Its been almost 3 years since I moved here. So you would think my Spanish is quite good, wouldn’t you?

Actually, I speak Spanish, I read Spanish, I sing in Spanish, sometimes I even dream in Spanish. I am getting more fluent every day, trying my best to fit in the typical often used Argentine words like ‘viste?!’ ‘Miravos!’ ‘En serio?!’ ‘Ya está!’ But I am not advanced enough to put an ‘este’ between every 6 words nor do I use ‘Che’ or ‘Ni en Pedo!’  yet.

I go to school in Spanish and know the photography-terms in Spanish and not in English nor in Flemish. I call the girls chicas even though they all speak English with each other. I order in Spanish when I am abroad. I always say vamos instead of let’s go and que? to show my unbelief. Spanish has definitely become a part of my life.

Yes, I am quite pleased with my improvements. Or rather, I was.

This week classes resumed after an extended winterbreak. A new teacher enters the class and starts reading the names of the students.



“Maria Sol?”




the teacher raises her head and looks at me,

“De donde sos?”

I blink. Ya está! I say one word –acá- and I already blow my cover?

I look at my classmates and make the ‘what the heck’-sign, (swipe the back of your hand over you under-chin) and they smile and nod. Yes, it is that obvious. Hmmm. It seems like there is still a lot of work to be done. It looks like I will have to stay another couple of years, at least! Yes!

10 responses to “Acá!”

  1. I love this post. For the last year and a half, I’ve been working on improving my Spanish, specifically focusing on castellano rioplatense. About a year ago at a Spanish conversation group, I shyly joked about having a slight Argentine accent, and an Argentine acquaintance politely looked away, with that tight little smile that said, “I don’t want to be mal educada, but your accent is nothing like ours, dear.” Two weeks ago I had dinner with her, we joked a little using lunfardo, and she praised my Spanish almost lavishly. So you may not be from acá, but I’ll bet you’re pretty fluent! ¡Mira vos!

    • My Spanish is OK, but I know I’ll never sound as it should, i have a ‘speech impediment’ : i can’t pronounce the rolling RRRRR (LOL). I know I still have a lot to learn and i wish I could continue with Spanish class but unfortunately a day only has 24h… I must just be patient!
      There is a girl in my class who is argentine, argentine parents, but lived abroad for maybe 10 years (she is in her early 20) and the teachers also ask her where she is from. She always answers , annoyed “de acá!”.

      • Oh, Laboratorio de Idiomas de la Facultad de Filosofía or CUI? both have spanish (sorry, castellano, lol) for foreigners and depend of UBA.
        Still, overcoming the natural foreign-sounding accent when speaking castellano is something really difficult, specially for native speakers of germanic languages (it is also true the other way around of course, jaja) and to that, add our unique expressions, the yeismo, the voseo and the intonation of castellano rioplatense, which is more close to that of italian than that of “true” spanish. To sum up, you have taken up quite a task in learning our beautiful language, and I congratulate you, trust me, it is no easy feat.

      • Thanks! Fortunately I am not so worried about the accent, and for us Flemish its not as hard to overcome as for English-speaking or even Dutch-speaking (which is basically the same language but with a different accent). I started learning Spanish in Belgium about 5 years before I moved here. 2 years with a Spanish teacher, 3 years with a Colombian/Venezualan teacher (always changing so to not get used to their accent).Then here in Laboratorio at UBA, until last december. I learned more here in 6 months then I did during the 5 years in Belgium… I hope I will be able to go back soon!!

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