Puerto Ricans are known for speaking quickly and cutting off word endings in informal speech. Here are a few characteristics of spoken Spanish in Puerto Rico:
The Silent “D”
Like other Caribbean islands, Puerto Ricans tend to omit the “d” in spoken language. When the letter “d” appears between two vowels, it’s generally not pronounced.
For example, instead of saying “frustrado” (frustrated), they would say “frustra’o.” In general, any word ending in “-ado” will sound like “-a’o”.
Words ending in “-ada” just sound like a stressed “-a” sound. This means the word “cansada” (tired, feminine form) would sound like “cansá.”
The Aspirated “S”
Another common characteristic of Puerto Rican Spanish is aspirating or omitting the letter “s” in spoken language.
The word “pescado,” for example, is pronounced “peh-ca’o” (recall the letter “d” is also silent).
There are also some American words that have been adopted into Puerto Rican slang. At times, Puerto Ricans may add an “a” or “o” to the end of an English word instead of using the proper Spanish word. In addition, many English words have found their way into the daily language and music produced by Puerto Rican artists.
Speaking with an “L”
Many Puerto Ricans also speak with the letter “L”. Words ending in “ar”, “er,” and “or” are pronounced with the “R” turning into an “L” sound.
For example, instead of saying “manejar” (to drive), you would hear “manejal.”