Differences between Colombian Spanish and Argentinian Spanish

Top 3 differences between Colombian Spanish and Argentinian Spanish

Spanish is the second of the most widely spoken languages globally regarding the number of native speakers. It is spoken by more than 500 million people around the globe, and it is the official language of 20 countries.

It doesn’t come as a surprise that our language has numerous different accents, dialects, and slang words depending on the country or region it is spoken in.

Could you imagine the Spanish language without all its accents?

We couldn’t!

That’s what makes the Spanish language so rich and unique. Also, our accents and dialects give us a cultural identity and sense of belonging to our respective countries, regions, and cultures.

We, native Spanish speakers, understand each other perfectly, no matter the accent. Sometimes, we get short on understanding slang, expressions, or jokes from other Spanish-speaking people, but in general, we can get the whole context and communicate easily.

We also recognize that some variations of the language are easier to understand, such as Colombian Spanish, and others are more difficult to understand, such as Argentinian Spanish.

We are not saying this because we are a Colombian Spanish School, go google it and check it yourself…!

What is the difference between Colombian Spanish and Argentinian Spanish?

In one of our previous articles, we talked about the differences between Spanish from Spain and Spanish from Colombia. In today’s article, we will discuss the main differences between two well-known Latinamerican accents: Colombian Spanish and Argentinian Spanish.

For some, these are the hottest Spanish languages in Latinamerica. It might be because of their sing-song tones, hand gestures, and body language.

The Argentinian accent is arguably the most different Spanish variation of the language -along with Chilian, but that’s another story-, and the most difficult to learn. On the other hand, the Colombian accent is considered to be one of the clearest, neutral, and easier Spanish to learn.

Let’s see the significant differences between Argentinian Spanish vs. Colombian Spanish!

1. The Use of the Pronoun You – “usted,” “tu,” and “vos”

In Colombia, we use the three variations of the pronoun “You” in Spanish, depending on the region:

  • Usted: Formal
  • Tú: Informal
  • Vos: Informal and less used. Only in Medellin, Cali, and their surrounding areas.

In Argentina, they only use “vos.”

You might think it is easier to learn Argentinian Spanish since you only need to conjugate the ‘vos’ pronoun. But it is not the case.

Using “vos” implies learning a different conjugation for all the verbs in the present simple, which unfortunately are not used in any other Spanish-speaking country.

If you had already some general Spanish classes, you might have learned things like:

  • ¿De dónde eres? (where are you from?)
  • ¿Qué quieres comer? (what do you want to eat?)
  • ¿Tienes hambre? (Are you hungry?)
  • Escribe aquí tu nombre (Write down your name here)

In Argentina , they would say:

  • ¿De donde sos? (where are you from?)
  • ¿Qué querés comer? (what do you want to eat?)
  • ¿Tenés hambre? (Are you hungry?)
  • Escribí aquí tu nombre (Write down your name here)

2. “Yeismo” in Colombia, and the “sh” sound in Argentina

Yeismo” is very common in most countries in Latin America and especially in Colombia. It means that people pronounce both the letters “Y” and “LL” as the sound of a regular “Y” (In English, “Y” has the sound of the letter “J”)

In Argentina, instead of the regular “Y” sound, they use the “sh” sound. You might be wondering how does it sound, so let’s watch two examples:

Colombian Spanish


Argentinian Spanish


3. Colombian slang vs. Argentinian slang

As with every dialect, Argentina and Colombia have unique slang and expressions. In Colombia, this vocabulary is mainly used in informal conversations among friends, while in Argentina, this vocabulary is widely used among friends, family members, and sometimes even at work.

Argentinians are passionate and very expressive. It is just the way they express their emotions. They use slang and expressions frequently and are known for cursing a lot while speaking without meaning to be rude.

Although we also have cursing words and expressions in Colombia, Colombians are known for being proper and very polite. In Bogota, particularly, people are known for being “extra” polite.” Similar to the English (UK) polite way of talking.

Here is an example of the slang used in Argentina and Colombia and its English equivalent.

Argentinian Spanish Colombian Spanish English equivalent

Argentinian SpanishColombian Spanish
English equivalent
CheParce, MaricaBuddy, hey
Viste…Sabes…You know…
Tal CualTal Cual¡Exactly!
Pasa que …Lo que pasa es que…The thing is
Pibe/aTipo, man/ viejaGuy/girl
CelularCelularMobile phone
Pelotudo/aGüevónStupid (Friendly)
Boludo/aGüevónStupid (Friendly)
¡Qué Quilombo!¡Qué mierdero!What a mess!

Final point

Spanish is a beautiful language, no matter what accent you learn.

While there may be specific differences between Colombian and Argentinean Spanish, the key thing to remember is that they share more in common than not.

Using one instead of the other will not automatically lead to miscommunication. Colombians and Argentinians can usually communicate without too much difficulty, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you aren’t able to remember the subtleties of both languages.

If you want to learn more about Colombia, Bogota, and the Spanish language, we recommend you to read our weekly articles on our Blog.

And, if you are ready to start a new adventure and need some guidance in learning and improving the language, learn Spanish with us!

Hope to see you soon!

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