This virtual experience will enhance your knowledge of Costa Rica and Latin America. Pura vara.” A: “I want that report right now.” Translate Costa Rican. Costa Rica: Covid-19 information for international visitors Remain flexible & book now without any risk schools marked with Free cancellation and Free changes . Here are some Costa Rican slang and phrases that you might hear in conversations among Ticos. “Hey, here’s a soccer ball. Perhaps this is another word you recognize, as it translates to “can” in English. Example: “Mae, that mae has no idea what he’s talking about, mae.”. If you’re looking for a method to familiarize yourself with Spanish as well as deepen your knowledge of the culture, FluentU is the best way to go! Even if you think you’re pretty close with someone in Costa Rica, it’s still better to refer to … It’ll be ready soon.”, Ticos use this expression, literally “salted,” to say “tough luck” or “too bad.”, Example: Perico means parrot in Spanish but in Costa Rica, they also use it as a term for cocaine. Examples: Example: “I’m overworked. The language in Costa Rica is uniquely colorful, but all you need is a little exposure to master it. MAE. ¿Qué te pasa … This is a common word used to refer to Costa Ricans. “That’s not what I meant. Añejo/a: A person who has not bathed. Example: “I’d love to go to your beach barbecue, but I have a lot of brete.”, This teeny word has a baffling array of meanings. Soccer, of course, is the sport in Costa Rica. To pick up even more fun and authentic expressions from Costa Rica and other Spanish-speaking countries, check out FluentU! FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons. International opportunity to learn Spanish abroad at CPI Spanish language immersion schools in Costa Rica with 3 three diverse locations within Costa Rica, typical town, cloud forest, beach, maintain academic continuity while traveling - Quality immersion study, professional seminars, teen camps & study abroad groups.Where can I learn spanish abroad Tumba la vara.”. Gotta get up early tomorrow.” If you want to get in on a pickup game with the locals, remember the word mejenga. Tico Lingo is a Spanish school in Costa Rica devoted to helping its students achieve Spanish fluency through immersion and cultural education. An example for when to say it would be if you fell down skiing or surfing. B: “Diay working hard.”, A: “Are you going to the party tonight?” If someone says they have to go to brete instead of spend time with you, it means he or she has to go to work. (Download). Here are just a few of the more important colloquialisms to keep in mind when visiting Costa Rica. This phrase is used when misfortune occurs or as a way to express frustration. Central American Spanish is as diverse as the cultures of its nations: Panama, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua, among others. Those of us who mess up often will learn this expression — literally, “what a patty” — early on. /mɑɪ/ This is another Costa Rican Spanish term that you will commonly hear in the streets or … There’s also just suave (“easy” or “slow down”). Although Costa Rican people speak Spanish, there are many words, phrases and expressions used by them that are not easily understood by other Spanish speakers. B: “Qué dicha! B: “Pura vida, I’m Meg.”, A: “Let me wax your surfboard for you.” This word means “dude” and can be used to refer to a man or woman. The ingenious secret agent who solved problems using paper clips and chewing gum rather than guns — Ticos take pride in having no army — is so beloved in Costa Rica that he has made his way into the local lexicon. Should you go snorkeling or raft down some rapids instead? If you make an effort to speak or say some words in Spanish, it will be a great way to thank them for their kindness. When Costa Ricans listen or pay attention to you, they “give ball” to you. The book also contains practical Spanish vocabulary, useful phrases, a Spanish/English, English/Spanish dictionary plus lots of tips and shortcuts for learning Spanish. Every Costa Rican will be delighted to hear you say this. This phrase means “what luck!” A good time to use this would be if you’re walking with a friend and she encounters money on the sidewalk. Some basic words and phrases are: Local expressions Costa Rican Food Costa Rican cuisine is generally quite healthy and balanced, based on … B: “Zarpe!”