It’s well known that Mexico has the biggest number of Spanish speakers in the world! If you already realized this and you’re focusing on this Spanish dialect, you should invest some time into learning Mexican slang.
Many courses overlook the importance of slang and focus on teaching you standard Spanish. However, slang is essential for Mexican Spanish speakers. For that reason, you’ll find key information about Mexican slang on this page.
Here are the topics that we’ll cover:
- What Is Mexican Slang and Why You Need It
- How to Learn Mexican Slang
- Basic Mexican Slang Words
- Advantages of learning Mexican slang
By the end of this, you’ll know why you should learn Mexican slang and how to go about it!
Mexican Slang: What Is It and Why Do You Need It?
When it comes to language and communication, slang refers to a set of very informal words and expressions used by a group of people. In other words, we Mexican speakers have a long list of terms and phrases that exist or whose meaning is only applicable within our culture.
Because of its informal nature, Mexican slang is more common in conversations rather than writing or literature. However, you can also use it on social media or when texting your friends. Although it can only be applied in casual contexts, slang is crucial if you want to communicate effectively in Mexican Spanish.
So, now that you know what slang is, why should you learn it? As a Mexican speaker, I can tell you that there are certain ideas and feelings that you convey more effectively when using slang.
Mexican slang terms are frequently used since it helps you communicate in a more precise and funnier way.
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If you’re still wondering if learning Mexican slang is useful, a language research study conducted by Lancaster University concluded that language learners need to be able to understand slang and colloquial expressions. This is because if you ignore these elements, you’ll struggle to communicate in all the different contexts that native speakers do.
A real-life example: when I taught Spanish to foreigners in a classroom, most of my students could speak and understand most of what we talked about. However, when interacting with Mexican people in daily situations, most of them couldn’t understand a single word. The issue? They didn’t know the basic slang terms Mexicans were using.
Take Note: Many people assume that slang and colloquial Spanish are the same. However, slang terms tend to be more informal than colloquial words. Learning both slang and colloquial vocabulary can help you improve your communication.
How to Learn Mexican Slang
Unlike standard Spanish, many learners are unsure of how to learn Mexican slang. For that reason, I’ll provide you with actionable tips that you can use to learn Mexican slang on your own.
- Follow native speakers on social media. As mentioned above, slang is a common language tool in social media. As a result, you want to follow Mexican influencers, so you may be more in touch with this language. You can also follow social media groups or pages that focus on Mexican Spanish and culture.
- Use specialized websites and dictionaries. As its name suggests, La Academia Mexicana de la Lengua studies and promotes Mexican Spanish. If you’re serious about learning colloquial Mexican terms, use their dictionary and expressions database to incorporate new terms into your vocabulary.
- Immerse yourself in Mexican Spanish. The best way to acquire new slang vocabulary is by watching others using this type of language. To do so, you should watch Mexican movies, TV shows, or YouTube videos.
- Check for a slang course. Even though you may not learn slang at school, there are a few courses that actually focus on teaching you colloquial and slang Spanish.
- Find a Mexican conversation partner. Given that Mexican slang is more common in speech, you should try to find a Mexican conversation partner. Having constant conversations with a native speaker can definitely help you increase your slang vocabulary. Additionally, your conversation partner may be able to address any questions and doubts you may have.
- Apply what you have learned. No matter what strategies you use, improving your Mexican slang will be difficult if you don’t practice and apply the things you learned. For that reason, take the time to make notes, write your own examples and try to incorporate that new word or phrase into your conversations.
Basic Mexican Slang Terms
As you can imagine, Mexican slang vocabulary is extensive. But to get you started, I’ve compiled a list of the most common slang terms and expressions you should know. Make sure you start incorporating it into your conversations as soon as possible.
Popular Mexican Slang Words
- Carnal & Carnala
- Chava & Chavo
- Chula & Chulo
- Gacho & Gacha
- Güera & Güero
- Jefe & Jefa
- Mijo & Mija
- Morro & Morra
- Tronco & Tronca
Popular Mexican Slang Expressions
- Andar de Volada
- ¡Ay, Papantla, tus hijos vuelan!
- De la Patada
- De Volada
- El Mero Mero
- Hazme el favor
- ¡Qué Padre!
- Me Hace lo que el Viento a Juárez
- Me choca
- Me Vale
- Ni Modo
- No Manches
- Pena Ajena
- Ya Estuvo
- Ya estuvo bueno / Ya estuvo suave
- Ya Mero
Advantages of Using Mexican Slang and Colloquial Spanish
Below you’ll find some real advantages of incorporating Mexican slang into your conversations:
- Communicate your ideas more clearly and effectively.
- Improve your command and fluency of Mexican Spanish.
- Learn highly common terms and expressions that you’ll actually use.
- Have the ability to communicate in daily conversations.
- Gain a better understanding of Mexican culture.
- Understand nuances of Mexican Spanish and prevent misunderstandings.