” in others.
- The aspiration of an “s” at the end of a word is common in Argentina.
- Voseo- The form of “vos” is used instead of “tú”. This is so common in Argentina that “tú” is barely used in speech. This is the only dialect of Spanish where this is official.
tú eres - - - -> vos sos - - - -> you are
tú bailas - - - -> vos bailás - - - -> you dance
tú hablas - - - -> vos hablás - - - -> you talk
tú sientes - - - -> vos sentís - - - -> you feel
- “Ustedes” is used instead of “vosotros”.
- The verb conjugation for “vos” is different to Spanish in Spain, as the diphthong is deleted; eg vos hablás, vos sabés, vos estudiás.
- The informal future tense eg. “voy a comer” replaces all future tenses.
- Argentinians say “lo de” in a sentence to replace the equivalent “la casa de”, which is a peculiarity of Argentinian Spanish, eg. “voy a lo del medico”.
- Argentinians have a bad habit of putting the preposition “de” in unnecessary places, for example, “creo de que vas a venir” instead of “creo que vas a venir”.
As with every dialect, Argentina also has its words and phrases. Let’s take a look at a few examples of things you may hear:
- Dale – similar to the use of “vale” in Spanish for “okay”
- Pasa que – used for “the thing is…”
- Tal cual – used to express agreement with something someone has just said
- Viste – Very common in Argentina, this word is used as a filler phrase, with the equivalent of “you know” in English. Eg. “It’s too hot today, you know.”
- Bueno – This is used in Spain as well, of course, but very commonly used in Argentina to express “alright”
- Che – Used as a nickname for “friend”, as well as an exclamation of understanding, or even just an everyday “hey”
|Argentinian Spanish||European Spanish||English|
|Agarrar||Coger||To pick up|
|Tengo un resfrío||Cogí un resfriado||I caught a cold|