I’ve been living in Ecuador for 8 months now, and have noticed a few features about Ecuadorian Spanish to work into my speech:
Use terms of endearment liberally, especially when talking to women (mi princesa, mi corazon, mi vida, mi hija, etc.).
Use articles when referring to your friends.
Use diminutives whenever possible.
una agua –> una aguaita (a tiny bit of water)
2 dolares –> 2 dolaritos (2 small dollars)
un momento –> un momentito (one teeny moment)
mi princesa –> mi princesita (my little princess)
los pasos lindos –> los pasitos linditos (the pretty little dance steps)
Stephanie –> Stephi (they never change my name to Stephanicita; there’s probably an orthographic/phonemic rule for that which I have not yet discovered)
Use any of the following words.
chévere = awesome
que bestia = How great! (This is often used sarcastically.)
un ratito = one moment
chuta = mild expletive, similar to “shoot” or “darn”
fresco/a = cool/neat
una guagua = a baby (This is actually Quechua.)
los manís = peanuts (because cacahuates is soooo Mexicano)
la frutilla = strawberry (they rarely use fresa here)
una chompa = jacket
no seas malito/a = pretty please, I’m begging you
una chapa = disrespectful term for a cop (like “pig” in English)
miercoles = literally, Wednesday. Ecuadorians sometimes say this as a polite substitute for mierda, just like we might say “sugar” or “shoot” instead of “shit.”
When stressing the last word in a phrase, use a higher than usual pitch jump. Okay, this won’t make a lot of sense to you non-linguistic types. And I can’t for the life of me find an audio example to include here. So you’ll just have to ask me to demonstrate this for you the next time we talk. 🙂