Questions addressing any of the many differences in vocabulary, pronunciation, usage, etc. of the varieties of Spanish spoken through Spain and the Americas.

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4
votes
5answers
3k views

Most accurate translation of “possum”

What is the most universal Spanish word to describe a possum? What regional variations exist? Does the translation refer specifically to the same animal as the English word, or does it cover a larger ...
5
votes
5answers
798 views

What does “apañao” mean?

¿Qué significa "apañao"? Aparentemente se usa exclusivamente en la región de Andalucía. Estaba hablando con alguien y dijo esa palabra pero no la pudo traducir. ¿Alguien sabe su significado y uso? ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Difference between Spanish and Catalan

I recently went to Barcelona and found that the people there speak Catalan but not Spanish. Although, I did listen some words that are common in both Spanish and Catalan, still there was also a ...
5
votes
7answers
192 views

Por qué la gente ríe cuando me presento como, “Fénix, como el ave”?

Mi nombre es Fénix — muy raro aún en inglés. Cuando me presento a la gente en Suramérica, a menudo se malinterpreta mi nombre como "Felix". Entonces, me he acostumbrado presentarme así: "Soy Fénix, ...
3
votes
4answers
427 views

How is the second person singular formed with rioplatense “vos”?

English I learned my Spanish in Spain, some years ago. Now I am visiting Uruguay and Argentina and coming across the usage of the pronoun vos, and its corresponding different formation of the second ...
2
votes
2answers
419 views

Regional pronunciations of “LL” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to pronounce the consonants y and ll? I had one teacher that taught me to pronounce "LL" harshly, something like the English "J". Another teacher I learned from told ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

What's the difference between rezar and orar? Are there any other ways to say 'to pray'?

My teacher told me that different religions tend to use different words for "to pray", usually choosing between rezar and orar. Which words are preferred by what religions & in which areas? Are ...
3
votes
5answers
597 views

A lo de mi abuela / Donde mi abuela

Quiero decir: "Voy a la casa de mi abuela". En Argentina siempre he escuchado: "voy a lo de mi abuela". En Chile, parece que utilizan: "Voy donde mi abuela". Qué suelen decir en los otros paises? ...
7
votes
4answers
539 views

How did the words “mataburros” and “tumbaburros” come to mean “dictionary”?

The recent question about irregular plurals led me to a couple of odd and interesting words that apparently mean "dictionary" in at least one sense each: mataburros tumbaburros The connection ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

¡Buenas! greeting in morning

Another question brings up the fact that in many countries, ¡Buenas! is used as a greeting (as an abbreviation of Buenas tardes or Buenas noches). In regions where this is the case, what should be ...
2
votes
1answer
420 views

¿Qué significa abatizar (visto en Nicaragua)?

He visto la palabra abatizar en periódicos de Nicaragua, pero no puedo encontrar la palabra ni en el diccionario de la RAE ni en WordReference.com. ¿Exactamente qué significa abatizar y en cuales ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Definición de “pistear”

Hoy alguien usó la palabra pistear conmigo, en el contexto de una fiesta, o bebiendo. No puedo encontrar una definición relevante. DRAE tiene dos definiciones regionales: tr. El Salv. Pagar ...
1
vote
1answer
98 views

Myspell and different variants of Spanish

This is somewhat computer related as well. If one installs myspell package in Ubuntu, it would download files for Spanish Spanish, and files for e.g. Argentinian Spanish would be just symlinks to it. ...
6
votes
5answers
830 views

Definition of escuela and colegio

Spanish has two generic words for school: escuela and colegio. I have heard different explanations for what phases of schooling each word refers to. For example, I've been told that colegio refers ...
4
votes
1answer
376 views

Spanish for “snowflake” and “snowman” in various regions?

I found myself needing a word for "snowflake" and "snowman" while talking to family. My nephew was holding a toy snowflake and snowman. Most spanish-speaking countries live rather close to the ...
13
votes
8answers
531 views

¿Se usa 'guácala' fuera de México?

