We tend to focus a lot on porteño lifestyle here at The Bubble, but it’s important to remember that, believe it or not, there’s actually *more* to Argentina than just Buenos Aires. I swear. Grab a map, take a trip, discover the vast regions in this phenomenal country, why don’t you? Besides the diverse landscapes, culinary traditions, and idiosyncrasies that you’re bound to run into, there’s also something quirky yet very telling to keep an eye (or an ear) on: regional slang and language.
That’s right, this is a post about the way Argentines talk, a timely one at that, since the 8th International Congress of the Spanish Language is taking place in the city of Córdoba from March 27th and will feature the first ever dictionary cordobés called Las Hablas de Córdoba. But before we go any further, let us present a nice little intro to this subject, courtesy of Matzorama, a journalist, Instagrammer, and expert on all things Córdoba.
Córdoba is the land of many legends: El Potro, La Mona Jiménez, Argentina’s Oktoberfest, cuarteto, something known as prittiau, and so much more. And anyone who has had the pleasure of meeting a cordobés will surely comment on the lilting accent that is so distinctive and different from other parts of Argentina.
So what exactly is Las Hablas de Córdoba and how did it happen? Well, back in 2017 a group of researchers from the Language Faculty of the National University of Córdoba received a grant from the province’s Science and Technology ministry. With that in hand, they travelled over 2,500 kilometers in six selected parts of the region (Cura Brochero, Villa del Rosario, Villa Tulumba, Huinca Renancó, Marcos Juárez and, of course, Córdoba city) and completely dissected the way the locals spoke. Everything from their pronunciation to their verb tenses, all the way to their popular sayings and proverbs, everything was put under a microscope.
The result is an interactive website that goes deeeeeep into the Cordobés lexicon. One of the best things about it is you can approach it from several different angles. If you want to go the historic route, there’s an analysis of the different groups that left their mark on the slang, including colonial influences from way back in the days like indigenous tribes, Spanish conquerors, African slaves and, more recently, World War II veterans and survivors from Italy and Germany. You can also approach the subject from a much more playful angle, since it will also have several interactive games for users to learn about Cordobés expressions.
If that weren’t enough, the site includes quite possibly the largest collection of expressions from Córdoba ever assembled, including at least four for Fernet (“Fernando,” “morocho,” “70/30,” and “ferloncho”) and at least seven for red wine (“ñoña,” “nativo,” “mezclado,” “sodeao,” “tetra,” “totín,” “toro,” “cajita,” and “tintillo“), besides some truly insane popular sayings like comparing an erection to picking up your first born grandchild (“Alzado como primer nieto”) and one that expresses being so drunk that you’re even drinking the water meant for the chickens (“Tomar hasta el agua de los poios”).
So, by all means, dive headfirst into this cool project and learn more about one of the most colorful inhabitants in all of Argentina: the Cordobés!