5 Creative Ways to Practice Spanish in Buenos Aires

After a dozen flight hours, a taxi from Ezeiza airport, and a hot bath, you face your first real choice in Buenos Aires. What do I do next? Whilst mulling over it,  glass of wine in hand, that funky Latin feeling starts to tickle you into practicing your Spanish. Here are five suggestions to make it all the more fun, and some tips to master the local lingo.

 1)    Spanglish Exchange

talk

(Terence Chang)

It’s like Speed Dating, but without the obliged romantic interest! You’ll have five 20 minute conversations (10 minutes per language) with locals wishing to practice their English. They currently meet in 3 locations and you can find all the details at http://spanglishexchange.com/

2)    Spanish Futbol Camp

futbol

(Photo by Rama V)

Whether you’re for Messi or Cristiano, there’s no doubt that Argentina’s soccer players are amongst the best in the world.  Imagine being able to learn Spanish while taking futbol lessons in a professional team’s complex with its youth players and managers. With a variety of options according to your stay time, it’s a must for any sports fan.  http://www.bafutboltours.com/

3)    Eat! And Listen

tira

(Diego Torres Silvestre)

Nothing better than a taste of Argentina’s world famous Bife de Chorizo to soothe your appetite, or you can learn the name of other meat cuts here, and then tour the city parillas looking for your cut of choice. Mastering the menu in Spanish may be challenging, but the mozos (waiters) are usually friendly and offer a helping hand. You can’t leave the country until you’ve learnt how to say chimichurri properly. 

4)    Tangoke!

tanguero

(Brainbitch)

Tango lyrics are as passionate as its music. Learning their meaning is a way into the heart of Argentina’s culture. Google translate in hand, you can beef up your Lunfardo skills while you drink a glass of Malbec wine and sing along to melancholic tunes. There’s tons of playlists, for example Karaoke Tangos for you to practice before you hit the milongas, and if you really want to master the art you can take a tango singing lesson in the nostalgic Almagro neighborhood with Anna Franken

5)    Volunteer

helping hand

(Leo Grübler)

If helping others is your thing, BA Volunteer is a great chance of knowing the country through and with those in need. While you learn Spanish, you’ll also help leave a sustainable impact on the organization you volunteer for.

Top Mobile Apps for Travelers in Buenos Aires

app

(Photo by Georgie Pauwels)

Technology has made travel all the easier, and there are a great variety of very useful mobile apps to help us when we are in a new city. Below, we’ve selected a few of those that we think are practical for people travelling to Buenos Aires.

Language

If you need a Spanish app, of course Google Translate is the most immediate option, however, we recommend Porteño Spanish  which will help you with the language and the local lingo.

Also, if you’re learning Spanish, or any other language, Hello Talk allows you to connect with native speakers to practice.

Money

Two useful apps while travelling anywhere are XE Currency, for exchange rates, and ATM Hunter, to help you find the closest ATM.

Transport

There are many apps to help you around the city in terms of transport. Como LLego offers you transport options and directions for getting from one place to the next, BA Subte  is the local subway app, Trenes en Vivo is a useful app for those who travel by train and lets you know at what time the next trains are coming in, Easy Taxi is an international Taxi app that also works in Buenos Aires for calling cabs, BA EcoBici lets you know where you can find public city bikes and bike paths.

City Guides

International city guides are available from Trip Advisor that offers offline city guides, including one for Buenos Aires, from Travel Guides by Triposo and a GPS guide by Digi Guide.

Dining, Wine-ing, Dancing

Guía Oleo and Restorando are two apps that offer restaurant listings and reviews that will help you pick out the best places to stop for a bite and make reservations.

Otherwise, try CookApp for closed door dinner options.

Argentina Wine App, in English, and Vinomanos, in Spanish, are two wine apps that specialize in Argentine wine and are useful to pick out and discover some of the best local bottles.

Hoy-Milonga is an app for Tango enthusiasts that want to know when and where the BA milongas are taking place.

LightOut is BA’s nightlife app for those that like to dance till dawn.

 

 

 

Spanish Conversation Class in City Bars

(Photo by Arthaey)

Travelers who wish to practice their Spanish and meet other travelers while they’re at it can join the Tuesday conversation groups that take place in different bars around town.  The hour long practice sessions organized by Bueno, Dale! Spanish School in BA are open for all levels and all one must do is show up from 7pm to 8pm with a 30 peso fee. The location of each event is announced via Facebook.

And while you’re in Buenos Aires don’t miss the chance of introducing some fun lunfardo slang into your vocabulary and putting it to practice!

 

Mexican Tasting Menu at HG Restaurant

Mexican flavors will be making their way into HG Restaurant on Saturday evening as Mexican guest chef Antonio de Livier and our very own Hernán Gipponi join forces to cook up a colorful tasting menu full of flavor and spice.

The menu kicks off with Baja California style battered fish, white fish sashimi, sprouts and avocado mousse (paired with top of the line tequila!). Then, two starters follow including shrimp with kumato soup, cucumber and strawberries and crispy flour tortillas with pig trotters in Mexican green mortajada sauce, fried oysters, radishes and sour cream.  The main courses include catch of the day with pipían sauce, humita and fennel, creamy rabbit rice with mushrooms and leeks, and veal cheeks sous vide, Oaxaca mole, green squash, spiced carrots and watercress.  Finally, for the sweet part of the menu there will be a pre-dessert of yacaratía (an Argentine tree with an edible trunk), with blue goat cheese from Entre Ríos and sweet chili, and then a dessert of passion fruit and yoghurt with strawberry, mango and carob granita.

The tasting menu costs 290 pesos per person and includes wine parings. Book your place in advance at 3220-6820. Fierro Hotel. Soler 5862.