Why don't Portenos know the words "I'm sorry"


Nov 2, 2007
Has anyone noticed how seldom you hear these words in BA? People seem very reluctant to admit that they ever make mistakes. I find this very frustrating. Why is this?
Ariel, the truth is they know the word. I have heard some portenos say it, in acceptance of making a mistake. But do not bet your life on it that you will hear it because it is not an easy feat for other people to say it because to ADMIT a mistake is atypical for some people. You be the better person and not expect the apology to come because most likely it will not. The failure to apologize (if someone wronged you) is that other person's character flaw and is no reflection on you.
I laugh at times when people do not apologize even if they are clearly wrong or have done something wrong, I think of the joke my father used to say to me -he says - those people will compensate for their inadequacies with their big cars and loud trucks because it takes bigger balls to say you are sorry - and clearly these people who do not apologize - do not have any.
What do you mean by Portenos? It's no Spanish word.
And: what you are talking about is no exclusive feature of Porteños. It's a very human and very common thing.
Because it's an English phrase, and porteños speak a dialect of Spanish. LOL!
Listen for someone saying "discuple" or "lamento molestarle" or "no me di cuenta." In general, learn Spanish and learn what to listen to. Porteños are very polite and, in my experience, more than willing to admit when they've made a mistake or are wrong.
I think many porteños are arrogant and thats the reason why they dont say sorry. thinking of themselves and they think they are the best, man, the best. its one of the main reasons i find it difficult to like them.
I have had several experiences where porteños accepted invitations, did not come, did not phone, and when asked about it, simply told me that it was "late" or that they had decided to do something else. Never "Disculpame pero...". When I ask why they didn't at least phone because they knew I had planned to cook a meal, they try to change the subject. Last night I had a double whammy. A friend was over and said that he hoped I would cook dinner for him. Then at 8:30 p.m. he said he had to go out for a while. While he was gone, I got all the food ready but didn't cook it. He called at midnight saying he was going out to a bar instead. I complained, and he said that he didn't want me to get mad, so he would come right away. But of course I WAS already mad so I told him not to bother. But he insisted and insisted, so I went ahead and cooked the meal. Of course he didn't show up.

This can't be just some sort of cultural difference, can it? I mean, when someone asked me to make a meal and then it is all wasted, isn't that just ignorance, selfishness, etc.?

I have had similar experiences in many, many different aspects of my life here. People not ready for business appointments, or else they act surprised when I show up at their office, important emails never answered, called not returned. It's starting to get to me. It's one thing not to show up at a bar when you say you're going to have drinks, but these other things are just not done anywhere else in the world.

JG, you hit the nail on the head. Most argentines are just too arrogant to admit their mistakes. For them, it's always someone else's fault, not theirs! They are experts at making excuses and blaming everything and everyone but themselves.
As for argentines being late for appointments or not showing up at all, you're gonna have to get used to it. It's a national trait and won't change any time soon. I guess they haven’t been taught to be responsible.
I believe no parent wants their his or own child to be irresponsible, sometimes what is lacking in most of the very few portenos that I meet are acting without any concern for ACCOUNTABILITY of their bad actions, I steer clear of. A dead give away are those people who do not look you in the eye when you or they speak with you. 9 out of 10, the shifty eyed ones are the ones to avoid. Do your own test and see if my theory is right. I have had people who PRETEND to look me in the eye and I can usually tell - who the real deals are. And the real ones are the ones that usually can muster the courage and swallow their pride when they make a mistake and - apologize.
I read some of the most outlandish statments by people who judge the behavior of a culture through their narrow imperical observation. History and Geography manifest itself in the culture of a people. ( A couse in Culture Anthropology whould enlighten those critics if they had the intellegence). An excellent book that touches on the subject of cultural development is (Guns Germs and Steel) by Jared Diamond. a review http://www.lrainc.com/swtaboo/stalkers/jpr_ggs.html
Social Mores are derive from the established practices of a society rather than its written law.They consist of shared understandings about the kinds of behavior likely to evoke approval, disapproval, toleration or sanction, within particular contexts. In general terms, when you talk to an Americano Latino about social conciderations, courtesy and mutual respect and intgrity, most will not have the foggiest idea what you are talking about. Why is brother Hugo Chavez held in such high esteem here in America Latino.