Language

Languages spoken in Argentina

The official language spoken in Argentina is Spanish (Español, not Castellano).

The Spanish spoken in Argentina distinguishes itself from Spanish spoken in the other Spanish speaking countries in several aspects. The most striking features are the Italian sounding intonations and the use of a different verbal conjugation in the second person singular form. Argentineans use the ‘ vos’ form instead of the second person form of ‘tu’ used in Spain or most other Spanish-speaking countries. The phrase ‘you know’ in most Spanish speaking countries would be ‘tú sabes’ or just ‘ sabes’. In Argentina this would be ‘ vos sabés’.

The pronunciation of ‘ll’ and the letter ‘y’ in the River Plate area is furthermore distinct in that it becomes ‘sh’, whereas ‘ll’ in Spain is pronounced as ‘j’ or ‘y’ as in “just “or “you”. However, differences in the Spanish spoken in the different Spanish speaking countries are not that great that communication becomes a problem. Whether from Argentina, Ecuador, Mexico or Spain, everybody understands each other.

Though it may come as a surprise to some, Argentina is home to more languages besides Spanish. These languages can be divided in two groups. The first group exists of the indigenous languages spoken in different regions of the country. In the south this is among others Mapuche, Quechua in the Andean Northwest and Toba and Guarani in the Northeast.

The second group holds the languages spoken by immigrants. In the coastal regions of Patagonia, for example in and around Trelew, Rawson and Puerto Madryn, Welsh is spoken. Around Cordoba and near Bariloche large German communities are to be found, there are also pockets of descendants of Italian immigrants. Many of the immigrant groups continue speaking their language to keep their culture alive. French, Polish and Russian are often found languages. Other large communities in Argentina are Koreans, Chinese and Iranians.

Further reading

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