10 Spanish phrases you will need in Latin America

10 Spanish phrases you will need in latin America
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Welcome again to another Spanish session! In this article you’ll find 10 Spanish phrases you will need in Latin America just for you, amigue. Don’t roll your eyes and keep scrolling, there’s so much to learn! Come on, you wonder traveler!

Chillin’ in the Latin American slang

When it comes to Spanish, it’s hard to point out exactly the Spanish we speak in Latin America. It depends on every country, region, even neighbourhoods, too! That’s the thing I love about slang: it doesn’t make sense (it doesn’t have to be!) and still, every speaker knows how to describe or how to feel a word. Because the language belongs to the speakers, not the other way round. Am I right, fellas?

Here we’ll talk about 10 Spanish phrases you will need in Latin America, and some curiosities, too. Think of it as the differences between Australia, United Kingdom, United States of America and Canada. They all speak English, use the same words, but when it comes to language, to specific contexts, uf, everything changes. Whenever you arrive to a new country, it’s good to know some words in order to get familiarized with the culture. It’ll be easier for you, and plus, you’ll make some friends along the way. 100% checked!

Some Spanish words that we use in Latin America

Besides the ten basic Spanish words you will frequently use (“Hola”, “¿Cómo estás?”, “Perdón”, “Gracias”, “Chau” and more), you’re going to need some Latin American slang. 

  1. If you want to emphasize something, or absolutely agree on something, in English you’re going to say something like “I totally agree”, “That’s true”. But in Spanish, the concept and meaning is different. In Ecuador they say “de ley” when they want to stress that they agree with you or that something is EXACTLY that way. I love that word! In Argentina you will hear a lot “posta” and in Mexico “neta” or its variant “la neta”.
  2. Hang out with friends could go like this: “Salir de parranda” (Mexico), “Salir de rumba” (Colombia), “Ir de carrete” (Chile) and “Salir de joda” (Argentina). Also, in Argentina some people say “ranchar” or “ranchear” which means to hang out but in a more relaxed way, it doesn’t refer to clubs or parties.
  3. Something sweet that comes across the whole continent is a traditional dish called “dulce de leche” (in Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, República Dominicana, Ecuador), “arequipe” (EcuadColombia, Venezuela and Guatemala”, “manjar” (Chile) and “manjar blanco” in Perú. It’s similar to caramel but better.
  4. How to say “friend” in Latin America? In Mexico, you’ll hanging with your “cuates”, whereas in Colombia it is “parcero”, in Perú “pata” and in Venezuela “pana” or “compinche”. 
  5. “You are right” in Spanish translates as “Tenés razón” for countries that use “vos” and “Tienes razón” in countries that use “tú”. 

More Spanish words!

  1. “Nevermind” doesn’t translate exactly as in English, here it’ll be “No importa”.
  2. When you wanna use a word that applies to everything, you could be talking about “wea” in Chile, “flash” in Argentina and “pedo” in Mexico.
  3. If you want to talk about people with money, in Chile you’ll say “cuico”, in Mexico “fresa”, in Perú “pituco” and in Argentina “cheto”. 
  4. Girlfriend? Boyfriend? Partner? You must be talking about “bicho” (El Salvador), pololo (Chile), “pelada” in Ecuador, and “namorada” in Brazil. 
  5. How to say “money”? “Guita”, “Cobre”, “Sope” in Argentina, “Quibo”, “Boliviano”, “Suelto” in Bolivia, “Guaca”, “Marmaja” (Colombia), “Magua”, “Billetaje” (Cuba), “Dinerito”, “Pistillo” (Honduras).

Learn Spanish Online

Sure you’ll be loving this article when you come here! So on our Instagram we’re hosting Tuesdays of Latin American culture, don’t miss them! If you want to learn more, just contact us on Wanderlust Spanish Online, the best way to learn Spanish online!

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