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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1
vote
6answers
119 views

Is “Arcilla” for “Clay” used only in Spain (or only used outside of Mexico)?

My name is Clay. A Mexican friend finds the name somewhat amusing: as if somebody were named "Dirt," I guess. He said my equivalent name in Mexico would be "Barro." I find that "Arcilla" also means ...
10
votes
8answers
703 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 ...
7
votes
8answers
2k views

¿Cómo se dice regionalmente “coquetear”?

Español (Pregunta: ¿cómo se dice "to flirt" regionalmente?) Sé que la forma correcta de decirlo es "coquetear". Sin embargo, en México usamos la palabra "ligar". He oído que en Chile usan la palabra ...
5
votes
4answers
149 views

Usage of the word acullá

WordReference translates acullá as "yonder." Is this a word that was only used in the past, or is it still used in modern Spanish today? If so, what regions does it appear in and how is it used?
6
votes
3answers
288 views

Is Spain the only country that uses “vosotros” for “you all”?

Is Spain the only country that uses vosotros for you all (informal) instead of ustedes? (In the second-person perspective). Examples: Spain: Vosotros sois inteligentes. Other (?): Ustedes ...
2
votes
3answers
365 views

In what region/country do they pronounce the 'r' at end of Spanish infinitive as 'sh'?

I was watching a television show* the other day during which the presenter made a habit of pronouncing the final 'r' of many infinitives with the 'sh' sound -- thus 'poner' became 'ponesh', and so on. ...
3
votes
1answer
473 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. ...
6
votes
5answers
349 views

¿En qué países la palabra “coger” tiene connotaciones sexuales?

En algunos países hispanoparlantes la palabra coger tiene connotaciones sexuales. La RAE indica "Realizar el acto sexual", pero el problema es que es una expresión malsonante, marcada fuertemente como ...
2
votes
1answer
220 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
4answers
154 views

“Quiero comprarlo” vs “Lo quiero comprar”

Wile studying grammar, I learned that the object pronoun could go in either of the places when the verb is being used as an infinitive. So, for "I want to buy it," both of these sentences would be ...
8
votes
5answers
7k 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 ...
2
votes
6answers
216 views

Correct usage : Papas versus Patatas

Is it simply Spain is using Patatas and the rest of the world is using Papas? What is the distinction?
6
votes
2answers
573 views

Enumeración: Mil millón vs. Billón

En inglés, se dice "one billion" para la cantidad 10^9 (1,000,000,000). Pero en español, he oído la cantidad "mil millones" para la misma cantidad (hasta en los periódicos). Casi nunca he oído la ...
2
votes
2answers
74 views

Usage of the word Zarigüeya

I know that Mexico uses tlacuache, but by action of the TV zarigüeya is entering to Mexico, so I'm curious about the countries were the word is actually used. I'd like to know if there are countries ...
4
votes
3answers
975 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
5answers
508 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
7answers
9k views

What does the word “pinche” mean?

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

¿Es una grosería decir “chíngalo”?

¿Quieres ver la televisión? ¡Chíngalo! Vamos al cine. ¿Sería una ofensa decir "chíngalo" en donde se hable español?
5
votes
3answers
269 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" ?
4
votes
4answers
119 views

¿En qué paises aplica la acepción anatómica de “pito”?

En el DRAE: Pito m. coloq. pene. Esta acepción es conocida en Argentina, pero por lo que me dijeron, no es universal, ni siquiera en Sudamérica. ¿Alguien sabe a qué países aplica y a ...
6
votes
8answers
282 views

¿Por qué la gente se 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, ...
12
votes
5answers
8k views

How prevalent is the phrase “qué padre”?

Here in Mexico, the slang phrase qué padre (or various forms such as muy padre, etc) are quite common, with the meaning "how cool". Is this just Mexican slang, or do other regions use the same ...
15
votes
10answers
5k views

'vos' vs 'tú' usage by country

I lived for a while in Bolivia, and I noticed some people used "vos" instead of "tú" as the second person familiar singular pronoun. Which countries use "vos" instead of "tú", and are there any that ...
1
vote
3answers
155 views

How to Quickly Determine if a Text is in Castilian or Latin-American Spanish

I am learning Spanish for use in Mexico, and not Castilian (European Spanish). I frequently run into Spanish instruction books and other texts that I would like to purchase. My question is, what are ...
3
votes
3answers
105 views

Nombre del símbolo # en varios países

Varias veces, en publicidad radial o televisiva en Colombia, escucho que llaman a ese símbolo como hashtag. Yo lo conozco como numeral, pero estoy seguro que así no se le llama en otros países. ¿Qué ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

¿“Septiembre” or “setiembre”?

