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The Argentines do NOT speak spanish

ARGENTINA | Tuesday, 13 January 2009 | Views [32351] | Comments [24]

The distance from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia is just over 3000 Km, or roughly 2000 miles for those of you who don´t do the whole metric thing.  of those 3000 km, approximately 2900 of those resemble the plains of Nevada.  There is NOTHING to see.  I never thought I´d say this, but the drive to Kansas is more interesting.  At least then my dearest Mother would exclaim "COWS!!!" every so often to break up the monotony.  Even Mom would be bored on this drive. 

While there was no need for scenic descriptions of the Atlantic coast of Patagonia, there are several aspects of Argentina that demand attention.  For starters: I am in culinary heaven.  The diet here consists of meat (asado style), bread, and wine.  I was expecting food to be cheap down here, but the only cheap items at the supermercado are those aformentioned.  A good cut of meat (i.e. tenderloin) works itelf out to 3-4 dollars a pound, and ground meat (carne picada) is actually cheaper than dried beans.  Bread is sold by the sackful and usually runs about $0.80 a pound.  This diet is definitely to my likings.

The Argentines do have one pequilarity that I was not expecting... they LOVE sweets.  Everything down here is sweet.  I had coffee this morning for the first time since I´ve been down here that was just black coffee, not the $2.00 US teaspoon of coffee flavored sugar syrup that everybody down here seems to drink.  There are pastry shops on every steet that sell an item that has wormed its way into my heart.  I don´t know the name, but I call it a godsend.  Picture, if you will, one of those packaged icecream drumsticks you buy at 7-11.  Now instead of an icecream cone, or the ever popular wafflecone, the outside is made of puff pastry with a sugar glaze, the filling is not factory made icecream but rather that necter of the gods called dulce do leche, and the top is still covered with chocolate and nut bits.  As these treats are quite large, the dulce de leche filling probably amounts to a quarter cup or so.  Cost = $0.75 US.  

Between the sweets and the abundance of meat (I forgot to mention that even small convenience stores all have a meat section) David (the dark one) would quickly gain about 300 lbs, bringing him upto a staggering 320 lbs.

Another thing that has caught my attention is Argentine spanish.  It is not spanish.  It´s spelled like spanish, it even kinda sounds like spanish, but it most certainly is not.  For starters the "elle" letter (double l for those f you not familiar with the language) is not pronounced in the traditional "ya" sound but rather in a "sha" sound.  the word for "you" typically "tu" is "vos" and instead of "español" they say "spanish" castellano (remember that the ll is pronounced sha down here).  Compounded with the fact that they slur and mumble giving the overall impresssion of speaking with a mouth full of seltzer water, and a vocabulary that mostly consists of slang makes it impossible for me to understand anything that is spoken to me. 

For example: the common word for "to catch" as in "to catch the bus" is cojar, but if were to say "cojè el omnibus: I caught the bus" in Argentina you would be saying "I fucked the bus".  Not exactly your standard translation.   

Almost in Ushuaia...

Hopefully pictures will be up soon...

Tags: heaven, language barriers




Don't forget the sunflowers that were always so pretty as we drove across ks! Love to hear you interpretation of the trip. Mom

  pirate mommy Jan 17, 2009 4:01 PM


Hey Cory - Thanks for the blog. I've always wanted to go to South America but never have. The local food sounds great! Skip the bread and you have a nation on the Atkins Diet. Keep having fun and posting. Oh, by the way - the spanish in Argentina probably sounds funny 'coz it's actualy portugese. THey speak portugese in Argentina, I believe.

  Simon Jan 25, 2009 4:56 AM


Ha Ha, no it`s spanish, just a very thick accent. Brazil is the only Portuguese speaking country down here to the best of my knowledge...

The meat in Argentina is Heaven... Nothing Less

  Cory Jan 25, 2009 7:09 AM


Cory, Did you see any gaucho pants riding their horses along the bus trail?? It's snowing in sunny Colorado.

  teresa Jan 27, 2009 5:25 AM


It is Spanish, obviously. You explained the differences perfectly. Everywhere in SA, Mexico & Spain has a different dialect. Get used to it & appreciate the beauty of the independent countries. Many Latinos lovee the Argentine dialect, so you may want to practice up!

