Costa Rican Spanish

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Costa Rican Spanish is the form of Spanish language spoken in Costa Rica.


The unique or distinguishing characteristics of Costa Rican phonetics include the following:

Second person singular pronouns[edit]


Usted is the dominant second person singular pronoun in Costa Rican Spanish. Some speakers use only "usted" in addressing others, never "vos" or "tú." Others use both: usted and vos, according to the situation.


"Vos" is a second person singular pronoun used by many speakers in certain "familiar" relationships or informal contexts. Voseo is most commonly used in the university context between students. It is also widely use between friends, family, people of the same age etc. Some adults use "vos" in order to address children or juveniles, but other adults address everyone regardless of age or status with "usted." Costa Ricans tend to use 'usted' with foreign people.


"Tú" is rarely used in Costa Rican Spanish, However, due in part to the influence of Mexican television programming, Costa Ricans are familiar with tuteo, and some television viewers, especially children, have begun to use it in limited contexts.


Tiquismos (colloquial expressions) and pachuquismos are used quite frequently in Costa Rica. The latter is a form of popular street Spanish and can be very vulgar and offensive if used in the wrong context. It can be difficult to find the definition of many of these words in a standard Spanish dictionary, and these terms likely will not have the same meaning as in Costa Rica. Learning colloquial expressions can be a guide to understanding the humor and character of the Costa Rican culture.[1][2]

Here are some examples of Costa Rican slang.

  • Mae, ese chante es muy tuanis: "Dude that house is pretty cool".
  • Esta panta no me cuadra porque me chima las piernas: "I don’t like these shorts because they chafe my legs".

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

  1. ^ [1], Christopher Howard’s Guide to Costa Rican Spanish.(2010) ISBN 1-881233-87-1
  2. ^ [2], Blog Guide to Costa Rican Spanish.