Talk:Puerto Rican accents

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this is a very good article, i would like to know who wrote it. Cjrs 79

but one comment, many Puerto Ricans will tell you that we don't actually change the 'r' for 'l' but that we move the tongue more to the back trying to say it faster and then the final sound its more of an 'l' than an 'r'. Notice that this only happens when there is a vowel close to the 'r'.

The article was written by AntonioMartin. You can find out by looking at the history page - if there aren't many entries, probably the first entry was the person who wrote the most.

I've heard that in Puerto Rican Spanish the elle character (ll) is pronounced more like a j, so that the last name Collazo is pronounced something like Coh - jazz - oh. Is this true in anyone else's experience, especially a native Puerto Rican's? - Masmith

There are different pronunciations of the "elle" and "y" in Latin America. Puerto Ricans, in general, do pronounce the "elle" as you just described, well maybe a shorter "jazz", but i don't want to generalize since you can find differences in the island. I'm a native, by the way.

Cjrs 79 04:54, 12 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Regarding the <ll>, also called "yeismo", the three major ways it is spoken are, "Yeísmo, Jeísmo, Sheísmo." It varies in different areas of Hispanoamerica. So, say the first letter (y, j, sh) like you would in English for pronouncing "tortilla" as follows: TortiYa. TortiJa. TortiSHa. Generally speaking, you can find these differences (with variation, as always), in Mexico vs Argentina and other Spanish speaking regions. Rachel Rivero de Posey 4/21/21. 12:37PM PST

Okay, thanks Cjrs. Unless we could talk about all the differences, we probably don't need to mention it at all. Thanks again. - Masmith


We do not all call ourselves Nuyorican. Puerto Ricans from New York call themselves that. I have never even been to New York. smile

im puerto rican frm new york so im a nuyorican ive lived in newyork da bronx i speak Spanish. Hello I'm also Spanish.

A Coastal Bias[edit]

It should be noted that this article suffers from a Bias.

Since every town in PR has its own accent.

There are also at least three different dialects spoken in PR.

Some of the examples shown here does not apply to them.

Puerto Ricans sound very different depending on what part of the island they are from.

This is like how in the US each state has it's own accents but within each state there are also many accents depending on what part of the state you come from.

I am Puerto Rican and so is everyone in my family, when I go to Puerto Rico I notice that in my family and everyone else that live in these towns:

Seseo: This refers to the changing of the sound of the "C" or "Z" for the sound of an "S". Examples include "sapato" instead of "zapato" and "asul" instead of "azul". This is also common in most other Latin-American countries.

This is correct, since the S and Z sound nearly the same in Spanish, but this is true everywhere, including many parts of Spain.

Aspiration or elimination of the "S": This usually occurs before a consonant or at the end of a word, the "S" sound is replaced by an aspirated sound (similar to the English sound of the "H") or eliminted altogether. Examples include "lah mujereh" instead of "las mujeres" , "loh doh" instead of "los dos", and ""mahticar"" instead of ""masticar"". This is also common in other Caribbean basin Spanish-speaking countries.

This is ONLY true in the coastal regions where the black culture influenced the way they talk, even if they are not black, but nowhere else in PR do they speak this way. Most Puerto Ricans that I know never drop their S's, in fact there are even towns in PR where people over pronouce their S's and it sounds like they have a Lisp (not the same thing as the Madrid lisp, which happens because they pronouce their S's like a TH) many great folk singers talk and sing with this accent. ( This is simply not correct, first of all most people on the island drop the S, regardless of whether they are from the coast or the interior mountain towns. Most of the time you see full pronunciation of the S if it is coming from a news broadcaster, an academic or someone just trying to speak a more proper sounding Spanish in the presence of someone from another Latin American country. That's not to say that the Puerto Rican Accent can't be proper. Although there are many people of African decent on the island and they have affected speech patterns on the island, they have not affected them in the way of dropping the S at the end of words. This actually comes from Spain in the form of the Spanish spoken in the region of Andalusia and the Spanish of the Canary Islands. Many people from both of these regions settled Puerto Rico throughout the island's history, bringing with them their speech patterns, customs and words. A great example would be the word Guagua which is used in Puerto Rico to describe a van or bus. This word actually comes from the Canary Islands and is used in the same way.)

Elimination of the "D" between vowels: This usually happens usually near the end of a word. Examples include "ehtao" instead of "estado", "parao" instead of "parado", "deprimío" instead of "deprimido", and "tóo" instead of "todo". ( The dropping of the D also comes from Andalusia. If you do not believe me listen closely to gypsy music from the region.)

Elimination of the "D" at the end of a word: In this case, a stress is usually placed on the final vowel. Examples include "paré;" instead of "pared" and "Madrí" instead of "Madrid".

See above! Most Puerto Ricans do not speak this way, but many do, again it depends on what part of PR they are from.

Change of the "R" sound to the "L" sound: This occurs at the end of a word or syllable. Examples include "cantal" instead of "cantar", "olden" instead of "orden" and "rencol" instead of "rencor".

