Colombian Spanish

Colombian Spanish

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Encyclopedia
Colombian Spanish is a term that refers to the varieties of Spanish spoken in Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

. The term is of more geographical than linguistic relevance, since the dialects spoken in the various regions of Colombia are quite diverse. The speech of coastal areas tends to exhibit phonological innovations typical of Caribbean Spanish
Caribbean Spanish
Caribbean Spanish is the general name of the Spanish dialects spoken in the Caribbean region. It closely resembles the Spanish spoken in the Canary Islands and Andalusia....

, while highland varieties have been historically more conservative. The Caro y Cuervo Institute in Bogotá
Bogotá
Bogotá, Distrito Capital , from 1991 to 2000 called Santa Fé de Bogotá, is the capital, and largest city, of Colombia. It is also designated by the national constitution as the capital of the department of Cundinamarca, even though the city of Bogotá now comprises an independent Capital district...

 is the main institution in Colombia promoting the scholarly study of the language and literature of both Colombia and Spanish America generally.

Phonology

  • The phoneme /x/ is realized as glottal
    Glottal consonant
    Glottal consonants, also called laryngeal consonants, are consonants articulated with the glottis. Many phoneticians consider them, or at least the so-called fricative, to be transitional states of the glottis without a point of articulation as other consonants have; in fact, some do not consider...

     [h] "in all regions [of Colombia]", in common with the pronunciation of El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and southern Spain.
  • The voiced
    Voice (phonetics)
    Voice or voicing is a term used in phonetics and phonology to characterize speech sounds, with sounds described as either voiceless or voiced. The term, however, is used to refer to two separate concepts. Voicing can refer to the articulatory process in which the vocal cords vibrate...

     consonants /b/, /d/, and /ɡ/ are pronounced as plosives after any consonant (rather than the fricative
    Fricative consonant
    Fricatives are consonants produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together. These may be the lower lip against the upper teeth, in the case of ; the back of the tongue against the soft palate, in the case of German , the final consonant of Bach; or...

     or approximant
    Approximant consonant
    Approximants are speech sounds that involve the articulators approaching each other but not narrowly enough or with enough articulatory precision to create turbulent airflow. Therefore, approximants fall between fricatives, which do produce a turbulent airstream, and vowels, which produce no...

     that is characteristic of most other dialects). Thus pardo ['paɹdo], barba ['barba], algo ['algo], desde ['dezde]—rather than the ['paɹðo], ['barβa], ['alɣo], ['dezðe] of Spain and the rest of Spanish America. A notable exception is the region of Nariño.

Personal pronouns

  • The Spanish of Colombia, and especially that of Bogotá, is known for the use of "usted" (the second-person singular pronoun considered "formal" in most varieties of Spanish) between friends, family members, and others whose relationship would indicate the use of "tú" or "vos" in most other dialects.
  • Characteristic regional usages of pronouns include voseo
    Voseo
    Voseo is the use of the second person singular pronoun vos in many dialects of Spanish. In dialects that have it, it is used either instead of tú, or alongside it....

     (use of vos for the familiar singular "you", rather than the of other dialects) in the Paisa region
    Paisa Region
    The Paisas are a people who inhabit a region over the northwest Colombia in the Andes.The region is formed by the departments of Antioquia, Caldas, Risaralda and Quindío. Some regions of Valle del Cauca Department and Tolima Department belong to the cultural identity of paisas...

     and the Valle del Cauca, and the use of "su merced" (literally "your mercy") in Cundinamarca
    Cundinamarca Department
    - Origin of the name :The name of Cundinamarca comes from Kundur marqa, an indigenous expression, probably derived from Quechua. Meaning "Condor's Nest", it was used in pre-Columbian times by the natives of the Magdalena Valley to refer to the nearby highlands....

     and Boyacá
    Boyacá Department
    Boyacá is one of the 32 Departments of Colombia, and the remnant of one of the original nine states of the "United States of Colombia".Boyacá is centrally located within Colombia, almost entirely within the mountains of the Eastern Cordillera to the border with Venezuela, although the western end...

    .
  • The second person plural pronoun "vosotros" and its corresponding verb forms (-áis/-éis), which are common in Spain, are, in Colombia—as in all other Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America—considered archaic
    Archaism
    In language, an archaism is the use of a form of speech or writing that is no longer current. This can either be done deliberately or as part of a specific jargon or formula...

    , and are restricted to ecclesiastical language.

