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Keeping you out of trouble

Little things you may want to know to keep you out of trouble.

We speak Spanish / Español in PR, not Puerto Rican.
We are Puerto Ricans or Puertorricans, also Boriquas or Borinqueños (based on the Taino name for the island (Borinquen))

Never confuse us for Mexican or ask us about our Mexican food. Like you we do cook a taco or two but that is not our food.
Very few food items we eat have any heat on them and all dishes that have heat are by default available without heat. So only a few items will have heat once in a while. Our hot sauce is called "Pique" usually made with Whole Caballero peppers with water, vinegar, oil and spices. It is almost always available in any restaurant that serves local food, just on in case you want heat. We know what a jalapeño is but we don't normally eat them unless we are eating Mexican foods.

We are US citizens, we do not emigrate to the US, we just use our driver license to get on a plane.

Never insult the flag or the country, insult the government all you want.

While you are eating most people that pass by your table will say "Buen Provecho " it means good health basically, don't get aggravated by it, it is a strong culture thing you will have to live with. Say thank you, or Gracias or just nod your head. The more people walk by your table the more you will hear it.

When somebody wants to get by you the will say: "Con su Permiso" or just "Permiso" which translates directly to with your permission or excuse me. DO THE SAME, don't just push by. VERY RUDE.

Avoid being sarcastic, it can confuse people or aggravate them. Only use it with a GOOD friend. Say what you mean.

The. term Señor = Sir, the term Señora = mis, the term "Don" for males followed by your name or "Doña" for females is like sir or mis but normally used when you become part of the community, it is a respectful way for them to acknowledge that you belong.

Compadre (males) means godfather or also buddy, again they are being respectful, showing they care, same for Comadre (female). Also may be used to acknowledge you as en elder as in a tribe, not as you are old. Basically consider it means buddy.

Primo = cousin may also be used when addressing you, again it is respectful but in a more familiar way. Prima for female.

Papi = Daddy, they may use it for you but is less common, we are getting more familiar now. Mami = Mommy. Again we are getting a little too friendly. A lot of times it is used to show you regards just before they disagree with you are a way to try to not get you angry. Obviously between a father and a son or a son and a mother it is normal as it is in the US.

Most Puerto Ricans have no problem with being a JIBARO which is like a hillbilly, as a matter of fact they feel pride in it.

Learn these and you will go a long way.
BTW giving somebody the finger may get you shot just like in the states.

This could be a fun thread if we add stuff we notice to be true.

I'll add:

Love, love baseball, soccer (futbol) not really.

35th :

This could be a fun thread if we add stuff we notice to be true.

I'll add:

Love, love baseball, soccer (futbol) not really.

Americans may fight you for the meaning of football,  :lol:

I like to joke around the my g/f's family regarding the dropping of the "s" in words. They insist the "s" is there but I don't hear it.

Terms of love that are racist in the US.
Negro (black) is a color description as he is black.
When a woman talks about her Negro, she means her love one.
If referring to a negrito (black diminutive) she may still be speaking about her lover or her child, check the context of the conversation.

You may see somebody referring to his Negrita even if she is as white as paper. It is a love thing.

Mi mulata is also very common.

There are some remands of racism in PR but it is rare and very little, if said in anger it is probably a racist remark, otherwise it is probably an affection thing.

In PR we are very proud of our 3 races, we are not really part African American. We are part African (from actual slaves that came from Africa not the US), part Taino (Indian from the Caribbean), and part Spaniard. The original mix.
Since then people from all over Europe, Asia, and many other countries have mix in.

If you see somebody with red hair, green eyes and white as a ghost, likely they are Puerto Rican, try your Spanish on them first. I have made the same mistake of thinking they are American, had egg on my face.

Try your Spanish with anybody. If they respond with broken Spanish you were right, if they respond with English, then just switch.

:lol:

richvide0 :

I like to joke around the my g/f's family regarding the dropping of the "s" in words. They insist the "s" is there but I don't hear it.

We tend to speak very fast Spanish, and to speak faster we do not enunciate as much. We also make changes to words.

Can: as in I can, is "Puedo" but a lot of time we drop the d out and say "Pueo". There are a lot of words that we munch in different way, which makes it hard to understand. Ask them to speak slower and they will probably also stop munching words.

We also on ocasión, use some Taino words like Batey (yard) these you would not know, just ask them what it means, they won't be offended, it is cool.

We have a problem with the sound of B versus V, to me and many others they sound the same, so when writing we tend to use one or the other with no particular pattern, the spell checker solves the problem.

But when we speak correct and slower, you should be able to follow just fine.

Don't be afraid to ask the meaning of a word and do not be afraid to ask them to slow down. They know the language is new to you and gladly accommodate.

I'm enjoying this thread :)

Don't say it's the Cha-Cha they are doin. That's Cuban.

