Take a look at the photo of this sign I took recently in Puerto Rico that reads NO ESTACIONE EN RIVERSA. Instead of riversa the correct Spanish word should be reversa. The use of the word riversa is a good example that shows two characteristics of the Puerto Rican Spanish:
1. The use of words that comes from the English language
2. Local pronunciation
The word reversa is included in the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) dictionary. It is a direct borrowing from the English “reverse” and it is also used in Colombia, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico and Panama for the action of backing a car.
The Puerto Rican pronunciation riversa is common in colloquial conversations perhaps because it is closer to the actual English pronunciation. The /e/ in “reverse” sounds like an /i/ in Spanish. Another example of this same phenomenon happens with the word diabetes that is commonly pronounced (and written) diabetis.
As a curious note, the word riversa can be found in the Diccionario de Americanismos as a word that we share with the Dominican Republic.
Check out these other Puerto Rican Spanish Slang Word articles.