Diminutives

  • In Colombian Spanish, the diminutive forms -ico, -ica (rather than the more conventional -ito, -ita) are often used in words whose stem ends with "t": gato ("cat") → gatico ("kitty"). This is often seen in Cuban
    Cuban Spanish
    Cuban Spanish is the dialect of the Spanish language as it is spoken in Cuba. As a Caribbean dialect, Cuban Spanish shares a number of features with nearby varieties, including coda deletion, seseo, and debuccalization.-Overview:...

     and Costa Rican
    Costa Rican Spanish
    Costa Rican Spanish is the form of Spanish language spoken in Costa Rica.-Phonetics:The unique or distinguishing characteristics of Costa Rican phonetics include the following:...

     Spanish as well.

  • The diminutive form can be applied not only to nouns, as above, but also to adjectives, to verbs—in their gerundive
    Gerund
    In linguistics* As applied to English, it refers to the usage of a verb as a noun ....

     form, for example corriendo ("running") → corriendito ("scurrying"); to adverbs
    Adverb
    An adverb is a part of speech that modifies verbs or any part of speech other than a noun . Adverbs can modify verbs, adjectives , clauses, sentences, and other adverbs....

    —e.g. ahora ("now") → ahorita ("right now"); and even to prepositions: junto a ("next to") → juntico a ("right next to").

  • Redundant diminutives: The diminutive ending can be applied to both the noun and the adjective in the same phrase: el chocolate caliente ("the hot cocoa") → el chocolatico calientico ("the nice little cup of hot chocolate").

  • The emphatic diminutives: When two diminutive endings are applied to the same word, it gives more emphasis to the sentence. For example, with ahora ("now"): Váyase ahora mismo ("Get out right now") → Váyase ahoritica mismo ("Get the heck out right now!"). For another example, with bueno ("good"): El carro está bueno ("The car is in good condition") → El carro está buenecitico ("The car is in tip-top condition").

Common expressions

  • Paradoxically, in intra-family speech, it is common for husband and wife to address each other as mijo and mija (from mi hijo "my son" and mi hija "my daughter"). And sons and daughters are lovingly called papito ("daddy") and mamita ("mommy"). The latter expressions are especially frequent among lower- and lower-middle-class speakers.
  • Sentences are often begun with what seems to be an out-of-place conjunction que ("that"), which makes the sentence sound as if the speaker is delivering a message from a third party. Thus "Que vienen pronto" ("[They say] that they are coming soon") for standard "Vienen pronto" ("They are coming soon"), or "Que gracias" ("[He/she says] that [I am to give you] thanks") when returning a borrowed item, instead of simply saying "Gracias" ("Thank you"). The use of this added conjunction is also associated with lower- and lower-middle-class speakers. Colombian sources speculate that this usage came from the customary practice of children to run family errands and deliver messages to others in the community—neighbors, butchers, cobblers, etc. Eventually, it is thought, some people started using this form out of habit even when there was no third party involved.

Slang words


Slang talk is frequent in popular culture, especially in the barrio
Barrio
Barrio is a Spanish word meaning district or neighborhood.-Usage:In its formal usage in English, barrios are generally considered cohesive places, sharing, for example, a church and traditions such as feast days...

s of big cities. In the Paisa region
Paisa Region
The Paisas are a people who inhabit a region over the northwest Colombia in the Andes.The region is formed by the departments of Antioquia, Caldas, Risaralda and Quindío. Some regions of Valle del Cauca Department and Tolima Department belong to the cultural identity of paisas...

 and Medellín
Medellín
Medellín , officially the Municipio de Medellín or Municipality of Medellín, is the second largest city in Colombia. It is in the Aburrá Valley, one of the more northerly of the Andes in South America. It has a population of 2.3 million...

, the local slang is named "Parlache". Many slang expressions have spread outside of their original areas to become commonly understood throughout the country. While some words eventually lose their status as slang, others continue to be considered as such by most speakers, and many of these words are considered vulgar and rude by some people, especially in Bogotá. The process of slang expressions expanding beyond their original group of speakers often leads the original users to replace the words with other, less-recognized terms to maintain group identity. Although prescriptive grammarians often describe this kind of language as crass or distasteful, it is a continuing linguistic phenomenon with clear sociological importance.

Many of these words have been popularized by the Colombian media, such as Alonso Salazar's book, No nacimos pa' semilla, Victor Gaviria
Victor Gaviria
Victor Gaviria is a film director best known for his treatment of street life in his native Medellín.- Feature-length films :*Rodrigo D: No Future, 1990...

