When I went to Buenos Aires, Argentina I noticed that there were quite a few differences between Castilian Spanish spoken in Spain and the Spanish spoken in Argentina. This involved the accent and pronunciation as well as the grammar and certain words and phrases. The different accent took a bit of getting used to. Although the “porteños” understood my “Spanish” accent (from Spain), the difficulty arose in my understanding of them. Read on to discover the differences to watch out for.
ll: in Spain, this is almost a “y” sound, but in Argentina it sounds like a “zh” sound as in the “s” sound in the English word “measure”. E.g. “Me zhamo”. This also varies within different areas of Argentina itself and is also related to social class. I was told that amongst higher social class the “ll” is pronounced as a “j” – e.g. “Me jamo”, whereas the lower social classes pronounce it as a “zh”.
y: Similarly, the higher social classes pronounce this as a “j” and the lower classes as a “sho”.
v: The “v” in Spain is similar to a “b” sound, but in Argentina it is pronounced in the same way as a “v” as in English.
z: In Spain, the “z” is pronounced as a “th” sound, but in Argentina it is just the same as the “z” sound in English.
Influenced by the large Italian population in Argentina, Argentinian people speak in a “sing-songy” rhythmical manner. The flow and inflection is similar to that of an Italian speaker.
Spain – Argentina
vale – dale (OK)
aquí – acá (here)
buenos días – buen día (good morning)
hasta luego – ciao (see you)
¡que aproveche! – ¡buen provecho! (enjoy your meal!)
¿sabes? – ¿viste? (you know?)
piso – departamento (flat)
ordenador – computadora (computer)
piña – ananá (pineapple)
fresa – frutilla (strawberry)
melocotón – durazno (peach)
patatas – papas (potatoes)
guisantes – arvejas (peas)
piscina – pileta (swimming pool)
frigorífico/nevera – heladera (fridge)
coche – auto (car)
tú – vos (you)
eres – sos (you are)
che – hey mate! (very colloquial) you wouldn’t say this to your boss!
boludo – friendly way to address a friend – “dude”, “bro”.
parrilla – steakhouse
tenedor libre – “free fork” – equivalent to an “all-you-can-eat buffet”.
dulce de leche – sweet caramel sauce
alfajor – typical biscuit/cake – 2 cookies with dulce de leche in the middle
viste – you know?
¿Todo bien? – Is everything ok?
tipo – guy
There is no “vosotros” form. They use the “ustedes” form to address 2 or more people both formally and informally.
“tú” is known as “vos” and it has an -és conjugation:
– tienes – tenés (you have)
– puedes – podés (you can)
– quieres – querés (you want)