Helpful words and phrases when traveling to the Dominican Republic

Kyle

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Jun 2, 2006
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these are great but when in santiago and santo domingo the educated chicas say where did you learn to speak like that. one chica told me in english you speak ghetto spanish.

so, do i want to sound like an educated or an uneducated gringo ?
 

Marianopolita

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Dec 26, 2003
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Some examples please of how you speak....

these are great but when in santiago and santo domingo the educated chicas say where did you learn to speak like that. one chica told me in english you speak ghetto spanish.

so, do i want to sound like an educated or an uneducated gringo ?


Surely, whatever you learned in Spanish is not from this thread . These are simply a few posts people have added based on whatever they have learned or observed about the way many Dominicans speak. The question is do you think you speak ghetto Spanish, what did you say to her and how do you speak in general?

BTW- In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with understanding and using colloquial speech but you have to know when and how to use it. That is usually a challenge for foreigners. Using colloquial speech is not a sign of good command of the language. However, if you understand colloquial expressions, idioms, some argot etc. it's just makes your overall knowledge of the language more complete. I am in favour of proper speech and anything else will usually follow on its own.



-MP.
 

Marianopolita

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Dec 26, 2003
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Kyle, you revived the thread with a provocative question and then you disappear. I wanted to speak some 'ghetto Spanish' with you. Regresa por favor.....


I also wanted to add some more points regarding the uneducated vs. educated aspect of language because people often refer to language and speech this way but without explaining what they mean.

There is a difference between uneducated speech (in Spanish in this case) and ghetto Spanish in my opinion. The concepts are not the same. Uneducated speech has all the earmarks of people who did not complete their education, had a poor education or did not go to school at all. As a result, they have no idea how the phonetics of the language work and normally have spelling errors when writing and write the way they speak. Coupled with social linguistics issues relating to language, it's a formula for a poor command of their native language.

I think ghetto Spanish has two facets. Some people choose to speak this way in certain scenarios and there are various reasons behind this type of speech- a group of people identify with each other, it could be particular to a nationality but not all speakers of the language speak that way and education (but they are aware of their own improper speech). This speech could also be particular to a group of people due to various social factors out of their control. However, if you move them out of a region and into another with a different group of speakers of the same language and proper speech is predominate in conjunction with education their speech could change over time.

I find it strange when foreigners claim they speak their own language well but when they choose to learn Spanish (just using the language in question as an example) have no regard for the differences in the level of language. They find it okay or possibly are not even aware of the poor quality of their Spanish and seem surprised or upset when people point it out to them. There is a big difference between a person that is learning and makes expected grammatical errors etc because it's a difficult aspect to grasp and control in Spanish versus someone who speaks ghetto or street Spanish and thinks they fit in with other Spanish speakers.

If a person is learning a language the advantage is s/he has a chance to learn it correctly and as mentioned in my post above you will learn the other aspects of the language relating to speech just by being around a diverse group of speakers but by choice. The colloquial or 'ghetto speech' should not be the only way one speaks Spanish. Otherwise the person ends up speaking espa?ol de la calle and never gets a chance to really learn and understand the formal language at all. It's easier to go from proper Spanish to espa?ol de la calle and ghetto speech than the other way around. Those bad speech habits are absolutely difficult to break (even for those speakers who want to improve their speech).

I was reading some info about upcoming Latin events in Toronto and Montreal and what I always find interesting in newspapers and these types of websites is to read the comments by people who post their thoughts about the article, event, or discussion etc. In my opinion, the example below is one that reveals uneducated Spanish and this young person happens to be Dominican. Therefore, all the more appropriate for this thread:

hola soy un artista dominicano vine a canada hace unos meses quiero reasel mi carrera aqui en toronto si ustedes conosen a argien que aga eventos o sea maneger mandemen un mail a .....

Conciertos, Fiestas, Festivales, Conferencias, Exposiciones, y otros Eventos latinos en Toronto

Not only is this uneducated speech but from a sociolinguistic point of view there's a lot that was revealed about the speaker. Even without saying he is Dominican his speech gave him away (and keep in mind I can't hear him so this has nothing to do with his accent)

Good examples of colloquial speech are in post #10 by colombianLisa. It includes local expressions and speech patterns. Both make up what is considered colloquial speech i.e.dropping the /s/, and using short forms like pa' que (instead of para que) and t? ta etc... (how I enjoyed her posts on lanaguge although she did not stick around for long....que regrese....)

Examples of ghetto Spanish.....maybe Kyle will provide some examples here but in the meantime take any popular regguet?n artist's lyrics (except Daddy Yankee) and that should give you a good idea of some 'ghetto Spanish'. For example lyrics from Tito "El Bambino".


-MP.
 
