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Thread: El español de Santo Domingo.

  1. #1
    Goddess
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    Default El español de Santo Domingo.

    Originally posted by andy a
    I disagree though about Dominican ebonics. I think that is part of what keeps them backward. I once had a cabbie trying to find a street for me with a "6" in the name. He asked someone for directions pronouncing six as "se". He was misunderstood several times. Rather than say "seis" and lose the macho game, he actually spent several minutes repeating se many times. Of course, being stubborn is one of their weaknesses.
    Since I had no intention of hijacking this thread I decided to open a new one.

    It is pretty common to hear non-native speakers criticize Dominican Spanish as uncultured. In my view, Dominicans are not alone in this, if you have trully mastered the little nuisances of the language, and you can figure out other accents you will see that every Spanish-speaking country has its own version of "uncultured Spanish". Educated people in all these countries tend to speak a more homogenous Spanish.

    What do you say? Can we honestly say that our Spanish is any better or worse than that of rural Mexicans, uneducated Venezuelans, and Spanish gipsies? I think not. andy a seems to be ignorant of this fact, however I would like to hear other fluent Spanish-speaking posters' take on this.

    I offer this to you as reference:
    http://culturitalia.uibk.ac.at/hispa...0americano.htm
    http://szamora.freeservers.com/zonas.htm
    Last edited by Pib; 11-02-2003 at 01:04 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default This issue definitely does merit a thread in itself.

    My husband, a reasonably well-educated Dominican speaks clear and well-accentuated Spanish, and is even complimented on his accent by Spanish people, who are usually notorious for looking down on Latin American Spanish accents. His Spanish is unmistakably Dominican though, even though he has lived in other parts of the Spanish speaking world he has never shed its particular Dominican idioms and turns of phrase.

    Unlike me: I am a linguistic chameleon when it comes to Spanish, using Dominicanisms and Latin American grammar (e.g. never using 'vosotros') when in the DR and going back to Andalusian Spanish usage when on the other side of the pond. I sometimes wonder about this, should I speak the Spanish I was brought up with, or should go on I applying the 'when in Rome' rule?

    I don't do this with English although I would try to avoid terms that might confuse the non-British English speaker. On my first visit to the US I got blank stares by asking the women waiting in a 'restroom' if 'this was the queue for the loo'. Translation provided upon request.

    Speaking of the regional Spanish in southern Spain, if you spent a limited amount of time there you would come away from there convinced that the Spaniards speak awful Spanish - if you spent all your time in certain areas limited yourself to certain circles. There are many Andalusians who speak beautiful Spanish but they are never included in the stereotype held by most Spaniards who often cast an Andalusian in the role of a stupid person in movies, jokes etc.

    As for gypsies, I agree about the accent but I have been impressed by 'gitano' eloquence several times: I once saw a Spanish gypsy man lose his temper with another person and the stream of insults that he unleashed spared no one connected with the target of his fury: ancestors, descendants, family pets and anyone who happened to be near him at the time!

    Chiri

  3. #3
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    Sorry to post twice in a row, but something else occurred to me which is also to do with taste and what you are used to. Before I crossed the Atlantic for the first time, Latin American accents sounded strange to my Iberian ears. Now that I spend most of my time on this side of the ocean, I find Castillian Spanish - supposedly the standard Spanish - in particular incredibly grating, and heavy on the ear with all its 'th' and 'sh' sounds.

    Uneducated Andalusians sound comical to me now, and difficult to understand compared to most Dominican accents. Having said that, some Dominicans still defeat me, and part of this is to do with the speed at which some people speak, swallowing consonants at a record rate.

    I remember years ago on Spanish TV they ran an animation based on the Don Quixote cartoon series of the time, where they played the same scene between Quixote and Sancho Panza, each time in a different accent from across the Spanish speaking world. It was brilliant!

