9 Phrases You’ll Need to Know When Learning Spanish in Argentina

Are you planning to learn Spanish in Argentina? If so, there are some phrases that your teacher is not likely to teach you. Nonetheless, you will find them fundamental to understanding the people around you, especially on the streets of Rosario.

1. Che

Che would the the English equivalent to “hey” and is used in a variety of ways.

ie: Che,  ¿querés salir esta noche? = Hey, do you want to go out tonight?

2. Buena onda

Buena onda can be translated to something similar to “good vibes” though it is usually used to exclaim how nice or helpful someone has been.

ie: ¡Qué buena onda! 

3. A full

People in Rosario use this expression to talk about how busy the are.

ie: Estoy a full con la facultad. = I am super busy with the University.

4. Ya está

This expression is really flexible in its meaning and is hard to detect its pronunciation as it sounds more like some poor version of a badly spelled German word “shazta.” It is used to say things like, “it’s OK” or “it’s over now” or  “all finished” o “it will pass.” Here are several examples:

Person 1: Voy a lavar los platos esta noche. = I am going to wash the dishes tonight.

Person 2: No no, ya está. = No, I’ve already got it. 

Person 1: ¡Perdón! Me olvidé de tu cumple ayer! = Sorry! I forgot your birthday yesterday!

Person 2: No pasa nada, ya está. = No big deal, it is said and done. 

5. O sea

O sea might be the single most overused word in Rosario, Argentina. It is basically a filler word a kin to that of “like” in the English language and is sometimes used in the same way that “in other words” or “what I mean to say” might be used.

ie: Che,  ¿querés salir esta noche?, o sea, si no tenés otros planes. = Hey, do you want to go out tonight, I mean, if you don’t have other plans.

6. Re

Re is an exaggerator. All you have to do is add it before an adjective and you exaggerate that adjective’s meaning:

Re cansada = super tired 

Re bueno = So good – Sidenote – You can also use this do describe when someone, male or female is good looking: Está re bueno el mozo. = The server is really good looking. 

Re rico = Really yummy

7. Boludo or Boluda

This word is offensive to older people as the word originally took on a meaning similar to that of “big balled.” With time, however, it is a word that most youth use to the likes of the English word “dude” o “man”

ie: No sabes, boluda, estoy re a full con la facultad. = You have no idea dude, I am so busy with the University.

8. Un garrón or Qué Garrón

“Un garrón”can best be described as “a bummer” or something that lets you down.

ie: Anoche, fuí a un asado, y llovío. ¡Qué garrón! = Last night I went to a BBQ and it rained. What a bummer!

9. Dale

Depending on the context, dale has a few different meanings. It could mean, “OK” or “hurry up.”

ie: ¡Dale! ¡Vamos a llegar tarde! = Hurry up! We are going to be late!

Person 1: ¿Querés salir a tomar algo? = Do you want to go out for a drink?

Person 2: ¡Dale!


So let’s put it all together now in a dialogue so you can see how they are used. 

A: ¡Che!  ¡Tanto tiempo!  ¿Cómo andás?  = Hey! It’s been a long time. How are you?

B: ¡Hola! Re bien, aunque estoy a full con la facultad, o sea, no tengo tiempo para nada. = Hello! Super good, but really busy with the university. I have no time to do anything.

A: ¡Qué garrón boludo! = What a bummer dude!

B: Nah, ya está, termino de rendir el viernes. = Nah, it’s ok, I finish my exams on Friday.

A: Ah,  ¡Qué buena onda!  ¿Querés salir después del examen? = Ah, awesome! Do you want to go out after your test?

B: ¡Dale! Nos vemos entonces. = Ok! See you then!