Why do textbooks never teach us Spanish Slang? If you ever traveled to Latin America or watched Narcos, you may have noticed that the Spanish spoken by natives is slightly different than what you were taught in a traditional Spanish class. You may have memorized how to say “Donde está el baño, por favor?” but what if you just want to say “¡Voy a hacerme encima!” (I’m going to pee myself!)?
Slang is part of everyday speech around the world, but what makes Spanish slang challenging is that what you hear in Mexico is quite different from what you might hear in Spain or Argentina. That’s why we have some helpful phrases to help you speak slang across Latin America:
How do you say “What’s up, dude?” In Spanish Slang?
¿Que tal, che? – Argentina
¿Que hay, tío? – Spain
¿Qué pedo, güey? – Mexico
¿Qué más, chamo? – Venezuela
How do you say: “Come on! ” In Spanish Slang?
¡Vamos! – Come on in Latin American Slang
¡Dale!– Argentinian Slang
¡Venga!– Spain / Castilian Slang
¡Ándale/Órale!– Mexican Slang
How do you say: ” Cool!” In Spanish Slang?
¡Cómo mola! – Spain
¡Re-copado! – Argentina
¡Qué chido/padre! – Mexico
¡Qué chilero! – Guatemala
How do you say: ” Give it to me to straight” In Spanish Slang?
¡Dime la firme! – Peru
¡Decíme la posta! – South America
¡Dime la fetén! – Spain
¡Dime la neta! – Central America
How do you say: “Wow!” In Spanish Slang?
¡Úchale! – Mexico
¡Hala! – Spain
¡Caray! – Argentina
¡Fua! – South America
¡Gua! – Spanglish
Slang Over Text:
tq 100pre (te quiero siempre) – I love you always
q (¿qué?) – what?
dde (dónde) – where?
qto (cuanto) – how much?
xq (por que/porque) – why?/because
xau (chau) – bye
ntp (no te preocupes) – don’t worry
Spanish Slang Classes at Strommen:
Want to learn more? Sign up for our 4-week Spanish Slang class starting February / Spanish Slang class coming soon!All levels are intended for students with previous Spanish knowledge and who are familiar with basic vocabulary. Grammar won’t be a focal point for the class, but rather a set of phrases and expressions that will help you sound like a native.
Slang 101 – Meet & Greet | Friends & Enemies | Booze, Bars, & Clubs: Intro to Spanish slang to meet people, build friendships, and go out to party.
Slang 201 – Sexy Body, Ugly Body | Nice & Naughty | Smack Talk: A continuation of Spanish Slang 101. Learn how to flirt with people who float your boat and fight your foes.
Slang 301 – Pop Culture & Technology | Sports and Games | Food & Drink: A continuation of Spanish Slang 201. Learn how to talk about tv, movies, sports and other activities via text or over dinner.
So, whether you’re hanging out with Porteños (people from Argentina), Chilangos (people from Mexico City), Madrideños (people from Madrid), or Ticos (people from Costa Rica) this class will cover everything you need to know before your next trip.
You can call our office for more info at 323 638 9787 or check out our Group classes here.
Further reading for Spanish Slang:
We Highly recommend these textbooks if you would like to further your knowledge of Spanish slang:
What They Didn’t Teach You in Spanish Class: Slang Phrases for the Cafe, Club, Bar, Bedroom, Ball Game and More (What They Didn’t Teach You in Class)
This is a great little book with a lot of slang vocabulary for every situation.
Dirty Spanish: Everyday Slang from “What’s Up?” to “F*%# Off!” (Dirty Everyday Slang)
This is another great book for Spanish language slang.
By Karen Guzelian