What language does argentina speak?

HotbotBy HotBotUpdated: June 29, 2024

The Official Language of Argentina

Argentina, the second-largest country in South America, is a land of diverse cultures and rich history. The official language of Argentina is Spanish. However, the Spanish spoken in Argentina, often referred to as "Rioplatense Spanish," has its unique characteristics that set it apart from the Spanish spoken in other countries. This dialect is primarily influenced by the Spanish spoken by early settlers and has evolved over time to incorporate words and phrases from various languages due to immigration.

Rioplatense Spanish: A Unique Dialect

Rioplatense Spanish, also known as River Plate Spanish, is primarily spoken in and around the Rio de la Plata Basin, which includes Buenos Aires, the capital city of Argentina, and Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. This dialect is characterized by several unique linguistic features:


One of the most distinctive features of Rioplatense Spanish is the use of "voseo." Instead of using "tú" for the informal second-person singular, Argentinians use "vos." This change also affects verb conjugations. For example, instead of saying "tú hablas" (you speak), they say "vos hablás."


Lunfardo is a slang that originated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the lower classes of Buenos Aires. It incorporates elements from Italian, Portuguese, French, English, and even indigenous languages. While initially associated with criminal elements, Lunfardo has become an integral part of everyday speech and Argentine culture.


Rioplatense Spanish has a distinctive pronunciation, particularly noticeable in the "ll" and "y" sounds, which are pronounced as a "sh" or "zh" sound. For example, "calle" (street) is pronounced "cashe."

Influence of Italian Language

The influence of Italian on Argentine Spanish is significant, largely due to the massive wave of Italian immigration in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This has resulted in a blend of linguistic features:

Lexical Borrowing

Many Italian words have been incorporated into Argentine Spanish. Examples include "laburar" (to work) from Italian "lavorare," and "mina" (girl) from Italian "femmina."

Accent and Intonation

The Italian influence is also evident in the rhythm and intonation of Rioplatense Spanish, which can sound more melodic and expressive compared to other Spanish dialects.

Indigenous Languages of Argentina

Though Spanish is the dominant language, several indigenous languages are still spoken in Argentina, reflecting the country’s rich pre-Columbian heritage. Some of these languages include:


Quechua, the language of the Inca Empire, is spoken by around 65,000 people, primarily in the northwest regions of Argentina. It has multiple dialects and has contributed several words to Argentine Spanish.


Guaraní is another significant indigenous language, particularly in the northeastern regions near the border with Paraguay. It is one of the official languages of Paraguay and has a presence in Argentina as well.


Mapudungun is the language of the Mapuche people, primarily found in the southern regions of Argentina. Although the number of speakers is relatively small, efforts are being made to preserve and revitalize the language.

Other Languages Spoken in Argentina

Due to its history of immigration, Argentina is a linguistic melting pot. Several other languages are spoken within its borders:


As mentioned earlier, Italian has had a profound impact on Argentine Spanish. Many Argentinians are of Italian descent, and Italian is still spoken within these communities.


German-speaking communities exist in Argentina, particularly in regions settled by German immigrants in the 19th and 20th centuries. These communities often maintain their language and traditions.


In the Chubut Province of Patagonia, there is a unique Welsh-speaking community. Welsh immigrants settled there in the 19th century, and the language is still taught and spoken, preserving a distinct cultural heritage.


Arabic-speaking communities, primarily of Syrian and Lebanese descent, have also made their mark on Argentina’s linguistic landscape. Arabic is less commonly spoken today, but it has left its imprint, particularly in various aspects of culture and cuisine.

The Role of Language in Argentine Culture

Language plays a vital role in shaping Argentine culture and identity. The evolution of Rioplatense Spanish, influenced by various immigrant languages, reflects the country’s history of diversity and integration. Tango, Argentina's most famous cultural export, often features lyrics in Lunfardo, showcasing the rich, blended linguistic heritage.

Language Education in Argentina

Language education is a key aspect of the Argentine educational system. Spanish is, of course, the primary medium of instruction, but there is also a strong emphasis on learning foreign languages. English is widely taught as a second language in schools, and many private institutions offer courses in Italian, French, German, and other languages, reflecting the country’s multicultural roots.

Preservation of Indigenous Languages

Efforts to preserve and promote indigenous languages are ongoing. Various cultural and governmental organizations are working to ensure that languages such as Quechua, Guaraní, and Mapudungun are not lost. These efforts include bilingual education programs, cultural festivals, and academic research.

Language in Argentina is a fascinating blend of influences, reflecting the country's complex history and diverse population. From the distinctive Rioplatense Spanish to the preservation of indigenous languages and the impact of immigration, the linguistic landscape of Argentina offers a unique window into its cultural soul.

Related Questions

What language do they speak in argentina?

In Argentina, the official language is Spanish. This designation means that Spanish is the primary language used in government, education, and daily communication. The Spanish spoken in Argentina is often referred to as "Rioplatense Spanish" or "Argentinian Spanish," a variant influenced by historical waves of immigration and local linguistic evolution.

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Where is argentina located?

Argentina is located in the southern part of South America. It is bordered by several countries: to the north by Bolivia and Paraguay, to the northeast by Brazil, to the east by Uruguay and the South Atlantic Ocean, to the south by the Drake Passage, and to the west by Chile. Argentina's position places it in both the Southern Hemisphere and the Western Hemisphere.

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Where is argentina?

Argentina, officially known as the Argentine Republic, is located in South America. It occupies a significant portion of the southern cone of the continent, bordered by Chile to the west, Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, Brazil to the northeast, Uruguay and the South Atlantic Ocean to the east.

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What language is spoken in argentina?

Argentina, a vibrant and culturally rich country in South America, officially speaks Spanish. Spanish, or Español, is the predominant language taught in schools, used in government, and spoken in everyday communication throughout the country. The version of Spanish spoken in Argentina is often referred to as Rioplatense Spanish, characterized by its unique pronunciation and vocabulary differences from other Spanish dialects.

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