Banana in Spanish: 6 local names for this delicious fruit
Get our free email course, Shortcut to Conversational.
Have conversations faster, understand people when they speak fast, and other tested tips to learn faster.More info
Bananas, those delightful tropical delights, have managed to capture hearts and taste buds across the globe, and Latin America is not the exception, but rather the rule. Did you know that Latin America is the world’s largest banana-exporting region?
And did you know that bananas go by an array of amusing aliases depending on which Latin American country you find yourself in? Whether you’re an avid traveler planning an adventure in Latin America or simply intrigued by linguistic diversity, join us in this post as we embark on a fascinating journey to explore how to say banana in Spanish in all its different variations!
We also recommend that you check out our post on Spanish-speaking countries, as we’ll be naming plenty of them.
Now let’s peel open this post and learn all the different ways that Latin Americans call a banana in Spanish!
Just like in English, banana is used in Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay, as well as in some parts of Honduras. Although the rest of Latin America does not usually call bananas by this name, people will probably still know what you mean if you use it.
Like banana, but masculine. Banano is used in some Latin American countries, like Honduras, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. El banano is also used to refer to the banana tree in countries like Ecuador, Colombia, and Costa Rica, showing the importance of being aware of the linguistic variations.
In many countries, like México, Perú, Chile, Bolivia, and the Ecuadorian highlands or “sierra,” plátano is the word used to refer to a banana in Spanish.
Note that plátano can also be used to refer to plantains, a different kind of banana fruit that is widely consumed in Latin America. In most countries, there is a distinct word for each. However, in countries further south, such as Argentina and Chile, plantains are not part of the cuisine nor the crops, so there is no need to give them a separate name. In Peru, both kinds of bananas are referred to as plátanos.
This is mostly used in countries from Central America and the Caribbean, like Panamá, El Salvador, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic. Guineo is also used in some parts of Cuba, Colombia, and the coastal region of Ecuador.
Surprisingly, Venezuela is the only Latin American country to refer to bananas in Spanish as a cambur, the plural being cambures.
Similar to the previous term, gualele is another unique way of naming the banana in Spanish, and is used only in eastern Bolivia.
Now you know how to say banana in Spanish! Let’s wrap it up with a quick recap, shall we?
Today we learned that there are six different ways to say banana in Spanish in Latin America, depending on the country you are in: you have banana, banano, plátano, guineo, cambur, or gualele. It’s also important to note that in some countries plátano is used to refer to a plantain, which is another kind of banana used in many dishes.
Exploring these linguistic variations not only expands our vocabulary but also offers a glimpse into the cultural nuances that make each region unique. To explore more words that vary across countries, we have a whole series of posts on regional Spanish slang, and another on Spanish words that change between Spain and Latin America.
We hope you enjoyed today’s fruity linguistic tour!