Dominican grammar and Spanish

Catseye

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My maid's Spanish is so horrible I can't understand anything she says.  I may get one word out of it then I have to infer what it is every time.  Is it a dumb idea to offer to get her a tutor or something?  She's got 7 kids and they're all going to speak like this!
 
Jul 28, 2014
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Just adding to the list as the words come to mind:

Gafas/ lentes 
Conducir/ manejar
Ordenador/ computadora 
Vale/ bien (or many other local equivalent words)
Carnet de conducir/ licencia de manejar


-MP.

It's interesting some of the examples you gave, from your first set, going to back to what I had said about "learning Castellano", I had learned Coche as a car, meanwhile its Carro in R.D. However, I have heard both gafas and lentes in R.D.
 

ExDR

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I find it the other way, at least in Sosua, they drop the S typically, i.e. words like Entonces become Entonce, and so on...Also, they seem to truncate words a lot, say the first 2/3 of it, good enough, not sure if that happens elsewhere? That makes it a bit hard for someone who is new to Spanish, I'm not fluent in Spanish, but the Spanish I learned is Castallano, and between the dropping of the S, truncating, speaking a 100 mph and HEAVY use of slang, makes it initially difficult to understand the Dominican Spanish.

It's called Dominican Spanish and not "foreigner Spanish," so if you want to understand it you need to learn the slangs. It's like all Hispanic countries, hell most countries that speak a common language. Each country or region has a dialect and many different slangs. I speak Arabic and damn if I can understand a Bedouin in Egypt. Likewise in Uruguay, it seems that they chew on their tongue when speaking and I can't understand shizz they are saying. I was the translator, lol.
 

ExDR

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My maid's Spanish is so horrible I can't understand anything she says.  I may get one word out of it then I have to infer what it is every time.  Is it a dumb idea to offer to get her a tutor or something?  She's got 7 kids and they're all going to speak like this!

It has to do with the level of education also. My sister whom is a Doctor in DR speak Castellano and is very eloquent.
 

Marianopolita

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Dec 26, 2003
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And there are even differences in using words among Hispanic American countries. Una guagua is a bus (or a large cucaracha) as we know but in Chile it's a baby.
Yes, of course and one of the reasons these variances exists is because words were left behind from the cultural groups that lived in many of the Latin countries before colonization. The vestiges via language come out in the vocabulary whether it's Taino, Arawak, Quechua, Aymara, Nahuatl etc. that's why we see so many variations in Latin America. In many cases, the words are not of Latin origin. 

Even with these variances the more vocabulary and exposure you have in Spanish the less of an issue it is. One does not even have to travel to every country. The more you read in Spanish the more vocabulary you will have and regional words become a non issue.


-MP.
 

Marianopolita

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Dec 26, 2003
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My maid's Spanish is so horrible I can't understand anything she says.  I may get one word out of it then I have to infer what it is every time.  Is it a dumb idea to offer to get her a tutor or something?  She's got 7 kids and they're all going to speak like this!

The maid does not even think about her Spanish and most likely she is illiterate. In my experience, that's the way it is. Ask her to read something and see what reaction you get. There are many factors and most likely she would not be interested in a course anyway.

If you can't understand her people will say it's you. If she speaks fast ask her to slow down and ask her to repeat what she is saying. Rule of thumb with languages is never try to respond if you don't understand.


-MP.
 

mofongoloco

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Yes, of course and one of the reasons these variances exists is because words were left behind from the cultural groups that lived in many of the Latin countries before colonization. The vestiges via language come out in the vocabulary whether it's Taino, Arawak, Quechua, Aymara, Nahuatl etc. that's why we see so many variations in Latin America. In many cases, the words are not of Latin origin. 

Even with these variances the more vocabulary and exposure you have in Spanish the less of an issue it is. One does not even have to travel to every country. The more you read in Spanish the more vocabulary you will have and regional words become a non issue.


-MP.



I was busting a gut laughing at the google lady giving me directions in English trying to pronounce Aztec words.  Chautemec.  Etc.  this morning I heard the google lady speaking Spanish. So funny how she transliterated the English words to Spanish pronunciation. Storrow drive. Boylston street. 

Do Dominicans say "donu" for doughnut?  Never had a doughnut in Dr. 

And what about panque. Is at a transliteration of pancake?  Sometimes I hint it is "pan que". Whatever bread, lime a anything variety quick bread. 

Maria, thanks. 

Always s learn from your thread. Usually immediately forget, but occasionally integrate and keep what I learn from you and other posters. 
 

Marianopolita

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Back to some unique Spanish of the DR:


1) Casimente- only in the DR folks and it's totally incorrect. Casi is an adverb therefore adding mente which is the rule when forming an adverb from an adjective is not necessary. This one is really bizarre and you will hear it but don't start saying it then it becomes your grammar issue.


