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Like any language, Spanish has plenty of slang. Some runs across generations and is an essential part of day-to-day vocabulary. Other elements are almost exclusively used by the younger generations. Much is specific to certain countries or regions. But it’s all part of the language and can be helpful to know, even if you don’t use it frequently yourself. Here’s a short list of helpful Spanish slang:
¿Mande? / Asking someone to say the same thing over again when you didn’t catch it (Mexico)
Piola / Cool (Argentina)
Duro / Money (Spain)
Güey / Dude (Mexico)
¿Qué huele? / What’s up (Spain)
¿Qué tal? / What’s up? (Mexico)
Fome / Boring (Argentina)
Mate / Madly in love (Cuba)
Chamba / Work (Peru & Mexico)
Comerse el coco / To overthink (Spain)
Rosetta Stone’s Dynamic Immersion® methodology teaches you to speak the language, not just memorize the words. What makes it effective is that we prepare you to use your new language in your everyday life. So it’s not just about the features, but what you’re able to do because of them. It helps you get ready to handle situations with confidence.
Learn Spanish Words and Phrases
For new language learners, there are some basic building blocks that are a great place to start. These are essential Spanish words and phrases such as who, what, why, when, where, yes, no, please, and more. Mastering these basics can put you on the path to having everyday conversations in Spanish. Here’s a more complete list of the basic words and phrases:
¿Quién? / Who?
¿Qué? / What?
¿Por qué? / Why?
¿Dónde? / Where?
Sí / Yes
No / No
Hola / Hello
Me gusta / I like
No me gusta / I don’t like
Adiós / Goodbye
Por favor / Please
Gracias / Thank you
Lo siento / Sorry
Salud / Bless you
If you already speak another major European language, learning Spanish should go smoothly. Because English, just as Italian and French, has deep roots in Latin, and these languages all share thousands of words with contemporary Spanish. These shared words are called cognates and have significant similarities in spelling and/or pronunciation. That’s why you’ll notice that there are many English words and phrases like the word “celebrate” that sound remarkably similar in French (célébrer), Italian (celebrare), and Spanish (celebrar).
To fine tune your pronunciation, you’ll need immediate feedback on your efforts. This feedback guides you in making needed corrections. Rosetta Stone helps you dial in your pronunciation with our TruAccent™ speech-recognition engine. TruAccent compares your voice to native and non-native speakers—to give you the feedback you need for the most accurate pronunciation. It’s also adjustable, which allows you to tweak your accent as needed. TruAccent is a powerful tool for helping you learn and speak the Spanish language.
Once you have learned to pronounce basic words and short phrases, it’s a natural transition to move to the longer phrases you’ll use in everyday conversation. Rosetta Stone’s short, 10-minute lessons are built in just this way—first teaching the basics, then tackling the longer phrases. This approach helps you acquire the skills to speak Spanish with confidence.
Try Our Award-Winning App
Surround yourself with Spanish (Latin America) whenever, wherever with the Rosetta Stone app.
Download a unit and knock it out on the train or a flight. Select a 5-10 minute lesson and sneak it in while you wait in line or for your ride to show up. And explore dynamic features, like Seek and Speak, where you can point at an object in the real world and get a translation.
The best part? You don’t have to choose between app or desktop. Both come with your subscription and sync, so you can switch between devices seamlessly.