Learning a language is only the first step to sounding like a local. What does that mean for you? You thought that learning the textbook intonations, pronunciations and general directions were going to get you in the “local” club? Think again, the only way to mesh with the locals is to understand their dialects and filler words.
Peru is a country saturated in ancient history, located along the Pacific Ocean; it is the third largest country in South America. There are over 25 million people here where the national spoken language is Spanish. But the native language is Quechua -spoken with a history rooted in the Incan empire. You’ll find Quechua spoken mainly in the Andes- but it still has it’s place and an impact on the filler words of Peru.
If you want to get along here, walk the streets and head up to Machu Picchu, you’ll want to know how to sound like a local. It’s an easy way to ensure you will be on your way to success.
These filler words are not taught in a regular classroom, they are learned the hard way living among the people who speak it daily. It’s easy to pick these up if you already have a basic knowledge of Spanish-then these filler’s will be able to get you where you need to be. Peruvian Spanish has also been know as castellano and at first glance it seems like there is not a lot of filler words. In fact there have been a set of anglicisms that have found there way into the heart of the language. In some areas you might even hear the word “delivery” and “marketing.”
Here are a few Peru Spanish expressions to help you blend in with the locals.
List of Spanish Slang Expressions from Peru: 13 Examples to Sound Like a Local
1. Al toque: means right now, or immediately but could take a few hours
2. Jamear: to eat
3. Lechero: someone lucky
4. Chamba: work
5. “un par de chelas”: a couple of beers
6. Manyas: “you know” and can be used at the end of any sentence.
7. PE: short for the word pues and means like or well.
8. Cochino: means dirty
9. Vaina: thing and is used to talk about anything
These Peru Spanish phrases are essentially another piece of the pie to get you sounding like a local:
10. Causa: amigo (usado entre hombres): means a friend, like buddy.
11. Chaufa: a quick goodbye, leaving quickly.
12. Estar en algo/algodón: used to evaluate someone’s knowledge or abilities.
13. Ni michi: means not a thing, nothing at all.
Toss a few of these out to your Peruvian friends and colleagues to see how they react. I bet they won’t expect to hear these come out of your mouth.
What words in Peru have you run across that the rest of us need to know? Just leave a comment.
Check out these other Peru Spanish Slang Expressions articles.