Punta Cana Language

In Punta Cana and in the rest of the Dominican Republic the official language is Spanish. Most people involved in tourism understand and speak English. In some places that get more influx of tourist from a certain region people also speak German, French or Portuguese.

However, the further outside a tourism region one goes, the less likely it will become to find people who speak or understand anything other than Spanish. It is not necessary to speak Spanish in order to visit Punta Cana, but learning a few words and phrases will definitely make one’s visit more enjoyable. The Dominican people are sure to be pleased with any effort made to try to speak their language.

These are some basic phrases in Spanish you can use around Punta Cana:

English Spanish
Yes / No Sí / No (see / noh)
Please Por favor (por fah-bor)
Thank you (very much). (Muchas) Gracias.  (moo-chahs grah-see-ahs)
You’re welcome. De nada. (day nah-dah)
Hello! / Good morning! ¡Buenos días!  (bway-nohs dee-ahs)
¡Hola! / ¡Chao! ¡Hola! / ¡Chao! (oh-lah / chow)
Good afternoon! ¡Buenas tardes! (bway-nahs tard-ays)
Good evening! / Good night! ¡Buenas noches!  (bway-nahs noh-chays  )
How are you? ¿Cómo está? (koh-moh ay-stah)
How’s it going? ¿Qué tal? (kay tahl)
Do you speak English? ¿Habla inglés? (ah-blah een-glehs)
I don’t understand. No entiendo. (noh ehn-tyen-doh)
I love you. Te amo.  (tay ah-moh)
Welcome Bienvenidos (byen-veh-nee-dohs)
Where is …? ¿Dónde está …? (dohn-deh eh-stah)
How much? ¿Cuánto? (quahn-toh)
Repeat, please. Repita, por favor. (reh-pita por fah-bor)

Spanish in Dominican Republic can differ very much from Spanish from Spain, it sounds different but also has different words. These are some of the differences. You will definitely impress dominicans if you use these words but be careful some of them might not be very appreciated in high society :).

Dominican Republic Spanish Spanish from Spain English equivalent
Bandera Dominicana Arroz, carne y frijoles Typical DR dish (rice, meat and beans)
Concho Atomóvil de transporte público Car/Minivan used for public transportation. Shared taxi.
Dímelo? Como estas? How are you?
Grillo Mujer fea An ugly woman
Guagua Autobús A bus
Jablador Mentiroso Liar
Jumo Borrachera Drunkenness
Mamacita Hermosa mujer Hot girl
Pana Amigo Friend
Pica-pollo Pollo frito Fried chicken
Pin-pun Igual Does not matter
Prieto Negro Black person
Pariguayo Estúpido Stupid person
Una fría Una cerveza A beer
Yola Yola Small boat

For those that speak Spanish you can check more of these words from DR here: http://www.colonialtours.com.do/diccionario.htm