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Speaking the Language

Argentina - Speaking the Language

The official language spoken in Argentina is Spanish. However, the Spanish spoken in Argentina is slightly different from that of other Spanish speaking countries. Argentine Spanish has Italian intonations and different verbal conjugations. Argentineans say vos to mean the second person instead of tu, used by other Spanish-speaking countries. The common phrase ‘you know’ in most Spanish speaking countries would be tu sabes, while in Argentina it would be vos sabes. Pronunciation of ii and y is distinct in Argentina to a point where it becomes sh, while in Spain this is j or y. However, these differences are not so great as to hinder communication. Spanish speakers from Mexico, Ecuador, Spain and Argentina usually understand each other.

It comes as a surprise to many that as well as Spanish, there are various other languages spoken in Argentina. The languages spoken can be divided into two groups. The first group is indigenous languages, which includes Spanish, and the second group is languages spoken by migrants. Over the years, migrants and expats from different countries have settled in Argentina, meaning their languages are widely spoken among themselves as well as by others in the area. Welsh, German, Polish, French, Italian and Mandarin are some of the languages spoken by the expats in this country.

Factors such as the beauty of the country, the quality of life, cost of living and the friendly nature of the local people make Argentina an ideal destination for expats. There are various options for learning Spanish in this country. Learning Spanish might not be easy, but it is recommended if you want to have a memorable stay in Argentina. You could try learning the language before traveling to the country. Start by watching Spanish films and listening to Spanish radio stations. If you live near native Spanish speakers, you can post an advert looking for a language exchange partner.

Once you arrive in the country, improve your language skills by practicing. In general, Argentinians love to talk. Therefore, you can practice speaking Spanish as you mingle with local people. It is common to find someone still seated in a cab after reaching their destination as they wait for conversation with the cab driver to end. You are bound to make errors as you practice, but try not to worry about this as you will learn from mistakes. Pay attention to the melody and pronunciation while listening to local people speak. A common mistake made by most language students is speaking the language only inside the class and then switching to their native language once they get out of class. Socializing with your classmates and with local people in Spanish will help. This might seem daunting, but this is the quickest way to learn the language, so will be worthwhile.

There are various language programs and schools in Argentina. International language schools and Argentinian Universities offer courses in languages. The courses are divided into four categories: intensive group courses, part time group courses, one on one courses, and study and travel courses. First you need to figure out your objective for learning the language. Are you looking for the basic level of speaking and understanding or would you like to eventually study in a Spanish speaking language university? Perhaps your aim is to learn how to do business in Spanish. In any case, the various language schools, private tutors and universities have a variety of well-planned courses that will help you get what you are looking for.

It is also important to consider the different levels of language courses offered by language schools. If you already have a basic understanding of Spanish, there is no need to start from beginner’s level; instead, you can take advanced courses. Some language schools offer customized language courses suited for certain professions such as business or health care. If you decide on group courses, consider the size of the classes. This will vary among language schools. However, smaller groups tend to make better progress than larger groups. In addition, the number of people able to enroll for each course will vary. Universities have fewer enrolments than language schools.

Your choice may be affected by the average age of classes. Some language schools organize classes according to the age of the students. If you would like to study with people closer to your age, be sure to ask about the average age of your class. As well as age, there is also nationality to consider.

The cost of studying in a language institution is determined by several factors including group size, city, reputation, student language level, location, housing, extra facilities and intensity. Registration fees and cost of learning materials are usually paid for in most language schools. International language schools charge in USD. On the other hand, Argentinian language schools use the local currency. However, the quality of education in international language schools is usually higher than local language schools.

It is common practice for students involved in student exchange programs to be granted the chance to get student credits or scholarships from their local institution. This happens when they are taking a language course before they start their classes in the guest school. However, do remember that not every student who attends a language school qualifies for scholarship or student credits. It is wise to be well informed about the requirements at your learning institution.

When it comes to cities with the most choice in language courses, Cordoba and Buenos Aires stand out. Other language schools give students the opportunity to study in cities such as Mendoza, Ushuaia and Bariloche. Find out when and where classes are offered so that you can get one that suits your location and timing. If you’re going to an evening or night-time class, you might then be safer attending those classes in secure areas such as business districts. Think also about how you will be able to travel to your language school; ensure you can do this easily from where you live. You might want to consider schools that also offer housing facilities. In such cases, they can organize shared housing with other students or set you up with an Argentinean family to host you.

Language Schools in Argentina
Vamos Spanish Academy
Argentina: (+54) 11-5984-2201
US/Canada (Toll Free): 1-888-808-1242
United Kingdom (Toll Free): (+44) 800-0488946

Ailola Buenos Aires
Call Mon-Fri, 9am-5.30pm.
Argentina: (+54) 11-4383-7706
UK: (+44) 207-183-4478
US: (+877) 353-2247
Email: info@ailolabuenosaires.com

Expanish Language School
Argentina: (+54) 11 5252 3040
USA: (+1) 888 EXPANISH (397-2647)
Whatsapp: (+54) 11 6047-1487
Address: 25 de Mayo 457, 4th floor
1002ABI Buenos Aires, Argentina
Email: contact@expanish.com

Read more about this country

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.