Pat Cheek

Meet the Author: José Antonio González Ugalde

José Antonio González Ugalde
The Dictionary of Costa Rican Slang – by José Antonio González Ugalde

By Pat Cheek 

14 years went  into the writing and publishing of this book: Dictionary of Costa Rican Slang – now that’s dedication! I met with José  during the holidays for a cup of coffee and enjoyed hearing the story of how it all came about. 

José grew up surrounded by coffee plantations in Barrio Cristo Rey de Flores in the providence of Heredia. He is the youngest boy of 17 children and the only one in his family to graduate from high school and college. He is presently working on his Masters in Translation at the Universidad Nacional of Costa Rica. He also spent 3 years living in the US and teaching Spanish as a second language to middle and high school students. 

First to write in Spanish beginning in 1996 and then English was a huge undertaking. He presented the book to the National Registry only to be turned down due to a law that regarded the dictionary as too “vulgar”. Later, in 2009 with a change in the law it was accepted. This book represents the most complete references to all Costa Rica slang and at times may seem a little vulgar and possibly not for children to read but it does reflect a complete part of the true language used. It does give those of us trying to understand Spanish a great insight in to some of the phrases we hear. José hopes that everyone will enjoy reading and use the book. 

José lives in Santa Barbara de Heredia with his wife and son. The book is now in the Library Lehman in San José and the Universal Bookstore and available locally at Jaime Peligro Book Store, Mot Mot Gift Store, Café Milagro and Regalamé. Pick up our copy today and start learning all those sayings that have left you wondering what was just said! It is a very interesting, funny and enjoyable read. Thanks José. 

3 thoughts on “Meet the Author: José Antonio González Ugalde

  • Hola Jose! I am so happy for you and your success with your book. I don’t know if you remember me but we were good friends in Manuel Antonio back in 1998. I have an original copy of your book and am so proud of you for getting it published. I will buy the new book from Amazon as well to see the pictures too. I would love to catch up with you someday if you have email or facebook.

  • I think I still have an original 1996 version! congratulations dear friend! Pura vida ma’e!

  • The dictionary is also available on Amazon in paperback and kindle format. Thanks a lot for the article, Pat.

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