Uruguayan Spanish

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Uruguayan Spanish
Español uruguayo
Native toUruguay
RegionRioplatense Spanish
Native speakers
3,347,800, all users in Uruguay (2014)[1]
L1 users: 3,270,000 (2013)
L2 users: 77,800 (2012)
Latin (Spanish alphabet)
Official status
Official language in
 Uruguay (de facto)
Regulated byAcademia Nacional de Letras
Language codes
ISO 639-1es
ISO 639-2spa[2]
ISO 639-3
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Uruguayan Spanish (Spanish: Español uruguayo or castellano uruguayo) is the variety of Spanish spoken in Uruguay and by the Uruguayan diaspora. Uruguayan Spanish is recognized as a variety of Rioplatense Spanish.


  • There is strong influence of Italian and its dialects, particularly Genovese,[3] because of the presence of large Italian communities in the country (for example in Montevideo and Paysandú). The Uruguayan accent differs from the accents of Spain and other Spanish American countries, except for Argentina, due to Italian influence. There are many Italian words incorporated in the language (nona, cucha, fainá ("farinata, chickpea flour crêpe"), chapar, parlar, festichola ("house party"), etc.), as well as words of Italian derivation (for example: mina derived from femmina, or pibe ("child") from pivello).
  • In the southeastern department of Rocha, as well as along the northern border with Brazil[4] there is some influence of Portuguese, with Portuguese/Spanish code-switching known as Portuñol.

Tuteo and voseo[edit]

The variety of Spanish used in Montevideo and the whole southern region of the country exhibits use of the voseo form of address, with the pronoun vos instead of the form. In other areas of the country, is more commonly used than vos. In some places, is used, but with the conjugation corresponding to vos, as in: tú tenés, instead of tú tienes (tuteo) or vos tenés (voseo). Tuteo is much more commonly used in Rocha and in some parts of Maldonado.[5]

The formal pronoun usted is used in very formal contexts, such as when speaking to government authorities.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Spanish → Uruguay at Ethnologue (21st ed., 2018)
  2. ^ "ISO 639-2 Language Code search". Library of Congress. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  3. ^ Meo Zilio, Giovanni (1963–64). "Genovesismos en el español rioplatense". Nueva Revista de Filología Hispánica. T. 17, No. 3/4 (1963/1964): 245–263. JSTOR 40297676.CS1 maint: Date format (link)
  4. ^ D. Lincoln Canfield, Spanish Pronunciation in the Americas (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981), p. 89.
  5. ^ Weyers, Joseph R. (2014-09-03). "The Tuteo of Rocha, Uruguay: A Study of Pride and Language Maintenance". Hispania. 97 (3): 382–395. doi:10.1353/hpn.2014.0087. ISSN 2153-6414.