Observation on Buenos Aires

Well the last two weeks have been fun. Lots of classes, homework, and cultural activities. We have toured some historic parts of town, and been to a ton of street markets, where I successfully haggled again! The weather has been much better than August, with it getting up to over 90 degrees on Tuesday. However, winter isn’t through with us yet and a cold front moved through Thursday keeping it down to around 50 for the next week or so.

After being here nearly two months, I have finally gotten a handle on the local accent and dialect of Spanish. This country is very distinct in many ways. First of all, they call Spanish “Castellano” here instead of “Español.” Probably the biggest difference between Spanish from Mexico that we learn and Argentinian Spanish is the fact that they use “Vos” instead of “Tu” when conjugating verbs in the “you” form. Instead of the usual conjugation, you usually keep a verb in its infinitive form, knock off the r at the end and replace it with an s while adding an accent over the last vowel in the world. I try to use vos but it is very hard to remember to conjugate differently after learning one way for years.

The other major difference in accent is that the “ll” is not pronounced as a “y” sound like in Mexico but rather with an English “sh” and “j” sound. They also pronounce the letter “y” the same way. Example, the word for an American (Yankee) would be pronounced Jankee remembering that I am using a J as an English speaker would, not with the “h” sound that a J has in Spanish. Sorry if that was confusing, but that is learning another language for you.

The other points of distinction for the local accent is that people from Buenos Aires are famous for talking very fast and have very sing-song accents. For the next entry, I will try to compile a list of slang words that they use down here.

Next Sunday, September 22 I will be headed across the River to Uruguay! It will be very nice to escape the city for a day.

Thanks for reading!

Scott

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