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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

6
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
800 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 ...
14
votes
8answers
812 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
186 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
1k 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, ...
8
votes
3answers
860 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 ?
25
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
148 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
1k 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. ...
7
votes
2answers
158 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
141 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?
6
votes
2answers
224 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
185 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
2k 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
716 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
879 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
679 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?
9
votes
1answer
159 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
350 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
566 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
690 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
3k 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
258 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 ...
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 ...
6
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
454 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
1k 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
312 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
5k 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 ...
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
2answers
606 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

What are the main differences between Spanish in Spain and Spanish in Latin America? [closed]

A good analogy is that the difference is like those in British and American English, but what are those differences exactly? Is Spanish in Latin America a branch from that in Spain?
6
votes
1answer
170 views

Are there regions or dialects which use both “tú” and “vos”?

In my experience most places use either "tú" or "vos" for the second person singular intimate/informal pronoun. But I haven't been to every Spanish speaking country and area. Are there places which ...
8
votes
2answers
373 views

Usage of “adiós” in the Basque country

People in the Basque country commonly use local words, such as agur instead of adiós. According to our former Spanish teacher, usage of adiós is unadvisable in the Basque country because of its ...
6
votes
3answers
383 views

Regional use of “genial”

What parts of the Spanish-speaking world regularly use the word genial? Is it only encountered in Spain, or is it common in other regions as well? Edit: It seems like it's more widespread than I ...
3
votes
1answer
406 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 ...