I now put myself in the situation of a foreigner who believes that he has already learned how to speak Spanish, and all that is left is to learn about cultures and terms…
Each Spanish speaking country has thousands of common expressions for the region, and many words that can refer to the same thing.
Spanish is a Romance language, meaning that its origins came from Latin, which along with the Roman empire, encompassed a large part of Europe, Africa and Asia. Just like any language it evolved through the centuries.
That is how each country has been developing Spanish through its traditions, its social surroundings, its temperature, and even its circle of friends and mood.
In Latin America, something very peculiar happens with us, and it’s that we use many words to refer to the same object, and we also invent some terms in the moment. But even so, our counterpart understands what we mean when we ask for ‘el cuchiflí’, ‘el bichito ese’, ‘el cosianfiro aquel’, among so many other expressions that we use as Latinos.
Now, to complicate things a little more for people from countries that don’t speak our language, it turns out that in Latin America, terms can have different meanings.
In Colombia you can say: that family caused a ‘scandal’, while in Argentina you will have to use the term ‘Quilombo’ to refer to the same thing.
One more, ‘boludo’ is the best-known Argentinian word, and its equivalent to ‘tio’ in Spain, to ‘parce’ in Colombia or ‘wey’ in Mexico.
In Chile you may be asked for your ‘polola’ which refers to your girlfriend, your ‘jerma’ in Peru, ‘morra’ in Mexico, and ‘pelada’ in Ecuador.
As we can see, it all depends on the context and the Latin country you are in. In this article, we use very colloquial and frequently used words. Now, be careful with what you say because in one country you may be asking for a ‘chaqueta’ as a coat and in another one you may be offending someone using this term.
My advice, find out the words you cannot use and which ones are common for the country you are visiting. This way you can increase your Latin vocabulary.