Spanglish (Neither Nor)

Spanish-English? Yes, please. No, thank you.

No matter what you think about this fusion, it is. This is a fact. So it is useful to know it exists and what it really is.

Code switching is the mixture of words of one language in the sentence of another language. You can hear sentences like “Tomaré la freeway para ir a casa.”

Spanglish refers to new words in Spanish that resemble the English counterpart. For example, “carpetería” (carpet shop) is not in any Spanish dictionaries, but some Spanish speakers in the US created it and use it! In “carpetería,” they took the English stem “carpet” and joined it with the Spanish ending “-ería” that means “shop” to form “carpet shop.”

In some cases , the word has been taken from English as is (in spelling and pronunciation):

(la) freeway, (el) bypass, (el) SUV, (el) bill, (los) taxes, (el) VCR, (el) U-turn, (el) e-mail, (el) zip code

In other cases, the word has suffered some adaptation to the Spanish pronunciation:

(la troca (= truck), la marketa (= market), la carpeta (= carpet), la yarda (= yard), las utilidades (= utilities), las partes (= auto-parts), lonchear (= to have lunch), parkear (= to park), likear (= to leak)

Occasionally, the newborn word can conflict with another word existing in the Spanish standard:

Non-standard Spanish Standard Spanish
carpeta (= carpet) carpeta (= folder)
remover (= to remove) remover (= to stir)
ordenar (= to order food) ordenar (= to command)

It’s important to leave clear that none of those words belong to the standard Spanish. Thus… Should you know they exist? Yep. Should you study them? Nope.

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