Posts Tagged ‘Che’

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Studying Spanish in Buenos Aires

Friday, September 8, 2017 8:07

Categories - Argentina Travel Info, Health & Safety, Shopping, Spanish Classes, Student Stories - 0 Comments

Coming to Buenos Aires to study Spanish is a big decision, but one that is rewarding and can have lasting impressions on your life. As with any new adventure, it requires some planning and preparation before taking the leap. There will inevitably be things you wish you had known before arriving, but hopefully these tips will help you prepare to get the most out of your experience.

pexels photo 509799 5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Studying Spanish in Buenos Aires

1. Dedicate Yourself to Immersion

Spanish classes in Buenos Aires are an excellent foundation to language learning, but to really master the language you must dedicate yourself to a true immersive experience. Choose to live with native Spanish speakers, watch programs in Spanish, listen to Spanish music and podcasts, or read your favorite book in Spanish in your free time. When I moved to Buenos Aires, I learned that the more I forced myself to engage in the language, the stronger my Spanish became. It will take effort to push past your comfort zone, but in the end it pays off.  Dedicating yourself to learning Spanish wherever you go, not just in the classroom, allows you to excel in the language while engaging with the culture. Who knows where it can take you, you could even become a reggaeton music addict like me!

2. Get to Know the Vos Form

Studying Spanish in other parts of Latin America, you will most likely study the “tu” form for informally referring to “you.” In the region of Buenos Aires however, it is more common to use “vos” instead of “tu,” when speaking informally. So instead of saying “Tu eres un estudiante” to say “You are a student,” in Buenos Aires you would say “Vos sos un estudiante.”

To my fellow Spanish language learners, don’t worry! The vos form is easy to learn, and arguably even easier to master than the “tu” form. I used to be stubborn in my “tu” form ways, but the undeniable simplicity of “vos” has won me over. There are no irregular verbs and conjugations are much simpler than the “tu” form, you will be an expert of “vos” in no time!

3. Lunfardo is a Way of Life

As with any language, slang is common practice and can make a conversation feel less formal. It’s useful for any language learner to pick up some slang and incorporate it into their conversations. In Buenos Aires however slang, or “lunfardo,” is almost a language of its own. I had no idea that studying Spanish in Buenos Aires meant I’d also be studying its very prominent lunfardo as well! Lunfardo cannot easily be learned in a textbook, the fun of it is learning directly from porteños and practicing it in your everyday conversations.

With words like “fiaca” to describe a state of laziness, “quilombo” to describe a complete disaster, or the ever famous “che” to call a friend, lunfardo is a defining feature of Argentine Spanish. While learning lunfardo is extremely fun and useful to understanding porteños, exercise caution when using new phrases in a formal environment, Argentine lunfardo is quite infamous for its irreverent words!

4. Learn Some Phrases Before Arriving

Even if you’re a beginner in Spanish, it’s beneficial to familiarize yourself with a few key phrases to help you navigate the city. When I first arrived, I struggled through simple tasks like ordering food and asking for directions. Add practicing some common Spanish phrases to your pre-arrival checklist so when you touch down in Buenos Aires you can feel a bit more confident in getting around.

5. Bring What You Need

While Argentina is renowned for many of its goods like leather, fine wine, or beef, it lacks many of the common goods you may have at home. For example, Apple Stores don’t exist in Argentina. Break your iPhone and need to get a replacement? You’re better off asking a friend flying into the country to bring a spare. Learn from my mistakes, bring a cheap or an old phone model you no longer use as a backup in case you lose or damage your phone. Just make sure your phone is able to use a local SIM card!

Clothes shopping is also a big no. The price of clothing and many goods in Argentina is far more than what you can buy at home due in part to importation taxes and inflation. Pack the clothes you plan to wear and save your shopping money for indulging in what Argentina does best: great steak, fine wine, and the best leather goods all at incredibly affordable prices.

Most importantly, what I wish I had known before moving to Buenos Aires is to not be afraid to take the leap of faith and do so. Buenos Aires is the perfect place to learn a new language. With a vibrant global community, the city offers incredible opportunities to meet people from all over the world, have unforgettable experiences, and learn a new language while learning more about yourself. Had I known what a life changing opportunity this was, I would have come to Buenos Aires much sooner!