Change of the "rr" sound to the "kh" sound: Many rural Puerto Ricans do not roll their tongues on the double "r" sound in words (ex. "arroz" or "carro"), making it sound like the Scottish loch.

Again, only a few do this, another coastal thing. In fact Puerto Ricans are famous for rolling their R's, so much so that it has become a stereotype and it is use in by many comedians when doing an expression of a Puerto Rican.

Shortening of words: Puerto Ricans also often shorten words by eliminating whole syllables. A good example is the words "para" and "padre" ("for" and "father"). Puerto Ricans might pronounce those as "pa'" ("para") and "pai" ("father").

Yet another coastal trait. It has become clear that the person who wrote this is from a coastal region in PR since these things only applies to them. This examples can be found in much greater numbers in the Dominican Republic for the same reasons. This is why many comedians when doing an expression of a Dominican talk like the examples above. -- 16:14, 15 April 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Coastal Bias, Shmoastal Bias[edit]

I would guess the above commenter is very young and probably has not visited the island in a long time, :). The variation is much smaller than what is suggested by the comment and the article is quite acurate. All Puerto Rican accents modify "R" and "S" at the end of a Syllable, just like most of the Spanish Caribbean.If one wants to get really specific, regional variations worth mentioning are "Cuban" style final "R" (as in halfway between an US English "R" and an "L") in the Arecibo region, "loch" style "RR" (exactly like Brazillian portuguese "RR") anywhere outside San Juan, and dipthonged participles IN San Juan (eg "parado" -> "parau" instead of "parao"). Living in San Juan, I can also tell between social class based variations in accents, but my linguistics knowledge is too limited to accurately describe it here. - Vramirez

Another comment on this. It also depends on education. I was teached to speak well at home, even though my mom is from the center of the Island ans she usually changes her Rs for Ls. I've also noticed very educated Puerto Ricans doing this, as a way of showing their "Portorricaness". Umm, and usually one can notice a very different accent in the center-west of the Island in towns like San Sebastián, for example. Solcita 21:04, 9 August 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Puerto Rican accent in English[edit]

I have a problem with the statement: “Once again, this accent is influenced by history and by surroundings. Many of the islands near Puerto Rico were United Kingdom properties, and the United Kingdom actually once tried to invade Puerto Rico and some African slaves came from former British-controlled Caribbean islands.” Puerto Ricans learn Standard American English at school. So the way we may speak English is influenced on being that our mother tongue is Spanish and our accent. That’s why some may sound European. We have very little cultural and language ties to English speaking islands on the Caribbean.

Well, the comment “Some non Puerto Ricans actually claim that when they speak English, native Puerto Ricans actually sound like Australians.” should be cited…especially, because I’ve never heard a Puerto Rican speak with an Australian accent, not even close, unless they live in Sydney. I’ve had the opportunity to meet and travel lot of Australians, and it was very difficult to me to understand them at the beginning. It was even difficult to other English speakers from Canada and the US.

Finally, if you are going to make such crazy statements (maybe there’s some truth on them), please cite any references or sources… Follow the rules. Solcita (talk) 18:36, 19 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]


Hi! We have an article Puerto_Rican_Spanish that is very similar to this article. Anyone agree we should merge it? I might be able to help if no one objects.--el Aprel (facta-facienda) 22:27, 12 December 2008 (UTC)[reply]

I agree. Do it. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 17:31, 12 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I think this article should be merged into the article Puerto Rican Spanish, so as to make it match the other articles showing the different variations of a countries version of Spanish vs Spain's version. (i.e. Argentine Spanish, Colombian Spanish, Mexican Spanish, ...) (Jrooksjr | C | T) 17:29, 21 January 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Coastal Bias[edit]

The response to the comment on Coastal Bias is quite accurate. There are not "three different dialects" in Puerto Rico. In fact, as all Spanish speakers know, there are no dialects of Spanish, since the language is well monitored by the Real Academia Espanola, and standardized in a way that languages such as English are not. That is not to say that there are not many regional variations, local phonology, and regional slang peculiar to each country whose residents speak Spanish. Puerto Ricans, in fact, all speak with a remarkable degree of similarity, as I have known in my 62 years of life and travels throughout the island. The one prominent regional variation is the guttural slur (the one referred to as sounding similar to the ending of the Scottish word "Loch")which may be used in place of the usually rolled double-r. This is often heard in the south of the island, and in particular in the southwestern regions near Cabo Rojo.

The one most telling comment is the reference to the influence of education in providing a special character to pronounciation. This is no less true in any other language, and we've all seen comedy acts in English where a supposedly unintelligent or uneducated character speaks poorly, with ungrammatical English and usually (and unfairly) with a Southern accent. Similarly, many educated people in Puerto Rico, regardless of region of origin, may tend to speak Spanish more precisely, refrain from dropping the terminal s, or the d sound, and pronounce the rolled r's more in keeping with traditional Spanish. A guttural slurred double r is, as unfairly as the Southern English accent, often associated in Puerto Rico with lack of education or humble origins. (talk) 05:01, 18 December 2008 (UTC)[reply]