Setiembre is only used in Peru, AFAIK, but I wonder if there are any other countries where setiembre, as opposed to septiembre, is also valid. RAE links the definition of setiembre to the definition ...
6
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
138 views

What is the correct way to refer to students in high school and lower?

In English, whether a person is studying in kindergarten or college, they are typically simply referred to as a student. Although we can say a phrase like "grade school student" or "college student" ...
5
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
172 views

“Tener tiempo” vs “Llevar tiempo”

Yo aprendí (en México) decir "Tener tiempo." Ejemplos: Tengo mucho tiempo sin ir al cine. ¿Cuanto tiempo tienes sin ir al cine? (a menudo abreviado: ¿Cuanto tienes sin ir al cine?) ...
2
votes
4answers
257 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 ...
20
votes
6answers
54k views

What's the difference between “vamos” and “vámonos”?

Español Cuando estaba estudiando Español, aprendí que "let's go" es "vamos," pero cuando fui a México, lo único que oído estaba "vámonos." Pregunté a una persona bilingüe allá, pero ella no supe la ...
7
votes
1answer
136 views

Difference between -iera and -iese ending of the imperfect subjunctive

There are two forms of the imperfect subjunctve in use, for example, pudiera, pudieras, pudiera, pudiéramos, pudierais, pudieran and pudiese, pudieses, pudiese, pudiésemos, pudieseis, pudiesen I ...
2
votes
6answers
295 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
0answers
66 views

What words are typically used to refer to vehicles and deliniate between types of vehicles in Latin America [closed]

In the US we typically refer to our vehicles as cars, trucks, vans, SUVs and sometimes wagons (station wagons). How are vehicles typical refereed to in Latin America in every day speech.
3
votes
4answers
240 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
848 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
214 views

¿Es el español de Perú y/o Ecuador realmente más cercano al europeo?

Recientemente estuve con una persona que estudia español, siendo este idioma una lengua extranjera para ella. Me dijo con toda seguridad: "El español de Perú y Ecuador, por ejemplo, se conservaron ...
4
votes
6answers
214 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
97 views
0
votes
7answers
225 views

Fireworks en español

Me interesa saber en que forma puedo traducir esta palabra porque sé que está "Cohete" muy formal además de "Pirotecnia" y "Fuegos artificiales" que son demasiado técnicas. Estoy interesado en saber ...
4
votes
3answers
169 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 ...
2
votes
10answers
1k 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
2answers
237 views

Arriba, Abajo al Centro pa Dentro

"Arriba. abajo, al centro y adentro" o "pa dentro" Tengo mucha curiosidad sobre esa forma de brindar. En México se usa en contextos muy reducidos vinculados con exceso alcohol o en forma de juego; en ...
1
vote
5answers
379 views

Pronunciation of “ll” in Mexico

There are several questions on this site that deal with the correct pronunciation of "ll" and "y" but despite sounding like a duplicate, this question addresses a slightly different issue. I have ...
9
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
1
vote
5answers
180 views

Does “parientes” ever mean “parents,” or is it always “relatives”?

I have two friends who speak Spanish; in the case of one, he grew up in Mexico; in the case of the other, his parents spoke Spanish at home when he was young. They both say that "parientes" means ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

How is the letter 's' (or the 's' sound) pronounced in Spain?

I've heard varying things regarding the pronunciation of the 's' sound in Spain. However, no one was willing/able to explain this to me. How is the 's' sound pronounced in Spain compared to its ...
1
vote
4answers
130 views

Translation of “can”

I know can is poder in Spanish. But generally it would indicate the ability to do something rather than the permission. You cannot drink. No puedo beber. The above sentence could imply: 1) ...
1
vote
5answers
112 views

Spanish for “link”

While listening to a podcast from SpanishPod recently, I came across this section where they were discussing the Spanish for various computer-related terms and one of the hosts gave liga as the ...