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In part one of this multi-part series, we discussed the differences between the Castilian and Latin American dialects of Spanish. In this blog, we will focus on the Rioplatense Spanish dialect and the Caribbean Spanish dialect. Continue reading below to learn what makes these dialects unique.

Rioplatense Dialect

The Rioplatense dialect is spoken in Argentina and Uruguay. This dialect gets the name Rioplatense because Argentina and Uruguay border the Rio de la Plata. The factor that makes the Rioplatense dialect stand out the most is its Italian influence.

Both Argentina and Uruguay had a large amount of Italian immigrants in the 20th century and because of this, the culture and the language has been influenced by the Italians. For example, in most Spanish-speaking countries, people will use the phrase “hasta luego” to say goodbye. However, in the Rioplatense dialect, many people say “chau” which is influenced by the Italian word “ciao” which is used for both hello and goodbye.

Another unique feature of the Rioplatense dialect is the way they pronounce their “s.” In the previous blog, we talked about how, with the Castilian dialect, people substitute the letters “c” and “z” with the “th” sound. In the Rioplatense dialect, the “s” sound at the end of a word isn’t there. For example, if your child were to ask for more ice cream, más helado, it would sound more like “ma helado.”

To make the dialect even more interesting, those who speak the Rioplatense dialect also pronounce the “y” and “ll” (pronounced like “y”) with an “sh” sound. So, if you decide to travel to Argentina or Uruguay, when you introduce yourself, be sure to say it like “sho me shama” instead of the traditional way, “yo me llama.”

Caribbean Dialect

The Caribbean dialect is spoken in Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. If you’ve ever been around a native Spanish speaker, you will notice that they speak very quickly, but, you haven’t heard anything unless you’ve heard a native Spanish speaker from Cuba, Puerto Rico, or the Dominican Republic.

Those who speak with the Caribbean dialect waste no time. In fact, if you listen to them speak, and you can actually pick out what they are saying, you will notice that it sounds like they are abbreviating their words or dropping the “d” at the end of a word. For example, the word “para” or for, becomes “pa’” or the phrase “estoy aquí en la estación” meaning “I am here in the station,” becomes “ehtoy aquí en la ehtació.”

Puerto Rico is a territory of the U.S. and because of this, Puerto Rican Spanish is influenced by English. Native English speakers will emphasize the “r” at the end of a word, and this has been adopted by Puerto Rican Spanish Speakers. The “r” in a word will also be pronounced differently if it is at the end of a syllable and is not followed by a vowel. In this case, the “r” will have more of an “l” sound. For example, Puerto Rico would sound more like “Puelto Rico.”

The Caribbean dialect also has influences from African languages that existed on the islands before the Spanish conquered the Caribbean. In the African language Igbo, it is common to add the pronoun before the verb. In the Caribbean dialect of Spanish, they have adopted this influence while also shortening certain words. An example of this is how someone would ask how another person is doing. Instead of saying “cómo estás tú,” someone who speaks Spanish using the Caribbean dialect would say, “cómo tú ta.”

There is much to learn about the Spanish language both grammatically and culturally. If you are looking for conversational Spanish lessons or you want to learn Spanish phrases and grammar, Teach Spanish 2 Kids is the place to go! We offer easy Spanish lessons and all the tools you need to make learning a new language both fun and educational. Contact us today for more information!