. It can be said as a greeting, in the middle of a conversation, after you have said or heard someone say something exciting… it’s basically a one-size-fits-all phrase! In this case we will focus on Costa Rica. Enjoy a hike to one of several island volcanoes? Example: Before you venture out to any Spanish speaking country, whether it’s for immersion study, vacation or any other reason, it’s a good idea to brush up on the local vocabulary. Va jalando.” If you want to learn Spanish, check out our Costa Rica Spanish guide to get started. Ticos love to play, but they also love work — as evidenced in the commonly heard phrase Mucho brete, gracias a Dios (“Lots of work, thank God”). “Don’t believe what he says about me. If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Spanish with real-world videos. This phrase means “good,” “cool” or just shows excitement about anything. Perhaps you’re looking for something more action-packed. IPED Language Plus, Puerto Viejo. There are plenty of Costa Rican sayings that only make sense if you grew up in the country and some of them are used only in Costa Rica! Having a few key phrases and verbs handy, as well as knowing the differences between dialects, can be crucial. Ladies, doesn’t this make you want to go find a Costa Rican boyfriend? For example, if someone has an accident. This graphic expression is used when someone is totally off base or has done something grossly inappropriate. I’m positive I’m biased, but I think I learned Spanish in the best country in the whole world to do so! Of course it’s not always easy switching between formal and informal on the fly, but don’t fret. Planning a trip to Costa Rica?If you are, you’ll definitely want to keep this list of Costa Rican regionalisms and slang in your back pocket. Yes, we are referring to MacGyver of ‘80s TV. Majestic volcanoes. B: “Suave un toque. In Costa Rica, un blanco is a cigarette, which is important to know in case anyone ever requests un blanco from you. Examples: For more information on how we use cookies consult our revised, Download the Some words have extremely different and sometimes even offensive meanings depending on where they’re spoken. It has many meanings, all friendly: “great” or “fantastic,” “hello,” “nice to meet you,” “thank you,” or “you’re welcome.”, Examples: You’re peeing outside the can.” B: “Diay yes, I wouldn’t miss it.”, A: “Diay? B: “Pura vida!”. The zarpe is an important social institution in Costa Rica. As you head to Costa Rica on your next vacation, you probably want to at least learn to speak a few basic Spanish phrases to the locals- and I’ve got the perfect guide to Costa Rican Spanish- plus a handy free printable! In Costa Rica there are course packages where you can learn the following activities: Spanish & Cooking, Spanish & Dancing, Spanish & Surf, Spanish & Yoga. See four different breeds of monkey up close? “Juan is done for the day. So, be careful if someone there offers you perico—they might not be offering you a colorful pet bird but something else entirely…, If you say this to another person in an argument, it means “calm down.” If you and a friend get into a heated exchange, you can just say “¡Suave, mae!” which means “Take it easy!”, This phrase expresses surprise or shock in response to what someone says. Embracing this expression is an important step toward learning how to relax. Learn to speak Spanish and Costa Rican in Spanish Language Bootcamp I’m going to Costa Rica to carry it soft.”, This expression can mean “to talk bull” or “to shoot the breeze.” There’s also pura paja, “pure bull.”, Example: “José is talking straw. As it’s plastered on almost any souvenir you can think of, it may as well be the country’s catchphrase. Example: “He’s lived in Costa Rica for 15 years. Usted. Over 70% of Costa Rica’s population speaks Spanish. Ticos use this expression to describe their “better half” or “soul mate.”, Example: “I can’t live without you! I’ve been waiting for you for an hour.” It can be a filler word akin to “hey” or “well,” or it can mean “obviously,” “what happened?” or “what can be done?” or even “there’s no explanation.”, Examples: With specific spanish immersion programs geared towards families, children, adults, teens as well as high school and college study abroad programs, IPED Languages Plus will leave you with a lifetime full of memories. But when visiting Costa Rica this past winter in the heart of Central America, I suddenly found myself speechless. Have a great time.”. “I like hiking, nature, camping, and toda esa vara.” You learn that cabra means goat in Spanish, but it’s also the oh-so-charming way some men refer to their girlfriends in Costa Rica. Qué pereza.”. Literally “good note,” this expression is used often in Costa Rica to say someone is cool or nice. In fact, tú is rarely used. Our aim is to teach, immerse, and initiate a global understanding of Costa Rican culture and language. Fantastic wildlife. A: “Two tickets to Limón, please.” Don’t call someone you just met in Costa Rica “mae.” However, between close friends, the use of “mae” is extremely common. San José is the country’s capital and largest city and its metropolitan area hosts nearly a quarter of the Costa Rican population. The guy ahead of you got the last seat.”. B: “Fine, por dicha.”, A: “I’m taking a nice, long vacation.” B: “Diay.”, The origins of this Costa Rican slang standard are in dispute, but one theory is that it derives from the English phrase “too nice.”, Example: “Rappelling down that waterfall was super tuanis.”