Your Guide to Authentic Panamanian Spanish (Phrases Included!)


You’ve captured the travel bug and your container list simply keeps getting longer. You ‘d like to check out both the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans, a cloud forest in the mountains, a jungle, a coffee plantation, a big city, a smaller sized city, and a contemporary architectural marvel that has actually affected worldwide trade. Excessive to ask? Not for Panamá It is a lot more than its popular canal!

You can sample the tastes of conventional sancocho (a chicken soup with yuca and corn) and ceviche (a citrusy fresh seafood meal) with a background of reggaeton and salsa. Go from surfing to treking, and alternate in between the animated night life of the city and the noises of the wildlife in the jungle. You’ll entrust a vibrant mola ( handcrafted fabrics developed by the native Guna individuals), incredible memories, and a pail list that simply got longer.

Don’t lose your minutes attempting to remember remembered vocabulary. Make memories rather! Rosetta Stone’s Dynamic Immersion technique is the most instinctive method to discover language that lasts. Plus, Phrasebook teaches you beneficial expressions connected to eating in restaurants, navigating, health and wellness, and more, so you’ll be prepared for your very first journey to Panama! Start your language discovering journey today!

Why is Spanish spoken in Panama?

Spanish is an authorities and dominant language in Panama due to the history of the Spanish language and culture gave the location through colonization. Explorations led by Christopher Colombus reached the East Coast of contemporary Venezuela in 1498, when colonists started to pillage the area for its resources, oppressing and making use of the native populations, bringing enslaved Africans to the area, and implementing their own language and culture. By the mid-1500s, the entire location was a nest of Spain, and the native individuals of contemporary Panama who endured direct exposure to European illness had actually left to forested locations and surrounding islands.

In the early 1800s, contemporary Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Panamá won their self-reliance from Spain as the nation of Gran Colombia Individuals of contemporary Panamá made over 80 efforts to withdraw before 1903 when all 4 countries had actually lastly separated.

Currently, Spanish is a main and dominant language, and a mother tongue for around 4 million individuals. Around 14 percent of the population likewise utilizes English for organization and public life. The frequency of English can be partially credited to the existence and impact of the United States in Panama City when it managed the Panama Canal till 1999, along with the distance to surrounding Barbados and Jamaica.

The nation has 7 various native groups who speak a variety of languages, consisting of:

  • Ngäbere (likewise called Valiente, Chiriquí, and Movere)
  • Buglere (Bokotá and Sananero dialects)
  • Kuna
  • Embera
  • Teribe

Not just is Panamá a physical bridge in between 2 continents, it is a location where numerous cultures and citizenships come together. You can experience neighborhoods of Chinese, Arabic, Korean, Japanese, Yiddish, and Hebrew speakers in Panama.

How numerous individuals speak Spanish in Panama?

Around 90-95 percent of Panamá’s population speaks Spanish, representing around 4 million individuals.

You may likewise experience Panamanian Spanish speakers in Brooklyn, South Florida, or in other Caribbean islands, through household connections, or in online neighborhoods.


What does a Panamanian Spanish accent seem like?

Regional accents can differ even at a range of a number of hours drive, and practically everybody’s speech is impacted by where they matured. Spanish speakers from worldwide all appear to have greatly various pronunciation and tone however can comprehend each other.

It’s essential to keep in mind that there is nobody specific Panamanian Spanish accent. An individual’s specific accent might be affected by area, generation, gender, and social environment. For a student, Panamanian Spanish may sound comparable to other dialects of the Caribbean, such as Puerto Rican, Cuban, orDominican Spanish If you’re a mindful listener, there might be a couple of tips that set Panamanian Spanish speakers apart!

  • S at the end of a syllable might be pronounced more like an h.
    • Nos vamos a … may seem like noh vamoh a.
    • Estás might be ehtá and even reduced to seem like
  • N at the end of a word might be pronounced more in the back of the roofing of the mouth than the front, offering the vowel a nasal quality.
    • Man can seem like mang
  • The ch (as in the English “channel”) can seem like sh (as in the English “shine”).
    • Dicho or hecho seem like disho or hesho
  • A last d is typically quiet.
  • Like the majority of Caribbean dialects, a d in between 2 vowels can vanish completely.
    • Cansado ends up being cansa’o, and adónde may even seem like a’ ónde
  • R in between vowels can seem like a d
    • Morado can seem like moda’o and enamorado might be enamoda’o.
  • R at the end of infinitive can be quiet, however the last syllable is still stressed out.
    • Amar = amá, ser = sé, and decir = decí

>>Practice your speaking and get feedback with the TruAccent speech recognition engine

Is it hard to discover Panamanian Spanish?

Learning any language takes a great deal of time, persistence, and practice. Even native Spanish speakers might need a little bit of additional time and direction to develop understanding of a various dialect of Spanish. For students, dropped letters, slang, and casual speech can make a brand-new dialect harder, however these difficulties simply indicate you’ll never ever be tired!

If you are a novice or intermediate student, you’ll require to discover a considerate interlocutor, which implies an individual who wants to assist you interact by:

  • working to comprehend your significance
  • interacting plainly utilizing Spanish that is much easier for you to comprehend
  • decreasing
  • articulating well
  • preventing excessive slang
  • moving their vocabulary to a more generally comprehended word
  • utilizing gestures or other non-verbal interaction to discuss significances

Some students in fact discover that discovering Spanish in Panama is simple, given that numerous Spanish speakers in Panama can likewise interact in English, so when it comes to confusion, you can clarify utilizing an English word so that the circulation of the discussion does not come to a stop!


What are the distinctions in between Panamanian Spanish and Latin American Spanish?