2) The expression 'no le des mente' strikes me as unique to the DR at least I have never heard it anywhere else. Totally comprehensible though and nothing wrong with it.


3) Here is a syntax structure that makes no sense but typical in the DR which is putting a pronoun in front of an unconjugated verb (infinitive).

Phrases like para 'yo' saber, para 'yo' poder are totally incorrect grammatically. If the speaker is referring to himself/ herself para saber, para poder is the way to express that concept. I have not observed if this is Caribbean wide but to my knowledge and observation so far it is unique to the DR.


4) Un chin- uniquely Dominican


 -MP.
 
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mofongoloco

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The only time I've seen low literacy in a native tongue has been in dr. On the occasions I observed people struggling with writing their name and feyboo account info humbled me. 

More respect needs to be given to people who struggle with full literacy, and those of us fortunate enough to have been raised in countries with public education need to be more grateful. 

Instead, we whine about the salaries of the teachers with master level education getting paid "too much" money. 

I'm in my fifties. Someone else is still paying for the secondary education I received. 

Thanks, taxpayers. 
 

Chirimoya

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Dec 9, 2002
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The only time I've seen low literacy in a native tongue has been in dr.
A visit to the comments sections under newspaper articles and on Facebook pages is in order. Atrocious spelling and grammar is rife across the English and Spanish-speaking world, even in countries where educational standards are relatively high.
 

Lucifer

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Jun 26, 2012
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Casimente: almost-ly

Casi-casi: not quite there yet

Chinchín: casimente un chin

Masomenamente: more or less-ly
 

Marianopolita

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I was busting a gut laughing at the google lady giving me directions in English trying to pronounce Aztec words.  Chautemec.  Etc.  this morning I heard the google lady speaking Spanish. So funny how she transliterated the English words to Spanish pronunciation. Storrow drive. Boylston street. 

Do Dominicans say "donu" for doughnut?  Never had a doughnut in Dr. 

And what about panque. Is at a transliteration of pancake?  Sometimes I hint it is "pan que". Whatever bread, lime a anything variety quick bread. 

Maria, thanks. 

Always s learn from your thread. Usually immediately forget, but occasionally integrate and keep what I learn from you and other posters. 

I have not heard doughnut or pancake in the DR. However, those are English words so expect them to sound close to English with local pronunciation.

Para que sepas no como panqueque.


Glad to hear you find the threads helpful.



Saludos,

-MP.
 

Marianopolita

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This is a good page to expand your vocabulary on regionalisms

http://www.asihablamos.com


I am familiar with this website. It's good for regionalisms, local expressions and slang. Every now and then I look at it to read what has been added and also to see if I am on board with the meaning of the words and expressions. I focus on the Caribbean and Caribbean basin countries. There are expected similarities in the meaning and to my surprise many differences as well for the same word across the different countries. How much you hear daily depends on many factors but a lot the them are bang on and this is for Cuba, DR, PR and Panama. I still would like to look at the list for Costa Rica, Colombia and Venezuela.



-MP.
 
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Lucifer

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While we might be the worst offenders (according to some), I've never heard a Dominican say 'tuese':

"Mire, doctor, es que el niño tuese y tuese, y tuese tanto, que a veces gomita."
 

Aguaita29

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I was busting a gut laughing at the google lady giving me directions in English trying to pronounce Aztec words.  Chautemec.  Etc.  this morning I heard the google lady speaking Spanish. So funny how she transliterated the English words to Spanish pronunciation. Storrow drive. Boylston street. 

Do Dominicans say "donu" for doughnut?  Never had a doughnut in Dr. 

And what about panque. Is at a transliteration of pancake?  Sometimes I hint it is "pan que". Whatever bread, lime a anything variety quick bread. 

Maria, thanks. 

Always s learn from your thread. Usually immediately forget, but occasionally integrate and keep what I learn from you and other posters. 

Here it's "dona" and "panqué".
 

Marianopolita

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Dec 26, 2003
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While we might be the worst offenders (according to some), I've never heard a Dominican say 'tuese':

"Mire, doctor, es que el niño tuese y tuese, y tuese tanto, que a veces gomita."

Where did you hear tuese? In Texas? Sounds Mexican or Central American (countries closer to Mexico). The person is mixing up two verbs and does not know the difference between toser and torcer and even one is stem changing and the other is not. Gomita? Crazy!

You do know verb conjugation is one of the most difficult aspects of grammar even for native speakers but it does not pardon the errors. However, the lesser the education one has the higher the possibility for those errors. Justamente estaba hablando de eso con mi hermana la semana pasada de los errores que veo.

The English-speaking Caribbean is absolutely atrocious for this. I am talking about the average speaker and in many of the islands. I am tired of hearing 'he have' and 'he do'. The broken English (patois in some cases) interferes with the ability to speak proper English and many do not have a clue that their English is so poor.


-MP.
 
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