Acapulco Slang

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Acapulco Slang

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In Acapulco, you'll find that most locals speak Spanish. Familiarizing yourself with a few Acapulco slang will work wonders while you are at this beautiful city. Here are some that I have found helpful during my many trips to this friendly city.



Word: Cerveza


Translation: Beer
Patrons from all over the world who are visiting the area flock to the many beach front bars that serve quality, ice cold beer at rock bottom prices. They stay pretty busy, so knowing the word for the beverage of your choice can make for a much easier time.


Phrase: Mas despacio, por favor


Translation: Please speak more slowly.
Spanish is a rapid-fire language that can take many people, who are not native to it, by surprise. Using this simple term will help to avoid many of the misunderstandings that occur when you are not able to fully comprehend what is being said. I have, over the years, been able to get a better handle on what is being said; however, in the early days, I constantly found myself asking for directions to a certain local destination.


Phrase: Que tal


Translation: Hello, how are you
The locals in Acapulco are very friendly, almost everyone is open to having a conversation with anyone, given the opportunity. Sparking up a conversation using the countries local dialect will also show respect towards the culture, as most residents are not accustomed to speaking in English on a daily basis. Just a few key words can make a big difference, when it comes to interacting in a heartfelt and productive way.


Phrase: De donde eres?


Translation: Where are you from?
This is a question that you may be presented with on many occasions, just as you are excited by another culture so are the locals. It is a way for people to break the ice, and learn more about those who are visiting their beautiful city. Some consider it very disrespectful if you do not answer their inquiries, be sure to be polite and patient.


Word: Farmacia


Translation: Pharmacy
From time to time, everyone has the misfortune of feeling under the weather, and when you are in need of medical advice, visiting a hospital in a foreign country can end up costing more than your whole vacation. Never fear; however, Pharmacists in Mexico have the ability to write prescriptions on the spot for certain medications, if you are able to describe your ailments. Do not be afraid to write or even draw out your symptoms, if you can, in order to give yourself the best possible chance of succeeding in your attempts to find relief.


Word: Vale


Translation: It is used the same way that we use the word "Okay".
Knowing even the simplest of words in a foreign language can make a world of difference in your daily life abroad. Vale is pronounced 'Valley", it can be used in a number of ways; however, its primary use is to agree with someone who has proposed a question to you.


Word: El bano


Translation: Bathroom
There is nothing scarier than needing to use a restroom and having no idea where one is located. Locals know these areas like the back of their own hand, so when in doubt, do not be afraid to shout "El bano". I'm sure you will be pleasantly surprised at all the helpful responses you will receive.


Word: Tapas


Translation: Appetizer
Small portions of meat, potatoes, fish, and vegetables. Commonly served with cocktails at local bars. What many in the Western world would call appetizers, but to be honest when ordering "tapas" be sure to keep in mind the fact that what the locals in Acapulco consider to be small portions could feed two people. I sat down to drinks one night with some friends and had a bit of a hunger pain, so I ordered three items off the tapas menu, two days later I had finally finished the leftovers from that night. Be prepared.


Word: Genta maja


Translation: Kind person, gentle and warm personality.
Flattery is a mainstay of the Spanish culture, as a whole. The locals in Acapulco love to know that others have enjoyed their talents or words of wisdom. When visiting a restaurant, thank your server by saying "Bien genta maja", it will bring a smile to their face, for sure.


Word: Movil


Translation: Cell phone
This Acapulco slang is used very often; for anyone planning on visiting Acapulco, I suggest you learn this word before all others. Acapulco has one of the largest per capita users of cell phones in the world, and on every corner someone is always trying to sell you a phone card. Be sure to read the cards wisely, if you do purchase them. I found out the hard way on several occasions, that most will only work with phones from Mexico. On the flip side, street vendors will also be happy to sell you prepaid "movils" for a decent price. It will help save a fortune when calling locally. As most pay-phones cost an arm and a leg to use, if you can even find one that is.
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