Cheat sheet for Episode 15, Season 2

Cheat Sheet for E15S02

Listen to  episode 15 here


  • Kiosco: it’s the ubiquitous store where you can find everything you need. It was fashionable in the 90s to call them “drugstores”, if they had more space, more products, and payphones. Now it’s back to kioscos, plain and simple.
  • Cordoba y Callao: One of the busiest corners of Buenos Aires.

Cordoba y Callao por michell zappa @ Flickr

  • Mychael Henry , chef at POKE pop-up restaurant



Local Chat with Diego Macadar from He summons everybody to join the BA Bagel community at


Spanglish Playground: Automatic Nicknames

  • Luis/Luciano…Lucho
  • Ignacio…Nacho
  • Dolores…Lola
  • Francisco…Pancho
  • Constanza…Coti

No one under 35:

  • Carlos…Cacho
  • Oscar…Oski
  • José…Pepe
  • Manuel…Manolo
  • Rodolfo y Adolfo…Fito
  • Ernesto y Roberto…Tito
  • Alberto…Beto


  • “I have a crush on you”: we agree that there’s no exact translation, but one that could be is “tengo un metejón con vos/estoy metido con vos”.
  • Grinding: Perreo. But it’s not an Argentine word, it’s mainly used in other Latin American countries.
  • Chabón: Dude. For other expressions for “dude”, listen to Episode 13
  • Jewish Community of Buenos Aires: the largest in Latin America, with around 200 thousand people (before WWII and the creation of the State of Israel historians put the figure at around 500 thousand).
  • Cuddling: Dan refers to it as “Cucharear”, from the Spanish word “Cuchara” (Spoon). And it can also be called “hacer cucharita”




Expat Chat: Israeli Aviv Cohen says he came down to BA before the country collapsed. In 2001, December there was a total economic and political meltdown, that marked the end of the 10-year convertibilidad process, by which 1 dollar was pegged to 1 peso, by law. He also mentions the three intelligence agencies of the UK (MI6), Israel (Mossad) and Argentina (SIDE; which stands for Secretaría de Inteligencia del Estado).


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Cheat sheet for Episode 14, Season 2

Cheat Sheet for E14S02

Listen to  episode 14 here


  • Daniel Tunnard

  • Audio Zone of Buenos Aires: Fer makes reference to the zone between Talcahuano Street and Callao Avenue, between Sarmiento and Mitre streets. That’s where all the audio and musical instruments stores are located in the city.
  • Sapo de Otro Pozo: An argentine expression for “Stranger, Outsider”
  • Mochilero : Backpacker
  • Canchero: it could be “Player”, or it could be “Arrogant”.
  • Boliche: Dance Club
  • Necochea: Seaside city of Buenos Aires province, is around 500 kilometers south of the capital.
  • Seashells and Sunflowers
  • Quequén: Necochea’s deepwater port and one of the most important in the province of Buenos Aires.
  • Mar del Plata: The main seaside city of Argentina, 400 kilometers South of Buenos Aires. The most traditional summer destination for porteños

POKE:Mychael Henry. Its chef.

This is what we had when we went there:


[box]Ceviche: salmon blanco, mango, cucumber, red onion, cancha, tiger’s milk. – 35

Poke: salmon, cucumber, mango, red onion, ginger, scallions, soy sauce, sesame oil, furikake, torigashi.- 35

Carne asada Bowl: marinated steak, black beans, cilantro sushi rice. topped with juilenned lettuce and salsa fresca.- 40

Sesame Noodles: cold noodles, sesame-peanut dressing, soy sauce, topped with scallions, sesame seeds, carrots, red onions.- 25


  • Barrio Chino: Mychael talks about the Arribeños street district where you find not only Chinese, but Korean and Japanese stuff.
  • Flores and the Koreans: That’s an area in the Southern part of the city where the Koreans have established.
  • Florida: The main commercial street -a pedestrian road- in BA.
  • Portuguese on Florida: Fer mentions that, because the most numerous foreign tourists in BA.
  • Retiro: Dan talks about poverty in this neighborhood, particularly behind the railways and bus terminals.
  • Colegio Lincoln: A prestigious school where many US parents send their children to, while in BA.
  • Croto: Daniel Tunnard uses a very unusual lunfardo word for non elegant, low-class, and in the past homeless person.

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Short 5 Season 2

We are back with our fifth short of the season, a special Spanish Playground with words to UNlearn.

The Cheat Sheet is here!


