Che! Posted by Adir on Jul 24, 2008 in Spanish Culture
¡Che! is an interjection used mainly in Argentina and Eastern Spain (Valencia) and it’s often used to get attention or express surprise. It can be roughly translated as “Eh!”, “Wow!”, or “Hey!”. It’s also used as a discourse marker to initiate an utterance, or tagged at the end of a sentence.
¡Che, está buena la cerveza! – Man, this is some good beer!
Vamos a buscar unas cervezas, che. – Let’s go get some beers, then.
In Brazil, che is used in the southern part of the country, especially by the gaúchos (people from Rio Grande do Sul). Its origin may have derived from several native South American languages, but some people argue that it has its origin from the archaic Spanish word ce, used in order to get someone’s attention. Another theory is that it is connected with the Italian word Ciao (hello or goodbye) introduced in South America by Italian immigrants. Another version is that che is a shortened version of the word escuche (listen) , just like oye, which also means listen.
Here are some interesting articles (in intermediate/advanced Spanish) about the word Che.
– Manuel Talens’ report about Valencian and Argentinian che.
– Etimology of Che.
– Che in the website AsiHablamos (very good Latin American Spanish reference).
Nos vemos prontito!
Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.