The Info List - Spanglish

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(a portmanteau of the words "Spanish" and "English") is a name sometimes given to various contact dialects, pidgins, or creole languages that result from interaction between Spanish and English used by people who speak both languages or parts of both languages. It is a blend of Spanish and English lexical items and grammar. Spanglish is not a pidgin, because unlike pidgin languages, Spanglish
can be the primary speech form for some individuals.[citation needed] Spanglish can be considered a variety of Spanish with heavy use of English or a variety of English with heavy use of Spanish.[citation needed] It can be more related either to Spanish or to English, depending on the circumstances. Since Spanglish
arises independently in each region, it reflects the locally spoken varieties of English and Spanish. In general different varieties of Spanglish
are not necessarily mutually intelligible. The term was introduced by the Puerto Rican poet Salvador Tió in the late 1940s, when he called it Espanglish or Inglañol (from Español + English, and Inglés + Español, respectively).[1] Some of these creoles have become recognized languages in their own right, including the Llanito
language of Gibraltar
and San Andrés–Providencia Creole of Colombia.


1 History and distribution 2 Usage

2.1 Spanglish
patterns 2.2 Calques 2.3 Semantic extensions 2.4 Loan words 2.5 Fromlostiano

3 Identity

3.1 Attitudes towards Spanglish

4 Examples 5 See also 6 Notes 7 References 8 External links

History and distribution[edit] In the late 1940s, the Puerto Rican journalist, poet, and essayist Salvador Tió coined the terms Espanglish (later shortened to Spanglish) for Spanish spoken with some English terms, and the less commonly used Inglañol (for English spoken with some Spanish terms). After Puerto Rico became a United States territory in 1898, Spanglish became progressively more common there as the United States Army and the early colonial administration tried to impose the English language on island residents. Between 1902 and 1948, the main language of instruction in public schools (used for all subjects except Spanish language courses) was English. Currently Puerto Rico is nearly unique in having both English and Spanish as its official languages[2] (but see also New Mexico). Consequently, many American English words are now found in the vocabulary of Puerto Rican Spanish. Spanglish
may also be known by different regional names. Spanglish
does not have one unified dialect—specifically, the varieties of Spanglish
spoken in New York, Florida, Texas, and California differ. Spanglish
is so popular in many Spanish-speaking communities in the United States, especially in the Miami Hispanic community, that monolingual speakers of standard Spanish may have difficulty in understanding it.[3] It is common in Panama, where the 96-year (1903–1999) U.S. control of the Panama Canal
Panama Canal
influenced much of local society, especially among the former residents of the Panama Canal Zone, the Zonians. Many Puerto Ricans living on the island of St. Croix
St. Croix
speak in informal situations a unique Spanglish-like combination of Puerto Rican Spanish and the local Crucian dialect, which is very different from the Spanglish
spoken elsewhere. The same applies to the large Puerto Rican-descended populations of New York City and Boston. Spanglish
is spoken commonly in the modern United States, reflecting the growth of the Hispanic-American population due to immigration. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of Hispanics grew from 35.3 million to 53 million between 2000 and 2012.[4] Hispanics have become the largest minority ethnic group in the US. More than 60% are of Mexican descent. Mexican Americans
Mexican Americans
form one of the fastest-growing groups, increasing from 20.6 million to 34.5 million between 2000 and 2012.[4] Around 58% of this community chose California, especially Southern California, as their new home. Spanglish
is widely used throughout the heavily Mexican-American
and other Hispanic communities of Southern California.[5] The use of Spanglish
has become important to Hispanic communities throughout the United States in areas such as Miami, New York City, Texas, and California. In Miami, the Afro-Cuban
community makes use of a Spanglish
familiarly known as "Cubonics," a portmanteau of the words "Cuban" and "Ebonics," a slang term for African American Vernacular English that is itself a portmanteau of "Ebony phonics."[5] Spanglish
is known as bilingualism/ semi-lingualism. The acquisition of the first language is interrupted or unstructured language input follows from the second language. This can also happen in reverse.[6] Many Mexican-Americans (Chicanos), immigrants and bilinguals express themselves in various forms of Spanglish. For many, Spanglish
serves as a basis for self-identity, but others believe that it should not exist.[7] Spanglish
is difficult, because if the speaker learned the two languages in separate contexts, they use the conditioned system, in which the referential meanings in the two languages differ considerably. Those who were literate in their first language before learning the other, and who have support to maintain that literacy, are sometimes those least able to master their second language. Spanglish
is part of receptive bilingualism. Receptive bilinguals are those who understand a second language but don't speak it. That is when they use Spanglish. Receptive bilinguals are also known as productively bilingual, since—to give an answer, the speaker exerts much more mental effort to answer in English, Spanish, or Spanglish.[8] Without first understanding the culture and history of the region where Spanglish
evolved as a practical matter an in depth familiarizing with multiple cultures. This knowledge, indeed the mere fact of one's having that knowledge, often forms an important part of both what one considers one's personal identity and what others consider one's identity.[9] Usage[edit] Spanglish
patterns[edit] Spanglish
is informal and lacks documented structure and rules, although speakers can consistently judge the grammaticality of a phrase or sentence. From a linguistic point of view, Spanglish
often is mistakenly labeled many things. Spanglish
is not a creole or dialect of Spanish because, though people claim they are native Spanglish
speakers, Spanglish
itself is not a language on its own, but speakers speak English or Spanish with a heavy influence from the other language. The definition of Spanglish
has been unclearly explained by scholars and linguists despite being noted so often. Spanglish
is the fluid exchange of language between English and Spanish, present in the heavy influence in the words and phrases used by the speaker.[10] Spanglish
is currently considered a hybrid language by linguists—many actually refer to Spanglish
as "Spanish-English code-switching", though there is some influence of borrowing, and lexical and grammatical shifts as well.[11][12] The inception of Spanglish
is due to the influx of Latin American people into North America, specifically the United States of America.[13] As mentioned previously, the phenomenon of Spanglish
can be separated into two different categories: code switching or borrowing, and lexical and grammatical shifts.[14] Codeswitching has sparked controversy because it is seen "as a corruption of Spanish and English, a 'linguistic pollution' or 'the language of a "raced," underclass people'."[15] For example, a fluent bilingual speaker addressing another bilingual speaker might engage in code switching with the sentence, "I'm sorry I cannot attend next week's meeting porque tengo una obligación de negocios en Boston, pero espero que I'll be back for the meeting the week after"—which means, "I'm sorry I cannot attend next week's meeting because I have a business obligation in Boston, but I hope to be back for the meeting the week after." Calques[edit] Calques are translations of entire words or phrases from one language into another. They represent the simplest forms of Spanglish, as they undergo no lexical or grammatical structural change.[16] The use of calques is common throughout most languages, evident in the calques of Arabic exclamations used in Spanish.[17] Examples:

"to call back" → llamar p'atrás (volver a llamar) "It's up to you." → Está p'arriba de ti. (Depende de ti.) "to run for governor" → correr para gobernador (presentarse para gobernador)[17]

Semantic extensions[edit] Semantic extension or reassignment refers to a phenomenon where speakers use a word of language A (typically Spanish in this case) with the meaning of its cognate in language B (typically English), rather than its standard meaning in language A. In Spanglish
this usually occurs in the case of "false friends" (similar to, but technically not the same as false cognates), where words of similar form in Spanish and English are thought to have like meanings based on their cognate relationship.[18] Examples:

Spanglish English basis and meaning Standard Spanish Meaning of Spanglish
word in standard Spanish

actualmente actually en realidad currently

aplicación application (written request) solicitud application (of paint, etc.)

bizarro bizarre estrambótico valiant, dashing

carpeta carpet alfombra, moqueta folder

chequear to check (verify) comprobar, verificar —

librería library biblioteca bookstore

mapear to mop trapear to map (rare)

parquear to park estacionar, aparcar —

rentar to rent alquilar to yield, to produce a profit

wachale to watch out cuidado —

An example of this lexical phenomenon in Spanglish
is the emergence of new verbs when the productive Spanish verb-making suffix -ear is attached to an English verb. For example, the Spanish verb for "to eat lunch" (almorzar in standard Spanish) becomes lonchear (occasionally lunchear). The same process produces watchear, parquear, emailear, twittear, etc.[19] Loan words[edit] Loan words occur in any language due to the presence of items or ideas not present in the culture before, such as modern technology. The increasing rate of technological growth requires the use of loan words from the donor language due to the lack of its definition in the lexicon of the main language. This partially deals with the "prestige" of the donor language, which either forms a dissimilar or more similar word from the loan word. The growth of modern technology can be seen in the expressions: "hacer click" (to click), "mandar un e-mail" (to send an e-mail), "faxear" (to fax), "textear" (to text message), or "hacker" (hacker). Some words borrowed from the donor languages are adapted to the language, while others remain unassimilated (e. g. "sandwich"). The items most associated with Spanglish
refer to words assimilated into the main morphology.[20] Borrowing words from English and "Spanishizing" them has typically occurred through immigrants.[21] This method makes new words by pronouncing an English word "Spanish style", thus dropping final consonants, softening others, and replacing certain consonants (i.e., M's, N's, V's) with B's.[21] Examples:

"Aseguranza" (insurance) "Biles" (bills) "Chorcha" (church) "Ganga" (gang) "Líder" (leader) – considered an established Anglicism "Lonchear/Lonchar" (to have lunch) "Marqueta" (market) "Taipear" (to type) "Troca" (truck) – Widely used in most of northern Mexico as well


Spanish street ad in Madrid
humorously showing baidefeis instead of the Spanish gratis (free). Baidefeis derives from the English "by the face"; Spanish: por la cara, "free". The adoption of English words is very common in Spain.

is a type of artificial and humorous wordplay that translates Spanish idioms word-for-word into English. The name fromlostiano comes from the expression From Lost to the River, which is a word-for-word translation of de perdidos al río; an idiom that means that one is prone to choose a particularly risky action in a desperate situation (this is somewhat comparable to the English idiom in for a penny, in for a pound). The humor comes from the fact that while the expression is completely grammatical in English, it makes no sense to a native English speaker. Hence it is necessary to understand both languages to appreciate the humor. This phenomenon was first noted in the book From Lost to the River in 1995.[22] The book describes six types of fromlostiano:

Translations of Spanish idioms into English: With you bread and onion (Contigo pan y cebolla), Nobody gave you a candle in this burial (Nadie te ha dado vela en este entierro), To good hours, green sleeves (A buenas horas mangas verdes). Translations of American and British celebrities' names into Spanish: Vanesa Tumbarroja (Vanessa Redgrave). Translations of American and British street names into Spanish: Calle del Panadero (Baker Street). Translations of Spanish street names into English: Shell Thorn Street (Calle de Concha Espina). Translations of multinational corporations' names into Spanish: Ordenadores Manzana (Apple Computers). Translations of Spanish minced oaths into English: Tu-tut that I saw you (Tararí que te vi).

The use of Spanglish
has evolved over time. It has emerged as a way of conceptualizing one's thoughts whether it be in speech or on paper. Identity[edit] The use of Spanglish
is often associated with an individual's association with identity (in terms of language learning) and reflects how many minority-American cultures feel toward their heritage. Commonly in ethnic communities within the United States, the knowledge of one's heritage language tends to assumably signify if one is truly of a member of their culture. Just as Spanish helps individuals identify with their Spanish identity, Spanglish
is slowly becoming the poignant realization of the Hispanic-American, especially Mexican-American, identity within the United States. Individuals of Hispanic descent living in America face living in two very different worlds and need a new sense of bi-cultural and bilingual identity of their own experience. "This synergy of cultures and struggle with identity is reflected in language use and results in the mixing of Spanish and English." Spanglish
is used to facilitate communication with others in both worlds; "...code-switching is not merely a random phenomena but rather a complex system composed of a variety". While some individuals believe that Spanglish
should not be considered a language, it is a language that has evolved and is continuing to grow and affect the way new generations are educated, culture change, and the production of media.[23] Living within the United States creates a synergy of culture and struggles for many Mexican-Americans. The hope to retain their cultural heritage/language and their dual-identity in American society is one of the major factors that lead to the creation of Spanglish.[24] Attitudes towards Spanglish[edit]

This section is written like a personal reflection or opinion essay that states a editor's personal feelings about a topic. Please help improve it by rewriting it in an encyclopedic style. (June 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Speakers of standard forms of Spanish may at times denounce Spanglish as a corrupted dialect. In fact, Spanglish
is not about necessarily assimilating to English—it is about acculturating and accommodating.[21] Still, Spanglish
has variously been accused of corrupting and endangering the real Spanish language, and holding kids back, though linguistically speaking, there is no such thing as a pure or real language.[25] Presently, "Spanglish" is still viewed by most as a rather derogatory and patronizing word to its community because it seems like a "bastardized language". In reality, Spanglish
has its own culture and has a reputation of its own.[26] It is commonly assumed that Spanglish
is a jargon: part Spanish and part English, with neither "gravitas nor a clear identity", says the author of Spanglish[27] and proponent of Spanglish, Ilan Stavans.[28] Use of the word Spanglish
reflects the wide range of views towards the mixed language in the United States. In Latino communities, the term Spanglish
is used in a positive and proud connotation by political leaders.[29] It is also used by linguists and scholars promoted for use in literary writing.[30] Despite the promotion of positive use of the term by activists and scholars alike, the term is often used with a negative connotation. People often refer to themselves as 'Spanglish speakers' if they do not speak Spanish well. The term Spanglish
is also often used as a disparaging way to describe individuals that do not speak English fluently and are in the process of learning, assuming the inclusion of Spanglish
as a lack of English fluency.[31] Examples[edit]


