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Guatemalan Spanish


Guatemalan Spanish

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.


  • Vocabulary 1
  • See also 2
  • Notes 3
  • References 4


Local words include

  • a la gran – oh my God
  • bolo - drunk
  • caite - sandal
  • chapín - Guatemalan (specially a Capital City`s native)
  • 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 "hog-dog")

There are also many words unique to Central America, for example, chunche or chochadas or babosadas means thing or stuff in some places. 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. In Guatemala (also in Honduras and El Salvador) money is called pisto, a term originally used by Maya peoples in Guatemala.[4]

See also


  1. ^ Where Spanish is spoken: Countries and number of people speaking Spanish
  2. ^ Pinkerton 1986, p.690.
  3. ^ Online dictionary of the Real Academia Española (Spanish)
  4. ^ Honduras slang


Acevedo-Halvick, Ana (June 2006). "Cortesía verbal (introducción)". Voces ( 
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.  
Predmore, Richard L. (1952). "El sufijo-al en el español de Guatemala". Nueva Revista de Filología Hispánica 6 (2): 140–144. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
Toursinov, Antón (2001). "Lexical peculiarities of Guatemalan national variant of Spanish". Intercultural Communication ( 
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).  
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