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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5
votes
3answers
129 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?
5
votes
3answers
242 views

¿Es una ofensa decir “Chale”?

A: Quiero ir a la casa de Juana a visitarla. B: ¡Chale! Vamos para allá mañana. ¿Es una ofensa decir "Chale" ?
5
votes
6answers
215 views

¿Es una ofensa llamar a alguien “ese”?

Orale, ese, qué pasa? ¿Es una ofensa le llamar a alguien "ese" ? En la película " Sangre por Sangre" acostumbran llamarse mutuamente "ese". ¿Sería una ofensa llamar a alguien "ese", si no fueras ...
5
votes
3answers
304 views

Plátano and banana, geographical differences?

I don't really speak Spanish, but I do know a few words and phrases here and there, and enjoy furthering what little knowledge I have. So, today I saw, in a Swedish newspaper, a reference to plantains ...
5
votes
2answers
858 views

¿Cuál es la diferencia entre comer y comerse?

¿Cuál es la diferencia entre el verbo normal comer y su forma reflexiva comerse? Si los significados son iguales, ¿cuál es la diferencia de connotación? Y, ¿se usa el reflexivo de la misma manera en ...
5
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

¿Se usa “halar” en vez de “jalar” en algún lugar?

En Estados Unidos veo muy frecuentemente traducciones que usan la horrorosa halar en lugar de jalar (o hale aquí, etc.) Es tan común que me imagino debe ser usado así en algún lugar. En caso ...
5
votes
1answer
438 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
210 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.
5
votes
2answers
616 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 ...
4
votes
7answers
3k views

Meaning and connotations of “gringo”

In the US, "gringo" is usually understood as a disparaging reference to a foreigner (see the Merriam-Webster definition). What exactly does gringo mean in Spanish? Is it neutral, or does it have ...
4
votes
6answers
187 views

How to ask for a repair shop to fix a car tire?

I recently went to Panama and we had 4 flat tires within 2 weeks. I'm still confused how to properly ask for a repair shop which fixes tires. Can you clarify? I would prefer answers not only for ...
4
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
303 views

What do Chingón and Chinga mean?

What is the difference between Chingón and Chinga? Are they both bad words in Mexico?
4
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
576 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?
4
votes
1answer
320 views

Cual es el origen del uso de “patilla” en vez de “sandia” en venezuela?

Hasta donde se yo, todo el mundo hispanohablante se le llaman al fruto sandia (en ingles "watermelon"), menos en venezuela donde se le llaman patilla. Pero patilla tambien significa "sideburn" en ...
4
votes
3answers
139 views

¿En qué países se coloca el pronombre personal justo después de la “palabra qu-” en preguntas?

Me parece algo particularmente cubano, pero no estoy seguro, primero, si eso es cierto; segundo, si sólo en Cuba se dice el pronombre personal justo después de la palabra interrogativa. Esta pregunta ...
4
votes
3answers
159 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
698 views

¿Cuáles son las distinciones más importantes del castellano amazónico del Perú?

Se dice aquí que hay cinco variaciones del español hablado en el Perú, y que el español amazónico parece predominar en un área geográficamente más extensa que los otros dialectos. Supongo que hay ...
3
votes
5answers
2k views

What does the word pinche mean?

What does the word pinche mean? Pinche loco! Pinche!
3
votes
2answers
197 views

Difference between “muy” and “tan”?

What's the difference between muy and tan? In what context are they used? La ciudad de Naga no esta tan lejos desde aqui. Mi hija es tan/muy(?) bonita.
3
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
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?
3
votes
4answers
731 views

Why “camarada” means friend?

It is common in Mexico to use the word camarada as a way to call informally a friend. For example: Tengo un camarada que es piloto. Ayer fuimos a la fiesta un camarada y yo. RAE defines camarada ...
3
votes
5answers
329 views

¿Es una ofensa decir la palabra “caray”?

¿Qué significa la palabra "caray", es una ofensa decirle a alguien "caray"? ¡Caray! Que estas haciendo aqui?
3
votes
5answers
723 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? ...
3
votes
3answers
489 views

Is it an insult to call someone 'cabrón'?

