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Lesson Transcript

Carlos: Hey dude, I am Carlos. I am here with Natalia and we would like to welcome you to the first lesson of the Costa Rican Spanish series in spanishpod101.com, the only place where you get podcasts adapted to the Spanish of Costa Rica.
Natalia: Así es. That’s right. Here we referenced the whole curriculum spanishpod101 and show you how it applies to Costa Rican Spanish.
Carlos: We will also look at words and idiomatic phrases proper to Costa Rica showing you how they are pronounced with an authentic Costa Rican accent.
Natalia: And giving you an insight into Costa Rican customs and culture. So join us for this lesson at spanishpod101.com
Carlos: Welcome to the inaugural Costa Rican Spanish lesson. For this lesson, we will study how the Spanish is spoken in San Jose, Costa Rica differs from the standard version in Newbie lesson 1. Also we will look at some basic expressions using the verbs Estar and Ir. In today’s Costa Rican conversation, we will hear to Mark and Maria who are good friends and greet each other. So, let’s start today’s lesson off by going back to newbie lesson 1. In that lesson, we hear the following conversation.
JOSÉ: ¡Hola! Buenos días.
BEATRIZ: ¿Cómo estás?
JOSÉ: Yo estoy bien. ¿Y tú?
BEATRIZ: Yo estoy muy bien. Gracias.
Carlos: This time with the translation. Ahora incluiremos la traducción.
BEATRIZ: ¡Hola! Hi.
JOSÉ: ¡Hola! Buenos días. Hi good morning.
BEATRIZ: ¿Cómo estás? How are you?
JOSÉ: Yo estoy bien. ¿Y tú? I am very well and you?
BEATRIZ: Yo estoy muy bien. Gracias. I am very well, thanks.
Carlos: So that conversation will be understood wherever you go in the Spanish speaking world. Now Natie, let’s hear the way this sounds like in Costa Rican using some slang from San Jose.
MARÍA: ¡Hola, mae!
MARCOS: ¡Hola, María!
MARÍA: ¿Cómo va todo? ¿Pura Vida?
MARCOS: ¡Sí, pura vida, mãe! ¿Tuanis o agüevada?
MARÍA: Diay tuanis.
Carlos: Once again slowly. Una vez más, esta vez lentamente.
MARÍA: ¡Hola, mae!
MARCOS: ¡Hola, María!
MARÍA: ¿Cómo va todo? ¿Pura Vida?
MARCOS: ¡Sí, pura vida, mãe! ¿Tuanis o agüevada?
MARÍA: Diay tuanis.
Carlos: Well those are two really different conversations. Let’s start off by focusing on the greeting, hi good morning and the way that was rendered in the Costa Rican Spanish of San Jose. Natie, could you read that for us please.
Natalia: Hola, mae.
Carlos: Hey dude. Now in newbie lesson 1, it sounded like this.
Carlos: ¡Hola¡ Buenos días.
Carlos: Natie, how can we understand these differences?
Natalia: In the first place, María uses the word ‘mae’.
Carlos: ‘Mae’?
Natalia: Mae. That’s right. It’s a very colloquial expression and very informal one.
Carlos: I see.
Natalia: In Costa Rica ‘mae’ is dude and it’s used to refer to a male but it can also be used to refer to a female, it’s almost an androgynous version of the English word dude.
Carlos: Alright. So wait, ‘mae’ could be used instead of the term you know young cool dude. You know, in the United States, you don’t call a girl dude unless you want to insult her.
Natalia: Really? Well in San Jose Costa Rica an informal way to refer to somebody is ‘mae’.
Carlos: Right and again this is a slang expression and as Natie just points it out, it’s only used in informal situations. It is not gender specific. So again, the neutral way to say hi good morning is
Carlos: Hola. Buenos días.
Carlos: And in the Costa Rican Spanish from San Jose, we could say
Natalia: Hola, mae.
Carlos: Hey dude. And actually look at the way how are you was pronounced in Costa Rican Spanish. Natie, could you repeat that for us please?
Natalia: ¿Cómo va todo? ¿Pura Vida?
Carlos: How is everything going, alright? Now in newbie lesson 1, it sounded like this.
Natalia: ¿Cómo estás?
Carlos: Natie, what do you think are the major differences?
Natalia: Well here we have a very comfortable phrase, ‘¿Cómo va todo?’
Carlos: ¿Cómo va todo?
