LTNT!

FYI, English speakers love abbreviations AKA acronyms. NTTAWWT but I remember the first time someone said “I need lessons ASAP” and I didn´t understand if they were looking for material, advice or fees. But then, throughout the years, FAQ such as how to say PDA, BFF, PMS, PS began to appear.
Before you start saying that the teenagers and the chat era are the ones to blame remember that acronyms in English are widely used in more formal contexts: OR, ER, ADD, IQ, MO, ATM, etc. Even with presidents´names!
It´s not that in Spanish there is none, but you´ll find considerably fewer and mostly referring to institutions, businesses, academies, organizations, etc.
As for the rest, I´m afraid you´ll have to say the actual words you lazy people. Here are some:

LTNT Hace mucho que no hablamos
FYI Para tu/su información
AKA También conocido/a(s) como
NTTAWWT No es que haya nada malo con eso
ASAP Lo antes posible
FAQ Preguntas frecuentes
BFF Mejor amigo
PMS (Estar) premenstrual
PS Posdata
LOL Me morí/muero de risa
OR El quirófano
ER La guardia
ADD Trastorno por déficit de atención
IQ Coeficiente intelectual
MO Modus operandi
ATM Cajero automático
JFK Guess!
PDA We just call it love 😉

MTFBWY_spanish_lessons_ buenos_aires

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS IN BA (2nd edition)

If you have not read the introduction of the book “Che, boludo” yet, let me quote for you an excerpt:

Argentines love to talk. They comunicate directly, openly and often loudly. In Argentina, there’s no taboo in the use of foul language. A respectable old woman will swear like a sailor and no one bats an eye. Fools are not suffered lightly and anyone behaving in a pretentious or obnoxious manner will be sharply reprimended, sometimes with just a simple gesture of the hands. Political correctness does not exist on Argentina because it would only impede getting your point across. (…) It is evident when Argentines communicate with one another that their freedom of speech is real.

Well, sounds great… and it is even plausible at first sight. However, it is a little too much.

Getting your point across is important in Argentine speech. Yes. Of course with exceptions, it´s ok to call things by its name: avoiding this is making it shameful, something you should feel embarrassed about. Also, it´s true that we often use the imperative form instead of other periphrastic ways to ask for things such as “¿podría decirme?”. We do prefer “vos” instead of “usted”, we kiss sometimes even in a formal situation, etc.

Nevertheless, this does not necessarily mean that there is no political correctness. You can be really offensive.

I always remember a story told to me by an ex-student. She was at a disco and she had asked a man to take a picture of her and her friends. At some moment, he let her camera fall, and she said (trying to sound understanding) “Eh, boludo!” She could not understand why he got angry: she had heard so many times that “boludo” is a word that people use with their friends.

Here is the thing: “boludo” can be used (and it´s actually used) with your friends but it doesn´t make it nicer when you use it with someone you don´t know. Being extremely informal with people you just met feels rude in Buenos Aires too.

Here´s another excerpt:

If you are a little overweight your nickname might be “el gordo”, or if you have a dark complexion they might call you “el negro” or if you happen to be of Polish descent, “el polaco”. 

What the book doesn´t say is that if you are really overweight no one will call you “gordo”, or if you have Peruvian descent your nickname will not be for sure “Peruano”. As I wrote in another post, language is never about grammar. The control on the language is a result of a social situation. The more social prejudice against something, the more careful you have to be when talking about it. In Buenos Aires, having a dark complexion or being of Polish decent has no social implications and there is no prejudice formed against it.

So, in Buenos Aires, you can be extremely polite or rude just as in any other part in the world and it is not always clear for a foreigner whom you can talk to in a certain way and whom you can´t so ¡Ojo! with the use (and abuse) of slang because you might get involved in an uncomfortable situation.

ARGENTINE SPANISH DICTIONARY

Languages, like all human products, are subjected to changes overtime. And when a language such as Spanish, in view of its eventful and long history […] has come to be a thousand years there will inevitably be differences manifesting along and across the broad geography in which it settled.

José Luis Moure
University of Buenos Aires – CONICET – Academia Argentina de Letras

Unlike many dictionaries of Argentinismos (that suggest the idea of a fixed inventory of Spanish words to which one could attach an “expansion pack” of Argentinian slang) this dictionary presents Spanish as it was constituted by the Argentine standard. It includes words shared by other Spanish speaker countries excluding those ones exclusive of other dialects. The different meanings of the words are ordered according to the frequency of use in Argentina.

It´s an essential tool for all those who are living here or who would like to adopt our variety. To start using it click on the link below:

ARGENTINE SPANISH DICTIONARY