Language in Argentina

Looking for information on the language in Argentina? Here we run through some interesting facts on Spanish in modern day Argentina and the country’s multilingual past.

The official language of Argentina is Spanish and when visiting Argentina, it is advisable to learn some of the language prior to visiting. This will ensure that you gain maximum enjoyment from the trip and that you are not constantly referring to language phrase books – which we all know can prove cumbersome!

For those visiting Argentina with an understanding of the language (even if very basic), you may find it slightly difficult to understand the spoken dialect at first as the language is usually spoken with a distinct accent and a strong Italian lilt. However, most people quickly become accustomed to the differences and are able to overcome these.

Although Spanish is the official spoken language, the history of Argentina makes for an interesting mix of other spoken languages.

Argentina is primarily a country of immigrants. Prior to the arrival of the immigrants, Argentina had a relatively simple social structure; made up of a number of key tribes. This changed following the influx of European Spanish settlers which commenced in and continued on from the 16th Century. The 1850’s and the 1930’s saw the most concentrated influx of immigrants with over 3.5 million people relocating to Argentina– primarily from Italy but also from Spain, Wales, England, Germany, Switzerland, France and Poland. The influx was dramatic and unlike many other countries, which absorbed immigrants over a long period of time, it led to a sudden and vibrant mix of cultures and language.

Current Day Language in Argentina:

When visiting Argentina, you may find that many establishments display signs in written English and you may find menus in the English language in restaurants. However, despite this, unless you are in a well known tourist area, it is very possible that the staff have no knowledge of the English language and are hence unable to converse with you.

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