The best Spanish to learn – Part 1: Colombian Spanish
You, as a language learner, want to pick the best Spanish in the world, so you can sound clear, natural and awesome, but the question is: which is the best one to learn?
This will be a series of 3 articles talking about different Spanish in the world that you can learn, so keep tuned to the following parts.
Is Colombian Spanish the best one to learn?
As you know, I am Colombian, but I am not writing this post to say that we have the best Spanish in the world.
What I can tell you is that every country and every region speaks a unique accent of Spanish, which in my opinion is a beautiful language, despite the accent.
Colombia is a crazy country, it’s beautiful! Wherever you go inside the country you will find a huge diversity of lands, rivers, oceans, fauna, flora, and thanks to the media, a stigmatized population.
Most people in Colombia speak Spanish (some speak ethnic languages and English in a couple islands), and because this is a country with a population of almost 50 million people, there is a wide variety of accents.
I’ll be covering just four accents because I want to talk about other countries too in the following articles.
4 Colombian accents
1- Rolo: This is the accent of the capital of the country, Bogotá.
If you come from abroad, it’s very likely that you’ll hear this accent once you get on the airplane.
The tone of the voice is a little high, and it always goes up after every sentence, especially during questions, it becomes like a little sharp sound every time you hear a question.
Rolos use slang from their region such as:
-Chino: To refer to anyone, for example: “Chino, ¿me presta un lapicero por favor?”
-Severo: It means very cool, like when you say, “that’s such a cool car”, they would say something like this: “Severo carro ví ayer“.
-Su merced: This is the way how old people say you, or “usted“, for example: “¿Su merced quiere un cafecito?”
-Que chanda: They say this one, when something actually sucks, so if you want to say: “the movie sucks”, they would say: “Que chanda de película”.
2- Costeño: The accent from Colombian costs, this is by far(in my opinion), the most difficult Spanish ever, and I say this because, sometimes, even native speakers can’t understand them.
They talk at the speed of light, in just a matter of seconds they could’ve insulted you and you couldn’t even tell.
They shorten words all the time like when they mean “Nada”, they say Na'(nothing).
They also change the “s” for the “h” sound sometimes, like when they mean “Hola, ¿Cómo estás?”, they would say something like: “Hola, ¿Cómo ehtah?”
Here are some slang words they use:
-Llave: It literally means key, but they use it to say “buddy”, like this: “Llave, presteme plata“.
-Te parto el cuero: This means, I’m gonna hurt you, only, and only in the cost; so next time you hear this in “la costa”, you better run.
-Jopo: As I said before, this is just at the coast and in means “butt” in kind of a rude way.
3- Caleño: This accent sounds a little bit like if your nose was a little closed, people from Cali say repeated things like “mira” (hey), “ois” (hey), or “¿Me entendés?”(Do you understand?), here are three example:
-Mira, ¿Tenes plata que me prestes?
–Ois, ¿Y quién esa niña?
-Tenes que venir en carro ¿Me entendés?
I think the caleño accent has a unique rhythm, which in my opinion sounds very tropical. Here are some slang words they use:
-A la parte seria: It means seriously, for example: “A la parte seria, yo me como todo el almuerzo“
-Cachumbe: This is just a messy hair, so you could hear something like this: “Ve, ¡Qué cachumbe tan feo tenes!”
-Zumbanbico: It’s an annoying kid, for example: “Mira ese zumbanbico tan grocero”
4- Paisa: This is the Spanish from Medellín, the one I personally talk, and it’s been said by lots of people that whenever you talk to Paisas, it’s like if people were singing all the time.
Paisas use “pues” for every sentence and they always emphasize the “S” like if they were blowing it very strongly, they would say something like this:
-¡Pa’ donde vamos pueS!
Here is some slang paisas use:
-¡Hágale pues!: It means ok, for example:
-Parcero: This is how you call you buddies.
-Tirar caja: This is how you say that you laugh at something, for instance: “Ese niño se cayó y yo tiré caja“
There’s no better accent than the other, they’re all unique.
Besides that, Colombia is a big country with a lot of accents, some of them easier to understand than others, but in the end it’s all Spanish.
Here is a video made by Colombians with different accents from the country. Can you differentiate them?