Spanish Word Of The Day or Spanish Phrase – Quizas or Quiza

Today’s Spanish word of the day or Spanish phrase is “Quizás” or “Quizá?” Both words mean “perhaps” or “maybe.” Besides today’s Spanish word of the day, I am also going to share with you a little story that will illustrate how Spanish words may vary from one Spanish speaking country to another.

There’s something that amazes me every time that we record the Spanish lessons for one of our Learning Spanish Like Crazy courses. And no matter how many times that it happens, it still amazes me.

We have native Spanish speakers in our courses from Colombia, Argentina and Mexico. And every time that we go into the studio, all of them debate over which are the most common vocabulary words to use. The last time that we recorded a debate came up about whether to use “quizas’ or “quizá” for the English word “perhaps” or “maybe.” Pamela is from Mexico and she said that “Quizás” is more common. Liliana is from Colombia and she said “quizá.”

From the home study courses that I have used on my own, I learned “Quizás.” Not that my gringo vote counted. In the end Liliana vetoed everyone and so we used “Quizá.”

The debate reminding me of an incident that took place when I was 16 years old in Job Corp in Breckingridge, Kentucky. It was the first time in my life that I had been to a state other than New York (unless you include New Jersey).

I was one of the few New Yorkers at the Breckingridge, Kentucky Job Corp. Most of the people there were from states in the south. I mean the deep, deep, deep south. Upon my arrival, one of the supervisors told me that later that day I would be issued “tennis shoes.”

I will never forget the this-guy-must-be-crazy look that on his face when I told him “that’s OK, I don’t play tennis.” The look on his face was only surpassed by the look on his face when I asked “by the way, where are the tennis courts?”

In New York we just call them “sneakers.” That made more sense to me because you can use them for basketball or for plain footwear. Why didn’t he just tell me that I’d be issued “athletic shoes”?

The point I am making is that Latinos from different countries use different vocabulary words in the same way that Americans from different states use different vocabulary words. And native English speakers from different countries are guilty of the same.

So when speaking to a native Spanish speaker, be prepared to hear them use different vocabulary words depending on the country that the speaker is from.