We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Dominican Republic SPANISH!

Worthing, England
Level Contributor
11 posts
1 review
Save Topic
Dominican Republic SPANISH!

Hi you wonderful POP geniuses!

I'm off to Lifestyle Tropical on Thursday and I'm determined to use my Spanish. I learned in Mexico and have been transferring it to Spain Spanish...I'm just wondering what the differences in the Dom Rep:

Do they use usted?

Do they use ustedes or vosotros (for you 'plural'!)?

Is their pronounciation with a lisp like Spain or not like Mexico?

Anything else I should know? Any cool phrases that will make me sound like a local?!

Thanks!

Jo

UK
Level Contributor
2,285 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Dominican Republic SPANISH!

Hi Jo

We have Dominican friends and a dominican relative there.... they use the spanish.... spanish.... like Ki Tall pronounced KEY TA.LL meaning hows it going......but you will get by..they use usted...and gusta pronounced goo..sta.....or....if you try then they will try.they have there own accent but...i have limited spanish from spain and get along ok.there is a lot of emphasis on the u...pronounced.oo.

I'm not an expert and I'm sure you'll have lots more comments... but hey.... well done you for trying....have a great holiday.

Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
2,710 posts
62 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Dominican Republic SPANISH!

Very different accent and dialect than Mexico and Spain! Caribbean Spanish has a pronunciation all its own!

Even people who know and speak some Spanish have a very hard time understanding Dominicans. If I hear Mexicans or Central Americans speaking I can understand them usually but Dominicans or Puerto Ricans or Cubans I have a much harder time.

Mostly its the rapid-fire speed that they talk,and the words just seem all smashed together. plus in common coversation they tend to drop the article, and with their accent, the consonant at the end of words is often dropped for some unknown reason. "Vamos a la ciudad" sounds more like "Vamoaciuda" They don't lisp like in Spain. And there are just tons of Spanish words unique to the Caribbean nations.

All this aside, you will definately be understood with your Mexican Spanish (as I am since this is the Spanish most Americans are taught in school) but you may be taken aback and have some difficulty understanding any response (at least at first)

Cabarete, Dominican...
Destination Expert
for Cabarete
Level Contributor
43,381 posts
261 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Dominican Republic SPANISH!

You shouldn't have a problem for them to understand you, but as someone mentioned earlier, you may have a difficult time to understand them.

I'm a native Spanish speaker (from Uruguay), have lived here for three years, and I still have problems with their pronunciation and misuse of words. I worked in Mexico for many years and never had a problem understanding them (although I admit that they had a difficult time with my Uruguayan Spanish as we mispronounce all the "LLs" and "Ys". Ask them to speak slower and that should help.

Silvia

Worthing, England
Level Contributor
11 posts
1 review
Save Reply
4. Re: Dominican Republic SPANISH!

WOW!! Thanks so much for all your advice - I can't wait to get going...

Any words I should watch out for?

Any slang words that you can recommend?!?!?!

Thanks again

Jo

Cabarete, Dominican...
Destination Expert
for Cabarete
Level Contributor
43,381 posts
261 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Dominican Republic SPANISH!

Not many come to mind now, just a few:

chin: a little bit

guagua: public bus

publico: a shared taxi

en las rocas: a drink with NO ice

cuarto: money

guapo: aggressive, angry

motor: motorcycle

pasola: scooter

motoconcho: a motorcycle taxi

conchar: temporary work

lechoza: papaya

chinola: passion fruit

vaina: stuff

yipeta: four-wheel drive vehicle (all terrain)

colmado: small grocery store

I'm sure others can add more words to this list. Hope it helps.

Silvia

Worthing, England
Level Contributor
11 posts
1 review
Save Reply
6. Re: Dominican Republic SPANISH!

Just watched a film called 'Maria full of Grace' - Colombian film. They use the usted instead of tu - is that the same in Dom Rep!?

Como esta? or Como estas? for how are you?!

Thanks!!

UK
Level Contributor
2,285 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Dominican Republic SPANISH!

como esta is used but as was previously mentioned... they clip all their words so como esta sounds like com estar also ki tall which means hows it going...sounds like keytal.

You will be fine... just relax and enjoy your holiday..... most people there speak some english.... and if you try with your spanish I'm sure as they do with us..... will forgive our grammar as we forgive there english grammar....but well done you for at least making an effort....

New York City
Level Contributor
577 posts
1 review
Save Reply
8. Re: Dominican Republic SPANISH!

Hi

My husband and I both live in NYC. However, I am of Puerto Rican decent and my hubby of 28 years is Dominican born. Where we live, folks are mostly Dominican. So needless to say I have no problem there!

Every Latin country has there own dialect. Puerto Ricans tend to speak very slow. Where Dominicans speak very fast and totally different accent. However, the language is still the same when it comes down to it.

Also regarding Usted. vs. Tu they basically mean the same (you), however, Usted, is more of a sign of respect. You use it when speaking to strangers and your elders. Tu is for family and friends.

Santo Domingo...
Level Contributor
6,723 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Dominican Republic SPANISH!

"Vamos a la ciudad" sounds more like "Vamoalaciuda"

IS totally correct! LOL!!! But please remember that this also depends A LOT on what level of education the person has.

For instance, a well educated dominican would never say it like that!

Dominicans have a special way of saying their thing... and the most populat way of saying "How are you?" its defenetelly "Cómo tú tá?"

Answering the initial question, dominicans NEVER use the VOSOTROS. Use always the form USTEDES.

Sosua, Dominican...
Level Contributor
285 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Dominican Republic SPANISH!

You will find the locals who are used to tourists will tone the slang down for you, especially if you are making the effort. It is nothing like the Spanish spoken in Spain, albeit regions of Spain are very very different from each other, even native Spaniards visiting can't grasp alot of the local slang. It can even depend where you are (like anywhere), my partner can have trouble understanding people who have lived in Pto Plata all their lives as she is from Sto Domingo. You will get by absolutely fine, but no, you will not understand much about someone elses conversation, and they may need a second to get their heads around what you are saying, but speak Spanish and they will get it.