Newly released digital versions of Daniel's Bridge to the Tango Archive (BttTV) are now available at itangocafe.com
Subscription

Fill out the form below to signup to our blog newsletter and we'll drop you a line when new articles come up.

Our strict privacy policy keeps your email address 100% safe & secure.

spanish <-> english vocabulary

Pronunciation
‘ll’ or ‘y’ is pronounced ‘zh,’ or as an English ‘j’
‘qu’ sounds like the ‘c’ in ‘cat’
‘z’ is pronounced like ’s’
‘j’ is a hard, throaty ‘h’ sound

Social courtesy

bailar

to dance

Querés bailar?

Do you want to dance?

Sí, gracias.

Yes, thank you.

Uno más?

One more?

Cómo no.

Yes, please.

(literally “How not?”)

Por favor.

Please.

yo

I

vos

you

él

he

ella

she

Verbs and Actions

parar, pararse

to stop, to stand (up)

derecho

straight

caminar

to walk

abrir

to open

juntar

to join, bring together

(as in, one’s feet

or knees)

marcar

to lead

(la marca)

(the lead)

llevar

to lead, also to carry

guiar

to guide, also to lead

seguir

to follow

escuchar

to listen

mirar

to look

fijarse

to pay close

attention to

preguntar

to ask

Una pregunta

por favor

A question, please

una vez más

one more time

Dancing

el compás

the beat

el ritmo

the rhythm

despacio, lento

slow/slowly

rápido

fast

doble tiempo

double time

pasos

steps

Body Parts

el cuerpo

body

el eje

axis (usually

refers to balance)

el peso

weight

los dedos

toes, fingers

el pie/los pies

foot/feet

las piernas

legs

las rodillas

knees

la cintura

waist

los brazos

arms

el pecho

chest

el abrazo

embrace (as in,

dance hold)

Dance Floor

paso

a step

pisar

to step

piso

floor

pista

dance floor

Directions

adelante

forward

atrás

backward

al costado

to the side

izquierda

left

derecha

right

derecho

straight

Steps & Embellishments

cruzar (cruze)

to cross (the cross)

ocho

a figure “eight”

giro

a turn

salida

a basic walking pattern

corrida

a run

sacada

a displacement of the feet

boleo

(no translation)

parada

a stop, often a “sandwich”

barrida

a sweep

arrastre

a drag

llevada

a “carry”

enrosque

a twist

lapiz

a pencil

amague

a fake

gancho

a hook

rulo

a curl

patada

a kick

adornos

embellishments

Tangos & Milongas

vals

Waltz (Argentine waltz)

milonga

The name of a peppy, cheerful dance related to the tango the music for that dance a dance hall where tangos, milongas, and waltzes are danced.

milonguero/

milonguera

Person who frequents the milongas. their lifestyle or a particular style of dancing.

canyengue

An older style of tango.

orillero

Another older style of tango; literally “from the orilla”, the outskirts of town or the curbside.

Salon

A style of tango from the 1940s.

Fantasia

Fantasy or stage tango.

123