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13 Spanish slang words to speak like a Latin American (Video)
13 Spanish slang words to speak like a Latin American (Transcript)
Hi! I’m Mildred from the MosaLingua team. In this video, I’m going to share 13 slang expressions commonly used in my country, Colombia, and in other countries in Latin America.
Let’s start with ‘chévere,’which is used in both Venezuela and Columbia to describe a thing or a situation that is great, awesome, or interesting. In other countries, like Peru, we would say “¡bravaso!” or “¡chido!” in Mexico. If a friend asks you “¿Qué te pareció la película?” You could respond “¡Muy chévere!”
On the other hand, if you want to say that something isn’t good or doesn’t meet your expectations, you could use the word “fiasco,” for example: “El concierto fue un completo fiasco, el sonido no fue bueno.” In Chile and Argentina, they use the expression “al toque” to mean right now, or quickly. In Peru, this expression is used when you want something right away. For example: “Necesito que termines esta tarea al toque.” Peruvians also say, “Corre al toque que nos deja el micro”.
Por si las moscas
When you’re making plans, and you want to make sure everything is under control and avoid any possible mishaps, you can use the phrase: “por si las moscas.” It literally means “for if the flies,” or “just in case you come across flies in your path!” So if a friend asks you: “¿Llevamos comida para el viaje?” You could answer: “Sí, por si las moscas.” “In case we don’t find a restaurant on the way.”
If during a conversation, for one reason or another, you don’t understand what someone says or asks you, some Latinos would say “dime” to ask the person 45 to repeat what they just said. In Mexico and Ecuador however, they would probably say “mande” instead. So let’s recap what we just learned: “dime” and “por si las moscas.” You might say: “Deberíamos llevar más dinero por si las moscas.” And the person you are talking to might respond: – “¿Dime? No te escuché.”
In Argentina, they use the word ‘boludo(a)’ to describe someone who did something stupid or that doesn’t make sense. In Colombia, a synonym for boludo(a) is ‘bola.’ For example: “¡Que boludo eres! Olvidaste traer los tennis para jugar al baloncesto.” But this doesn’t mean that the person looks like a pool ball or a snowball.
On the other hand, in Colombia, if you want to give a smart or handy person a compliment, you would say “pilo(a).” When talking about money, in particular $1 bills in Latin America, we use the word “luca.” To say $1,000 pesos, we say 1 luca. Just take off the zeros, and replace them with the word “luca”. For 2 dollars or more, just add an “s” to the end. So the plural would be “lucas.” For example, $15,000 pesos is 15 lucas. So if you ever need to ask someone to borrow some money, you’d say: – “Préstame 10 lucas ($10,000 pesos/bolívares/soles) te las devuelvo tan pronto pueda.”
Hicimos las Paces
If you’re fighting with someone or trying to settle a disagreement, and you succeed, you would say ‘hicimos las paces.’ For example: “Mi novio y yo nos peleamos ayer, pero hoy después de hablar seriamente hicimos las paces.”
Ir al grano
If you are trying to clarify or get to the bottom of something with someone, you would use the expression: “ir al grano.” So: “Deberías ir al grano, si te quieres ir ya de la fiesta está bien, sólo dímelo.” The person you are talking to might respond: “La verdad sí me quiero ir ya, estoy muerto.” In this context, “estar muerto” does not mean that your friend’s heart has stopped beating. It just means that they are “dead” tired, or exhausted.
Most Latinos use the word “cachás,” which means to understand. In Chile, the word is similar: “cachái.” So, if you want to say: “¿Entiendes lo que tu amigo te dijo? You’d say: ¿Cachás lo que tu amigo te dijo?” Just replace the word ‘entiendes’ with “cachás.”
Colombians use the term “traga” to talk about a person they love, or are in love with, but are not dating… For example: “Él fue mi traga por muchos amos, menos mal que ya lo olvidé.” But if you are talking about mutual or reciprocated love, in Peru they say “enamorado(a),” in Chile, “pololo(a),” and in Cuba, “jevo(a).”
Thanks for watching, I hope you liked this video. To get more tips for learning Spanish subscribe to our YouTube channel. ¡Un abrazo!
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