The canary dialect is a very special dialect and though it does no greatly differ from Castilian, the particular form of the canary speech, accent, the loving words and expressions that are used sometimes makes it difficult for anyone outside the islands to understand what we are trying to communicate through the way we express ourselves. Even depending on which island you are going to visit, you can sometimes find different words and accents.
Because we would like to see you visiting Puerto de la Cruz and our Apartments Ambassador, let’s assume that one of your destinations is the island of Tenerife. That is why we will not extend these basic words beyond the most common expressions you can hear here and in the rest of the Canary Islands.
Particularities of the Canarians talking compared to the rest of Spain
On Canary Island we do not differentiate pronouncing the “C” and the “S”. We for example, pronounced the name Caesar as “SESAR” without differentiating “c” and “s”. Although this feature is a trait that is common also in the autonomous community of Andalusia in the south of the Iberian Peninsula.
Partially removing the “s” at the end of words
Depending on the island, the final “s” at the end of a word, can be eliminated nearly whole or in part, except on the island of El Hierro. You could say that Tenerife is in a compromise between the total elimination, and the typical Spanish pronunciation. For example “los turistas” is pronounced as “loh turistah” without fully eliminating the final “s”, more sounding like sucked inward.
Replacing “vosotros” with “ustedes”
For the Canarians, when we want to refer to the second person plural, if we use the pronoun “vosotros” it seems too formal. That is why instead we are using “ustedes”. If we want to say, for example, “Vosotros váis a disfrutar de una agradable estancia en el Puerto de la Cruz”, we would say “Ustedes van a disfrutar de una agradable estancia en el Puerto de la Cruz”
We love to use diminutives
The Canarians tend to be very affectionate and this will also demonstrate in the language. In addition to the lisp which we discussed above, which makes it sound much softer than the Castilian, we also very often use the diminutives for any noun.
Typical canarian expressions
Here we will explain some expressions that you can practice during your stay in Puerto de la Cruz or on the Canary Islands in general so you can get familiar with the dialect and the typical expressions.
Expressions for the beach
If you come to Puerto de la Cruz and you really like the beach or the pool and plan to spend some time in the sun to get a tan to brag after your return to your place of origin, first you must “Tumbarte como un lagarto” this means spend much time in the sun without moving to get “negro como un tizón” or what is the same, as black as a piece of burnt wood.
Expressions for a night out
If you want to flirt on the Canary Islands, you can always start with the old tactic of “picar un ojo ” to the person you like, or what is the same, wink at her to show complicity with that person. But always we recommend that you do not overdo it at parties and if you consume any alcohol, do it in moderation or else you run the risk that you “cambe la peluca,” that means, you lose the sense of what you’re doing and do something foolish.
Expressions of astonishment
We are confident that during your visit to the Canary Islands you’ll be ecstatic and amazed by many landscapes or experiences. If so, remember to use some of the following typical canarian words of astonishment: “¡Ño!” “¡Agüita!” or “¡Chosss!”, for example “¡Ño! Vaya vista más preciosa”, or “¡Choss! La comida está deliciosa”
Expressions of endearment
On Canary Island we are very affectionate with everyone, and we transmit it by the way of speaking and maybe some people who are not used to it find it a bit shocking at first. You might find some people you can call as “mi niño”, whether you know them or not, and regardless of how old you are. You could say that is a way to make you feel like part of the family through the dialect.
Indespensable canarian words
- “Guagua”: that is how we call the busses here
- “Papas”: instead of “patatas”.
- “Guachinche”: typical Canarian restaurant, only open a few months of the year to sell the production of wine, and where you can enjoy canary food at a very reduced price.
Practice the Canarian dialect
This has been the most basic overview of the canarian dialect which you can practice if you come to the Canary Islands. And especially we would like you to do it during a future stay at the Apartments Ambassador. We’d love to “verte el josico”, or what is the same, to see you in person, and have a conversation with you. Using some of these expressions and typical words will make you feel part of this friendly Canarian village which, we are confident, will welcome you with open arms. Even more if you are predisposed to learn things from its culture and origins.
Therefore, we encourage you to book now a few days of happiness in the Apartments Ambassador.