Dialogue in Argentinean Spanish Posted by on Jun 10, 2011 in Spanish Culture

Hey, there!

I found this really cool dialogue in Argentinean Spanish and we’re going to take a look at it and learn some expressions.

– Hola…
– ¿Mami?
– Hola, hija. ¿Cómo estás?
– Bien. Oíme, mami. Me tenés que sacar de un apuro. No sé qué darles de cena a mis invitados esta noche.
– Ay, hija. No te hagas ningún problema. Con un rico asado quedás bárbaro.
– Mamá, recordá que le presté la parrilla a Roxana. Tendría que hacerlo al horno y un asado criollo debe hacerse al aire libre y con carbón y leña.
– Se me acaba de ocurrir… ¿qué tal unas empanadas?
– Vieja… vos sos una especialista en empanadas salteñas, cordobesas, santiagueñas y mendocinas. Pero yo no sé ni siquiera preparar el relleno.
– ¿Y qué te parece un locro?

– ¿Locro? ¡Ni loca! Es más complicado que las empanaadas.
– ¿Qué te parece si llevo unas humitas? A papá no le gustaron y a mí me caen mal.
– Pero, ¿sabés quién viene a cenar?
– ¿Quiénes son tus invitados?
– Ustedes, mami… ustedes…
– Entonces comprá carne al horno con papas en la rotisería.

The dialogue starts with a woman calling her mom, because she’s having some people over and doesn’t know what to serve. She says mami but she could have also used mamá, to refer to her mother. The same goes for padre, you could say papi or papá.

In this dialogue we see a lot of voseo forms, the first one is oíme (listen to me). In neutral Spanish we’d use óigame for the usted form and óyeme for the form. You also hear escuchá used in this context, and Argentineans even drop the first part of the verb and you hear cuchá in everyday conversation.

Moving on, she explains that she needs her mom to get her out of a trouble: me tenés que sacar de un apuro. Sacar a alguien de un apuro means to get someone out of trouble. Here she also uses the voseo form sacás, because it’s used in an informal setting. She explains that she doesn’t know what to serve her guests, no sabe qué darles de cena a sus invitados. Darles de cena means, literally, to give someone something for dinner.

Her mom calms her down and says: No te hagas ningún problema. That means, don’t make yourself any problems or don’t worry about it. She suggests her to serve a delicious barbecue, which is very typical in Argentina, un rico asado. Rico means rich, someone who has a lot of money, but also delicious, yummy. She says that con un rico asado quedás bárbado. Bárbaro is widely used in Argentina to mean great, cool, outstanding… so with a delicious barbecue she would do great.

What mom doesn’t remember is that she lent her barbecue set to Roxana, ella le prestó la parrilla a Roxana. So she’d have to make it in the oven, al horno and an asado criollo, a typical Argentinean barbecue, has to be made al aire libre, outdoors, and with charcoal and wood, con carbón y leña.

All of a sudden, her mom remembers something and she says: Se me acaba de ocurrir. Ocurrir is to think of something and acabar de expresses the idea of something that has just happened. She suggests her daughter to serve empanadas, which is is a stuffed bread or pastry baked or fried in many countries in Latin America and the south of Europe. Her daughter calls her vieja, old woman, which is used as a term of endearment, and says that her mom is a specialist in empanadas from the province of Salta, salteñas, Córdoba, cordobesas, Santiago del Estero, las santiagueñas and from Mendoza, las mendocinas.

However, she feels sorry that she doesn’t know how to make the stuffing, el relleno. So her mom suggests she makes a locro, which is a hearty thick corn stew with potato, meat, and seasoning. As making a locro is no easy task she says: ¿Locro? ¡Ni loca! She means that even if she were crazy she wouldn’t make a locro. The expression ¡Ni loca! can also be used in the masculine form: ¡Ni loco! She says that because making locros is even harder than making empanadas.

Her mom, always coming through, offers to take some humitas. She uses the expression: ¿Qué te parece si…? In Argentina, humitas are prepared with fresh corn, sautéed onions, and spices, depending on the region or taste. The obtained dough is wrapped in corn husks and boiled. It is also common to add some diced cheese to the dough, typically goat cheese. (from Wikipedia). Brazilians have their version of humitas, called pamonhas.

She says that her daddy didn’t like them, a papá no le gustaron, and they didn’t agree with her, a ella no le cayeron bien. Then her mom finds out who’s coming to dinner: she and her husband! So mom tells Roxana to buy roasted meat with potatoes, carne al horno con papas, at the deli, en la rotisería.

Bueno, eso es todo por hoy. Nos vemos prontito.

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About the Author: Adir

English / Spanish teacher and translator for over 20 years. I have been blogging since 2007 and I am also a professional singer in my spare time.


  1. Hyrum:

    Mas común decir ¿Cómo andás? que decir ¿Cómo estás?