Basic Vocabulary in Spanish Across the World
Vocabulary in Spanish is diverse. Spanish is the official language for 20 countries. There are also other countries, like the United States, where Spanish is spoken as a second language by a large community. Therefore, around 500 million people in the world speak Spanish. Is it possible for all those speakers to speak exactly the same Spanish variant? Maybe on another planet, but not on this one!
Argentina isn’t the only country that speaks “differently”. Every Hispanic country has its own Spanish variant or variants. I say variants in plural because most of the time people who live in different provinces or states of one country don’t speak the same way.
All languages have different variants. The English from England isn’t the same as the one in New Zealand. A person born in the North-East of the United States doesn’t speak like a person from the South of that same country. Sometimes words change, accents change, even the slang might change. Therefore, we could be all year long making comparisons when it comes to vocabulary.
Comparing Spanish From Europe vs America
The most common comparison teachers make when it comes to Spanish is that between Europe and America. In this case, we will compare Spain’s vocabulary to Argentina’s vocabulary.
For those of you who have read Spanish books from Spain, some of these words might be familiar. But now is the time to learn how to say these words in Argentina.
Please don’t feel frustrated or overwhelmed. Making comparisons gives you a better idea of what to expect when you travel to a Hispanic country. There is no need to learn all these words by heart.
I will categorize the vocabulary into 5 groups: 1) food and beverage, 2) items in the house, 3) clothing, 4) stores and buildings, and 5) others.
Food vocabulary in Spanish
|La fresa||La frutilla|
|El melocotón||El durazno|
|La piña||El ananá|
|El plátano||La banana|
|El aguacate||La palta|
|El pimiento||El morrón|
|El cacahuate||El maní|
|El maíz||El choclo|
|Las palomitas de maíz||Los pochoclos|
|La goma de mascar||El chicle|
|El zumo||El jugo|
|El batido||El licuado|
|La caña||La pinta|
|La patata||La papa|
House words in Spanish
|La nevera||La heladera|
|La piscina||La pileta|
|El grifo||La canilla|
|El fregadero||La pileta|
|Los fogones||La hornalla|
|La encimera||La mesada|
|El cojín||El almohadón|
|La cobija||La manta|
Clothes vocabulary in Spanish
|La camiseta||La remera|
|La chaqueta||La campera|
|La falda||La pollera|
|Los calcetines||Las medias|
|La braga||La bombacha|
|El sostén||El corpiño|
|El brazalete||La pulsera|
|Los pendientes||Los aros|
Stores and Buildings Vocabulary in Spanish List
|La herboristería||La dietética|
|La charcutería||La fiambrería|
|El estanco||La tabaquería|
|El ayuntamiento||La municipalidad|
|La gasolinera||La estación de servicio|
|La autoescuela||La escuela de manejo|
|La copistería||La fotocopiadora|
|La discoteca||El boliche|
|El coche||El auto|
|El autobús||El colectivo|
|La cometa||El barrilete|
|El columpio||La hamaca|
|El hoyo||El pozo|
Once you have an idea of these lexicon differences, it will be easier for you to engage in conversations with natives. Let’s see some examples.
If you order pineapple juice in Spain, you’ll need to use the words “zumo” and “piña”.
- Quiero un zumo de piña.
In Argentina you have to say:
- Quiero un jugo de ananá.
If you want to buy a t-shirt and socks in Spain, you’ll need to use the words “camiseta” and “calcetines”.
- Necesito una camiseta y calcetines.
In Argentina you have to say:
- Necesito una remera y medias.
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Learn More About Food and Shopping in Spanish!
Check out this amazing resource I created to help students feel confident when shopping at a supermarket in Spanish.