´s movie Rodrigo D. no futuro, or Andrés López
Andrés López Forero
Andrés López is a comedian and actor. He is considered a pioneer of stand-up comedy in Colombia. López gained notoriety in Colombia after releasing his show called La Pelota de Letras which earned him a Double Diamond award from Universal Music.-Beginning of his Career:As a student of Systems...

's monologue "La pelota de letras" ("The Lettered Ball"), as well as many other cultural expressions, including telenovela
Telenovela
A telenovela is a limited-run serial dramatic programming popular in Latin American, Portuguese, and Spanish television programming. The word combines tele, short for televisión or televisão , and novela, a Spanish or Portuguese word for "novel"...

s, magazines, news coverage, jokes, etc..

Some slang terms with literal translation and meaning are:
  • abrirse ("to split up"): to leave.
  • aporrear: to accidentally fall.
  • arepera: lesbian.
  • arrecho: horny.
  • bacán, bacano, bacana: someone or something cool, kind, friendly.
  • barra ("[gold] bar
    Ingot
    An ingot is a material, usually metal, that is cast into a shape suitable for further processing. Non-metallic and semiconductor materials prepared in bulk form may also be referred to as ingots, particularly when cast by mold based methods.-Uses:...

    "): one thousand Colombian pesos.
  • berraco, berraca: someone "hardcore", awesome, worthy of admiration, "the man". Está berraco/a: (1) It's hard to deal with, difficult (referring to a problem, puzzle, or issue); (2) He/she is angry, "pissed off" (referring to a person). (This is the Colombian slang par excellence, embraced by all regardless of social status, and understood and used in every region of the country.)
  • la berraquera (derived from berraco): (1) the ultimate greatest thing, "the bee's knees". (2) will power, determination, courage, strength.
  • boleta (also bandera, ceba, garra, iguazo, depending on the region): something or someone obvious, tacky, ordinary, cheap, nasty, lacking in style.
  • brutal: extremely cool, really awesome. ¡Ese man, tan brutal!—This guy is so cool!
  • cagar ("to shit
    Shit
    Shit is usually considered vulgar and profane in Modern English. As a noun it refers to fecal matter and as a verb it means to defecate or defecate in; in the plural it means diarrhea...

    ") or joder ("to fuck
    Fuck
    "Fuck" is an English word that is generally considered obscene which, in its most literal meaning, refers to the act of sexual intercourse. By extension it may be used to negatively characterize anything that can be dismissed, disdained, defiled, or destroyed."Fuck" can be used as a verb, adverb,...

    "): to tease, to mess with something or someone, to cause damage.
  • caliente ("hot"): dangerous.
  • camello ("camel
    Camel
    A camel is an even-toed ungulate within the genus Camelus, bearing distinctive fatty deposits known as humps on its back. There are two species of camels: the dromedary or Arabian camel has a single hump, and the bactrian has two humps. Dromedaries are native to the dry desert areas of West Asia,...

    "): job.
  • caspa/calilla ("dandruff
    Dandruff
    Dandruff is the shedding of dead skin cells from the scalp . Dandruff is sometimes caused by frequent exposure to extreme heat and cold. As it is normal for skin cells to die and flake off, a small amount of flaking is normal and common; about 487,000 cells/cm2 get released normally after...

    "/"thin cigar"): a badly-behaved person.
  • catorce ("fourteen"): a favor.
  • charlar: to chat, sometimes to gossip.
  • cojo ("lame, wobbly"): weak or lacking sense.
  • comerse a alguien ("to eat somebody"): to have sex.
  • corroncho: (1) something really tacky or ordinary, derogatory of people from the Caribbean area of Colombia. (2) someone who has something new and is eager to use it because they have never had anything like it.
  • chévere: cool
    Cool (aesthetic)
    Something regarded as cool is an admired aesthetic of attitude, behavior, comportment, appearance and style, influenced by and a product of the Zeitgeist. Because of the varied and changing connotations of cool, as well its subjective nature, the word has no single meaning. It has associations of...

    , admirable.
  • chicharrón: (pork rind
    Pork rind
    Pork rind , is the fried or roasted skin of a pig. Frying melts most of the fat from the pork rind...

    ): a problem, something to deal with.
  • chimba: pussy (slang for female genitalia)
    Pussy
    Pussy is an English word meaning:* Cat* The human female genitalia, for the slang term related to genital anatomy.* Pejoratively, cowardice or weakness as an insult in general- Etymology :The origins of the word are unknown...

    . When it is used as an object of comparison it denotes an extreme attraction to something (attractive/cool
    Cool (aesthetic)
    Something regarded as cool is an admired aesthetic of attitude, behavior, comportment, appearance and style, influenced by and a product of the Zeitgeist. Because of the varied and changing connotations of cool, as well its subjective nature, the word has no single meaning. It has associations of...

