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 Cuban Accent
It’s often said Cubans speak with a mouth full of marbles…a very relaxed but fast-paced way of speaking Spanish. Here are a few features you may notice when listening to Cuban Spanish speakers.
The Disappearing Letter “D”
One of the distinct characteristics of Spanish spoken in Cuba and other Caribbean islands is omitting the letter “D” in spoken language. When the letter “D” appears between two vowels, Cubans usually don’t pronounce it.
For example, instead of saying “enamorado” (in love), they would say “enamora’o” and instead of “cansado” (tired), they would say “cansa’o.”
In general, any word ending in “…ado” will sound like “…a’o”.
Swallowing the Letter “S”
Another common characteristic of Cuban Spanish pronunciation is swallowing the letter “S.” Generally, the letter “S” is not pronounced.
This is noticeable at the end of words, but also applies to the “S” letter or sound at the beginning in the middle of some words as well.
The word “pescado,” for example, pronounced “pe’ca’o” (recall the disappearing letter “D” also).