Translation in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico's official languages are Spanish and English. Spanish is by far the most widely spoken language in Puerto Rico and visitors to the country who speak the language are more readily accepted. Approximately a quarter of Puerto Rico's population can communicate in English which is mostly spoken in the major tourist sections of Puerto Rico.

Spanish spoken in Puerto Rico is not pure. The Puerto Rican language is spattered with English words (e.g. el coat), Taíno words (e.g. yuca) and African words (e.g. guarapo). Creole or Criollo speech of the Jíbaro has had a great influence on the Spanish language in Puerto Rico. The Jíbaro were farmers from a blend of mestizo, black and white backgrounds.

As Spanish is the predominant language spoken in Puerto Rico it will be of great benefit to learn a few important Spanish phrases before (or when visiting) the Enchanted Island. You may also find it helpful to purchase a Spanish phrasebook to take along with you on your journeys. Puerto Rican translation services can also be located online.

Below are a few hints on Spanish pronunciation and some useful phrases that can be used during your journey to Puerto Rico:

“S” sounds are often not pronounced. For example ‘los’ would be pronounced loh and ‘gracias’, graciah. Words ending with ‘ado’ tend to be pronounced with a silent ‘d’.

Hello – Hola
Good day – Buenos diás
Good bye – Adiós
Yes – Sí
No – No
Please – Por favor
Thank you – Gracias
Excuse me – Perdón
My name is … – Me llamo (pronounced may yah-moh)
Where is …? – Dónde está

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