Argentina Language and Languages

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Most records used in Argentinian research are written in Spanish. However, you do not need to speak or read Spanish to do research in Argentinian records. You will need to know some key words and phrases to understand the records.

The official language of Argentina is Spanish, which is spoken by nearly all Argentines. Because of Argentina's history, you may find several other languages in Argentinian records. These include Italian, Latin, German, and other European languages.

The background of the record keeper or Spanish phonetics may affect the way names appear in genealogical records. For example the names of your ancestor may vary from record to record, at times William may appear as Guillermo, Friedrick as Federico or Georg as Jorge. For help in understanding name variations, see Argentina Names, Personal.

Language Aids

The Family History Library has a genealogical word list for Spanish (34104) which can be of help to you:

    • Genealogical Word List: Spanish. Salt Lake City, Utah, USA: Corporation of the President, 1990. (FHL book 929.1 F21wl LANG SPA number 1; fiche 6105235.) Also see Spanish Genealogical Word List.

The following books and language dictionaries can also aid you in your research. You can find these and similar material at many research libraries:

    • C'assell’s Spanish-English, English-Spanish Dictionary.'''
    • Velázquez de la Cadena, Mariano. A New Pronouncing Dictionary of the Spanish and English Languages. New York, New York, USA: Appleton- Century-Crofts, 1942. (FHL book 463.21 V541n.)
    • Diccionario de Autoridades.(Dictionary of Authorites.) Three Volumes. Madrid, Spain: Edit. Gredos, 1963. (FHL book 463 D56ld.)
    • Cutolo, Vicente Osvaldo. Apodos y Denominativos en la historia Argentina. (Nicknames and Denomiatives in Argentine History.) Buenos Aires, Argentina: Editorial Elche, 1974. (FHL book 982 H2c.)

Additional language aids, including dictionaries of various dialects and time periods, are listed in the Family History Library Catalog in thePlace Search andSubject Search under: