Monday, December 10, 2012

Conversación con una chapina

I enjoy meeting Spanish speakers from different parts of the Spanish speaking world because I always learn something new.  I especially like to learn words or expressions unique to their region and culture.  People are always pleasantly surprised when you understand their local language and customs.

It was just a few short weeks ago when I made a new friend who happens to be from Guatemala.  The people of Guatemala are called guatemaltecos, guatemalteco for a male and guatemalteca for a female.

Needless to say, I took full advantage of this opportunity to learn some new words, so I'm going to share what I learned with you.  There was no rhyme or reason to our conversation, I asked my new amiga guatemalteca to share some of the colloquial words they use in Guatemala, and I found them rather interesting.

You probably know this cute little doggy as a perro, but in Guatemala you may also hear him referred to as a chucho.

¡Que lindo chuchito!
What a pretty dog!

Hoy por poco me mordia un chucho
Today I almost got bit by a dog

Notice the use of chuchito, the diminutive form of chucho.

Perros aren't the only animals with a special name Guatemala.

Commonly known as a pavo, or turkey, it also goes by chumpipe in Guatemala.

Chumpipe es una palabra indígena, peculiar de Guatemala, que significa pavo ó guajalote
It's an indigenous word peculiar to Guatemala that means turkey

You actually get a two for one here, as guajaote is another word that means turkey in Mexico, which is also indigenous coming from the náhuatl language.  I'm not sure what indigenous language chumpipe comes from.

We're done with the animal kingdom, so let's move on to food.

Does this look familiar?

Yeah, that doesn't look very appetizing, I agree.  How about this photo?

That's better.  We know it as oatmeal, or avena in Spanish.  In Guatemala it's also known as mosh.

Normalmente el desayuno en Guatemala está compuesto de uno o dos huevos. Otros tipos de desayuno son los cereales con leche, o el mosh
Normally breakfast in Guatemala is composed of one or two eggs.  Other kinds of breakfast are cereal with milk, or oatmeal

I'm not a big fan of mosh, regardless of what country it comes from.

Chuchitos are a whole different story.

Chuchitos are very similar to Mexican tamales.  I've yet to try them, but trust me, I'm on on the look out for a Guatemalan restaurant and will report back as soon as I get my hands on some of these tasty looking things.

Guatemala also has musica punta which is from Honduras, Guatemala y Belize and appears to popular in El Salvador as well.  Here's a sample of musica punta.

If you want to see how to dance punta, check out this video.

One last word about musica punta.  Make sure you enunciate, not getting that "n" right could lead to an embarrassing mistake.  There's a huge difference between punta and puta.

We also talked about the word patojo.  Patojo is a synonym for chamaco, or in standard Spanish, niño.  

¡Vení para acá patajo!
Come over here kid!

If you don't recognize the word "vení", don't worry.  It's a conjugation of vos.  You don't really hear much about vos, but it's used in several Spanish speaking countries, like Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and probably much of Central America.  What is vos you ask?  It's just another set of verb conjugations like usted and vosotros.  A quick search in Google will provide you with the vos conjugation chart.

And since we're on the topic of vos, my amiga guatemalteca explained to me that vos is more informal than .  Or at least it is in Guatemala.

Lastly, I've been referring to my amiga as guatemalteca, but there's another word I could have used, chapina.

Guatemaltecos are also known and chapines.  Chapin refers to a man and chapina refers to a woman.

And that my friends, is what I learned in my conversación con una chapina.

 ¡Hasta la próxima!

1 comment:

  1. Muy interesante todo lo que escribes y la creatividad con las fotografias, felicitaciones..