Every country has a flag, food and symbols that identify them. But what about a single word?
During the 6th International Congress of the Spanish Language (VI Congreso Internacional de la Lengua Española) celebrated in Panama, the blog Papeles Perdidos, created by the newspaper El País, published an atlas of the representative words of Spanish-speaking countries. They asked 20 writers which word they consider “best reflects your country.” The storytellers, poets and essayists responded with what they consider the most authentic words from their country, and this the word from Colombia:
Colombian Spanish: VAINA
Colombian writer Laura Restrepo identifies her country with the Spanish word vaina, a universal word that serves many purposes. It is used in many Colombian Spanish expressions such as:
• ¡Qué vaina!: What a disaster!
• ¡Qué buena vaina!:In reference to success or good fortune
• Pásame esa vaina: Used together with the demonstrative pronoun esa in reference to a thingamajig
• Salí de esa vaina: I am now relieved of this burden.
“Foreigners who visit these lands, by familiarizing themselves with the multiple and versatile meanings of vaina, save themselves from having to learn Spanish,” she adds.
Do you agree that this word is the one that best represents Colombia?
Check out these other Colombia Spanish Slang Word articles.