    Chiri

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    NO! My brother in law is from rural Mexico. Try to practice spainish when we meet up and believe me, what I pronounce from a book is not always the same, sometimes not even close. Every region has different dialects, even here in USA. Try to get someone from N E PA to say Scranton- always Scranun. Agree with Pib on this. Should add that am not fluent, but read and practice as often as possible. Maybe someday.
    Last edited by RandyE; 11-02-2003 at 12:30 PM.

  5. #5
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    Smile

    I'am native Dominicana but I'am living in Switzerland since I was
    2 years old. So what I wanted to say is: The "Dominican Spanish" is a kind of Dialect, which every Country has (for Example in Brasil they speak Portugues and in Portugal aswell, but its diffrent dialects, which not means that one is better, more educated than the other one)

    And here in Switzerland we have around 12 diffrent German-Dialects, but do we speak worser than the Germans, I don't think so.

    Even Dominicans don't speak all the same "Spanish" !

    Vete pal Cibao y tu vas a ver como the llaman "Mi amoi" y que the dicen "ven a comei" or if you go somewhere else they say
    "mi amol" y "ven a comel".

    So I don't think we speak badly Spanish, its just diffrent, and somebody who lernt Spanish in an Language School or something like that for sure will not understand all the words we use.

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    I've always been interested in language. I agree with Pib 100%. I used to convert software in English to several different languages, Spanish being one of them. As in English, there will always be accents and variations in vocabulary and pronunciation. I met a man from India who knows about 9 different dialects.
    Searching for the origin of a word can be enlightening. Another cool thing about language is finding the words that don't have an exact translation.
    Those closest to the source will understand the variations.
    Great thread, Pib.
    mk

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    Dominican Republic has lots of accents and speaking ways it all depends on your location People from Samana' speak very different from People that live in Santiago or Santo Domingo my Mom speaks perfect Spanish however i used have problems while living in New York due to the fact that my spanish was taking a Tiguere or Chopo sort of style and my mom had a daily battle with me and after afew COCOTASOS i was able to stop the bad habits. Here in the DR people think im from another Latin Country they say my accent is not Dominican (I'm a Marcian/American) lol!

  8. #8
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    Question Dominican Ppoken Spanish is a dialect

    I agree that Dominicans have their own oral dialects as in many other countries. But when it comes to the written language it is Castellano (High Spanish) Nevertheless I must say (without taking into account the "orgullo Dominicano")) that in most of the dayly newspapers and in some news websites the language style is very simple and you will find a lot of orthographic errors. In my opinion that is due to the low standards in education, a result of unsufficient investments in the education sector. A lot of journalists (who should be educated) do not know well their own language. To read Listin Diario or Hoy is much different from reading papers like e.g. "El Mercurio" (Chile), "El Universal" (Venezuela), "El Espectador" (Colombia).

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    The idea of what is good spanish or bad spanish, good english bad english amazes me. I'm been told by many latinos in the States "Dominicans speak bad spanish". My God, language is a form of communication, simple as that. You can pick up a spanish book and learn how to speak like a Spaniard all you want, but if you live in DR you going to speak like a Dominican to COMMUNICATE.

    The same issue with Black Americans who are told they speak Bad English. If most of there time is spent speaking the Dialect in there community, they are COMMUNICATING with people who speak like them.

    I guess all Americans speak bad english because they are not speaking like a British person. You can say England would be the standard, right?

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by sancochojoe
    You can say England would be the standard, right?
    And here we arrive to the center of this dilemma: the standard. There is the Spanish that is stamped and approved by the RAE, and there's what everybody else speaks. The more educated people EVERYWHERE speak the closest to the standard (at least in Spanish we do have a standard) accents notwithstanding. That may be why I get the "where are you from?" all the time here, even though I am full-blooded Dominican. I tend to speak a slighty (I hope) better Spanish than most people, but I am capable of understanding even the worse Spanish, from anywhere. It comes with been fluent.
    Last edited by Pib; 11-03-2003 at 12:45 AM.

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