Cuba is a Caribbean island with a distinct culture, history, and diverse population.
The Spanish spoken in Cuba is unique in the way people speak, the vocabulary, and colloquial expressions that are used.
The official language of Cuba is Spanish, as is the case with most of Spain’s former colonies. The Spanish spoken in Cuba, however, is not exactly like the Spanish spoken in Mexico or Argentina.
This is because the Spanish spoken in Cuba has been influenced largely by west-African languages of the enslaved people the Spanish brought to the island and the indigenous languages of the island’s original inhabitants.
Many common words are entirely unique to the Caribbean and Cuba: ‘bus’ becomes ‘guagua’ in the caribbean and ‘amigo’ becomes ‘ambia’ in Cuba. Learning these everyday words and phrases will help you situate yourself in Cuba.
The Cuban Accent
The Cuban accent is quite heavy; it is spoken with a lot of bass in the voice and with the dropping and transformation of many letters.
For example, in the following list you will encounter many words ending in -a’o and -á (arranca’o, for instance); in reality these endings are written -ado and -ada (arrancado), but in Cuba the ‘d’ is dropped creating a rounder (-a’o) or sharper (-á) sound.
Want to learn more about Cuban Spanish? Check out the resources below…
Cuban Spanish 101 CourseCuban Spanish 101: Your Complete Bilingual Guide to the Unique Words and Expressions of CubaAvailable in Paperback and E-Book