. Costa Rica is a Spanish-speaking country, however, and you are bound to get some blank stares in certain situations. It’s a term they came up with for Costa Ricans, and it’s the term that they use to refer to themselves, so it’s not offensive in any way, but rather widely used. This literally means “pure life,” and you’ll hear it used as a greeting, a goodbye or a way … When the Spanish newspaper El País published an atlas of the representative words of Spanish-speaking countries, writer and journalist Carlos Cortés chose tuanis as the word that best represented Costa Rica, explaining: “It doesn’t come from ‘too nice,’ as said by Mexican comedian Adal Ramones when he imitates us, but rather from the military slang of the Salvadoran General Malespín in the 19th century.” Malespín slang … It is better to have dirt on your body than to be under the ground (dead). It’s a great place to get an authentic taste of the country. So unless your neighbor next door pops over to ask for some to use in her cookies, you can assume that when someone asks for harina, he or she is requesting cash. “Dude, cut it out. It’s perfectly safe and acceptable for foreigners to speak using only tú (or any other form with which you’re comfortable). This phrase is first because it embodies Costa Rican culture and the country as a whole. A: “Diay Lorena, how are you?” The above words are synonyms and mean bored or boring. Ticos love watching it and playing it. You could take a canopy tour and enjoy bird and wildlife watching in one of the top ecotourism destinations in the world. Spend a night out in the bustling capital city? Like, would you rather spend the weekend basking in the sun on a Caribbean beach or catching waves in the Pacific? Pass the duct tape and we’ll do a MacGyver.”, Search for a topic, destination or article, This post is proudly produced in partnership with, We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. Example: “He’s lived in Costa Rica for 15 years. Costa Rica is a Central American country with a population of 4.5 million. We should also totally start using it in English. That would be a little bizarre. 20. It contains the most complete section on Costa Rican slang or tiquismos ever published in English. I need my space.”. Other Slang You’ll Hear in Costa Rica. Pura Vida. So if you’re sick of brete, grab your half orange and head to Costa Rica to carry it soft and enjoy the pure life. For example, if you just read a book that you loved, you could say “¡el libro fue tuanis!” If someone says something cool or interesting, you can simply respond with “¡tuanis!”, If you’re suffering from this type of dolor (pain), then you have a pounding headache. It’s used like “dude” among friends, or it can refer to any person. The above phrase is another way to say “see you there.” For example, if someone asks you to meet him or her at the movie theater at five, you could say “Ahí los vidrios” to confirm. If you’re chatting with a friend and he or she invites you to his or her choza or chante, then he or she is inviting you to his or her house. Costa Ricans are colloquially called "ticos" (based on the frequent use of the diminutive ending -ico following a /t/, as in momentico), and thus colloquial expressions characteristic of Costa Rica are called tiquismos. We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe, Get regular language learning tips, resources and updates, starting with the "Complete Guide to Foreign Language Immersion" e-book, Sign up for our weekly blog newsletter for a chance to win a free FluentU Plus subscription (value $240). Example: “The zipper on this suitcase broke. Agüevado. can take anywhere. As those familiar with the show may have guessed, hacer un MacGyver (pronounced mah-GHEE-verr) means to improvise or fix something with whatever you have at hand, or just to find a simple solution to a problem. She let me drive her Porsche.”. He has no idea what he’s saying.”, Does it get cuter than calling your partner your “half orange”? “A bunch of us are getting a mejenga together down at the beach. This phrase is said pretty much anytime and essentially embodies Costa Rica. No night out is complete without it. This post has been updated 2018. Arcos Journeys Abroad: High School Program - Spanish Language & Costa Rican Culture Favorite 0 recent reviews Location(s): Atenas, Costa Rica: High School Study Abroad; Program Type(s): High School Arcos Journeys Abroad 3 reviews for 21 programs Most Popular Program: Example: “I warned them not to go down that road, but they didn’t give me ball.”, Literally “go pulling,” this expression can be used to say someone is leaving, but also to say “go away” or, at worst, “get lost.”, Examples: Tiquismos and pachuquismos are used frequently in Costa Rica. The expression El/la pinta is also used for criminal in Costa Rica slang. Harina Harina directly translates to flour, but in Costa Rican slang it means money.So unless your neighbor next door pops over to ask for some to use in her cookies, you can assume that when someone asks for harina, he or she is requesting cash. FluentU is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Some common useful phrases in the Costa Rican Spanish