  Alyson Feb 16, 2009 7:26 AM


Argentine Spanish has been heavily influenced by Italian, so they speak spanish with an Italian accent! It's the best spanish of all in my opinion way better than Mexican Spanish which is just horrible. An no it does not sound like "seltzer water"and in argentina the call it "castellano" just like they do in Spain.

  Jason Jun 24, 2009 7:16 PM


Argentine's do speak spanish..although all too many people are ignorant to the fact that there is actually many different versions of spanish other than the type spoken in spain. Each different region of south america and spain speak with differnt accents and different styles of spanish. Where, yes, in one type one word could mean one thing very innocent, and in another region it could mean something quite rude. It becomes hard to know what to say, especially if you are travelling and don't know every type of spanish in order to speak the correct language in the correct region.

  J Dec 15, 2009 10:31 AM


Argentine Spanish is the best. Look up the term Lunfardo sometime and you will see how the dialect was and is influenced to produce the language it is today.


  www.youtube.com/TheRealEvaPeron Jan 16, 2011 4:07 AM


Here is argentina we dont say coje de bus that is in Spain you most be confused we say tomar the bus. Cojer is a word that spaniards use.
And we speak spanish with italian accent.

  tania Jun 14, 2012 1:26 AM


You are wrong!! Spain use Coger and Latin America use Tomar. I went to Mexico and they understand my Argentine Spanish with heavy Italian accent. I went to Spain and they really have hard time to understand because we (Latin American) use old Spanish words and Spain updated the new words.

  DiNizzo Jan 27, 2013 10:13 PM


Everybody loves the argentinian accent it's like idk, the british accent, sounds so manly.. I just love it.. And yeah, they have a different accent, a different dialect and not all the words means the same on another country. It's the same with North America's accent, British accent, Australian accent.. AND OH MY GOD, I ATE DULCE DE LECHE (its like a candy cream) AND IT TASTES LIKE HEAVEN. You all should try it. Argentinian food and wine are the best.

  Charlotte Mar 31, 2013 2:32 PM


hahaha really nice narration. I think that the sweet food that you called godsend are Facturas I think haha :) I am Argentinian is nice to hear that you like how some things are over here.

  Kassandra Jun 22, 2013 2:08 PM


Blasphemy!! I didn't read the whole article, I will admit, but this title is misleading! Of course Spanish is the language spoken in Argentina, is it different? Sure, but it is still the same language spoken in Spain. Argentines speak Spanish. Y u lie?

  Marina Jul 2, 2013 9:23 AM


It is spanish that they speak and there own derivative just as every other spanish speaking country outside of Spain. Castellano is just the pompus way of referring to Spain style spanish. Meaning that if you are from any of the Hispanic/Latino speaking countries, other than Spain, and you say you speak Castellano/Castlilian rather than espanol/spanish, you are an Arrogant bastard and still look at yourself like an Aristocrat. Consider that in the USA we don't use mate or bloke, we say dude or man. It's still English, and every state speaks it's own derivative, New Yorkers, Texans, and Californians all speak it a little different. Same difference.

  Guest005 Jul 10, 2014 9:35 AM


Argentinians do speak Spanish, but it is very different from Spanish spoken in Mexico and Spain. "Vos" is used in neighboring countries like Uruguay, Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru, while "Tu" is used in Mexico, the Caribbean, and most central American countries. Castellano is used in the same countries, while Espanol is used in Mexico, Caribbean, Central American, and Spain. It's still the same language, but geography and diversity has influenced the language into what it is today.

  Dante Leonardo Dec 17, 2014 9:39 AM



  Gisela Jan 21, 2015 6:08 AM


If they do not spak Spanish why the Real academia española, an institution for Spanish regulation made its last meeting in Argentina?
Argentina Spanish is similar to American English or Australia. They have difefrence but the grammar is different as some words. You can read a argentino newspaper and read the same grammar than in Spain or Colombia.