Camarero…………………………Mozo (Waiter)
Falda……………………………….Pollera (Skirt)
Camiseta………………………….Remera (T Shirt)
Chaqueta………………………….Campera (Jacket)
Saco……………………………….. Blazer/Sport Coat
Gasolina…………………………..Nafta (Gas) Note: Natural Gas is “Gas”
Beber……………………………….Tomar (To drink)
Niño…………………………………Chico, Pibe, Nene (Child, children, kid) Note: Pendejo is used but is offensive.
Guapo………………………………Lindo (Handsome, good-looking)
Periódico………………………….Diario (Newspaper)
Carro………………………………..Auto, coche (car)
Lejía…………………………………Lavandina (Bleach)
Jersey……………………………….Pullover (Sweater)
Piscina……………………………..Pileta (Swimming pool and sink)
Bacon/Tocino……………………Panceta (Bacon)
Emparedado/Bocadillo………Sanguche (Sandwhich)
Aguacate……………………………Palta (Avocado)
Bonito……………………………….Lindo (Pretty, nice)
Batido……………………………….Licuado (Smoothie, Milkshake)
Patata……………………………….Papa (Potato)
Mantequilla………………………Manteca (Butter)
Melocotón…………………………Durazno (Peach)
Cacahuate…………………………Maní (Peanut)
Piña………………………………….Ananá (Pineapple)
Fresa………………………………..Frutilla (Strawberry)
Camote……………………………..Batata (Sweet Potato)


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Cheat sheet for Episode 12, Season 2

Cheat Sheet for E12S02

Listen to  episode 12 here


  • Rio-Sao Paulo: It’s a huge rivalry, like Madrid-Barcelona, NY-LA, Paris-Lyon…
  • Carioca: A native of the city of Rio de Janeiro.
  • Paulista: A native of the STATE of Sao Paulo
  • Paulistano: A native of the CITY of Sao Paulo
  • Saudade: A very strong concept in Brazilian culture, that can mean melancholia, nostalgia, sadness””
  • Quinceañera: a Latin American tradition of celebrating with a big wedding-type party the coming of age of a girl, at the age of 15.
  • Carnaval Carioca: Notice the music in the back is in Portuguese:


  • Flaca: It literally means “Skinny girl”, but it actually means “babe” in Argentina.
  • “Muito obrigado”: Fer thanks the Brazilian guests in Portuguese.
  • “Before the Quilombo”: Fer refers to the economic meltdown of 2001, that put an end to the convertibility scheme of pegging the Argentine peso to the US dollar 1 to 1.
  • Pesetas: The name of the Spanish currency, before that country joined the Euro.

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Cheat sheet for Episode 11, Season 2

Cheat Sheet for E11S02

Listen to the episode 11 here

  • Boludo: The ever present word of Argentines, it can mean dude, asshole, idiot.
  • Che: Another signature word of Argentines: it can mean Hey! or Come On!
  • Guacho: Bastard.
  • 2001 Devaluation: Until that year, Argentina was the most expensive country in Latin America, due to an anti-inflation scheme called “convertibility” that pegged the US Dollar to the Argentine peso. The economic meltdown marked the end of that: the dollar was allowed to float and Argentina became overnight one of the cheapest countries in the region…ask any expat who was here in 2003, 2004, 2005…and they tell you how far would dollars go. Inflation has been recently eroding that characteristic that defined Expat Argentina of the early 2000s.
  • Ezeiza: The codename for Buenos Aires international airport, Argentina’s main, and the only terminal for most flights (meaning everybody has to fly through it). The real name is Ministro Juan Pistarini, named after the minister who designed it, back in the 40s.
  • We mentioned Dan’s entry on the blog, complaining about arriving to Ezeiza.
  • Is a very popular (and informative) forum for expats living in Buenos AIres, mainly those from the US. We mentioned on the show that predominantly the threads are negative (doesn’t mean all threads are negative, let alone that all expats are always complaining :))  Here’s is an example
  • Fernet with Coca Cola and Diet Coke: We have mentioned already that Fernet has to be of the Branca brand…but the Coke has to be the regular red-label one, otherwise the drink is crap.
  • Argentina has the best rock crowd ever!!



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Cheat sheet for Episode 10, Season 2

Cheat Sheet for E10S02

Listen to the episode 10 here

  • Richieri: The common name for the highway linking BA city to Ezeiza International Airport.
  • UBA: University of Buenos Aires, founded in 1821 (not the oldest in the country, though, that place is for the University of Córdoba).
    • About University Education in Argentina: it’s PUBLIC, FREE AND OF IRRESTRICTED ACCESS, only High-School diploma and DNI are required to sign up. There’s no payment for tuition, at all, except in post-doctorates.
    • The origin of this system is a revolt in 1918, called “Reforma Universitaria”. It also involves a system of government in which teachers, graduates and students have a say in the administration.
    • It has 320 thousand students, out of which 1 in 7 graduates.