 

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10 words you need to know in Buenos Aires

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 7:29

Categories - Argentina Travel Info, Argentine Customs and Culture, Spanish, Spanish Classes - 0 Comments

It is widely known that the Spanish of Buenos Aires, also called “Rioplatense” is different from the Spanish that is spoken in other parts of Latin America and in Spain, with different terms used for certain things (an avocado, in most places known as aguacate, is a palta here, for example, and bacon is pancetta, instead of tocino). Then there is this accent (the soft ‘y’ is pronounced ‘sh’ in Argentina, which means calle (street) sound like ‘cashe’ instead of ‘caye’, as it does for example in Spain). And then there is the Argentine slang, which is a different thing entirely. You may take a class with a combination of Spanish and Culture to get deeply into it.

Copy of 7 1024x468 10 words you need to know in Buenos Aires

The first thing to know is that Argentine slang can refer to two different things: Lunfardo, which refers to the street slang that was created by prisoners in the late 19th century so that prison guards wouldn’t be able to understand them, and which soon after spread among the lower classes of society. Lunfardo is mostly created by using vesre, which means reversing words (revés becomes vesre = reverse; backwards). So for example café con leche becomes feca con chele, pizza becomes pazi, perro (dog) becomes rope, mujer (woman) becomes jermu, and so on.

Lunfardo is not to be confused with modern slang though, which refers to informal words that have found their way into day-to-day conversations between friends, but are less common in written Spanish. When you arrive in Buenos Aires, you will hear Argentine slang words all the time, and if you want to fully understand the context of a conversation or remake that is being made in a conversation, it is important to learn the most common Argentine slang.

Here are ten Argentine slang words that you will definitely hear while you learn Spanish in Buenos Aires:


  • Che

Che is the most common Argentine slang word, used on a daily basis to say ‘Hey’ or ‘What’s up’.

Example: Che, ¿me pasás la sal? – Hey, can you pass me the salt? ¿Che, cómo andás?Hey, how are you?


  • Boludo

Boludo can be understand as ‘dude’, when used among friends, but also be a mild insult, to say someone is an idiot or fool, so be careful in which context boludo is used.

Example: Che, boludo! – Hey, dude!


  • Chabón/chabona (feminine)

Chabón means dude or guy, or dudette as the female version.

Example: ¡El chabón me ofendió! – That dude offended me!


  • Mango

Mango is used for money, or Argentine Pesos.

Example: Cuesta cien mangos. – It costs one hundred pesos. No tengo un mango. – I don’t have a single peso.


  • Quilombo

Quilombo means mess, chaos, and is used to describe chaotic situations.

Example: Qué quilombo es el tránsito en Buenos Aires! – What a chaos is the traffic in Buenos Aires!  ¡Qué quilombo! – What a mess!


  • Pedo

The actual translation of pedo is fart, but it has a plethora of meanings when used as a slang word and is used frequently. Ni en pedo (“Not even if I were drunk”, “No way in hell!”) is probably the most common one.

Example: Vives en una nube de pedos. – You live in a dream world. Estas en pedo – You are drunk. Hablás al pedo. – You’re talking trash.


  • Fiaca

Fiaca refers to laziness – when someone feels like doing absolutely nothing.

Example: Todo el día he tenido fiaca. – I’ve been feeling lazy all day long.


  • Pibe / Mina

Pibe and mina are the colloquial terms to say boy and girl in Argentina, similar to Chabón/chabona. These words are also used for actual kids.

Example: ¡Che, pibe! – Hey, boy! ¡Que linda mina! – What a pretty girl.


  • A full

A full means ‘absolutely’, ‘totally’, ‘a lot’, ‘to the maximum’.

Example: Si, a full vamos a la fiesta! – Yes, we’re totally going to the party! ¿Cómo fue la fiesta? A full, che. – How was the party? It was packed, man.


  • Buena Onda

Buena Onda literally means good wave, and is a term that is used to describe ‘good vibrations’, or simply a good vibe. It is used to describe people, places, or the atmosphere of something, so you always want to make sure you have a ‘buena onda’.

Example: Tu amigo tiene muy buena onda. – Your friend is really cool.

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