Spanish phrases handy in Cuba
Replies: 20 - Last Post: Feb 20, 2013 5:16 PM Last Post By: sayeh
Feb 4, 2013 3:42 PM
Feb 5, 2013 12:19 PM
16"Que vola?" is the Cuban phrase for "what's up?"
Cubans would usually say "como anda?" in informal situations rather than "como estas?" for "how are you?"
You can use "nos pillamos" for "catch you later"
For good morning/afternoon/evening, they will shorten all of these to just "buenas" (missing of the "tardes" etc) and if you want an authentic pronunciation, you drop the 's' from the end so it sounds kind of like "buena"
In terms of transport a "maquina" is the word for the American style old cars (the beat up ones) that will take you anywhere on their route for 10mn and if you plan on getting a public bus they call is "una guagua" instead of "autobus" etc. When you are getting into a "maquina" taxi, you just say the name of where you want to go and if this is Old Havana, people from Havana don't often call it "La Habana Vieja" they call it just "La Habana" so in the taxi you would say "para La Habana" but when you pronounce it, it would sound like "pa-la-ba-na".
When Cubans are talking to each other they will often use phrases like "asere" instead of "amigo" if talking to males (it means 'mate' or similar) and for women they will often used "mi vida" or "mi amor" in familiar conversation meaning 'my dear' etc.
Hope that helps.
Feb 5, 2013 12:51 PM
17Que vola/bola is very street. Do kids still say that in Cuba ?
Feb 5, 2013 1:06 PM
Feb 20, 2013 5:11 PM
19I like Sayeh's point. I asked because I am into language and just wanted to generate a linguistic discussion. I have been there a month and have now come to Panama where the diction is definitely clearer to a learner. You are right Sayeh- a foreigner saying cooee (even an Aussie saying it nowadays would look silly. I am just interested that way in languages. Anyway I had a very interesting time in Cuba and was really culture shocked when I got to Panama. I was really shocked to immediately see a tidal wave of consumer goods, tall buildings and traffic jams in Panama City- I am sure we will adjust but we wanted to bolt back to Cuba after 5 minutes.
I learned a lot about Spanish from the casa owners who were great. I found they always understood me and adjusted accents for me as we do in Oz with foreign visitors. I will write a report of impressions later. Thanks everybody
Feb 20, 2013 5:16 PM
20#19 - Oh yes I fully understand what you mean about the reverse culture shock - happened to me when I cam back from two years in Laos and went into a supermarket here for the first time :-)
Ten years later, I still don't understand why there are so many varieties of rubber gloves.....
Looking forward to your report!
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