Guests at the Chamuyo:

  • Beatriz Comte, a UBA School of Philosophy graduate. She is in charge of the students exchange programs at the Ortega y Gasset Foundation
  • Claire Meade Skotn, US College Student, who was in Argentina completing a thesis on “Bachilleratos Populares”, an alternative type of High-Scool education for adults, who weren’t able to take Secondary School.
  • Julián Massaldi, UBA geographer, former tour guide, who works for The Working World, an organization that helps financially social-oriented businesses and workers-owned factories.
  • Julieta Galván: UBA and UNC (Universidad Nacional del Comahue) graduate, Portuguese translator and teacher.She speaks of the Chilean system. This year is marked in that country by massive protests by students demanding Free Education. Chilean President Sebastián Piñera responded: “We don’t like State-ran stuff” and “Nothing is Free in life”.

  • Jesús Núñez: UBA Sociologist. who speaks of the Private UADE University (Universidad Argentina de la Empresa) being an example of a college that adapts its majors to the demands of the market.
  • “Argentinos, a las cosas”: ”Argentines, do!”, the advise Spanish philosopher Ortega y Gasset gave to Argentina.
  • “Juego de manos, juego de villanos”: “Handlabor, the game of villains”, says Beatriz, going back to that expression of Spanish colonial times, that shows the disdain of the elites of manual labor, as one of the reasons for a culture that is less focused on “doing”, and more on “thinking”.
  • Max Weber: German sociologist who wrote a classic book in 1904 called “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism”, that is one explanation to the uneven levels of development in the world (it’s an alternative to other ways of explaining the world, like, say, Marxism).

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S2, E10: Meet The Suegros

We are back with an extended episode and the closing of our theme of the month: Education


  • Our skit: Meet The Suegros
  • The last Laws of Asado
  •  educación pública, gratuita vs educación paga
  • Is the Argentine system good?
  • A little comparison with education in Chile and Brazil
  • To create thinkers or to create doers?
  • The binary way of thinking of Anglo Saxons

The cheat Sheet is available here

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Cheat Sheet for Episode 9, Season 2

Cheat Sheet for E09S02

Listen to the episode here!

  • Migraciones: The Migrations Department. All foreigners aiming for permanent residency have to deal with this entity, located in Retiro.
  • DNI: Documento Nacional de Identidad:Any person born in Argentina gets one, alongside a DNI number that is the lifeline with functioning as a citizen in the country. You need it to vote, get married, get a passport, sign up at Social Security, etc.


The Two Moms

Marty Karlin: Dan’s Mother, a Stanford-graduate educator  in a Catholic School in Portland, Oregon.

Marta Penín: Fer’s Mother, a UBA-graduate Psychologist and an advisor at a Public School, in a very poor area of Temperley, Greater Buenos Aires.

Política Educativa de “Los Niños todos en la Escuela”…Igualar para Abajo (Downward Standardization): Fer’s Mother is making reference to a policy of giving priority to maintaining kids at schools, at the expense of letting academic standards to drop. Basically, the idea is to keep kids off the streets, and give them some kind of protection. But this doesn’t mean they’ll learn anything. She gives the example of Elemmentary School graduates who can’t read nor write as a result of this. This policy enables the Government to boast figures of school attendance that doesn’t mean education is being given to Public School students.

“La Epoca de Menem”:  Marta tracks down the origin of Argentine education’s decline to the presidency of Carlos Menem (1989-1999). His administration had downsizing and privatization at the core of its plan. In the field of education, all schools were downgraded from Federal management to provincial and even municipal, which means severe cuts in budget and a subsequent drop in quality.
Familias con “Planes Sociales”: She’s refering to families in which the main income is constituted by social programs or subsidies the government pays to have-nots. One of the most important is the AUH: “Asignación Universal por Hijo” (Universal Child Allowance) that grants poor families a monthly payment of 270 pesos per child, provided children receive mandatory vaccination and  attend schools. The impact in the sign-up rate at schools was good, it increased significantly.

2300 pesos: basic salary for a teacher for a 4-hour shift. Practically all teachers do at least 2 shifts, many times in different schools.

“Retar al Niño”: To reprimand a child.


Registro Civil / Nacional de las Personas: The State Agency that issues DNIs, among other tasks like marrying people and registering changes of address.

Constancia: a temporary document that says your permanent one is in the making.


Spanglish Playground: Ways of the Ass or words for the back part of a person in Argentina

  • Trasero
  • Cola
  • Nalgas
  • Traste
  • Tujes
  • Culo
  • Orto
  • Siete
  • Ojete
  • Marrón
  • Ocote (Cordobeses’ word)


Julian Polito is the interpreter of the Chau Tune for this episode. His latest album “Viejo Nuevo Mundo” merges Baroque tunes with Argentine folk. Here’s more information on the artist

You can find his CD in Buenos Aires at

  • Miles – Honduras 4912
  • Zival’s – Callao 395 – Serrano 1445
  • Oíd Mortales – Corrientes 1145 – local 17

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Cheat sheet for episode 6, Season 2

The cheat sheet for E6S2 is here!