Probably Salsa which was birthed by Nuyoricans sayeth Wiki but spiritual home is PR sayeth NY Times, or maybe it can be Merengue ala DomRepublic but very popular in PR.

Salsa and Merengue are stunning to watch. Mesmerizing.  Saw it and got hooked in Cabo at a rural open air bar/dance floor on Rt 307 across the road to the south of the popular local bar "Los Vaqueros del Mar" (has a Facebook page). Salsa band is rockin Thurs Fri Sat evenings. Full house--100 personas? spread out, mainly a 35-70 y.o crowd?

I got hooked. Which is how I learned a bit about the history of Latin American dance styles. Youtube has a bunch of PR Salsa-Merengue videos. And the Bomba, Plana,  y Cha-Cha PR style.

Puerto Ricans are amazing, amazing dancers.

I don't hear the "s" most of the time, either, plus most people speak way too fast for a learner.  My Mexican friend says PR Spanish is terrible gramatically.  But, I keep trying!

annabfalter :

I don't hear the "s" most of the time, either, plus most people speak way too fast for a learner.  My Mexican friend says PR Spanish is terrible gramatically.  But, I keep trying!

Wow, your friend has strong opinions.
Uneducated and lazy speakers in any language and dialect can make Spanish look different, but the truth is that Spanish is Spanish, Laziness, and lack of education is another matter. Mexican are by a long shot not the best Spanish speakers either, Best I seen so far are the Argentinians which tend to stick to the mother tongue closer.

He will be in for a surprise when he visits us...  can't wait! ;)

Rey, weren't you stationed in Spain for awhile? I've noticed many similarities between Spainards' castellano and Puerto Rican Spanish. For instance, they share many more refranes than I've heard between Spaniards' castellano and other Spanish-speaking countries. I'd even go so far to say that the speaking rhythm and speed of madrileños is (relatively) closer to Puerto Rican Spanish than many other former colonies' Spanish. I see this putting aside the Spanish castellano lisp, which not every castellano speaker employs. Did you notice this too?

Since moving to Switzerland, I've taken the opportunity to visit Italy as much as possible. You quickly begin to understand the influence the great number of Italian immigrants to Argentina have made on Argentinian Spanish.

annabfalter :

He will be in for a surprise when he visits us...  can't wait! ;)

Let me speak with him and he can count the number of words he does not understand and I will counts the ones I don't.

NomadLawyer :

Rey, weren't you stationed in Spain for awhile? I've noticed many similarities between Spainards' castellano and Puerto Rican Spanish. For instance, they share many more refranes than I've heard between Spaniards' castellano and other Spanish-speaking countries. I'd even go so far to say that the speaking rhythm and speed of madrileños is (relatively) closer to Puerto Rican Spanish than many other former colonies' Spanish. I see this putting aside the Spanish castellano lisp, which not every castellano speaker employs. Did you notice this too?

Since moving to Switzerland, I've taken the opportunity to visit Italy as much as possible. You quickly begin to understand the influence the great number of Italian immigrants to Argentina have made on Argentinian Spanish.

Yes I was in Germany for 2 years and traveled to France and Spain on occasion while I was there. Depending on where you go in Spain you may also run into Catalan which is a completely different language.

There is the Royal Spanish dictionary which is the official language for all Spanish speaking countries. If we stick to "Correct" Spanish and remove local words, adaptations of English words and lazy speak, all countries around the world would be able to understand each other just perfectly fine. But people fall into these local lingo that mess it up. Overtime I go to PR I run into another 10-12 more invented words for hanging out, or having a party or having sex. Mostly these come from the young folks and start being adopted in the island but the same happens everywhere in the world.

Our Spanish in PR tends to stick closer to Spain than in some other countries where the Aborigine, Aztec, and others were an even stronger influence than even Spain was because they were a strong civilization.

In PR we had the Tainos, but they were decimated early and they had a fairly light civilization which was completely overwhelmed by Spain civilization. In PR we have been working hard to study what little there is about the Tainos and I think a good number of words and customs that are being thought to the population I have a strong feeling that is made up. Tainos left very little behind.

There are many words for the same thing and when we are educated, our selection of words in PR most of the times is the same selection of words that are customarily used in Spain. Exception is Vos and Vosotros which in PR we do not use, maybe because the Queen and King Royal Spanish was not popular with the sailors and others that colonized. Argentina does uses them.

The governor is very formal in his speech but when he gets excited he does fall into street talk, I seen him do it once in a while while interacting or giving a speech.

Any country that had a strong civilization (Mayan and  Aztec for example) prior to the arrival of Spain, will have a significant number of words used in their language that did not come from Spain. Notice all the words and places that start with the letter X. You can also see it in the faces because their root has a strong DNA line from the previous habitants and not so much from Spain, Peru is a good example of that, their blood in more pure and not as mixed with European / Spaniard.