language include ipura vida – meaning pure life, dolor de jupa – meaning headache, aguevado-meaning bored, estar de goma-meaning to have a hangover, isóquele-meaning hurry up!, and estar de chicha-which means to be angry. Many of these words, even when found in a standard Spanish dictionary, do not have the same meaning ther… Do you want to watch a sea turtle lay her eggs? “Va jalando. (Read on to decode.). Now you’re completely prepared for your voyage to Costa Rica and sound like a native! We also participate in other affiliate advertising programs for products and services we believe in. An example for when to use this would be if you went out for a long night of clubbing and had a throbbing headache. It’s a positive phrase about seizing the moment and enjoying life. He’s más Tico que el gallo pinto by now.”, This quintessential Costa Rican phrase tells you pretty much everything you need to know about the Tico approach to life. Our phrasebooks give you a comprehensive mix of practical and social words and phrases in more than 120 languages. This article focuses on some of the most common words you will learn when traveling to Costa Rica. Seriously, I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if it’s the first thing you hear upon arrival. Example: “Andrea is buena nota. Costa Rica is a linguistically diverse country and home to at least five living local indigenous languages spoken by the descendants of pre-Columbian peoples: Maléku, Cabécar, Bribri, Guaymí, and Buglere. Lonely Planet: The world's #1 phrasebook publisher* Lonely Planet's Costa Rican Spanish Phrasebook & Dictionary is your handy passport to culturally enriching travels with the most relevant and useful Costa Rican Spanish phrases and vocabulary for all your travel needs.Discuss the wildlife with the locals, banter in Coast Rican slang and bargain like a pro -all with your trusted travel companion. This Global Studies in Costa Rica & Spanish Language program is a flexible, remote learning opportunity with online courses in humanities, business, environmental science, social sciences, health and Spanish. The word mae is heard with astonishing frequency, especially among men. © 2020 Enux Education Limited. How about a trek through a World Heritage Site? It translates to “Really?” or “Are you serious?”, Jamar can directly replace comer to say “to eat.”. Should you check out the exhibits in one of the museums or art galleries? You can do all these things and much, much more if you spend time in Costa Rica. B: “Pura vida!”, A: “Hi, I’m Carlos.” Here we introduce 5 common words used in Costa Rica that might not be used in other Spanish speaking countries. For example, if your new teacher causes you to yawn incessantly in class, you could say “mi maestra nueva es muy agüevada.”, This phrase means to have a hangover. All Rights Reserved. FluentU brings Spanish to life with real-world videos. You could say “¡tuve un dolor de jupa enorme anoche!”. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates. Literally “what laziness,” this is what Ticos say when they don’t want to do something or are bummed out by something. venture out to any Spanish speaking country, extremely different and sometimes even offensive meanings, 32 Spanish Dance Terms You Ought to Tango With, 8 Useful Tips for Learning Spanish with Movies, 11 Awesome Channels to Learn Spanish on YouTube, 9 Great Resources to Learn Spanish Through the News, How to Immerse Yourself in Spanish When You Don’t Live Abroad, 15 Common Spanish Idioms for Sounding Like a Native. The verb is mejenguear. Here is a related expression: Más vale tierra en cuerpo que cuerpo en tierra. Incredible rainforest. Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you Even if you think you’re pretty close with someone in Costa Rica, it’s still better to refer to him or her as usted. Example: Costa-Rican Spanish Phrasebook Grab this phrasebook and trade tiquismos with the Ticos, chase the best beach break, track down a toucan and go home knowing you've had an all-round pura vida time. Example: “I accidentally knocked off his toupee. Harina directly translates to flour from Spanish to English, but it can also be used as a slang term for money in Costa Rica. It’s in their very language — a philosophy of letting go, relaxing, and knowing how to enjoy life. A: “I better go home. This verb is another way to say “to sleep” and can directly replace dormir. A soda is any small restaurant that serves up traditional Costa Rican food. Qué torta.”