I know many Latinas who don't speak Spanish and they feel terrible because of it. That's probably because there's a lot of people out there who think that to be Latina you need to speak Spanish. I think that's ridiculous, but that's a debate that will never be settled. Instead, it's probably not a bad idea for you to learn a few slang words and phrases in Spanish, which obviously won't make you fluent, but they'll surely help you feel more at ease among Spanish-speaking Latinos.


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What's up? —¿Qué onda?/¿Qué más?/¿Qué hubo?/¿Qué cuentas? You can use any of these universal greetins when you want to ask someone how they're doing. 

No way! — ¡No manches! ¡No mames! I'm not Mexican, but I love this expression used by Mexicans when they they find something unbelievable.

Beer — Birra/frías/chelas. Again, these are universal phrases that will get you a nice, cold beer in any Latin American country. 

To cheat — Poner los cuernos/cachos. Hopefully, you'll never have to use it, but if you ever hear someone say it about someone else, you'll know they're talking about cheating.

Bad luck — Mala pata. Not sure where this came from because the literal translation is "bad leg or paw". Either way, it's a great expression and very popular expression.

Awesome or cool — Padre/chévere/bacán. Chévere is probably the most universal of these three options, say it to any Spanish speaker and he or she will understand immediately. 

To flirt —Echar los perros. Here's another phrase that when translated literally means something totally crazy: "throw the dogs." It means to flirt everywhere Spanish is spoken, except in Spain where it means to scold. Weird!

Money — Chavos/lucas/plata/lana. And the list goes on and on... 

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Topics: spanish  latinos in america