    ). Example:
    Eso es una chimba de carro ("That is a cool car). Its use is considered obscene, although it is heard frequently in Medellín and other cities. It can be intensified by the prefix re-: ¡Qué rechimba! - "How awesome/cool!"
  • chino: ("Chinese"): child.
  • chocha: (1) pussy
    Pussy
    Pussy is an English word meaning:* Cat* The human female genitalia, for the slang term related to genital anatomy.* Pejoratively, cowardice or weakness as an insult in general- Etymology :The origins of the word are unknown...

    ; (2) someone stubbornly set in their ways, an old, stubborn person.
  • chutear: to kick
    Kick
    In combat sports and hand-to-hand combat, a kick is a physical strike using the foot, leg, or knee . This type of attack is used frequently, especially in stand-up fighting...

    .
  • embarrar: to mess up, to get in trouble.
  • emputado/da: extremely angry.
  • entucar: to make out.
  • filo ("sharp"): hunger
    Hunger (motivational state)
    Hunger is a sensation experienced when one is required to eat food. In contrast Satiety is the absence of hunger; it is the sensation of feeling full. Appetite is another sensation experienced with eating, however, it differs from hunger; it is the desire to eat food without a physiological need...

    .
  • fresco ("fresh"): "Be cool!"
  • gamín, from French gamin "naughty child": (1) a boy living in the streets (also called ñero; (2) a person who has no manners.
  • gas ("gas"): something nasty or unpleasant.
  • gasolinera or gasolinero: a "gold digger".
  • golfa: an easy or promiscuous woman.
  • gonorrea ("gonorrhea
    Gonorrhea
    Gonorrhea is a common sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The usual symptoms in men are burning with urination and penile discharge. Women, on the other hand, are asymptomatic half the time or have vaginal discharge and pelvic pain...

    "): evil, loathsome.
  • guaricha: a derogatory term for female, something between "ordinary" and "bitch". (Example: ¡India guaricha! — "You ho'!!")
  • guayabo: a hangover (resaca in other parts of Latin America). Ay, estoy enguayabado. Dame un cafecito, porfa. - "Oh, I'm hungover. Give me some coffee please."
  • güevón ("big balls"): (1) lazy, "dumb ass"; (2) also used between men to express sympathy and solidarity: ¡Ay güevón! — "Oh, man!"
  • hembro (term used by females or gays): handsome.
  • levantar: (1) to pick up a woman or a man (example: Me levanté una vieja anoche — "I picked up a girl last night"); (2) to beat
    Battery (crime)
    Battery is a criminal offense involving unlawful physical contact, distinct from assault which is the fear of such contact.In the United States, criminal battery, or simply battery, is the use of force against another, resulting in harmful or offensive contact...

     someone up.
  • ligar ("to tie"): to give money, to bribe.
  • llave ("key
    Key (lock)
    A key is an instrument that is used to operate a lock. A typical key consists of two parts: the blade, which slides into the keyway of the lock and distinguishes between different keys, and the bow, which is left protruding so that torque can be applied by the user. The blade is usually intended to...

    "): friend.
  • mamar: to suck off
    Fellatio
    Fellatio is an act of oral stimulation of a male's penis by a sexual partner. It involves the stimulation of the penis by the use of the mouth, tongue, or throat. The person who performs fellatio can be referred to as the giving partner, and the other person is the receiving partner...

    .
  • mamar gallo (literally: suckle a cockerel [originally obscene, but now humorous]): to pull someone's leg (English idiom
    Idiom
    Idiom is an expression, word, or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is comprehended in regard to a common use of that expression that is separate from the literal meaning or definition of the words of which it is made...

    ), to tease, wind up, fool around, take the piss/Mickey.
  • mamola: no way
  • mariconadas: joking around (Deje las mariconadas - "Stop joking around").
  • marica ("faggot"): a term of endearment used among friends. Depending on the tone of voice, it can be understood as an insult. Maricón is a harsher, less-friendly variant.
  • mierda ("shit"): a really mean person.
  • nerdo or nerda: nerd, geek.
  • nonas or nones: no.
  • ñero or mañé: low-class, nasty.
  • paila ("saucepan"): (1) bad luck; (2) "too bad".
  • paquete ("package"): one million Colombian pesos.
  • parce or parcero: comrade (derived from parcelo, slang for owner of a plot of land (parcela)). Originally used as "cell mate" (sharing the same plot of land); its usage devolved into "partner in crime". Used only in criminal circles from late the 1970s, it is now used openly in almost every urban center. Colombian singer and Medellín-native Juanes
    Juanes
    Juan Esteban Aristizábal Vásquez , better known as Juanes is a Colombian musician who was a member of heavy metal band Ekhymosis and is now a solo artist. In 2000, his solo debut album Fíjate Bien won three Latin Grammy Awards.Juanes has sold more than 13 million albums...