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Marianopolita

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Dec 26, 2003
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To me language has one purpose and that is to communicate. I also am appaled about the literacy level I see in writing here in the DR as well as when I was in Panama, but when I was helping learn English in Florida, not as a teacher per se,but as an employer I'd teach the future tense as Gonna and the past tense I taught them to say did and then the present tense form of the verb. And with that they could communicate better than they had been able to.
Der FIsh


I agree with you regards to the literacy level in the DR. I have written enough posts on the subject matter over the past eight years here on DR1. In my experience Panama is not that bad but my Panamanian circle of friends are educators so it's hard to assess how the other locals speak. Panama City is very different from the outskirts in terms of education and opportunity.

I can't say that I agree with your teaching method albeit it's informal. However, having been involved in language education on a professional and formal level, it's expected that I would have a different point of view based on your examples.


-MP.
 
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AlterEgo

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Jan 9, 2009
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Just when i think i am making some headway in Espanol, the DR Spanish confuses me more. ahhhhhhhhhhh
Doesn't help that i speak to mostly Country people or Barrio Dominicans........

Don't feel bad Harley, my husband sometimes has trouble understanding the campo/barrio Spanish too, and he's Dominican!
 

Allan Fagan

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Feb 20, 2014
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Good God, I've only been doing Spanish classes a couple of months and now I'm looking at this thread with my chin scraping on the floor hehe. I'll maybe pick up a few of those phrases while I'm over
 

kaykat18987

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Nov 25, 2013
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Rrrrrrrr

A few other ones I have found:

Estar guapo(a) - they teach that this means "handsome"in school. Here it is also used to mean "angry"
Dar una galleta - Galleta means cracker and cookie here. Dar una galleta means to punch or hit someone.
Refresco - I was taught that "gaseosa" means soda when I was in school. I think "refresco" is a better word to use
Vago(a) -means "broke" as in "I don't have any money"

You will notice that Dominicans often pronounce words that have an "ar" sound, especially at the end, with an "al" sound. So "comprar" is pronounced "compral." This has been my experience even when chatting online. They will often spell the word with an "al" instead of the "ar." This is not always - but it is quite noticeable.


A couple years back i started to try to learn spanish on my own with some 101 books and youtube videos from spain. The rrrrrr killed me cause i just cant!! I speak french as my first language and english second. Anyways.... I gave up. When i met my boyfriend and i said hi and he said hola. I was like oh damnnnn. Had no idea hoe dominicans sounded. Soooo im really happy for the past 5 years ive been speaking 'dominican' every day. With no need to rrrrrr :)
 

Criss Colon

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Jan 2, 2002
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yahoomail.com
I have one sister who could NEVER, "Trill" her "Rs"!!!
NEVER!
She would make a kind of "DuDahDuDahDudah" noise with her "Lingua Dura"!
My other sister and I would torment her by saying,.."Ferrrrrrrrrro Carrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrril", over & over!!!!!!
For some people it's just not to be!
She is however, fluent in French!
"Go Figure" ..."Mon Ami"!
CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC

ps., that was in Venezuela, where "Trilling" is endemic in the population, Not Here!
AND, don't expect "Dominicanos" to be able to "Spell" Anything correctly!
 

Lucifer

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Jun 26, 2012
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My other sister and I would torment her by saying,.."Ferrrrrrrrrro Carrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrril", over & over!!!!!!
For some people it's just not to be!
She is however, fluent in French!
Fun stuff:

Erre con Erre, Cigarro
Erre con Erre, Barril
R?pido Corren los Carros
Sobre los Rieles
Del Ferrocarril
 
Aug 6, 2006
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There are three substitutes for the trill among Dominicans, it seems to me.

One is to substitute ele for erre. (common around Santiago, as i recall)
Another is to substitute a buzzing sound. Ezze con ezze cigazzo. (I am not sure where I heard this in the DRE: it is common in Bolivia)
Yer another is to sort of palatise it into a sort of softened hard g off the roof of the mouth. (around Saman?)

Ehgge con ehgge cigahggo,
 

sdq

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Sep 23, 2016
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When you say "machucalo" you are basically asking someone to fist bump you.
 
May 29, 2006
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Street foods..

Yoniqueca= Johnny Cake
Pica Pollo= fried chicken
Pollo carbon= broiled Chicken
Pica Longa = fried meat typically served with plantains
Tostones= fried plantains
Batida= fruit milkshake(lechosa= papaya)
 

wuarhat

I am a out of touch hippie.
Nov 13, 2006
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House foods

Modo = rice and beans
Logrio = rice and meat

Street foods..

Yoniqueca= Johnny Cake
Pica Pollo= fried chicken
Pollo carbon= broiled Chicken
Pica Longa = fried meat typically served with plantains
Tostones= fried plantains
Batida= fruit milkshake(lechosa= papaya)