En español mexicano, cuando uno siente algo repugnante es típico usar una palabra onomatopeica: 'guácala' (imita el sonido de vomitar). Es equivalente a decir 'yuck' en inglés. ¿Qué tan común es ...
4
votes
3answers
143 views

Comida: picante vs picor

Hoy día escuché el término "comida sin picor" para referirse a "comida no picante". En mi caso nunca antes había escuchado el término "picor". ¿En qué países se usa el término "picor"? ¿Qué tan común ...
8
votes
5answers
802 views

Difference Between “Computadora” and “Ordenador”

Español Ví un cartel fuera de una tienda que decía: "Computadoras y ordenadores" en un cuadro "cubano" fuera de New York City, En un principio, creo que ambas palabras significan "computer". Pero, ...
7
votes
3answers
537 views

What is Spanish for “John Doe” in Puerto Rico?

What is Puerto Rican Spanish for "John Doe" or "Jane Doe" ? Is it still Fulano de Tal ?
23
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is the “X” in México and Texas pronunced as the letter “J”?

English Even as a native speaker I don't know the reason of this. Another example would be Xavier. Español Aunque el español es mi primera lengua, no sé por qué razón sucede esto. Otro ejemplo ...
5
votes
1answer
135 views

“Haber de” y futuridad

La entrada de "haber" en lo "Diccionario panhispánico de dudas" incluye este trozo: a) haber de + infinitivo. En el español general, esta perífrasis denota obligación, conveniencia o necesidad ...
9
votes
3answers
816 views

“Antier” para expresar el día anterior a ayer

Hace unos días mientras me encontraba cambiando de canal en la televisión por cable, escuche una conversación de una pelicula americana doblada al español. Dos personas estaban en un bar conversando. ...
4
votes
2answers
160 views

What would be a good translation of “becario”?

Let me explain myself, the official definition is "scholarship holder", but in some places it is a position in a company, sometimes is a pro bono position but most of the times is an entry level job.
7
votes
2answers
128 views

¿En qué países se utiliza la expresión “colgar el sambenito”?

Como resultado de una pregunta anterior relacionada con el concepto de culpabilidad (guilt trip), surgió la expresión (frecuente en España) "colgar el sambenito", que significa "culpar a alguien ...
5
votes
3answers
115 views

Pronunciación de la letra ge

En un curso de Memrise.com hay extractos donde la ge en "amigo" y "lugar" se pronuncia como una leve jota, casi como una hache. ¿Es realmente la pronunciación castellana?
4
votes
2answers
3k views

What are the differences between “el mar” and “la mar”?

Another question touched on this issue, but I wanted to ask in more detail. Mar is a noun that can be masculine or feminine. I have heard that there are subtle differences in connotations between the ...
6
votes
2answers
167 views

Regional differences between escuchar and oír

In school I learned that escuchar was for the English "to listen to" and oír was "to hear." In Central America, however, I frequently heard escuchar being used for "to hear" (e.g. No te escucho ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

Describing the common cold or flu in Spanish

In English, when talking about common viruses people often get, there are generally two categories: a cold is generally more mild and can come with runny nose, sneezing, coughing, sore throat, etc. ...
12
votes
1answer
155 views

How can I know if a word or phrase should be avoided due to regional variations?

Say that I want to write some blog posts or news articles in Spanish. Are there any useful resources (e.g. books, websites or guidelines) that one could use in order to write “neutral” Spanish, that ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Other spanish synonyms to “Banana”

I remember reading in high school that the word la banana is actually a different word in several different countries. Is this true? If so what are the other similar/equivalent Spanish words for la ...
9
votes
6answers
511 views

How big are the regional differences in the Spanish spoken in different countries?

As a non-native speaker, I have no more difficulty conversing with a Mexican than a Spaniard or Venezuelan or Colombian or vice versa. I realize there are regional variations and differences in ...
8
votes
7answers
684 views

Are there any words that have opposite regional meanings?

Following in the footsteps of EL&U, are there any words that have opposite meanings in different Spanish-speaking regions? We are looking for words that are the same, but have different meanings ...
3
votes
4answers
513 views

Present subjunctive in vos form

What is the rule for conjugating verbs in the vos form in the present subjunctive? If it varies by region, what are the differences?
8
votes
5answers
448 views

Is “tobogán” an acceptable word for “slide” throughout the Spanish speaking world?