     named his album P.A.R.C.E.
    P.A.R.C.E.
    P.A.R.C.E. is the fifth studio album by Colombian recording artist Juanes. It was released on December 7, 2010 through Universal Music Latino. The album's lead single "Yerbatero" was released on June 10, 2010 as a digital download. "Y No Regresas" was released as the second single on October 12, 2010...

     after this local phrase.
  • perder el año: (1) to get an F (grade)
    Grade (education)
    Grades are standardized measurements of varying levels of comprehension within a subject area. Grades can be assigned in letters , as a range , as a number out of a possible total , as descriptors , in percentages, or, as is common in some post-secondary...

    ); (2) to die.
  • pichar: (1) to have sex; (2) to drink beer.
  • pilas ("batteries
    Battery (electricity)
    An electrical battery is one or more electrochemical cells that convert stored chemical energy into electrical energy. Since the invention of the first battery in 1800 by Alessandro Volta and especially since the technically improved Daniell cell in 1836, batteries have become a common power...

    "): wake up, watch out, smarten up.
  • pisarse ("to step over"): to leave.
  • plata ("silver"): money.
  • plomo ("lead"): bullets.
  • porfa (from por favor): please.
  • ratero (from rata "rat"): robber.
  • rola or rolo: someone from the capital city, Bogotá
    Bogotá
    Bogotá, Distrito Capital , from 1991 to 2000 called Santa Fé de Bogotá, is the capital, and largest city, of Colombia. It is also designated by the national constitution as the capital of the department of Cundinamarca, even though the city of Bogotá now comprises an independent Capital district...

    .
  • rumbear: to make out; to go clubbing (leading to making out).
  • sapo ("toad
    Toad
    A toad is any of a number of species of amphibians in the order Anura characterized by dry, leathery skin , short legs, and snoat-like parotoid glands...

    "): informant
    Informant
    An informant is a person who provides privileged information about a person or organization to an agency. The term is usually used within the law enforcement world, where they are officially known as confidential or criminal informants , and can often refer pejoratively to the supply of information...

    , snitch, tattletale.
  • sardino, sardina ("sardine
    Sardine
    Sardines, or pilchards, are several types of small, oily fish related to herrings, family Clupeidae. Sardines are named after the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, around which they were once abundant....

    "): a young person.
  • sereno (also chiflón): a mild disease or indisposition; associated with cold breezes (example: Me entró el sereno — "I think I got sick").
  • sisas: yes (considered low-class).
  • soroche: fainting (example: Me dió soroche — "I passed out").
  • taladro ("drill"): a man who has sex with boys.
  • teso: expert, "hardcore" (someone who is very good at doing something).
  • tombo: policeman.
  • tragado ("swallowed"): having a crush on someone.
  • trillar ("to thresh"): to make out.
  • tirar ("to throw, to shoot"): to have sex.
  • vaina ("case
    Case (goods)
    A case of some merchandise is a collection of items packaged together. In the United States, typically a standard case contains a certain number of items depending on what the merchandise is. For consumer foodstuffs such as canned goods, soda, cereal and such, a case is typically 24 items,...

    ): a loose term for "things", refers to an object or to a complicated situation.
  • video: (1) a lie, (2) an overreaction, (3) a problem.
  • ¿Vientos o maletines? (humorous form of ¿Bien o mal?): How are things?
  • vieja ("old woman"): woman.
  • yeyo: a feeling of being extremely scared or worried, with a light feeling of nausea or feeling faint.

Colombian Spanish dialects


Lipski groups Colombian dialects phonologically into four major zones; Canfield refers to five major linguistic regions; Flórez proposes seven dialectal zones, based on phonetic and lexical criteria; and still others recognize eleven dialect areas, as listed below.

Paisa dialect


(see Paisa region
Paisa Region
The Paisas are a people who inhabit a region over the northwest Colombia in the Andes.The region is formed by the departments of Antioquia, Caldas, Risaralda and Quindío. Some regions of Valle del Cauca Department and Tolima Department belong to the cultural identity of paisas...

