Argentina Communication

Phone

Major mobile phone providers include Movistar, Claro, and Personal. Visit one of their many customer service branches in major cities with an unlocked American or European mobile phone and buy a SIM card for about 10 or 20 pesos. The representative will sell you the card and insert it into the phone and register it using your name and passport number, to give you an Argentinian phone number. Due to steep government duties, iphones and ipads are very rare in Argentina. The company Personal was able to help us, with a special punch tool that cuts down the size of the chip to fit into the phone.

Receiving calls is usually free, except for international calls, and some cross network / inter-city calls - hence to keep in touch with people abroad it might be best to get a virtual number service. You can also use a free service such as Skype or Google Hangouts.

Language

The official language is Spanish, spoken by almost all Argentines. Most notably, the pronoun "tú" is replaced by "vos", and the you plural pronoun "vosotros" replaced with "ustedes", the latter being common throughout Latin America. There are several second-languages in widespread use among the Argentine population such as English, Italian, Arabic and Standard German.

Hand gestures derived from Italy are extremely common, and many colloquialisms are borrowed from Italian. Most locals can readily understand most Spanish dialects, as well as Portuguese or Italian. English is mandatory in high school and usually understood in at least a basic level in tourists' areas. German and French can be understood and to some extent spoken by small fractions of the population. A few places in Patagonia near Rawson have native Welsh speakers.

Internet

Many cafes and restaurants offer free Wi-Fi with an advertisement in their windows. There are also many 'cyber cafes' or kiosks that rent out the use of a computer for a couple of pesos per hour (less than a dollar per hour). If you have a smartphone it can be quite affordable to buy a local SIM card and use the internet from the cellular network. Most operators seem to charge only 1 peso per day for unlimited or limited use of internet.