Buenos Aires preview

Argentina

The national language of Argentina is Spanish, which is known as 'español' or 'castellano'. In Buenos Aires and the outer lying areas, including Uruguay, a particular brand of Spanish is spoken called Rioplatense. This regional form, along with a strong Italian dialect (and hand gestures) from the many Italian immigrants, creates a language and slang quite unique to Buenos Aires referred to as 'lunfardo'. Walking in the streets you'll hear the word 'che' a lot, which is slang for 'hey.' Although the majority of Argentines learn English as children in school, don't come to Argentina expecting to not have to speak Spanish. Many porteños will use English with you when they can, but don't expect everyone to be able to speak or understand English. A basic working knowledge, how to ask for things, some food vocabulary, and phrases such as 'permiso' (excuse me, used when passing by someone) and 'como te va?' (how's it going?) are good phrases to know.

Many porteños are eager to share their language with you, and it is easy to find someone to give you one-on-one classes for a very good price. Standard private tutoring rates r…