  Jorge Jan 23, 2015 1:19 AM


sopapeame la papirola

  yayo Jul 8, 2015 12:02 AM


When you say Argentines DONT speak Spanish is just ignorant.It's like saying Americans DON'T speak English, one thing is that a language can sound VERY different in different parts of the world and another is that indeed it is another language, if you see how people in Texas speak and then you go to Scotland, the English spoken in those 2 places is gonna sound completely different and even some words are just used in one place but it's still English. Take this comment as coming from a native Spanish speaker who is not from Argentina but understands everything that they say and never has a communication problem with them. You should change the title of your article cuz it's deceiving and some people who dont know might actually believe it. Regards

  Melissa Jul 30, 2015 7:11 AM


I can't stand Argentine spanish! You are right, they are constantly mumbling, slurring, singing, dropping consonants. God knows what they're trying to say. Calling it Spanish is a stretch.

And how nice would it be if they finally realized that voseo is extinct? Why can't they get with the program? It's probably the same reason their country has been in a century-long journey to the bottom of the barrel.

Other countries try to use a neutral accent on their TV programs to be widely understood. Here they just don't give a damn. I've seen programs where the people could be speaking Chinese it's so bad.

  Jon Sep 19, 2015 10:46 AM


"It's deceiving and some people who don't know might actually believe it"??? Really?

Look, I agree with most comments, each country will have their own accent and dialect. However, why boast in saying "Castellano" when it's so different from Spanish in Spain? Just call it Lunfardo. It's also silly that many Argentines boast about being more "Spanish" compared to the rest of Latin America, and yet they have an Italian accent and a form of Spanish so different from "Castellano". Unlike Peru, Mexico, most of Colombia and other smaller countries, they never got the memo about the pronouns, which is why they still use 'vos'.

And to those who say "Everybody loves the argentinian accent it's like idk, the british accent, sounds so manly"... get real. First, that is a bunch of hot air. True, to many Americans the British accent might sound more 'proper', but not all Americans think that, and from an American point of view, Argentine Spanish sounds girlish and whinny. When there is less singing in the accent, it sounds powerful, at least for a man.

  David Dec 31, 2015 10:36 AM


Some of you have no idea what you are talking about. I speak Spanish (from Argentina) and it's not Lunfardo (slang, just like every country has slang terms, so do we). It's called Castellano or Español and not just in Argentina!! They are one and the same language, the language brought to the America's from the region of Castilla (Spain). BTW, the "voseo" is alive and well, thank you very much and it's NOT exclusive to Argentina (Uruguay, Costa Rica, parts of Colombia, etc also use it). Using the voseo does not mean that we don't write or speak what is considered "proper" Spanish. We learn it in school and we use it where appropriate. Please, if you don't know enough about a topic, learn a bit more about it before ignorantly tossing information around. Boludos!! (that's a good Argentinan term, look it up)

  Cris Jan 5, 2016 11:36 AM


Jon I can only say that you are an ignorant. Before writing about my language go and read a little bit. Im proud of my italian accent. Italian blood runs in most argentinian's veins , but it's stil Spanish Pelotudo!!! And to the asswhole who said we speak portuguese, we speak spanish only Brazil speak Portuguese dork!!!!

  Diego Jul 18, 2016 3:59 AM


I have recently moved to Argentina and I love it the food is great(if you like meat)with many Italian influenced dishes don't expect spicy Mexican style food their ice cream(helados) is fantastic real handmade stuff.Yes they have a strong accent heavily influenced by the vast Italian waves of immigration but I much prefer it to the lisping accent of the Spanish spoken in Spain on top of that the Lunfardo slang that they use is intertwined with their Spanish but that is a good thing as it is very earthy and I find myself laughing so often when I find out the meanings they are very warm people and have a very relaxed attitude to life.i have been in bars and run out of cash and they simply say hey carry on drinking and come back to pay tomorrow very cool.They drive like madmen their car horns are worn out with all the beeping they do at each other.The country is enormous(the 8th biggest in the world) my country(Scotland) could fit into it 35 times and it has an enormous variety of scenery and climates,Bariloche is absolutely beautiful you could spend a lifetime exploring the country.Many people come to study Rioplatense(River plate)Spanish and you will be understood easily in any other Spanish speaking country if you learn Argentinian Spanish.I highly recommend the place and the down to earth,warm hearted,generous,and cultured people,plus they love football,the real football that is, not the game played in the USA where they hardly ever use their feet in the game.

  Daibhidh Oct 23, 2017 10:37 PM

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