H.G.Wells, in his 1933 future history The Shape of Things to Come, predicted that in the twenty first century English and Spanish would "become interchangeable languages".[32] Yo-Yo Boing!, the first Spanglish
novel by Giannina Braschi, a Puerto Rican writer based in New York City; the work debuted in 1998. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
by Junot Diaz, a Dominican-American writer, creative writing professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and fiction-editor at Boston Review. Mexican WhiteBoy, a 2008 novel by Matt de la Peña The 2009 novel Super Extra Grande by the Spanish author Yoss is set in a future where Latin Americans have colonized the galaxy, and Spanglish
is the lingua franca among the galaxy's sentient species.


The use of Spanglish
by incorporating English and Spanish lyrics into music has risen in the United States over time. In the 1980s 1.2% of songs in the Billboard Top 100 contained Spanglish
lyrics, eventually growing to 6.2% in the 2000s. The lyrical emergence of Spanglish
by way of Latin-American Musicians has grown tremendously, reflective of the growing Hispanic population within the United States.[33]

Mexican rock
Mexican rock
band Molotov, whose members use Spanglish
in their lyrics. American progressive rock band The Mars Volta, whose song lyrics frequently switch back and forth between English and Spanish. Ska punk
Ska punk
pioneers Sublime, whose singer Bradley Nowell
Bradley Nowell
grew up in a Spanish speaking community, released several songs in Spanglish. Shakira
(born Shakira
Isabel Mebarak Ripoll), a Colombian singer-songwriter, musician, and model. Sean Paul
Sean Paul
(born Sean Paul
Sean Paul
Ryan Francis Henriques), a Jamaican singer and songwriter Ricky Martin
Ricky Martin
(born Enrique Martín Morales), a Puerto Rican pop musician, actor, and author. Pitbull (born Armando Christian Pérez), a successful Cuban-American rapper, producer, and Latin Grammy Award-winning artist from Miami, Florida that has brought Spanglish
into mainstream music through his multiple hit songs. Enrique Iglesias, a Spanish singer-songwriter with songs in English, Spanish, and Spanglish; Spanglish
songs include Bailamos
and Bailando. Rapper Silento, famous for his song "Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)", recorded a version in Spanglish.


Puerto Rican writer Giannina Braschi wrote the Spanglish
comic novel Yo-Yo Boing! (1998). Chicano
performance artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña uses Spanglish often. Ilan Stavans, sociolinguist, a world authority in Spanglish. Germán Valdés, a Mexican comedian known as Tin Tan
Tin Tan
who made heavy use of Spanglish. He also dressed as a pachuco. Piri Thomas, a Nuyorican
writer poet, known for his memoir Down These Mean Streets. Pedro Pietri, a Nuyorican
poet and playwright.[34]

See also[edit]

Nuyorican Caló (Chicano) a Mexican-American
argot, similar to Spanglish. Chicano
English Dog Latin Languages in the United States List of English words of Spanish origin Llanito
(an Andalusian Spanish-based creole unique to Gibraltar) Portuñol, the unsystematic mixture of Portuguese with Spanish Spanish language
Spanish language
in the United States Spanish dialects and varieties


Category:Forms of English Category: Spanglish


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in School". Journal of Latinos and Education. 7 (2): 94–112. doi:10.1080/15348430701827030.  ^ Morales, Ed (2002). Living in Spanglish : the search for Latino identity in America (1. ed.). New York, NY: St. Martin's Pr. ISBN 0312262329.  ^ Spanglish: The Making of a New American Language (2003) ISBN 978-0-06008-776-0 ^ (Stavans, 2000b, p.b7) ^ Zentella, 2008, p. 6 ^ Stavans, 2000a, 2000b, 2003 ^ Otheguy & Stern pg. 86 ^ H.G.Wells, The Shape of Things to Come, Ch. 12 ^ Pisarek & Valenzuela 2012 ^ Stavans 2014


