One of the biggest challenges for non-Spanish speaking visitors to Latin American countries is trying to understand the local slang of each country.
Although most Latin American countries speak the same language, some words vary depending on the region. And even each country has its own words that are not used anywhere else.
So this time, we have ten phrases for you to learn some of the Spanish spoken in Colombia.
The word “Vaina” in Colombia refers to an object whose name you don’t remember or don’t know. In English, its equivalent would be the word “thing.”
¿Qué es esa vaina?
2. Parce / Pacero
Parce or parcero is one of the most beautiful words in Colombian Spanish; it means “friend.”
The word parcero is a derivative of the Portuguese word “parceiro” which also means friend, accomplice, or peer.
According to BBC, this word was brought to Medellín in the 1980s.
The word chévere is the equivalent of “Chido” or “Padre” in Mexican Spanish. It is basically used to express that you like something, it is nice, or it is of good quality.
Su chamarra está muy chévere
In other countries, the word “Tenaz” is an adjective that expresses that someone is very perseverant to achieve a goal. Still, in Colombia, this word means that a situation is getting difficult or complicated.
“El baile se puso tenaz, en cuanto llegamos nos robaron la bolsa.”
Contrary to what you may think, the word “tinto” does not refer to wine. In Colombia, they call a cup of coffee “tinto.”
“¿Quiere que le sirva un tinto?”
In Colombia, this verb has nothing to do with camels. It means to work.
“No quiero camellar toda mi vida en la misma vaina”
In Colombian Spanish, the word “bacán” means that someone is very nice. It refers to a very lovely person or who cares about others without expecting anything in return.
“Ese amigo suyo es un bacán”
The word “berraco,” which you have surely heard in some Colombian soap opera or series, means “brave” or “brave.” If a Colombian says that you are a “berraco,” it means that he admires your gallantry.
Se fue solo al monte, ¡es un berraco!
In Colombia, this word means the party or going out to dance with friends. The verb rumbear is also used as a synonym for going out to dance. However, “rumbearse con alguien” means “to make out with someone.”
- Prepárate porque este viernes nos vamos de rumba.
- Sobre el significado de besar: Se rumbeó con él / Se lo rumbeó
The word “Jincho” is used in Colombia to say that someone drank a lot. In other words, to say that he is drunk or in a state of drunkenness.
Ahora no le hagas caso porque está jincho.
And since we are talking about alcohol, the word “Guayabo” is used in Colombia to refer to the hangover, as it is called in Spain, or “Cruda” in Mexico, which is the set of physical ailments after drinking a lot of alcohol.
“Le duele la cabeza porque trae guayabo.”
This is what they call beer in Colombia. It is a colloquial way of referring to this drink, just as in Mexico they call it “Chela.”