Is it an insult to call someone 'cabrón' in Mexico? A: Hola B: ¡Hola, cabrón!
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
267 views

¿Cuál es el origen del modismo “es equis” para decir que algo no es malo ni bueno, sino “más o menos”?

Una amiga de Monterrey, México a veces dice "Ah, es equis" para decir que no le apasiona cierta cosa. Ejemplo: A: ¿Te gustan los tacos que se venden en la esquina? B: Meeh... son equis. ...
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 ...
3
votes
4answers
504 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
187 views

¿Es una grosería decir “chíngalo”?

¿Quieres ver la televisión? ¡Chíngalo! Vamos al cine. ¿Sería una ofensa decir "chíngalo" en donde se hable español?
3
votes
1answer
102 views

Usage of “marcharse” and “irse”

What is the difference between marcharse and irse? Do they both mean ' to go' ? Yo me voy a la escuela. Yo me marcho a la escuela.
3
votes
2answers
760 views

How outdated is the Spanish of the Reina-Valera Bible?

I've been told by native Spanish speakers that the Reina-Valera Bible (even the 1960 edition) sounds old fashioned and stuffy. It's one of the reasons our pastor uses other translations. But when ...
3
votes
1answer
361 views

Pronunciation of words ending in -n

It seems that some people pronounce words that end with -n almost as a "ng" sound. "Bien", for example, seems to come out as "Bie[ng]". Is this a regional issue? What regions use this ...
3
votes
4answers
147 views

¿Cuándo se usa “libertar”, y cuando “liberar”? ¿Qué diferencias hay entre las dos palabras?

¿Cuándo es mas apropiado usar "liberar" o "libertar"? ¿Qué diferencias hay entre las dos? Connotan algo distinto? Por ejemplo, Él los libertó de la esclavitud [o] Él los liberó de la esclavitud ...
2
votes
10answers
707 views

Exception to the Phonetic Rule

As we all know that Spanish is a Phonetic Language, i.e. the way it's written is the way it's pronounced. I am just curious to know if there are any exceptions to this phonetic rule. I mean, when we ...
2
votes
6answers
204 views

“Bad” words in good phrases - how socially acceptable are they

I've heard two expressions which at first I thought were kind of offensive, because of the specific words in them: Mucha mierda! de puta madre It turns out both are actually nice things to ...
2
votes
2answers
206 views

¿Cómo se puede llamar al español hablado en América Latina?

¿Existe alguna forma especial de llamar al idioma español hablado en América Latina, para diferenciarlo del español hablado en España?
2
votes
2answers
532 views

Spanish names for preterite and imperfect tenses

In school, I learned that the Spanish past tenses were called preterite and imperfect in English, and preterito and imperfecto in Spanish. However, in talking to native speakers I've run across other ...
2
votes
3answers
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. ...
2
votes
4answers
173 views

The word ending “-ita/-ito” and its usage

English: From what I've seen, the -ita/-ito ending is used for describing little things, or as a better way of describing time periods, especially in businesses (like a waitress saying La comida va a ...
2
votes
4answers
393 views

The difference between empezar and comenzar

What is the difference between empezar and comenzar? Is one more formal than the other?
2
votes
1answer
155 views

Are there vulgarities in Spanish that are universal throughout the language?

The vulgar words I'm familiar with all seem to be local slang. Does Spanish have any words that are universally accepted as vulgar or profane?
2
votes
1answer
1k views

reserva vs. reservación

What is the difference between reserva and reservación (as in a reservation that you would make at a restaurant)? Do the two words mean the same thing? Which is used in what parts of the ...
2
votes
1answer
455 views

Extensión y origen del orto

Últimamente he visto cada vez más extendido en Colombia el término orto para referirse a las partes traseras de una persona. Originalmente lo escuchaba sólo de argentinos. Siempre asumí que venía de ...
2
votes
1answer
205 views

Origen de Carmelita como color?

En mi país Cuba para referirnos al color marrón nosotros decimos carmelita, he notado que por ejemplo en Colombia y México nunca me entendieron cuando lo mencionaba y tenía que decir color café o ...
2
votes
2answers
109 views

Aqui, aca regional differences

In Spain I learned aqui, alli, alla, but in Costa Rica it all seems to become aca. Am I not remembering the Castillano correctly or does this differentiation not exist in Latin America?