Very carefully associated to other Caribbean dialects and Colombian Spanish, Panamanian Spanish works as a bridge in between Central American and the Caribbean dialects. It shares a relatively neutral grammar and can be comprehended by speakers of other Spanish dialects.

Influence of other languages

The Spanish spoken in Panamá is a range coming from a group of Caribbean Spanish versions, with Canarian and Andalusian impacts, which is why it might advise you of the Spanish spoken in areas of Spain such as Las Canarias ( the Canary Islands), or Sevilla (Seville).

Interplay in between English and Spanish

Though Spanish is quite the dominant language of the isthmus, English has a historic, political, and geographical impact on the dialect. Often direct English words are utilized mid-sentence, or are become anglicismos ( a Spanish word affected by English). Often called “Spanglish,” this interaction in between the 2 languages can lead to a code-switching design or casual mixing of the 2 languages that might make it hard for Spanish speakers from other locations to comprehend significance sometimes.

Some typical words arising from English impact consist of:

Panamanian Anglicismo Neutral Spanish verb English significance
un buay chico kid
chopear ir de compras to go shopping
cool ( there are numerous) cool
el breaker interruptor circuit-breaker
el chingongo el chicle chewing gum
el switch interruptor light switch
fren, frenes amigo( s), amiga( s) buddies
una guial chica lady (with a jamaican accent)
los chiwiz treats (from a popular brand of spreadable cheese item)
guy hombre guy
ok vale ok, i concur
priti bella, linda, bonita quite
unwind relajado/a unwinded
un charcot un atajo a faster way
un cuara moneda de 25 centavos from “quarter.”

Archaic kinds of some verbs can be more typical in Panama, like those listed below:

  • arrecordar for recordar (keep in mind)
  • entodavía for todavía (still)

Sometimes plurals are noticable with an additional syllable. Un café ends up being unos coffee shops in Standard Spanish, however in Panama, you may hear unos cafese.

It prevails to hear reduced words:

  • la u for la universidad
  • el refri for el refrigerador
  • el micro for el microondas
  • la bici for la bicicleta.

El vesre” is a kind of slang popular in Argentina and Uruguay that has actually likewise impacted some words in Panamanian Spanish. It is formed by changing the syllables of typical words, so for instance, “ revés” (reverse) ends up being “ vesre” One typical example of this is the welcoming ¿ Qué xopá? Which is a vesre variation of ¿ Qué pasó?


Must-know words and expressions in Panamanian Spanish

Knowing a couple of terms ahead of time can assist you suit, or a minimum of prevent confusion! Listen to how they are utilized and in which contexts, and you may impress the residents. In all cases of slang, continue with care, as numerous words can alter implying considerably with context and tone, so try any brand-new words or expressions with a relied on pal to prevent misconceptions.

Don’t stress over comprehending every slang referral. Words pass in and out of design every day!

Panamanian Spanish Meaning
¡ Qué ponchera! What a disaster/what an issue!
¿ Qué xopá? / ¿ Qué sopá? What’s up? How are you?( welcoming)
‘ tas limpio(* )you’re broke, you have no cash ahuevado
a fool; dumb( an insult) blod, broder
sibling, brother buco
numerous, much, like mucho (a lot ) burundanga
somebody who consumes a lot of sugary foods chantin
home chifar(* )to leave somebody out of the strategy or social group
Cuéntame la cocoa. Tell me the chatter of the day.
el millo popcorn
el palo cash
Estamos activo We’re leaving/ we’re out of here
estar en panga to have no concept what to do, something is bad quality
estar tirado/a to be tired
Hay rantan de comida. There is a great deal of great food.
la chonta the head
la pasta cash
mopri cousin (
vesre : reverse slang of primo) ofi ok, concur
parquear to head out and celebration with buddies
un arroz con mango a battle or big issue
un bulto somebody who not does anything and understands absolutely nothing, lazy
un diablo rojo a public bus
un parkin a celebration, a feast
una bombilla a drinking straw
Voy a mi chantin. I’m returning to my location (home).
yeyé, yeyesita somebody who believes they are much better or greater than others, like “bougie” in english
Explore Spanish in every area with Rosetta Stone Once you check out Panama, you’re sure to wish to return. A location with a lot to use is a treasure, and your research study of Spanish makes certain to open a wealth of experiences. Do not let the distinctions in vocabulary or accent daunt you, as the Spanish you’ve studied will undoubtedly be valuable as you tune your ear to the regional dialect of Spanish in Panama.

With 20 nations formally acknowledging Spanish as a main language, near to 500 million native Spanish speakers, Spanish being the 4th most spoken language worldwide and likewise the 2nd most-used language on the web, you will never ever be done discovering Spanish! Knowing

and more universal vocabulary words can open the secrets to a range of language neighborhoods, however no matter where you select to take a trip, research study, or operate, there will be local specifics to keep you encouraged!

Pasito a pasitothe basics (action by action), you can feel right in the house utilizing your Panamanian Spanish. Rosetta Stone can assist you by focusing your language discovering journey on what matters most. As a Rosetta Stone student, you’ll take advantage of early successes to improve your self-confidence quick. Our technique supplies optimal direct exposure to a brand-new language, through audio spoken by native speakers, composed words, and real-world images. Whatever exists in the brand-new language, offering a really immersive experience. State

¿ Qué xopá?Dynamic Immersion to your brand-new language! Written by Jamie Edwards Jamie is a student and instructor of French and spanish. When she’s not discovering brand-new words, you’ll discover her on the soccer sidelines, ski slopes, and track and field bleachers delighting in the 4 seasons of Western New York.


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