Introducing myself: Spanish de un lado y del otro Posted by on Apr 9, 2015 in Spanish Vocabulary

I would like to introduce myself as I will be one of the new Spanish bloggers for Transparent Language. My name is Paula and I have been working as a freelance translator and writer since 2009. Although my university training includes English, Literary theory and Comparative literature, my passion for languages has led me to study Catalan, French, Italian, German and Russian. I will be posting writing tips in Spanish, and also on cultures and literatures of Spanish-speaking countries throughout the world and more.

One of the services I provide as a freelancer is adaptation, transcreation and localization for different Spanish-speaking markets. As you may well be aware of, Spanish is spoken by more than 400 million people in Europe, America and Africa. Being a native from Argentina and having lived for a decade in Barcelona, Spain, I have specialized in the different usages, vocabulary and pronunciation of Spanish. For business purposes, these differences have been narrowed down to two variants: European and Latin American, although one could argue a Puerto Rican and a Uruguayan may actually not be able to understand each other. At least, not necessarily more so than a Spaniard and a Chilean.

As an introductory post, I leave you with an extremely funny video on the different meanings the same words can have throughout Latin America and Spain. It’s written by Juan Andrés and Nicolás Ospina who make the duo Inténtalo Carito. It’s called Qué difícil es hablar en español, it was a YouTube hit a couple of years ago, but it hasn’t lost a bit!



Vocabulary in the song:

  • Pana,
    • España: corduroy
    • Colombia: friend, pal
  • Porro
    • Colombia: Cumbia-rhythm music style
    • Rest of the world: a joint of marijuana
  • Chucho, chucha
    • Chile: interjection, also meaning very far away (“A la chucha”)
    • Colombia: sweat
    • Salvador y Guatemala: mongrel doggy
    • Honduras: stingy, also familiar for Jesus
    • Argentina: shivers
    • Chile: jail
    • Mexico: skilful
  • Chivo
    • Uruguay and Argentina: sweat
    • Rest of the world: goat-like animal
  • Frijol, poroto and habichuela: beans
  • Fresa
    • Most of the world: strawberry (in Argentina, frutilla)
    • Mexico: posh (in Argentina, cheto)
  • Pastel, ponqué, torta: cake
  • Torta
    • Spain: slap in the face
  • Capullo
    • Spain: idiot
    • Rest of the world: flower bud
  • Jugo
    • Spain: juice from meat, gravy
    • Rest of the world: fruit juice
  • Zumo
    • Spain: fruit juice
  • Sumo
    • Sumo pontífice: the Pope
    • Japanese martial art
  • Mamado
    • Most of the world: drunk
    • Mexico: inappropriate
    • Colombia: tired
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About the Author: Paula

Born in Buenos Aires, living in Barcelona, I mostly write about cultural topics in Spanish from Spain and Latin America.


  1. Alisa:

    Hello, Nice to meet you here!

    • Paula:

      @Alisa Hi Alisa! Thanks for welcoming me! I hope you find my posts interesting or at least helpful to learn!