Saturday, October 16, 2021

Language & Phrasebook in Nicaragua

North AmericaNicaraguaLanguage & Phrasebook in Nicaragua

Spanish is the official language in Nicaragua. Don’t expect to find much English outside the larger, more expensive hotels. Creole English (think Jamaican patois to get a feel for it) and indigenous languages are spoken along the Caribbean coast and in the interior of the remote Bosawas National Park (in the east of the country, so in the Caribbean in the Managua language). Nicaraguans tend to omit the s at the end of Spanish words, usually replacing it with an “h” sound (j in Spanish). Thus, “dále pues” (“okay, then”, a common phrase to end a conversation) becomes “dále pueh”. Vos” is generally used instead of “tú”, which is common throughout Central America. However, “tú” is understood by native Nicaraguans as it often appears in the media, songs and books. As in most Latin American countries, the plural “vosotros” is almost unknown outside the Bible. When addressing a group, the form “ustedes” is preferred.

Nicaraguans, especially the poorest people in rural areas, sometimes write words phonetically and not as they appear in the dictionary. This can be the case with the signs of small shops. Reading the sign aloud often helps to understand it.