Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Abuse of the Spanish Language

Are you familiar with the Spanglish language? As you might already have guessed, it consists of words with a mixture of Spanish and English. The title of the publication on the left says it all, "Magacín," which is derived from the word "magazine." Puerto Ricans are known to have perfected the language, but many Latinos who were born in the U.S are also Spanglish speakers.

I think Spanish is a beautiful language and I find the use of Spanglish to be quite disrespectful. Unfortunately, as I live in Puerto Rico, I am surrounded by Spanglish! I think this is a tragedy. Everyday, when I look through the paper, I just can't seem to avoid words that are not part of the Spanish language. It just feels utterly wrong to see and hear them being used. Here are some examples:

Wíken=Weekend ("fin de semana" in Spanish)
Parqiar el carro=Park the car ("estacionar el coche/carro" in Spanish)
Damme un chance=Give me a chance ("damme una opportunidad" in Spanish)
Hangeo=Hanging out ("salir" in Spanish)

These are just a couple of the many Spanglish words widely spoken. I try my best to avoid using them, but I must admit I do say "parqiar" sometimes without being aware of it. I am not proud of my Spanglish though...

(Note: The image above was obtained from


learnspanish said...

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check our website and let me know what do you think. send me your e-mail so i will send you a sample of the newsletter

Juan Carlos

Anonymous said...

Hey, don't sweat it. Borrowings are a natural part of human language and no language exists without these. (Sorry, I'm a linguist, so I had to comment.)

I know it may seem like a pollution, but its quite natural and can even be characterized as a lovely description of a language's cultural and historical heritage and influences. If it makes you feel better, notice how borrowings from one language to another are always nativized, i.e. revised by the borrowing language to make the loan words conform to the sound and syntax constraints of the borrower. Cool, huh? And in this case, these borrowings and revisions have created a unique version of Spanglish, special to Puerto Rico, which gives it a bit of charm.

Anyway, I hope I've contributed something interesting.

Enjoy your time there!