Both Argentinians and Mexicans speak Spanish, although a bit differently. What are the main differences? We’re going to cover them in this post.
Spanish spoken in Argentina and Mexico is mostly differentiated by slang. They have in common the use of the ustedes form, instead of vosotros like in Spain. Mexicans don’t use the form vos, which Argentinians do, but rather they use tú. The pronunciation is also quite different between countries.
I wanted to first make a comment about how Spanish is different across the world, since it’s the second most spoken language by number of native speakers. Around 400 million people speak Spanish as a mother tongue, so we can definitely say that the language is very diverse.
How is Spanish different across the world?
There are 20 Spanish speaking countries in the world, plus Puerto Rico. This means over 20 accents, slangs, and special ways of speaking the same language.
I always like to clarify that between native Spanish speakers we can all understand each other (mostly). But conversations tend to be very funny, because we have huge slang differences.
Spoken Spanish, in every country, is heavily loaded with slang. Some expressions mean completely different things in different regions and others are similar because they are historical and regions have adapted them with time.
This makes Spanish speakers from different regions not understand each other sometimes, although we share the same grammar. But it tends to be just a confusion and words that get ‘lost in translation’ instead of serious misunderstandings.
The main difference, though, between the Spanish that originated in Spain and the Spanish from Argentina (called español rioplatense), are pronouns. In Argentina and Uruguay, the 2nd person singular and the 2nd person plural pronouns change. Instead of saying tú and vosotros, rioplatense spanish uses vos and ustedes, respectively.
As a general help, this rule mostly applies for Latin America, except for the vos form. That is, in Latin America no one uses vosotros, but rather everyone uses ustedes. The vos form is only used in Argentina and Uruguay. Colombians also use it, but in the intimacy of their homes and only with their families.
Take a look at how the pronouns change:
|Standard Spanish||Argentinian Spanish||English|
What Are the Differences Between Mexican and Argentinian Spanish?
The main differences between Argentinian and Mexican Spanish are similar as the differences with Spanish from Spain. Mexicans also speak with with the tú form of the 2nd person singular, but instead of vosotros, they use ustedes for the 2nd person plural.
This rule applies for the rest of Latin America, except for Argentina and Uruguay where the form tú is not used.
The slang is also very different than Argentinians and Spanish. For example, the word “fresa” in Mexico is used to describe someone “posh“, while in Argentina that word is cheto or cheta. In Spain, posh would be pijo or pija, which means something completely different in Argentina.
At the same time, fresa means strawberry and is used that way in Mexico and Spain, because in Argentina we call it frutilla (and yes, we pronounce it frutisha). Fun right?
Difference 1: Pronunciation
Argentinians have a very distinctive way of pronouncing certain letters and sounds. The letters ‘LL’ and ‘Y’ are pronounced with a SH sound (yes, like shushing).
On the other hands, Mexicans speak more ‘neutral’ regarding pronunciation, but they have a nice intonation while they speak. For example, Mexicans don’t pronounce with SH sounds but they also don’t use the Z sounds very strongly like in Spain.
By ‘neutral’ I mean like they pronounce every letter in a word, not missing any consonants like S’s or D’s, which are very common to miss in the Spanish language while speaking. For example, Puerto Ricans don’t roll their R’s. Instead, they pronounced double Rs as a ‘L’ sound.
Mexicans also use the usted form quite often, which is not very common in Spanish in general. Usted is the formal tone in Spanish, typically used while talking to people on a ‘higher rank’, including elderly people.
In Argentina, the usted form is used less and less with time, but still prevalent in formal situations, such as speaking to a University professor or mostly in work environments while talking to a superior.
Difference 2: slang
Argentinian and Mexican slang is quite different, which makes a conversation between people from these two places very fun. Since both countries are quite far away from each other, expressions are not really similar.
I wanted to put up this list of different expressions (and words!) and how they’re said in Argentina and Mexico so that you can see the differences:
|ENGLISH||ARGENTINIAN SPANISH||MEXICAN SPANISH|
|CARAMEL||Dulce de leche||Cajeta|
Mexicans have vocabulary much more similar to Spanish from Spain than Argentinians. They also take more words from English due to their proximity to English speaking culture in the United States and even Canada.
However, Argentinians have modified the language closer to Portuguese, due to the proximity with Brazil, and to Italian, because of the big immigration wave from Italy in the 20th century.
After looking at some everyday words that we Argentinians and Mexicans use quite differently, here comes my favourite part. The way we say these next expressions differently. Have some fun reading them and let me know in the comments if you have any questions.
|ENGLISH||ARGENTINIAN SPANISH||MEXICAN SPANISH|
|‘For real’||(La) posta||(La) neta|
|Are you kidding me?||Me estás jodiendo?/No jodas!||No mames!/No manches!|
|No worries||No pasa nada||No hay bronca|
|What’s up? (informal)||Qué onda?||Qué hay?|
|To bear with sth.||Bancarse (algo): se la re bancó||Aguantar vara: se aguantó vara|
|That’s it, I’m done (w/sth)||Ya fue||Ahí muere|
|Don’t back off||No te cagues||No te rajes|
|(sth) cool||Re copado/copada||Bien chido/chida|
|To give someone a car ride||Subí que te llevo||Dar un aventón|
|I’m broke (no money)||No tengo un mango||Ando pobre|
|I’ve got free time||Estoy al pedo||Estoy libre|
|I like it (informal)||Me copa||Me late|