Dropping the "S"? Do people talk like this?

9
votes

Listening to a few of my songs sung by native Spanish speakers I noticed that they seem to leave the letter s out when saying some words - sounding like 'etán' instead of están or leaving is off if the word ends in s eg. Dio mío. I was just wondering if there was a reason for this, such as it makes the words easier to say or if it was part of the style of music (most of the songs are salsa, reggaeton or similar). is this something that you hear often? Do people talk like this in everyday life?

17396 views
updated Nov 5, 2011
edited by --Mariana--
posted by spanish-at-heart
Yes
Gekkosan, put YES up as an answer so I can vote for you. It sums it up.
Not in Mexico but in other places they do.

12 Answers

8
votes

Venezuelans seem to do it all the time with 's' and sometimes other letters like when they say pa' for para - I'd expect it to be similar in other countries, we do it in English too dropping letters or compressing whole words, what'cha doin' etc, hardly anyone says 'what are you doing?' smile

updated Jun 12, 2016
edited by Kiwi-Girl
posted by Kiwi-Girl
8
votes

It's common, as the others have said.

One time I heard a little girl say, "No vamos a la tienda," which to me meant "We did not go to the store." After hearing the rest of the conversation I realized that she really meant "Nos vamos...." so it changed the meaning completely.

updated Jun 12, 2016
posted by --Mariana--
we're not going :)
6
votes

This is definitely something that is predominant in the Caribbean. I live in Spanish Harlem and you hear the droping of the "S" all of the time from Dominican, and PuertoRican, speakers . . . "gracia", "ma o meno" . . . it can be very frustrating for those of us learning the language! The good news is you are not alone. Many of my Mexican friends had trouble understanding Dominican and PuertoRican accents when they first moved to the neighborhood from Mexico. I even hear it occasionally on "las noticias" on Spanish TV stations. It just takes a lot of pacience and listening to conversations within their contexts and eventually, you will begin to intuitively know what folks are saying when they do this!!! If I can do it, anyone can!!!!

updated Nov 5, 2011
posted by ral062165
6
votes

Andalusians are famous for it,or notorious, depending on whether you are a linguistic pedant or not. If you keep this in mind when listening to flamenco songs suddenly they become much easier to understand

updated Nov 5, 2011
edited by lagartijaverde
posted by lagartijaverde
I think "notorious" is the better choice
:-)
They are not too keen on verb endings either..
6
votes

It's a very Caribbean thing. It was one of the hardest things to get used to when I moved to Venezuela. They've virtually eliminated the S, and have gone a long way towards eliminating the D and the R in between vowels and at the ends of words:

mas o menos = ma' o meno'
para = pa'
helado = hela'o
pared = pare'

It's a regional pronunciation thing, like leaving G off -ING words in English.

updated Nov 5, 2011
edited by KevinB
posted by KevinB
5
votes

Ok, I am going to ask in reverse...

The following is part of rap song, and my question is: do people talk like that in real life here in the US?

Pops did the singin, mom did the writin Mad does production, Stace did the fightin

Clue: Missing G's

(just an example)

wink

updated Nov 5, 2011
posted by chileno
Yes, as aweful as it is, we do talk this way, lol.
Yes... it actually is pretty common.
Yes.
5
votes

Although this phenomenon is most prevalent in Southern Spain, the Caribbean, and coastal areas of Central/South America, I hear most Spanish speakers do this at some point to a varying degree. It is very common in fast paced conversations.

updated Oct 20, 2011
posted by pescador1
4
votes

Yes, I do this all the time. I cannot help it grin. It is like asking an American to not pronounce their T's like D's LOL However, to me, it is not dropping the "s" completely. I'm actually aspirating it. In other words, I'm pronouncing it like an English H or Spanish J.

más o menos sounds like maj o menoj

Nos vamos a la tienda sounds like noj vamoj a la tienda

updated Nov 5, 2011
posted by gintar77
yes I can hear that, that is a better explanation than just dropping them, something is left ja ja
In Andalucia it may be more like: Novamoalaenna.
4
votes

I guess that this has something to do with the tropical and the mediterranean weather.

updated Nov 5, 2011
posted by LuisCache
Good explanation!
3
votes

Just like you say ''n'' instead of ''AnD'' in English and playin and not playinG, Spanish has the same technique wink

updated Nov 5, 2011
posted by 00b6f46c
2
votes

Happens to learners too ! I have a vice of swallowing the "S" in "las" and "unas"

I'm working on it though.

updated Nov 5, 2011
posted by pacofinkler
That's only a bad habit Paco, vices are indefinitly worse things..
1
vote

To help other learners: Hasta luego, is in parts of rural Andalucia, proununced a'aueo. It took me a while to figure out what this new farewell phrase was.A useful greeting is : ¡Holabuena! This means ¡ Hola, buenos días/buenas tardes! it's very common, I use it myself, it saves worrying if it is yet tarde or before lunch or whatever, it's always olauena time. LOL

updated Jun 12, 2016
posted by annierats
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