Guatemalan Spanish feature #1

Guatemalan Spanish is filled with interesting, at least according to me, features. I’ll be trying to cover some features in this blog whenever I’m bored and have nothing else to do. I hope some people will find them interesting.

Feature #1: The word bien

Now, you’re probably thinking: Bien? Isn’t that word part of every Spanish dialect out there? Well, yeah, but in Guatemalan Spanish, this simple little word has an extra use. It can be used to answer negative questions in a positive manner, i.e. indicating the contrary of the question asked. Analogous to the German doch and the Norwegian jo.

Note: Just like these other words in other languages, it doesn’t necessarily have to be an answer to a question.


-¿Ayer no fuiste a la fiesta?
-Bien, pero llegué tarde.

-Eso no tiene ningún sentido…
-¡Bien! (Sí lo tiene)

I’ve yet to find another Spanish dialect that features this, though to be honest I haven’t tried to hard to find one. It probably is pretty unique, anyway!