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Old February 14, 2007, 12:42 AM
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Slang... *sigh*

I'm a big fan of IRC chat. I like to converse with people on various topics of interest to me in a real-time setting, as well as in a forum environment. One day, a Spanish-speaking friend of mine invited me over to a network that he frequently chats on that consists mostly of Spanish-speaking people. I happily followed, ecstatic at the opportunity to exercise and grow my language skills.

I joined the chat, successfully introduced myself and met the chat's regulars, and eagerly awaited participating in la conversación de la hora.

So I sat, and braced myself for the flood of beautiful Spanish words that would tickle and excite my brain. What came, though, wasn't what I expected. In the place of what I thought were Spanish words, appeared completely foreign to me. Some looked like they could even be German.

I frantically checked to be sure I was in the right chat room, thinking that I couldn't possibly be in a Spanish one. Sure enough, I was. I asked my friend what these obscure words were, and he said it was common Argentinian slang.

I thought I could speak Spanish pretty good, but this event has brought me back down to the bottom again. Of course, I could communicate O.K. with these Argentinian chatters, but I felt completely out of place because it seemed to me I was speaking like a "grammar communist", so to speak, and I couldn't follow the conversation very well. What bothered me most, however, was that there were many things I said that everyone else in the room couldn't understand because there was an Argentinian slang version they knew instead.

So now I am given a huge list of Argentine slang words to learn.
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  #2  
Old February 14, 2007, 01:29 AM
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Hi zach

even for me as a native (from Spain) it's very difficult to understand Argentinian slang. I have also problems with reggaeton, for example.
So don't worry and try to learn :-)
PD: The goal was that they understand you, and you made it.
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Old February 14, 2007, 03:32 PM
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Yeah, I agree slang is the hardest thing about learning Spanish.
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Old February 15, 2007, 03:32 PM
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I agree with sosia. Don't worry so much about the slang for now. Keep focused on learning "standard Spanish" and after you're really fluent in that, you'll see that you already know some slang.

About the Argentinian slang specifically, you as a native US English speaker, imagine yourself in a Australian chat room full of Australian slang- I guarantee you there will be words expressions that you won't understand, or worse that you'll misunderstand. So I wouldn't give that particular slang a very high priority unless you plan on living there for a long time. If you learn Argentinian slang and then go to live in Costa Rica, it's not going to do you much good.
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