A quick guide to Argentinian Spanish

With over 400 million native speakers, you must imagine there is no single Spanish-speaking accent because there are way too many countries and each with a different history of colonialism and immigration that has heavily influenced the way people speak. The types of accents English speakers are generally exposed to are often limited to Mexican, Spanish (from Spain), Puerto Rican, and Cuban, but there are many more! The good news is that among Spanish speakers, we understand each other wonderfully… most of the time - except for when we talk about the name of fruits and vegetables, for which we have sometimes 10 different words, depending on the regional variety. In any case, I thought I’d point out a few differences that might come in handy if you are planning to watch an Argentine movie (and you should! :point_up_2:).
One thing I love about being Argentinian is that any Spanish speaker will immediately know where I’m from after I say “How are you?” (¿Cómo andás?). The Argentine accent is an entirely different creature! :japanese_ogre:

Here a quick guide:

Argentina has a strong Italian influence, so many Argentines (not me!) speak with the sing-song rhythm that Italians use. We also pronounce the “ll” as “sh” instead of the “y” sound you are taught in school.

We use, instead of “tú”, the “vos” form, which you have probably never heard of. This was an old form in Spanish that remained in Argentina, Uruguay, and sometimes in Colombia. The conjugation of some verbs is also different: “vos sos” for “tú eres” being the most important one.

Pedo: literally this word means “fart”, but we use it in so many expressions that transcend intestinal gases. To be “en pedo” is to be drunk; “vivir en nube de pedos” means to be out of touch with reality (literally “to live in a cloud made of farts”) and “subir como pedo de buzo” means to rapidly rise (literally “to go up like a scuba diver’s fart”). What you most likely will hear the most is “ni en pedo”, which basically means “not even if I was drunk”, or “no way in hell”.

Which one is your favorite Spanish variation or do you want to learn and why?
For tutors: can you share what makes the Spanish from your country or region unique?


Hey @FrauDrInda my favorite Argentinian Spanish word is quilombo. Which would translate to “a mess” or “chaos”. Or in Spain as “lío”. I was once told that the origin of the word comes from a fugitive community of escaped slaves and others, which I thought was very interesting.

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@FrauDrInda Here in the Ecuadorian mountains we have some specific grammar. First is the use of diminutive in almost every phrase. We can also use two diminutives in one word: “chico” (small) --> “chiquito” (very small) --> “chiquitito” (tiny). We also use “vos” instead of “tú” and never use “vosotros”. Another interesting grammar issue is the use of the imperative. We say “harás tal y tal cosa” instead of “haz tal y tal cosa”.
So, sometimes even people from our coastal plains have difficulties to understand us :wink: