There are a lot of myths regarding Argentinean accent and grammar, but most of them are based on misconceptions. So first of all, it is very important to know there is no such thing as “neutral”, “true” or “proper” Spanish. Not only every country, but every region inside each country has its own dialect. More than that, in the context of each dialect, people speak very differently depending on their age, social class, educational level, etc.
Spanish in Argentina is not an exception: we speak differently than Chilean or Paraguayan people, but the fact is the biggest language differences lay between Spanish from Latin America and the one spoken in Spain. The obvious reason is the historical differences and the huge geographical distance between America and Europe. These differences are, of course, smaller between Hispanic American countries.
Spain is the only country where you’ll hear “vosotros” (meaning plural “you”), while in all the rest of the Spanish speaking countries, we use “ustedes”, which is conjugated differently.
The term usually (and wrongly) known as the Argentinean “vos” (meaning singular “you”) also replaces the more famous “tú” in Uruguay, Paraguay and the east of Bolivia, while it’s also widely used in most countries in Central America, and also Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Panama and Peru.
So, besides the use of “vos”, what are the most distinctive features of Spanish in Argentina?
| THE ACCENT | Spanish in Argentina has a distinct sound: when most Spanish speakers pronounce /j/, we say /ʃ/. Furthermore, we tend to aspirate the /s/ more than other Spanish speakers when it comes before another consonant.
| LUNFARDO | We have our own “historic slang”, born in Buenos Aires between the end of the XIX century and the beginning of the XX century, which rapidly spread to other areas of Argentina and Uruguay. It became famous for its particular creativity and its protagonism in Tango lyrics. It includes a lot of Italian words and neologisms influenced by Italian language, and we still use some of these words and expressions today.