How to learn (urban) youth language in European Spanish

Are you learning Spanish as a foreign language and would like to learn some vocabulary that young people use in Spain? Maybe you would love to be able to say something like “Cool!” but you don’t know how to say “cool” in Spanish.

Well, in European Spanish (Spanish from Spain) there is a word to say “cool!”, which is “¡guay!” or, as an expression, “¡Qué guay!”. For example:

– My boss has told me they are going to publish my work on a magazine.

– Really? Cool!

Mi jefe/-a me ha dicho que van a publicar mi trabajo en una revista.

¿De verdad? ¡Qué guay!

Furthermore, the word “guay” is not only used by young speakers of European Spanish but also by people of all ages in Spain. Besides, don’t forget that almost each Latin-American country has its own word for “cool”. How to say “cool” in Spanish? Here you will find a list of words to say “cool” in different Spanish speaking countries. Please, do not hesitate to leave a comment to suggest any missing terms or words to say “cool” in Spanish.

  • Argentina: bárbaro, masa, groso, copado, etc.
  • Colombia: chévere, bacano, etc.
  • Ecuador: chévere, etc.
  • México: chido, padre, etc.
  • Perú: chévere, choy, etc.
  • Puerto Rico: chévere, nítido, etc.
  • (España/Spain: guay)

Back to youth language of Spanish in Spain, I would like to help you to acquire some new vocabulary on this matter. This is why I will recommend you this audio (transcription with glossary included) called “EL LENGUAJE DE LOS JÓVENES” on Hablacultura website. The audio really helps you to learn some urban vocabulary as well as to improve your listening skills while listening to the presenter and the people who are interviewed throughout the audio. The article is for free and no registration is needed. You will need a B1 (intermediate) level of Spanish. It was previously published on the 13th issue of “ELE Punto y coma” magazine, a bimonthly publication for learners of Spanish as a foreign language.

After your have worked with this audio of the website Hablacultura, which by the way was created by Carmen Aguirre, teacher at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, I invite you to test your acquired knowledge using this little test I have created with Educaplay. You will not need registration. In this activity, created to check your knowledge about urban youth language of Spain, you will have to pair words according to which of them have the same meaning.

learn urban Spanish



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