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  Wikipedia: Spanglish

Wikipedia: Spanglish
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Spanglish is a pidgin of Spanish and English, used in communities where useful terms may be drawn from both languages. Like other pidgins, Spanglish is a product of close border contacts or large bilingual communities, as in the United States-Mexico border, Florida or New York City.

Spanish and English have interpenetrated in any number of ways. For example, a bilingual fluent speaker speaking to another bilingual fluent speaker may utter a portmanteau sentence such as, "I'm sorry I cannot attend next week's meeting, pero tengo una obligación de negocio en Bostón, pero espero que I'll be back for the meeting the week after."

Numerous words have passed in each direction between the two languages and become so accepted as to no longer seem "foreign". Typical examples of Spanish words that have thoroughly passed into American English include:

  • "Mesa", literally meaning table, referring to a flat-topped hillock.
  • "Patio".
  • "Veranda".
  • "Garbanzo".

Other Spanish words have passed into English, slightly modified, as slang words that are almost universally understood. For example:
  • "Vaquero" (cowboy), respelled as "buckaroo".
  • "Juzgado" (literally "judged"), respelled as "hoosegow" (jail).

Similarly, in the other direction:
  • "OK".
  • "Baseball", respelled as "béisbol".
  • "Beefsteak", respelled as "bistec" or, less commonly, as "biftec".
  • "Meeting", respelled as "mítin".
  • "Leader", respelled as "líder".

Still other Spanish words are still considered exotic when used in an English-language context, but are almost universally understood:
  • Many foods, such as "taco", "burrito", "quesadilla" and true Spanglish hybrids like "a hot chile".
  • Certain common polite expressions, such as "¿Qué pasa?", "Gracias", "Adiós", "Por favor".
  • Many other words, including "amigo", "compadre", "cerveza", "agua", and (with slightly less universality) "gordo" (used like "fatso"), "sierra" (mountain range).

Connoisseurs of Spanglish relish words like:
  • "Carro" ("car"), replacing "coche" in much of Mexico.
  • "Loisaida", a largely Puerto Rican neigborhood in Manhattan, whose name derives from "Lower East Side".
  • A fully conjugated verb "sharpeniar" (to sharpen; note that the "sh" sound normally does not exist in Spanish).
  • "Postostes" ("breakfast cereal") deriving from the brand name "Post Toasties"

...or phrases like:
  • "Regando diches" (digging ditches).
  • "The whole enchilada" (the whole thing).
  • "No Hangear" (no loitering).

The term "Spanglish" may also refer to non-native Spanish speakers trying to make English words sound more "Spanish-y" when they do not have sufficient vocabulary. For example, "Yo quiero the bathroomo" ("I want the bathroom").

See also Languages in the United States, Yanito from Gibraltar, inglÚs de escalerilla in the Spanish Mediterranean coast.

External links


Spanglish: The Making of a New American Language, Ilan Stavans, ISBN 0060087765


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 
Modified by Geona