We have only been here a very short time but have found many differences in the Spanish used here in Uruguay compared to Ecuador and Panama. First the dialect spoken in Uruguay is called Rioplatense for the River Basin that runs into the ocean here in Uruguay bordering Argentina.
Here are just a few of the language and pronunciation differences:
- English Spanish Ecuador Spanish Uruguay
- suitcase maleta valija
- shoe zapato calzato
- pineapple pina anana
- avocado aguacate palta
- market mercado feria
- typical greeting como esta que tal
- you tu vos
- y or ll ja or ya sh sound
- butter mantequilla mantica
- cone (ice cream) cono bocha
- chicken pollo pollo pronounced ll like sh – posho
- beach playa playa pronounced y like sh – plasha
- boardwalk malecon la rambla
- red pepper pimiento rojo morron
- sweet potato camote boniato
- ketchup salsa de tomate ketchup
- hot sauce aji Tabasco
There are so many differences in the language but it is exciting learning something new.
Fashion is different as well, of course coming from the coast of Ecuador we mostly wore shorts, tank tops and flip-flops. Here the women’s shoe styles are so different I had to write an entire article on the shoes alone, I posted that a few weeks back. But they also are wearing long skirts or long dresses as well as knee-length and longer sweaters or vests. Many people walk around with their maté cup, straw (called a bombilla) and thermos everywhere they go, all day and all night long. Some even have a leather carrying case to hold everything. Also, there are many brands of maté and they come in huge bags. Drinking yerba maté has been elevated to an art form here. I will do an entire post on these in the near future.
So we keep learning and keep enjoying our new culture.