Listen to the episode here
  • Mesa Electoral: Polling Station
  • Presidente de Mesa/Autoridad de Mesa: Ballot Captain. He/she is accompanied by 1 or 2 suplentes, who are basically assistants and back-up.
  • Doubts about a person’s identity: It is mentioned it can be an issue, during the electoral process. This comes from the times when it was very easy to forge someone’s identity, and then you would have people voting several times. The Presidente de Mesa is responsible for preventing this from happening, and that’s why checking people’s voting documents is key, have a look at the photograph, check the data matches the electoral lists, etc. If there are doubts, the Ballot Captain can send the vote of the person in doubt to the electoral Court for them to decide if it’s valid.

To preserve order, the non-military Federal Security Forces, are at the disposal of ballot captains (in case someone gets violent about a decision made by the captains, if they come carrying propaganda)

Those forces are…

  • The Policia Federal: Federal Police, that investigate federal crimes, protect Federal buildings, etcetera. They don’t patrol streets or chase petty crime, except in Buenos Aires City, as this city was a Federal District (the mayor was appointed by the President) until 1994. The autonomy law of the city envisions the creation of a BA City-specific police force, and the brand-new Beta-mode Metropolitana created by incumbent Mayor Mauricio Macri  would be that force. But they don’t have yet the muscle, nor the budget to really protect the city, so the Federal Police is still the true acting force in the Argentine capital.
  •  Prefectura: The Coast Guards. Aside, from patrolling rivers, lakes, and the seaboard, they play the Police role in Port areas, such as Puerto Madero in BA.
  •  Gendarmeria: the Border Patrol.
  • Fiscales: As mentioned on Episode 5, they are overseers of the electoral process sent from the political parties.
  • Ripped-off boletas:  There are very complicated rules for considering valid or invalid a vote if the ticket is not in one piece. For example, if the candidates names’ part is missing the vote is valid, as long as the party’s name and the category part (President, Senator, etc) are complete. It is invalid in the opposite case.


BA Cast Blog  and BA Cast messages 


Spanglish Playground: Words to UNlearn

Periódico (Newspaper): Diario

Carro (Car): Auto/Coche

Lejia (Bleach): Lavandina

Sueter/Jersey (Jersey): Pulover

Piscina (Swimming Pool): Pileta



  • 500 kilometers rule: Adrian mentions that people travel 500 kilometers to avoid voting, and that’s because you’re excused from voting if you can prove you’re 500 kilometers or more away from the place you’re supposed to be voting (which is determined by the address on your document, not the actual one where you live). You prove the distance by getting a certificate at the local Police station.

The song speaks about:

  • Alfonsin, Raúl Ricardo:  President of Argentina (1983-1989), mainly remembered for campaigning on Human Rights during the last period of the Military Dictatorship.
  • Junta:  The Military Government that ruled Argentina between 1976 and 1983. BTW, have you listened to our specials on the Junta years in Argentina?
  • Kirchner and Macri: Adrian says mentions the incumbent Federal administration, headed by President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who succeeded her late husband, former president Néstor Kirchner (2003-2007). Macri is Mauricio Macri, the incumbent mayor of Buenos Aires, who recently got re-elected for another 4-year term to end in 2015. He was a presidential candidate until he dropped out of the race earlier this year. Allegedly, his advisor told him he had no chance of beating President Cristina, so it was better to protect his stronghold of Buenos Aires City, and wait four more years.


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Cheat Sheet for Episode 8, Season 2

Cheat Sheet for E08S02

Listen to the episode here!


  • Brasas: Lit Coal
  • Asado a la Cruz:


  • Stephanie Walker: US Mother of a 6th grader attending a bilingual school in Vicente López

Some school terminology

  • Blackboard = Pizarrón
  • Desk = Pupitre
  • Binder = Carpeta
  • Communications Book = Cuaderno de Comunicaciones
  • La Selección: The National Football Team of Argentina.
  •  F.C. Barcelona:  The Best Football team in the world, as of 2011.
  • Newell’s Old Boys:  A team from Lionel Messi’s hometown of Rosario, where he began his career, in addition to being a fan of it.

Ian Mount’s article on the NY Times

And the reaction on La Nación paper (check the commentary made by readers)

2001 Default

“Este tipo se tomó todo el vino de Mendoza, está loco, este tipo está borracho”: “This guy drank all the wine of Mendoza, he’s crazy, this guy’s drunk”

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Title image: Iargerich on Flickr

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