)

The Paisa dialect is spoken in the Colombian coffee
Colombian coffee
Colombian Coffee is a protected designation of origin granted by the European Union that applies to the coffee produced in Colombia. The Colombian coffee has been recognized worldwide as having high quality and distinctive taste...

 production areas, such as Antioquia, Quindío, Risaralda
Risaralda Department
Risaralda is a department of Colombia. It is located in the western central region of the country and part of the Paisa Region. Its capital is Pereira.It was divided from the department of Caldas in 1966...

 and Caldas
Caldas Department
Caldas is a department of Colombia named after Colombian patriotic figure Francisco José de Caldas. It's part of the Paisa Region and its capital is Manizales. The population of Caldas is 1,030,062, and its area is 7,291 km²...

. Paisa people speak Spanish with an apicoalveolar
Apical consonant
An apical consonant is a phone produced by obstructing the air passage with the apex of the tongue . This contrasts with laminal consonants, which are produced by creating an obstruction with the blade of the tongue .This is not a very common distinction, and typically applied only to fricatives...

 [s̺] like that of northern and central Spain. Paisa Spanish is a "voseante
Voseo
Voseo is the use of the second person singular pronoun vos in many dialects of Spanish. In dialects that have it, it is used either instead of tú, or alongside it....

" dialect, meaning it uses vos rather than for the familiar singular "you" pronoun. The role of this voseo
Voseo
Voseo is the use of the second person singular pronoun vos in many dialects of Spanish. In dialects that have it, it is used either instead of tú, or alongside it....

 usage in forming the distinct Paisa linguistic identity was reenforced by its use in the works of several Paisa writers, including Tomás Carrasquilla
Tomás Carrasquilla
Tomás Carrasquilla Naranjo was a Colombian writer who lived in the Antioquia region. He dedicated himself to very simple jobs: tailor, secretary of a judge, storekeeper in a mine, and worker of the Ministry of Public Works...

, Fernando González Ochoa, Manuel Mejía Vallejo
Manuel Mejía Vallejo
Manuel Mejía Vallejo, was a Colombian writer and journalist. The specialist Luís Carlos Molina says that Mejía represents the Andean aspect of the contemporary Colombian narrative, characterized by a world of symbols which are little by little being lost in the memory of the mountain.Doctor...

, Fernando Vallejo
Fernando Vallejo
Fernando Vallejo Rendón is a novelist, filmmaker and essayist, born in Colombia. He obtained Mexican nationality in 2007.Vallejo was born and raised in Medellín, though he left his hometown early in life...

, and Gonzalo Arango
Gonzalo Arango
Gonzalo Arango Arias was a Colombian poet, journalist and philosopher. He was famous in his country for being the founder of a literature and philosophy movement called "Nadaísmo" with other young Colombian thinkers of his generation and that was inspired by the Colombian philosopher Fernando...

.

Rolo or Bogotá dialect


"Rolo" (a name for the dialect of Bogotá
Bogotá
Bogotá, Distrito Capital , from 1991 to 2000 called Santa Fé de Bogotá, is the capital, and largest city, of Colombia. It is also designated by the national constitution as the capital of the department of Cundinamarca, even though the city of Bogotá now comprises an independent Capital district...

), is also called cachaco. In Colombia, the speech of Bogotá is widely held to be a prestige standard of "purer" language, perhaps due to its historically conservative nature (preservation of syllable-final [s], preservation of /d/ in the -ado ending, preservation of the ll/y contrast, etc.).

Cundiboyacense dialect


The Cundiboyacense dialect is spoken mainly in the departments of Cundinamarca
Cundinamarca Department
- Origin of the name :The name of Cundinamarca comes from Kundur marqa, an indigenous expression, probably derived from Quechua. Meaning "Condor's Nest", it was used in pre-Columbian times by the natives of the Magdalena Valley to refer to the nearby highlands....

 and Boyacá
Boyacá Department
Boyacá is one of the 32 Departments of Colombia, and the remnant of one of the original nine states of the "United States of Colombia".Boyacá is centrally located within Colombia, almost entirely within the mountains of the Eastern Cordillera to the border with Venezuela, although the western end...

 (Cundiboyacense High Plateau
Altiplano Cundiboyacense
The Altiplano Cundiboyacense is a set of highlands located on the Eastern Cordillera of the Colombian Andes between the departments of Cundinamarca and Boyacá. The altiplano corresponds to the ancient territory of the Muisca...

). This dialect makes a strong use of the expression sumercé or su merced (literally "your mercy") as a formal second-person singular pronoun. It is also an area of strong "ustedeo", that is, the use of the pronoun usted (considered formal in most other dialects) in informal speech (as and vos are used in other dialects).

