Guatemalan Spanish

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Guatemalan Spanish is the national variant of Spanish spoken in the Central American republic of Guatemala. About 9 million of the 13 million population speak Spanish.[1] It includes the use of the second-person singular personal pronoun vos alongside the standard Spanish second-person singular pronouns and usted to form a three-level system of second-person singular address,[2] all of which would be translated as "you" in English.


Local words include

  • a la gran – oh my God
  • bolo – drunk
  • caite – sandal
  • chapín – Guatemalan (especially a native of the capital)
  • chish - interjection signifying disgust[3]
  • chucho - dog (literally "choo-cho")
  • cincho - belt
  • canche – blonde
  • cabal – right on
  • colocho - curly (usually when speaking of hair)
  • ishto - kid (brat)
  • mosh - oat porridge
  • patojo – child (young people)
  • pisto - money
  • pajilla - straw
  • poporopo - popcorn
  • shuco - dirty (also informal of "hot-dog")

There are also many words unique to Central America, for example, chunche or chochadas or babosadas means "thing" or stuff in some places.[citation needed] The words used to describe children (or kids) vary among the countries in Central America; in Guatemala they are often called patojos. In Guatemala and Honduras the word güiros is also used.[citation needed] In Guatemala (also in Honduras and El Salvador) money is called pisto, a term originally used by Maya peoples in Guatemala.[4]

See also[edit]



Acevedo-Halvick, Ana (June 2006). "Cortesía verbal (introducción)" (PDF). Voces (Universidad Rafael Landívar) 1: 21–71. 
Pinkerton, Anne (September 1986). "Observations on the Tu/Vos Option in Guatemalan Ladino Spanish". Hispania (American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese) 69 (3): 690–698. doi:10.2307/342783. 
Predmore, Richard L. (1952). "El sufijo-al en el español de Guatemala" (PDF). Nueva Revista de Filología Hispánica 6 (2): 140–144. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
Toursinov, Antón (2001). "Lexical peculiarities of Guatemalan national variant of Spanish" (PDF). Intercultural Communication (Chelyabinsk State University): 143–150. 
Toursinov, Antón (October 2002). "Stylistic variability of pronoun addresses in modern Spanish of Guatemala". Language and Literature (Tyumen State University) 17 (3). 
Utgård, Katrine (2006). Fonética del español de Guatemala Análisis geolingüístico pluridimensional (MA thesis) (PDF). University of Bergen.