In Spanish, some words vary from region to region. This is not unlike what happens with the English language, where different words refer to the same thing in American or British English: for example, garbage (AE) vs rubbish (BE) or elevator (AE) vs lift (BE). As a Spanish student, you should be aware of these differences, so you won’t get confused if you ever come to hear these words. As you can imagine, there are countless differences in the vocabulary throughout the Hispanosphere, but we are only going to show you how to say car, computer and pen in Spanish.
How to Say Car in Spanish
“Car”, apparently a common word, can quickly get quite tricky. Probably the first one you learn while studying Spanish is “coche”, which is widely used in Spain. When we take a close look at South America, we can see that it is only used in Mexico. In other Chile, Uruguay, Peru and Bolivia, the word “auto” is more popular. In Colombia, Venezuela and in some regions of Mexico as well, “carro” is the word used. A few communities will also use “concho” and “movi”, but to a much lesser degree. Confused? Take a look at the map.
How to Say Computer in Spanish
It is important for you to know how to say “computer” as well. "Ordenador" is rhe most common Spanish word for “computer”, which is the word you were probably taught and the word that is used in Spain. In South America, we use “computador” and especially “computadora”. However, there are still some regions where “ordenador” is common. It’s safe to assume that everyone in Spain will understand “ordenador” and that almost everyone in Latin America will understand “computadora” (even if their preferred word is “computador”).
How to Say Pen in Spanish
The word “pen” varies a lot from country to country, and in some countries more than one term is used. The word “bolígrafo” is the most common translation and it is actually used in pretty much every country, hence you learning it. But besides “bolígrafo”, here are eleven more ways to say “pen” in Spanish:
- “birome”, which is used in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay;
- “boli”, a short for bolígrafo, used only in Spain;
- “esfero” or “esferográfico”, which you may hear in Colombia or Ecuador;
- “lapicera”, the way argentines say it;
- “lapicero”, which is the word prevailing in Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, Peru and Venezuela;
- in Chile you can hear “lápiz pasta”;
- in Honduras, besides “lapicero”, “lápiz tinta” is also used;
- “pluma” in Cuba, Mexico, Panama and Puerto Rico;
- in the Caribbean coast of Colombia you will hear “plumero”;
- y “puntabola”, prevailing in Bolivia.
Learning a language that is pluri-centric may be a tricky thing, given the differences in the vocabulary. But it is also very interesting because you get to learn a very rich and diverse language, like Spanish - or do you know any other language with so many ways of saying car, computer and pen?
As a student, these differences can be crucial during some trip you may take. If you need any help, you can count on our teachers and tutors or leave a comment below!
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