You’re competing for one of more than 200 countries taking part in the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Buenos Aires 2018, you’re likely to hear a huge range of languages, accents and dialects around the Athletes’ Village.
But if you want to chat to local people – who are known as ‘Porteños’ – then you’ll need to brush up on your Spanish, or rather your “Rioplatense”. This is the dialect spoken in Buenos Aires, which differs slightly from the Spanish that is spoken in other parts of Latin America and in Spain. There’s also “Lunfardo” – an extensive vocabulary of slang words that are unique to the Argentinian capital, and which you’re likely to hear again and again during the Games.
Here are a few useful phrases to help get you started…
The informal “Che” means “Hey” or “What’s up” and is how most people in Buenos Aires greet each other. You’ll probably hear, “Che, boludo!” quite a lot too – it means, “Hey, dude!”
This phrase literally means “good wave”, but is used for anything with a “good vibe” – you’re sure to be using this to describe the atmosphere at the YOG!
Ponerse las pilas
If you’re lacking energy before your event, then you need to “¡Ponerse las pilas!” It literally means, “Put your batteries in”, but is used in Buenos Aires to encourage someone who is tired to get up and get going!
¿De donde sos?
With athletes from more than 200 countries all gathering together in the Athletes’ Village, you’re sure to meet people from all over the world. If you’re both testing out your local language skills, try asking them “¿De donde sos?”,which means “Where are you from?”
If you want to wish your team-mates or your opponents, “Good luck!”, then all you need to say is, “¡Suerte!”
Lost in the Village? Can’t find your venue? Then “¿Dónde está…?”, which means “Where is…?”, could help you out.
If all else fails and your newfound Spanish skills are letting you down, you could always ask someone, “¿Habla inglés?”– “Do you speak English?”