Argentinian speech is not just full of unique intonation and pronunciation, but lots of slang and colloquial phrases, as well. If you ever hang out with Argentinians and do not understand half of what they are saying, even if you speak Spanish, do not feel bad; you are not alone!
Instead, let us help. We have put together these top 3 movies and TV shows that can help you learn useful Argentinian slang while enjoying some great entertainment. So sit back, relax, and discover new words and phrases with these great options.
Relatos Salvajes – Wild Tales
This critically acclaimed black-comedy movie is an accurate depiction of today’s Argentinian society. It comprises six short films, each of them telling an independent story with the common theme of violence and vengeance. The popular saying “the straw that broke the camel’s back”—or its Spanish counterpart “la gota que colmó el vaso”—is present throughout the movie.
In Relatos Salvajes, you will hear one of the most prominent features of Argentinian Spanish: “el voseo.” Unlike other Spanish varieties, Argentinians never use “tu”; they only use “vos” for the second-person singular. This changes how they conjugate verbs, which you can hear throughout the movie. Some examples are “tenés” instead of “tienes” and “pagás” instead of “pagas.”
The movie also features very typical terms that Argentines use in their everyday lives, such as “guita,” “mangos,” and “plata” to refer to money. A very popular expression is “dos mangos” (meaning “two pesos”), which can be used to say that something is extremely cheap, like “este auto vale dos mangos” (“this car costs two pesos”).
Other slang terms present in the scene below are ways in which Argentinians address each other informally, like calling each other “loco.”
So, the next time your Argentinian friend calls you “loco,” do not get offended! As the movie shows, they are being friendly.
Los Simuladores – The Pretenders
Los Simuladores is one of the few Argentinian TV series that almost all Argentines love. The plot revolves around four partners who help people solve their problems through carefully planned simulations. The way they do this is very ingenious and it is sure to leave you in awe!
Throughout the show, not only will you be able to understand some of the problems that many people in Argentina face, but you will also see the way they think and speak.
For example, in this well-known scene, you can see how one of the clients claims that public officials in Argentina are all “coimeros” (people who accept bribes), which is a common belief among Argentinians!
Meanwhile, in the funny scene below, you can also see some typical Argentinian phrases, like “Más vale que… ,” which people use to express wishes in a threatening way (similar to “You had better…”). You could use this phrase to say things like “Más vale que vengas” (“You had better come”) or “Más vale que esté buena la película” (“The movie had better be good”).
The best thing is that these scenes are not isolated examples, but are very common throughout the whole show.
Although this show aired in 2002, it is still very present in most Argentines’ minds, and you can even find it on Netflix or watch it on the show’s official site for free!
El Secreto de sus Ojos – The Secret in Their Eyes
This Argentinian masterpiece is very well-known worldwide, and even won an Oscar! The movie depicts how a retired judiciary employee tries to find the culprit of one of the biggest unresolved cases of his career. It goes back and forth in time showing the development of the case in 1975 and how the protagonist is trying to find the main suspect in 1999. Its gripping plot will have you on the edge of your seat!
The movie is full of Argentinian slang throughout. In the short scene below, for example, you can see two friends talk about “un tipo” (a guy) and describe “un tugurio” (a bar with a bad reputation). This movie will also teach you that, if a friend wants to “ponerse en pedo” with you at a “tugurio,” he is not asking you to do anything gross; he is inviting you to get drunk!
In addition to having a great time watching these award-winning Argentinian movies and TV shows, you will learn how Argentines truly speak. After learning some of these expressions, you will impress your Argentinian friends with your understanding of the local customs and slang!
Interested in furthering your knowledge of Argentinian Spanish? Explore our online and in-person Spanish classes with native-speaking teachers and learn all the nuances of the language!