Do you speak Spanglish?

Spanglish is looking more and more like a new language. In this article we introduce this new dialect along with a mini-dictionary.

Spanglish—an amalgamation of the words Spanish and English—is a new language, or dialect, that combines English and Spanish. Little research has been carried out on Spanglish so far, but it is believed the language was born in the early 1970s in California, California, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico, homes to the largest Spanish-speaking communities in the USA. Today, the United States of America has over 50 million Spanish speakers, and it is estimated that half of them speak Spanglish.

But when it comes to this language—a language that is increasingly finding its way into the media and advertising campaigns—there is a range of diverging opinions.

On the one side, optimists who believe that the existence of this as-of-yet informal language facilitates communication and therefore the integration of the entire Spanish-speaking community in the United States. According to Ilán Stavans, a strong advocate of Spanglish, this dialect does not impact English or Spanish in any way, but rather simply drives adoption of the language of Shakespeare. He has published a book on Spanglish, The Making of a New American Language published in 2003, in which he presents a translation of the first chapter of Don Quixote into this dialect. He also teaches classes on this new language at the University of Amherst (USA), and is in the process of creating a dictionary.

On the other side, we have its opponents who think this language is suffocating the beauty, richness of the English language as well as that of Cervantes. On the other side of the Atlantic, the Real Academia Española has produced a video called “Lengua madre solo hay una” (“There is only one mother tongue”), in which it openly mocks the use of Spanglish in ad campaigns.

If you’re interested in this subject, you might want to watch the movie Spanglish, directed by James L. Brooks, which deals with this subject.

Mini Spanglish dictionary

Watch out becomes gauchau.
Average becomes averaje.
To lunch becomes lanchar.
To load becomes lodear.
Please becomes plis.
To park becomes parquear.
To wrap becomes drapear.
To text becomes textear.
Tough becomes tof.
Rent becomes rentear.

What do you think of Spanglish? Any other examples to add to our small list?

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This article has been written by Pauline

After studying translation and communication in Paris, Pauline travelled a lot and decided to settle down in Buenos Aires to do an internship at Cultures Connection.