Natalia: So instead of saying how are you, you are asking how is everything going. Now the next phrase is the national motto of Costa Rica, ‘pura vida’.
Carlos: Really. The literal translation of ‘pura vida’ is pure life, right?
Natalia: Yeah that’s right, it means so much more. In Costa Rica, ‘pura vida’ is an affirmation, a positive response in all types of situations and not just greetings.
Carlos: Umm I think I get it.
Natalia: It relates to the culture and more specifically the relaxed lifestyle that Costa Rica is famous for and we pride ourselves.
Carlos: Oh that’s interesting. Wait, wait, so if I understand you correctly, here in Costa Rica, stress is a no, no.
Natalia: Exactly, relaxation is a priority. ‘Pura vida’ is a term used all the time but we can think about it as all right or all good or something like that. Carlos, pura vida.
Carlos: Okay, pura vida. All right. As you can tell, this is a really informal way of speaking but it is not uncommon to hear it in San Jose. Now let’s go over some of the localisms that came up in the conversation. Today we will look at the expression ‘tuanis’ and ‘agüevado’. Natie would you take us back to where this came up in the Costa Rican Spanish conversation?
Natalia: ¿Tuanis o agüevada?
Carlos: Cool or bored. Okay let’s break this down starting with the word ‘tuanis’. Natie, what does this mean?
Natalia: Bueno, Carlos. ‘Tuanis’ is an affirmation or a positive response. Actually you can say ‘tuanis’ as a synonym for the ‘pura vida’ that are interchangeable. So in this sense, it means really good or great. The two can be used to answer one another, por ejemplo, if we meet and I say ‘Hola, tuanis’ you could respond...
Carlos: Pura vida, mae.
Natalia: Así es, or vice versa.
Carlos: Well that sounds cool to me. Now wait, if I didn’t know any better, it sounds like too nice a little bit.
Natalia: Good observation. ‘Tuanis’ is believed to come from the English phrase too nice brought by Jamaican descendants that settled in the Southeastern part of Costa Rica.
Carlos: Really? Is there a lot of Jamaican influence in Costa Rica?
Natalia: Well in Limon, there is a Caribbean field there definitely different than the pacific side of the country. For a small country, we don’t lack our diversity, that’s for sure.
Carlos: Oh I have to check that out one day. Now let’s get back to the phrase. So we saw that ‘tuanis’ I mean something like cool. Well what then does ‘agüevada’ mean?
Natalia: ‘Agüevada’ is something completely Costa Rican. It means ‘messed up’ or ‘sad in some way’. Also it could be loosely translated as a combination of lazy and bored.
Carlos: Wait, wait! So if I were to ask somebody ‘tuanis o agüevada’. I mean it’s kind of weird. It’s like two extremes. It is either really cool or like really depressed.
Natalia: Well, in the slang from San Jose, it will be uncommon to hear this on the street. We use it all the time.
Carlos: Wow! It’s kind of a bipolar expression. Well I guess I will keep my ears open on the streets when I am walking around.
Natalia: That’s a great way to learn Carlos. However we should point out that’s a very informal way of speaking. Remember that it can also be ‘agüevado’ if you are speaking to a male ‘agüevada’ if you are speaking to a female.
Carlos: Umm I have to remember that. Now a note to self, do not ask ‘tuanis o agüevada’ at a formal dinner party or when meeting a Date’s father.
Natalia: For sure Carlos, you don’t have to say those.
Carlos: Well I am trying to remember these things.
Natalia: You definitely don’t want to ask a date’s father ‘tuanis o agüevada’ if you want to make a good impression. You need all the help, you need anyways. Now that’s not necessary, come on now.


Carlos: We will stop here for today. Now to further compare what we’ve covered here, check out newbie lesson 1. We will love to see you soon.
Natalia: Nos vemos pronto.

Dialogue - Costa Rican

Dialogue - Standard