Puerto Rican Spanish help?

I am doing a Spanish project on Puerto Rican Spanish, and i wanted to know if anybody could help me out with the topic.

What are the basics about Puerto Rican Spanish?

what is the difference between PR Spanish and normal Spanish?

and just more facts about it.

and more info. on informal and formal sayings.

please and thanks

2 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Best Answer

    It's too big a topic to cover entirely in this space but here are some basics:

    Puerto Rican Spanish is classified by most linguists as "Caribbean Spanish" along with the Spanish of Cuba, Dominican Republic, Colombia and Venezuela.

    In Caribbean Spanish, preconsonantal /s/ and terminal /s/ are dropped. Thus, words like Batista, comunista (communist), La Cruz Roja (The Red Cross), restaurantito ( a little restaurant), Hace cuarenta años (Forty years ago), que lástima! (what a pity!), Buenas noches (Good night) and gracias (Thank you) sound like Bati'ta, comuni'ta, La Cru' Roha, re'taurantito, A'hay kwarenta anyoh, que lá'tima!, Bwenah nocheh, and grasia or grahia.

    A common example given for Puerto Rican Spanish is that a phrase like Los barcos estan en el mar ("The boats are on the sea") sounds like "Loh balkoh ehtang en el mal in a strong Puerto Rican accent and a phrase lie Dos hombres ("Two men") sounds like "Dohm-bray" in both Puerto Rican and Cuban Spanish (a process called "elision" in linguistics). In Mexico, on the other hand, these S's are pronounced and Dos hombres sounds like "dohs ohmbrays."

    Puerto Ricans also have a tendency to pronounce preconsonantal /r/ and terminal /r/ like l. Thus, words like perdona (excuse me) and farmacia (drugstore) tend to sound sound like peldona and falmacia. Phrases like Lo extraño ("I miss him") and Te extrañé ("I missed you") sound like Lo e'tlanyo and Tay e'tranyeh.

    This /r/ to /l/ change is a feature of the Estremaduran dialect of Spanish spoken near Portugal. Most of the Spanish colonists who settled in Puerto Rico came from the province of Estremadura.

    Like other countries in Latin America, Puerto Ricans have their own words for certain things which are different from standard Spanish like capa (raincoat) guagua (bus) sombrilla (umbrella), vellonera (juke box) and sapo (frog) whereas in standard Spanish these words would be impermeable, autobús, paraguas, tocadiscos and rana. Pana is a slang term which Puerto Ricans use a lot for "pal" or "buddy" instead of amigo or compañero. Bobito, another slang term from bobo meaning "dumb" is a word which Puerto Ricans often use for stupid instead of "estupido." Bobita is the feminine form e.g. una niña (or nena) bobita = a stupid girl or una pregunta bobita = a stupid question.

    Because of Puerto Rico's close association with the United States, there are more anglicisms in Puerto Rican Spanish than in other countries like un jonrón "a homerun," socer or soquer for "soccer" instead of fútbol and janguear meaning "to hang out."

    Besides Caribbean Spanish, some other forms of Spanish include Mexican Spanish, Central American Spanish, Andean Spanish (Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia), Platense or La Plata Spanish (Uruguay and Argentina) and Castilian Spanish (Spain).

    Because Puerto Rico was in contact with Spain for a longer period of time than other Latin American countries (until 1898) , it is a little closer to the Castilian Spanish of Spain in some respects. In other words, Puerto Rico uses more of the same words that are used in Spain than Mexican Spanish or the Spanishes of South America. For example, Mexicans, Cubans and Guatemalans all call beans "frijoles" but Puerto Ricans call them "habas" just as in Spain. In Spain and Puerto Rico "frijoles" means just "kidney beans."

  • 4 years ago


    Great answer! I worked with many Puerto Ricans all my life and have many friends. What you have written is absolutely correct.

    I went to college with many Cubans and their Spanish is very similar with a slight difference in accent.

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