Puerto Rico is known for its beautiful beaches, its varied and tasty cuisine, its tropical rhythms, and of course, its people. Being able to go out all year long to enjoy places and activities, both in the metro area and around the island, with temperatures ranging between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, is one of the features that sets the island apart as a real enchantment. Getting to know its people will surely prove to be a fun experience. And, as in all regions and countries, the locals talk a certain way, so if you are planning to have some fun, here are some phrases that you should know. Write them down and act local!
Here are 13 cool phrases to learn when you want to have a blast and impress the locals in Puerto Rico:
1. ¿Dónde es el jangueo?
(pronounced don-deh-es-el-han-gei-o) – First things first. If you’re going out to have fun, you must know that “jangueo” (pronounced han-gei-o) is the crucial word in the phrase. It’s an English adaptation from the phrase “hang out”. If you ask this question, you will get the best answers and possibly directions to a cool experience!
2. ¿Qué es la que?
(pronounced kes-lah-ke) – And then you wave. It’s a short way of asking ¿Qué es la que hay? (What’s going on?), ¿Cómo estás? (How are you?), ¿Qué estás haciendo? (Whatcha doing?), ¿Qué hay para hacer? “What is there to do?”. This is an excellent conversation starter with the local crowd, and an effective way to find cool things to do.
3. ¿Qué vas a hacer hoy?
(pronounced keh-vas-ah-ahser-oi) – means “What are you doing today/tonight?” Similar to the previous suggestion, this phrase has special conversational power, since it can be used to advance an initial conversation when you meet someone interesting, and want to make a move to meet up later on.
4. Ando con el corillo
Corillo, (pronounced koh-ri-yo) is your crew- the people you are with or the ones you’re going to meet. And it’s a lot of fun when we go out in a group. Take your corillo and seek some of the many great experiences that Puerto Rico has to offer!
5. ¡Ella es una jeva! or ¡El es un jevo!
(pronounced Heh-vah, or heh-voh), this word implies that “She is hot!” or “He is hot!” Jeva is feminine and jevo is masculine. It’s a person that you meet and has an impact on you, both for her/his physical appearance and personality… and in Puerto Rico there are many, many who fit this profile!
6. Cerveza friíta
(pronounced ser-veh-za- fri-ita) – Literally means “Really cold beer!” be sure to emphasize Friíta (really cold)- that way the bartender will look for the coldest beer in the cooler.
7. ¡Qué vacilón!
(pronounced keh- vah-si-lohn) – this phrase can be interpreted as “what a party!” – when you mess around, laugh, and have fun with friends. It may be at a disco, a pub or even at the beach. What’s important is that it’s among friends who talk, laugh, dance… and simply have fun.
8. Vamos a parisear
(pronounced vah-mohs-ah-vah-si-lahr) – It’s when you’re in the mood to go out, have a lot of fun, to dance and stay out late. It’s derived from the word “party”- so you know what that implies!
9. ¿Quieres un palo? or ¿Quieres un trago?
(pronounced kieres un pah-lo, or kieres un trah-goh) – This phrase politely asks if someone would like a drink of hard liquor. It could be rum, vodka or whiskey. Be sure to try the “chichaíto” – a very popular shot made with rum and anisette.
10. Vamos pa’ la pista
(pronounced vah-mos-pah-lah-pi-stah) – means “Let’s hit the dance floor”. Pretty self explanatory. Throw out this provocative phrase and convince that special person to groove with you!
11. ¡Vamos a monchar!
(pronounced vah-mos ah mon-char) – When you get really hungry after a night of great fun and dancing, it’s time to address “the munchies”. What about an alcapurria or chicken kabobs or octopus salad with tostones (fried plantains). You’re going to love it! And don’t forget to ask for mayoketchup!
12. ¡Buen provecho!
(pronounced buen-proh-veh-cho) – You’ll say this wherever or whenever you see people eating, especially while entering or leaving a restaurant. You’ll be wishing them to enjoy their meal. This will go a long way in winning the respect and admiration of the locals.
13. ¡Nos fuimos!
(pronounced nohs-fui-mohs) – is a fun way to implore your crew, (or person of interest) to “Let’s get outta here!”. Wherever the night (or day) is leading you, this call to action will let your audience know that it’s time to take the party to the next location (or sometimes, the next level)!
It doesn’t matter where you come from; Puerto Ricans can be the ultimate hosts. They really know how to enjoy life in the tropics. Here in Puerto Rico, you’ll find that it’s easier than you may think to socialize, have fun, and meet the locals who’ll be willing to show you the island’s best features and its scintillating nightlife. Make the most of your stay!