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en la última edición del Diccionario de la Real Academia (2014)", Revista GLOSAS (de la ANLE), 2015. Betti, Silvia y Enric Serra Alegre, eds. Una investigación polifónica. Nuevas voces sobre el spanglish, New York, Valencia, Academia Norteamericana de la Lengua Española (ANLE) y Universitat de València-Estudi General (UVEG), 2016. Ardila, Alfredo (2005), "Spanglish: An Anglicized Spanish Dialect", Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 27 (1): 60–81, doi:10.1177/0739986304272358 

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External links[edit]

Current TV video " Nuyorican
Power" on Spanglish
as the Nuyorican language; featuring Daddy Yankee, Giannina Braschi, Rita Moreno, and other Nuyorican
icons. Spanglish – the Language of Chicanos, University of California What is Spanglish? Texas State University

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Spanish Frespañol/Fragnol Japanese Franponais Occitan Meridional French English Franglais Hebrew Zarphatic

French Sign Language

American Sign Language Bolivian Sign Language, Thai Sign Language, Philippine Sign Language, Malaysian Sign Language


Russian Deutschrussisch Spanish Belgranodeutsch English Denglisch Portuguese Hunsrik (when Portuguese-influenced) Hebrew Yiddish Yiddish Lachoudisch


English Greeklish Hebrew Judeo-Greek Turkish Cappadocian Greek, Cypriot Arabic


Arabic languages Judeo-Arabic languages Aramaic languages Judeo-Aramaic languages Iranian languages Judaeo-Iranian languages Romance languages Judaeo-Romance languages

German Yiddish Spanish Judaeo-Spanish, Haketia

English Heblish, Yinglish, Yeshivish Georgian Judaeo-Georgian Malayalam Judeo-Malayalam Tatar Karaim, Krymchak Slavic Knaanic Greek Yevanic Indic Judeo-Marathi


English Itanglese Spanish Cocoliche, Lunfardo Portuguese Macaronic Portuguese Croatian Fiuman dialect Hebrew Judeo-Italian


English Engrish, Wasei-eigo, Bonin English French Franponais Portuguese Dekasegi Portuguese Spanish Japoñol Chinese Kyowa-go


Malay Manado Malay, North Moluccan Malay, Ambonese Malay Chinese Baba Malay Dutch Javindo


Malay trade and creole languages English+Chinese+Tamil Singlish Chinese Baba Malay Chinese+Javanese+Sundanese+Arabic+Dutch Betawi Sinhalese+Tamil Sri Lankan Malay Javanese Manado Malay, North Moluccan Malay, Ambonese Malay Dutch Petjo Makassarese Makassar Malay


Spanish Portuñol/Portunhol English Porglish/Portuglish Italian languages Macaronic Portuguese Japanese Dekasegi Portuguese Gallo-Italic languages Talian (when Portuguese-influenced) Hunsrückisch German Hunsrik (when Portuguese-influenced) Bantu languages Cafundó dialect (cupópia), Gira da Tabatinga, Kalunga, Pequeno Português † Hebrew Judeo-Portuguese Southeast Asian languages Macanese Patois


German Deutschrussisch Ukrainian Surzhyk, Balachka Belarusian Trasianka Norwegian Russenorsk English Runglish* Chinese Kyakhta Spanish Rusoñol


Portuguese Portuñol/Portunhol German Belgranodeutsch English Spanglish, Llanito Italian languages Cocoliche, Lunfardo Gallo-Italic languages Chipilo Galician Castrapo French Frespañol/Fragnol Guarani Jopará Catalan Catanyol Japanese Japoñol Hebrew Judaeo-Spanish, Haketia Russian Rusoñol


Belarusian West Polesian English Canadian Ukrainian Polish Balak Russian Surzhyk, Balachka


English Heblish, Yinglish, Yeshivish Scots Scots Yiddish German Lachoudisch

v t e

Hispanic and Latino American groups in the United States


Cuban Dominican Puerto Rican


North American


Californio Nuevomexicano Tejano

Creoles of Louisiana



Chicano Indigenous Mexican Punjabi

Central American

Costa Rican Guatemalan Honduran Nicaraguan Panamanian Salvadoran

South American

Argentine Bolivian Brazilian Chilean Colombian Ecuadorian Paraguayan Peruvian Uruguayan Venezuelan



Asturian Basque Catalan Canarian Galician Jews

Racial groups

All groups Amerindian Asian


Black White Multiracial

Quadroon Castizo "Cholo" Mestizo Mulatto Pardo Zambo


English New York Latino English New Mexican Spanish Spanglish Spanish Portuguese

Ethnic and religious groups

Christians Garifuna Jews Muslims

Related ethnic groups

Belizean Filipino Guyanese Haitian Por