Dominican slang is very common in the cities of the Dominican Republic. Even in the major touristic destinations like Punta Cana, Santo Domingo and Puerto Plata where most of the hotels staff have been trained to speak English to communicate with the tourists, the use of slang is typical.
As you may know Spanish is the official language of the Dominican
Republic and some people may find a bit difficult to express themselves
fully with another language. That is reason to learn even a little bit
of Spanish when visiting the Dominican Republic. Some of the vendors,
for example, might have trouble understanding you especially if you are
trying to haggle with them.
You have to understand something; knowing the Spanish language and using Dominican slang is not the same thing. There are many different variations in the same language depending on the country. A typical example would be a Cuban speaking to a Dominican. They both speak Spanish but the slang used in both countries could be quite different making the conversation a little bit hard. Another thing to take into consideration is the fact that even in the same country you can find different slang. Someone from the north region can speak slightly different than someone from the south. That phenomenon is true in almost every country. Even when that variation might not be that big there could be many misunderstandings.
To clearly understand Dominican slang you have to know some things
about the way they talk.
They normally talk very fast and can be loud sometimes. They also might seem a bit aggressive according to their gestures, however, they are actually pretty nice people. That is the way they communicate. Generally Dominicans mostly care about how a word is written and not how it is pronounced. One good example of this is the word “cocinar” which means to cook. A Dominican would pronounce it “cocinal” substituting the r for L. They could also pronounce it “cocinai” by changing the r for the I. As you can see changing the r in a word for an i or an L is quite common in the Dominican Republic.
The words can also have different meanings according to the context where they are being used. The word bomb which in Spanish language means “bomba” could refer to an expression of amazement or a pump of some kind. So you have to be pay attention to the meaning of the word according to the situation it applies.
Another part of their slang is the abbreviation of words.
The common courtesy expression “how are you?” can be translated to “como tu estas” the way Dominicans would say it is “como tu tas”. If you say the question very fast they both sound quite similar. They also tend to cut the ending consonants of almost every word. Understanding the Dominican slang is not hard; you just have to be willing to make the effort while you learn.