. As you can most likely guess, this term is reserved for use between close friends. IPED run two language schools in Costa Rica and their digs in … “Qué es la vara? The latter are expressions of popular street Spanish which can be considered vulgar and offensive if used in the wrong context. Caco: A criminal. Read the full article about this book: The Story of the Banned Costa Rica Spanish Slang Dictionary: Spanish-English: Print Kindle: Talkin' Tico: A Guide to Costa Rican Slang A clearly written compilation of 381 idioms and slang terms commonly used by Costa Ricans in everyday conversation. Like most other Spanish-speaking countries, Costa Rica has many words and phrases that you're only likely to hear if you’re sunbathing on the beaches of Manuel Antonio or in a crowded marketplace in San José. YES, THERE ARE GORGEOUS BEACHES. Please check your email for further instructions. Talking with the Locals Example: “Vacation’s over, time to pack. Dare to bungee jump from a bridge? Though slightly smaller than West Virginia, Costa Rica is home to a rich variety of expressions, pachuco (street slang), and country-specific vocabulary. Our students are completely immersed in the language and Costa Rican lifestyle with our homestay options. This includes personalizing content and advertising. A: “How are you?” Book the best Spanish course in Costa Rica on Language International: Read student reviews and compare prices for 182 courses at Spanish schools in Costa Rica… Similar to feeling blue. You’re my media naranja.”. This list of Costa Rican idioms also gives examples of use and explanations in English. If you knocked back a few too many last night, you could say “hoy, yo estoy de goma.”. Examples: Since studying Spanish intermittently throughout my life, I’ve picked up enough basic phrases and words to get by in most Spanish-speaking countries. Examples: Traveler will like this book because it is pocket size. However, if someone says that they take the lata to work, they actually mean the bus—they don’t take a can to work. B: “Diay sorry, I missed my bus.”, A: “How do you explain what diay means?” This slang word means “thing” or “stuff” on its own, but is used in varying ways in many expressions: Qué es la vara? Instead, Costa Ricans use the informal vos. This expression is a good place to start, because it combines two essential Costa Rican terms: Tico, which is what Costa Ricans call themselves, and gallo pinto, literally “spotted rooster,” the ubiquitous and awesome traditional rice-and-bean breakfast dish of Costa Rica. Slang for feeling a little depressed, sad, or bored. ¡Vamos a mejenguear!”. B: “Salado! Conjugations using vos are a bit different but you can easily learn them! Guide to Costa Rican Spanish Christopher Howard's Guide to Costa Rica Spanish is an invaluable book for people who know Spanish as well as those who know only a few words. Are you mad at me?” Learning Spanish becomes fun and easy when you learn with movie trailers, music videos, news and inspiring talks. It includes a basic primer on Spanish pronunciation, theme-oriented vocabulary and phrasing, and many many idioms that can help you sound like a local right from the start. “He peed outside the can when he asked his wife if his girlfriend could move in with them.”. Want to play?” Literally “to carry it soft,” this expression comes in handy when you’re on vacation. Languages Of Costa Rica. (“What’s the deal?”); pura vara (“pure lies”); toda esa vara (“all that stuff”); tumba la vara (“calm down,” “drop it”). Costa Rica's official language is Spanish, though a large number of its citizens are at least moderately bilingual. Perhaps you’re unfamiliar with vos, but it’s similar to tú very common in Central and South American countries. Costa Rica's official and predominant language is Spanish.The variety spoken there, Costa Rican Spanish, is a form of Central American Spanish. How about zip lining though trees in the jungle? But perhaps the best thing about Costa Rica is its people, their culture, and what they can teach us northerners about how to live. Costa Ricans often call themselves Ticos. Click here to get a copy. See 2 authoritative translations of Costa Rican in Spanish with example sentences and audio pronunciations. Thanks for subscribing! This is a friendly way to announce yourself when you arrive at someone’s home. When you first set foot in Costa Rica, you’re going to have to make the most difficult decisions of your life. In this post, we’ll give you some of the most common Spanish words and phrases for your visit to Costa Rica. This expression is a good place to start, because it combines two essential Costa Rican terms: Tico, which is what Costa Ricans call themselves, and gallo pinto, literally “spotted rooster,” the ubiquitous and awesome traditional rice-and-bean breakfast dish of Costa Rica. mobile app. This phrase means “good” or “cool,” or just demonstrates enthusiasm about anything. Ten Costa Rican expressions for expats and tourists. Costa Ricans readily express appreciation for their good fortune and that of others. A: “How’s it going?” Groups of women can be called Ticas, but any mixed-gender group will be called Ticos, because of how Spanish grammar works. , you could say “hoy, yo estoy de goma.” enthusiasm about anything some rapids instead spend time Costa... ” costa rican spanish phrases Does it get cuter than calling your partner your “ orange. Yo estoy de goma.” a world Heritage Site Caribbean beach or catching waves in the language in Costa Rica to... 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