5 Cool Expressions That Can’t Be Translated From Argentine Spanish to English

Transitioning from Argentine Spanish to English can oftentimes present challenges. Have you ever encountered expressions in Argentine Spanish that leave you puzzled when attempting to find their English equivalents? Well, don’t sweat it! 

Argentinian Spanish is filled with special phrases that can’t be easily translated into English. In this blog post, we’ll explore five interesting expressions that reveal the unique charm of the language and the difficulty of finding their English equivalents. So, if you’re curious about untranslatable Argentinian Spanish expressions, stay tuned!

From Argentinian Spanish to English

Untranslatable Expressions

1. “Ser infumable” – To Be “Impossible to Smoke”:

In Argentine Spanish, this expression describes something or someone that is truly unbearable, insufferable, or intolerable. Whether it’s a tedious lecture, a tiresome task, or a person with an obnoxious personality, this phrase captures the sentiment perfectly.

Ejemplo: ¡No puedo escuchar al infumable este!

2. “Billetera mata galán” – Wallet Kills the Charmer:

This expression conveys the idea that wealth or financial status can overshadow other attractive qualities. It implies that having money can make someone more appealing or influential, even if they lack other desirable qualities. It’s a reflection of society’s emphasis on material wealth.

Ejemplo: ¿Podés creer que María está saliendo con el dueño del hotel? ¡Billetera mata galán? 

3. “Mandar fruta” – To “Send Fruit”:

In Argentine Spanish, this phrase is used to describe someone who talks nonsense, makes things up, or provides unreliable information. It’s as if they are “sending fruit” instead of conveying accurate or meaningful messages. It’s a playful expression that captures the act of babbling or talking without coherence.

Ejemplo: No me preparé para el examen, así que mandé fruta.

4. “Caretear” – To Put on a Mask:

This expression refers to the act of pretending, putting on a fake persona, or wearing a metaphorical mask to deceive others. It’s used when someone is acting in a disingenuous or insincere manner, presenting themselves differently from their true nature or intentions.

Ejemplo: Los políticos no dejan de caretear.

5. “Te fuiste al pasto” – You “Went to the Grass”:

The funny phrase “te fuiste al pasto” is an idiomatic expression used in Argentina. It is a colloquial way of saying that someone has gone too far, overreacted, or made a mistake. The literal translation is “you went to the grass” or “you went to the pasture.”

In everyday usage, Argentinians might say “te fuiste al pasto” when someone has acted in an excessive or exaggerated manner, whether it be in their behavior, statements, or reactions. It implies that the person has gone beyond what is expected or acceptable, and often carries a sense of surprise, disapproval, or even humor.

The phrase has its roots in rural imagery, where “pasto” refers to grass or pastureland. When someone “se fue al pasto,” it means they have strayed away from the intended path or action, often by exaggerating or deviating from what is considered appropriate or reasonable.

Ejemplo: ¿Le dijiste “tonta” a la profesora? ¡Te fuiste al pasto!. 

Conclusion

As a conclusion, transitioning from Argentine Spanish to English is an exciting journey. However, sometimes you might encounter perplexing expressions along the way. Embrace the five we’ve discussed – “ser infumable,” “billetera mata galán,” “mandar fruta,” “caretear,” and “te fuiste al pasto” to understand vibrant Argentine culture. 

Engage with native speakers, immerse yourself, and appreciate the beauty of these unique phrases. Understanding language goes beyond words and reveals the essence of a culture. If you need assistance with translations, keep reading.

Keep reading about this topic: The Most Basic Vocabulary in Spanish that Surprisingly No One Knows.

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¡Hola! Soy Melany

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I’m so happy you’re here! My name is Melany and I help language learners speak Argentine Spanish. I primarily teach Argentine slang and idioms, how to sound more natural and to speak Spanish with confidence.

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