Spanish lessons in El Salvador with Fluent Spanish Today: Greetings in Salvadoran Slang

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Spanish lessons in El Salvador with Fluent Spanish Today will teach you how to understand Local Salvadoran people and be able to interact with them. Learn the colloquial way of greeting in El Salvador.

Spanish lessons in El Salvador with Fluent Spanish Today: “Hello” in Salvadoran Spanish.

Salvadoran Spanish is how people refer to when talking specifically about the slang and unique expressions that are used in El Salvador.

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Spanish lessons in El Salvador with Fluent Spanish Today you learn the official language in El Salvador is Spanish also known as Latin American Spanish.

El Salvador is a rich country in slang and native / local vocabulary to name and describe things, animals, people and situations in general.

Spanish lessons in El Salvador with Fluent Spanish Today, let’s understand the following Salvadoran greetings, learn to greet Salvadorans like Native Spanish speakers:

Common Salvadoran expressions:



¡Hola! – you already know HOLA is the standard greeting “Hello”, Salvadorans use it in any context: formal, informal, work, school, family, friends.

¿Cómo está(s)?

¿Cómo está(s)?  – How are you? It is used just like ¡Hola!, however, you can make it formal saying: ¿Cómo está? Which is conjugated with “usted” (you formal), ¿cómo estás? It’s used for informal contexts (conjugated with “tú” and “vos”)

¿Qué tal?

¿Qué tal? – this is just a synonym of ¿cómo estás?, we use it in informal and friendly contexts. Qué tal is used to greet people, and it’s often followed by: Hola! Qué tal? Cómo estás? , but never like this: ¡Hola! ¿Cómo estás? ¿Qué tal? / you can just  ask: ¿qué tal without asking ¿cómo estás? // it’s not advised to say qué tal? In very formal contexts. Although, you can say it if you want to sound friendly. It depends on your personaility and the context.

Learn about other variations and examples for the expression: Qué tal, clic here.

Qué ondas

Qué ondas / qué onda – What’s up!? Qué ondas!? With the S at the end is the expression used in El Salvador. Without the S is how Mexicans say it. Salvadorans say  ¡¿Qué ondas?!  instead of ¡Hola!.

Qué pedo

Qué pedo – this is a HIGHLY informal expression used as a synonym for “Qué ondas” . Pedo means fart. Qué pedo means what’s up, what’s going up? Even if you don’t use it you might hear young Salvadorans saying it. Note that you DON’T say qué pedo to older people, you can only use it with young people or someone you are close to and have trust / confidence.

Qué pasó

Qué pasó – in context and as a greeting this means what’s up, what’s going up. It is used like this: Hola, qué pasó!? Cómo estamos?

Qué pasiones

Qué pasiones – this expression is more informa than qué pasó. It’s only used with young people.

Buenas – wenas

Buenas – wenas: colloquially, Salvadorans use this expression all the time. It is a short version of “buenas tardes, buenas noches”. Buenas / wenas it can also replace “hola!”. It is used mainly when you go to buy something at “Tienditas” or “Comedores”.


Buenos días les de Dios / Buenos días de Dios / Buenos días eh’ Dio/ these phrases are used mostly by elderly people in the very remote rural areas of El Salvador.


Scenario 1:

*Meeting with relatives *

A: ¡Hola! Tía, ¿qué tal? ¿Cómo está?

B: ¡Hola hijo! Todo bien y vos ¿qué tal?


Scenario 2:

*greeting friends at the beach *

A: Hey ¿qué ondas pues?

B: al suave, mahe.  * al suave means – everything’s good. * mahe/ maje means dude.


Scenario 3:

Informal context with friends on the streets


A: ¿qué pedo?

B: al suave.


Scenario 4:

You are at a Tiendita and you don’t see anyone there but it’s open:

A: Buueeenaaaas!!!

B: qué va a llevar? * (what are you going to buy?/ what do you want?)


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