Yes our refrains and old folks stories are the same as from Spain, as they had a much stronger influence in our culture and blood.

PS I believe the Royal Academy of Spanish came from Spain and held the last meeting about a year ago in PR for all of Latin America, they made some minor changes and added a few words.

My experience with Spanish started in Peru. This form of Spanish I understood from the standpoint of it being used as a second language by the native population. The spanish of the elite class was very sophisticated and formal. They referred to Argentinian Spanish as inferior. The easiest Spanish for me to understand is Peruvian, Colombian,Mexican and Spain. I have the most difficulty with Cuban and Puerto Rican Spanish except in Puerto Rico when they slow down some and enunciate their words precisely as I would do when speaking English in return. I had a guest from Madrid at the house and she commented that she could not understand the Spanish in Ponce and that may be because Ponce has a lot of residents from the mountains and that is definitely another form of Spanish. When I speak Spanish I get compliments and they say I speak soft Spanish.

Remember that I mention that sometimes in a conversation they address you as cousin? (Primo) Here is an example from today, basically the lady is using the Primo to show solidarity or friendship.
"Primo, a mi me invitaron por excelencia académica" -- Cousin I was invited due to my academic excellence........

This was reference the lavish party in San Juan over the 100 anniversary of the branch of government. She was agreeing with me and others and was telling us that she attended and fell ashamed of the lavish waste of money when people in the island are going hungry.

I have always loved the expression when greeted, "mi amor"

Mrkpytn :

I have always loved the expression when greeted, "mi amor"

Yes,
Hola Mi Amor
Pero Mi Amor, no tienes Hambre?
Ven para acá Mi Amor

Yes there is nothing like it

I love it when the grocery clerk says, Gracias, Mi Amor. I have not heard any guys say it yet.

Mrkpytn :

I love it when the grocery clerk says, Gracias, Mi Amor. I have not heard any guys say it yet.

Never heard the clerk say that,  :sosad:  I guess I am not her love. If a guy says it to a lady, her boyfriend will probably be on his face. If a guy says it in public to another guy you can imagine.

It is typically a woman that says it.

And don’t say the Puerto Rican is banging on the drums. Nor say he is playing the “Bongo” unless you know. Because it also may be a “Conga”. Congas are much taller and wider then a Bongo.

Saw them played in person at Marina Pescaderia in Puerto Real. Has a website and FB page.The occasion was the annual party for the regulars. I was a guest of my farmacia  amiga who has a sail there.

I was sitting 5 feet from the Bongo musician. Never saw one live. The amazing speed and the different angles and sounds from the fingers, the palm, and the heel. This man was possessed.

The lead singer was playing two Congas 20 feet away. The gent next to the bongos was hitting two cymbals and a pondereta (tambourine) both with his hands, a cowbell with a stick, and intermittingly using a guiro, maracas, and paitos. No I did not know these instruments, I showed my cell video to a PR musician who clued me in.

Watching that Bongo player was really one of the highlights of my tourist life and so glad I was smart enough to record it.  Puerto Ricans can dance and do percussion instruments–and by hand–at a world class level.

There are only 2 other “major” marinas on the west side, in Ponce and Mayaguez. This one gets all the accolades in the mariner’s websites for technical and facilities reasons. The harbor captain is authorized to enter mariners into the US and stamp passports (with visas if needed) into the US.

100 slips and though near full, the marina has a laid back, slow pace feel, 7 stool bar, 5 table restaurant, wifi, a pescadaria of course to buy fresh fish to go–the life long owner and family are fishermen as well as mariners. I had the ceviche at the bar, $8, was as good as it gets. I was very surprised that ceviche was rather hard to find in Cabo–I found it at only two other places, one in Boquerón and one way out I was recommended on 102 in a road side place near Joyuda.

I loved Marina Pescaderia, I went back at least once a week. "Sittin on the dock of the bay", it reminded me of that great song. A super cool way for me to blow a lazy afternoon watching the huge bay, diving pelicans, inspecting the boats I could never afford, catching some rays, checking my mail, having a few and talking to very interesting people at the bar who are moored for a few days–“transients” in the marine world. A couple I met were sailing the Caribbean all the way from Holland on their tri hull catamaran which was as wide as it was long, huge–the size of decent size aircraft. More antennae and thing-a-ma-jiggy’s then 5 state highway cop cars.

Also a few other eateries near in this one road pueblo. I stopped at the one 20 yards to the left as you exit–kind of a huge floating raft on stilts, you know what I mean.

Marina Pescaderia is on Rt 308 about 20 minutes west off of Rt 100 where it runs thru centro Cabo pueblo.

Sounds like you are having fun and eating your way thru the west of the island. :D

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