Spanish Slang Translation
Let me just say that I love Spanish slang translation. I already love words and meaning, so for me it's really cool to see how words can change meaning across boundaries.
Because Spanish is spoken by such a broad range of people and cultures, there is a lot of room for variation in the language itself. This leads to an incredible amount of Spanish slang that you could study the rest of your life.
Spanish slang is an interesting phenomenon. When I was in college, I was fortunate to take a class titled "Border Spanish." It was probably my most favorite class in college. In that class, one of the biggest insights I had was that Spanish slang (at least most of it) follows certain rules of language. I had always thought of slang as random variations of language that people made up. That wasn't quite the case.
Another thing I learned in that class was that Spanish slang words vary greatly. The class I took focused on the slang spoken on the border of Mexico and the United States (or Chicano Spanish, as some refer to it). The slang that we studied, however, was very different than the slang that I picked up in Ecuador while I was there.
All of this brings me to one of my points:
When doing Spanish slang translation or trying to choose a Spanish slang dictionary, it's sumamente importante to realize that slang is different depending on where you are or who you're going to be talking to.
When I was taking my class, we were required to buy The Dictionary of Chicano Spanish dictionary. While I think it is a great book, it must be said that it focuses on one particular region of the Spanish-speaking world. The Spanish slang translations in the book wouldn't really do you any good if you were planning a trip down to Colombia or over to Spain. But for Chicano Spanish, it's probably the best one around.
If you're interested in other dictionaries, you can check out these popular hard-copy Spanish slang translation dictionaries.
Here are some additional articles on Spanish slang:
1. Online dictionaries of Spanish slang
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