Caribbean dialect


The Caribbean or Coastal (costeño) dialect is spoken in the Caribbean Region of Colombia. It shares many of the features typical of Caribbean Spanish
Caribbean Spanish
Caribbean Spanish is the general name of the Spanish dialects spoken in the Caribbean region. It closely resembles the Spanish spoken in the Canary Islands and Andalusia....

 generally, and is phonologically similar to Andalusian Spanish
Andalusian Spanish
The Andalusian varieties of Spanish are spoken in Andalusia, Ceuta, Melilla and Gibraltar. They include perhaps the most distinct of the southern variants of peninsular Spanish, differing in many respects from northern varieties, and also from Standard Spanish...

. Syllable-final /s/ is typically pronounced [h]; thus costa ("coast") is pronounced ['kohta].

Valluno dialect


The Valluno dialect is spoken in the valley of the Cauca River
Cauca River
The Cauca River is a river in Colombia that lies between the Occidental and Central cordilleras. Born in southwestern Colombia near the city of Popayán, it joins the Magdalena River near Pinillos in Bolívar Department, and the combined river eventually flows out into the Caribbean Sea. It has a...

between the Western
Cordillera Occidental, Colombia
The Cordillera Occidental is one of three branches of the Andes Mountains in Colombia that divide at the Node of Pasto, extending from south to north from Nariño to the Node of Paramillo in Córdoba....

 and Central
Cordillera Central, Colombia
The Cordillera Central range is one of the three branches of ridges in the Andes Mountains that split in southern Colombia towards the north up to the Montes de Maria....

 cordillera
Cordillera
A cordillera is an extensive chain of mountains or mountain ranges, that runs along a coastline . It comes from the Spanish word cordilla, which is a diminutive of cuerda, or "cord"...

s. In Cali, the capital of Valle del Cauca
Valle del Cauca Department
Valle del Cauca is a department of Colombia. It is in the western side of the country, facing the Pacific Ocean, and it is considered one of the most important departments in the Republic of Colombia. Its capital is Santiago de Cali...

, there is strong use of voseo
Voseo
Voseo is the use of the second person singular pronoun vos in many dialects of Spanish. In dialects that have it, it is used either instead of tú, or alongside it....

 (use of the pronoun vos where other dialects use ), with its characteristic verb forms.

The Valluno dialect has many words and phrases not used outside of the region. People commonly greet one another with the phrase "¿Q'hubo vé, bien o qué?" Also, it is common to be asked "¿Sí o no?" when assessing agreement to even rhetorical statements. Thong sandals are referred to as chanclas, and plastic bags (bolsas elsewhere) are called chuspas. A chucha here is not another crude word for "vagina" or "prostitute", as in other areas, but an opossum. A pachanguero is someone who dances/parties all night long.

Andean dialect


The Pastuso
Pasto
Pasto, officially San Juan de Pasto, is the capital of the department of Nariño, located in southwest Colombia. The city is located in the "Atriz Valley", on the Andes cordillera, at the foot of the Galeras volcano, at an altitude of 8,290 feet above sea level...

 or Andean dialect is spoken in the southwest area of the country. Speakers of this dialect typically conserve the "ll"/"y" distinction (i.e. they do not practice yeísmo
Yeísmo
Yeísmo is a distinctive feature of many dialects of the Spanish language, which consists of the loss of the traditional palatal lateral approximant phoneme and its merger into the phoneme , usually realized as a palatal fricative or affricate. In other words, ‹ll› and ‹y› represent the same sound...

), and in some areas the double-R phoneme is realized as a voiced
Voicing
Voicing may refer to:* Voice , a property of speech sounds * Consonant voicing and devoicing, a phonological change* Voicing , a representation of a chord* Voice acting...

 apical
Apical consonant
An apical consonant is a phone produced by obstructing the air passage with the apex of the tongue . This contrasts with laminal consonants, which are produced by creating an obstruction with the blade of the tongue .This is not a very common distinction, and typically applied only to fricatives...

 sibilant.

Opita dialect


The Opita dialect is spoken mostly in the departments of Tolima and Huila
Huila Department
Huila is one of the departments of Colombia. It is located in the southwest of the country, and its capital is Neiva.-Geography:The south of the department is located in the Colombian Massif...

, mostly in the central and southern parts of the Magdalena River Valley
Magdalena River Valley
The Magdalena River Valley is a valley in Colombia located within the Colombian Andes mountain ranges. The valley is specifically located between the Cordillera Central and Cordillera Oriental and crossed by the river of the same name, the Magdalena River....

