Sometimes just learning and speaking Spanish is not enough. You may also want to speak Spanish with a perfect Colombian accent. Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world. Even though millions of people speak Spanish, the language varies a lot across different regions. There are numerous dialects spoken in different parts of Spanish speaking countries. One of the most popular dialects in Colombia is the Paisa dialect. The Paisa dialect is spoken in many parts of Colombia including Antioquia, Risaralda, Caldas, and Quindío. The Paisas speak very clearly and the Paisa accent is quite popular for its sing-song tone. That’s why this accent is perfect if you are studying in Colombia or are doing an internship while learning Spanish.

Learning to speak like a Paisa

Staying in Medellin is the best way to learn how to speak like a real Paisa. Being surrounded by the friendly Paisas will make it easier for you to pick up their accent. Regularly conversing with native speakers will help you to understand the Paisa accent in a better way. Listen to them carefully, observe their pronunciation of the vowels and consonants, intonation and movements of their mouth. Practice your Spanish with the Paisa accent and do not worry about making mistakes or looking silly. The more you practice, the more confident you will become while speaking Spanish with a Paisa accent. Apart from talking to native speakers, you can watch TV shows from Medellin at your convenience and work on your Paisa accent. You can also find many YouTube videos of people from Medellin and listen to them speaking Spanish with a Paisa accent.

Aspects of Paisa dialect

Along with repeatedly listening and practicing spoken Spanish, learning about certain aspects of the Paisa dialect will help you to recognise the accent more easily.

  1. The double L (‘ll’) is commonly pronounced as ‘y’ in Spanish, but the Paisas pronounce it as ‘j’. For example, ‘Medellin’ is pronounced as ‘Me-de-jin’.
  2. The letter ‘s’ kind of sounds like ‘sh’.
  3. The Paisas use the word ‘Pues’ very often. It is basically a filler word in Spanish. Pues would mean ‘well’, but doesn’t really mean anything to the story. If you leave it out you basically say the same.
  4. Like Pues, the Paisas also use ‘Parce’ a lot while speaking. Parce means friend or buddy.
  5. People from the Paisa region use ‘vos’ instead of ‘tu’ while talking to their friends and family. You can also find people using ‘usted’ pretty often as well.

Some common Colombian Paisa slang

Learning slang words is very useful when you are trying to learn a dialect. Slang makes a conversation more easy-going and relaxed. Using proper slang words can make it easier for you to connect with local people and engage in a natural everyday conversation with them. Below is a list of some of the most common slang used by the Paisas.

  1. Parcero – Friend (used for male), Parcera – Friend (used for female)
  2. Hagale Pues – Sure/Okay/Sounds good/Go for it
  3. ¿Qué más? – How’s it going? /What’s up?
  4. Parche – Hanging out/Meeting a group of friends.
  5. Sisas – A common way of saying yes.
  6. De una – Agreeing with someone in an excited manner.
  7. Finca – A Farmhouse, where people party and spend weekends and holidays.
  8. M’ijo / m’ija – Used among friends. Means ‘my boy’ or ‘my girl’
  9. Chévere – Really nice or cool.
  10. Amañado – Commonly used while asking a person if he feels comfortable or settled in a place.
Learning the Paisa accent requires a lot of time and practice, but eventually, you will start to sound more like a native speaker. It will help you to express yourself in an even better way when you are in Colombia. Learning this accent will allow you to understand the native speakers properly and make yourself understood correctly.
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