English I'm trying to learn words to talk to my baby at the playground in Spanish. WordReference.com gives the following as part of its definition for "slide." slide 2 sustantivo 1. (in ...
10
votes
1answer
136 views

Plug vs Socket: Interchangeable?

Many dictionaries that I have looked at online seem to use enchufe as a word that is interchangeable for the English words plug and socket, which are two related, but distinct objects. Some ...
1
vote
1answer
318 views

Studying Spanish at school in a Spanish speaking country

In the Spanish speaking country where you live or have been, up to what age/year level is it compulsory to study the Spanish language at school. Where I live (English speaking country) it is ...
8
votes
3answers
433 views

Use of “Que” in “Que todo te vaya bien”

Que todo te vaya bien. Que nos reunamos a las 6. I've seen, and used, que in this form - it's as if the verb has been dropped, say, espero. What is the origin of this usage? Is it ...
7
votes
3answers
562 views

What Spanish term (or terms) work best to describe a glass jar as used for coffee, jam, etc?

A bit earlier in the chat room I mentioned that I needed to buy a new jar of coffee, but that I didn't know how to express that in Spanish. I want to know a good Spanish word for "jar" in the sense ...
5
votes
2answers
536 views

“Iros” instead of “idos” (imperative of verb “ir”)

I have heard many times the use of the infinitive instead of the imperative in Spanish with the verb "ir". For example: Si me queréis, irse* (Instead of: Si me queréis, váyanse) [Famous quote of ...
1
vote
3answers
3k views

Happy Birthday songs in Spanish [closed]

The most recognized song in the English language is "Happy Birthday to You" (the common song sung on someone's birthday). What songs in Spanish are traditionally sung on birthdays (and what are the ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

What does “haiga” mean?

What is the Spanish word haiga? Is it a properly conjugated form of a verb? Or a regional variant or improper conjugation? Where/when is it used?
6
votes
1answer
222 views

What's the origin of the Panamanian word “biñuelo”? Is it merely a corruption of “buñuelo”?

I was in Panama about five years ago and there was a common deep fried street food called "biñuelo". Of course there's a regular Spanish word "buñuelo" which means fritter. So is "biñuelo" just the ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

wallet: cartera vs. billetera

The English word "wallet" (as in something you carry in your pocket to hold money, credit cards, etc.) can be translated into Spanish as cartera or billetera. Are the words synonyms that can be used ...
6
votes
4answers
5k views

to drink: beber vs. tomar

I have heard beber and tomar used interchangeably as translations for the English "to drink." Is there any difference between the two, or are they exact synonyms when describing drinking a liquid? Are ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Querer vs Amar & Adorar

The words amar and querer according to RAE are synonyms; however, in Colombia, at least, amar is considered a stronger feeling, a highest level of love, if you can say that. For example, I can tell a ...
6
votes
3answers
381 views

Translation of “bloody” etc. for frustration (colloquialisms)

A random question, In English I use words like 'bloody', 'damn', 'darn', 'blimmin', 'bleedin', 'freaking', to express frustration without using harsh swear words. (Ok maybe 'freaking' is just a spin ...
10
votes
2answers
881 views

Audio maps of spanish dialects?

Apart from vocabulary differences, the spanish language has an enormous and fascinating diversity in pronunciation and accents. In my country (Argentina) people from the central inland region have a ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Translation of “bowl”

I have heard many different translations for bowl (the dish) in different Spanish-speaking countries. What words are normally used to translate "bowl"? Which is most universally understood? What ...
5
votes
4answers
260 views

How regional or widespread are the colloquial “pa” / “pa'” in place of “para”?

In Mexico I sometimes heard or saw the colloquial variant pa' or pa used for para. But is this just a Mexicanism, also used in Central America, all Latin America, or even in Spain?
4
votes
4answers
3k views

Different words for “beer”

In Mexico, besides "cerveza" we call beer the following: cheve chela pisto (anything with alcohol) bironga helada fría These are used informally. Are there any other words used to address beer in ...