. This dialect is said to show strong influence of indigenous languages. It is noted for its slow tempo and unique intonation. The phonology is yeísta
Yeísmo
Yeísmo is a distinctive feature of many dialects of the Spanish language, which consists of the loss of the traditional palatal lateral approximant phoneme and its merger into the phoneme , usually realized as a palatal fricative or affricate. In other words, ‹ll› and ‹y› represent the same sound...

 and (like all Spanish in the Americas) seseante
Ceceo
In Spanish dialectology, the terms distinción, seseo and ceceo are used to describe the opposition between dialects that distinguish the phonemes and , and those that exhibit merger of the two sounds into either or .Dialects that distinguish the two sounds, and thus pronounce the words casa...

. The dialect is traditionally characterized by the use of the second-person pronoun usted (or vusted in some rural areas) not only in formal circumstances
T-V distinction
In sociolinguistics, a T–V distinction is a contrast, within one language, between second-person pronouns that are specialized for varying levels of politeness, social distance, courtesy, familiarity, or insult toward the addressee....

 but also in familiar ones (where most other dialects would use )—see "ustedeo" above—although is gaining ground among young people. There is little or no voseo
Voseo
Voseo is the use of the second person singular pronoun vos in many dialects of Spanish. In dialects that have it, it is used either instead of tú, or alongside it....

 in this area.

Santanderean dialect


The dialect spoken mostly in the northeastern part of the country in the departments of Santander
Santander Department
Santander is a department of Colombia. Santander inherited the name of one of the nine original states of the United States of Colombia. It is located in the central northern part of the country, east of the Magdalena River, bordered to the south and southeast by Boyacá, to the northeast by Norte...

 and Norte de Santander, bordering Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

. As in the neighbouring Cundiboyacense High Plateau
Altiplano Cundiboyacense
The Altiplano Cundiboyacense is a set of highlands located on the Eastern Cordillera of the Colombian Andes between the departments of Cundinamarca and Boyacá. The altiplano corresponds to the ancient territory of the Muisca...

, there is a strong use of ustedeo (see above).

Eastern plains or Llanero dialect


The dialect spoken in this region covers a vast area of the country with less population density. It is spoken in the eastern plains of the country from the Cordillera Oriental (eastern mountain range of the Andes
Andes
The Andes is the world's longest continental mountain range. It is a continual range of highlands along the western coast of South America. This range is about long, about to wide , and of an average height of about .Along its length, the Andes is split into several ranges, which are separated...

) and into Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

. It has a characteristic influence of indigenous
Indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples are ethnic groups that are defined as indigenous according to one of the various definitions of the term, there is no universally accepted definition but most of which carry connotations of being the "original inhabitants" of a territory....

 languages with specific tonalities at each side of the Colombian
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

 and Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

n borders.

Chocó or Pacific dialect


This dialect extends beyond the Department of Chocó throughout the Pacific coast
Pacific Region of Colombia
The Pacific Region is one of the five major natural regions of the Colombian geography. The Pacific region covers the area near the Pacific Ocean in Colombia that contains certain endemic species and ecosystems accompanied by Colombian cultural influence....

 and is said to reflect African influence. Characteristically, syllable-final /s/ is frequently "debuccalized
Debuccalization
Debuccalization is a sound change in which a consonant loses its original place of articulation and becomes or . The pronunciation of a consonant as is sometimes called aspiration, but in phonetics aspiration is the burst of air accompanying a plosive...

" or omitted, as in Colombia's Caribbean dialect (see above). Word-final /n/ is realized as velar
Velar consonant
Velars are consonants articulated with the back part of the tongue against the soft palate, the back part of the roof of the mouth, known also as the velum)....

 [ŋ]. The /d/ is replaced by /r/ in some words, and syllable-final /l/ and /r/ are often merged or interchanged in a way similar to that of Caribbean Spanish
Caribbean Spanish
Caribbean Spanish is the general name of the Spanish dialects spoken in the Caribbean region. It closely resembles the Spanish spoken in the Canary Islands and Andalusia....

.

Island dialect


This is the dialect spoken in the Islands of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina in the Colombian
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

 Caribbean
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

. It is marked by a mixture of Caribbean Spanish
Caribbean Spanish
Caribbean Spanish is the general name of the Spanish dialects spoken in the Caribbean region. It closely resembles the Spanish spoken in the Canary Islands and Andalusia....

 with English language
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

tones.

External links