Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Primera vez con otros músicos! y more about Spanglish

I just returned from a men´s retreat with my church and got the opportunity to play with a bunch of other musicians for the first time. I play with my son (on guitar) whenever I can but this was the first time I could play with a grupo de músicos. Voy a contar the story in a later post. For now, here are a couple of resources for Spanglish that I found and enjoyed.

Diccionario del Espanglish:
Parte de Don Quixote en el Espanglish:
Spanglish Computer terms:

And wikipedia, of course, has an article:

The wikipedia article is interesting to me because it delimits different types of what one might call "Spanglish." I had noticed this myself: the above "Diccionario" for example, mostly consists of one type of "Spanglish," English words that were taken more or less directly into Spanish ("parkear", "watchar", "breka", etc.) The other type of "Spanglish," as linguists call it "code-switching," is what I enjoy intermixing real English and real Spanish words in the same sentence. Although I prefer the latter type, I can't find myself condemning the former ("parkear") type of Spanglish: we do it in English all the time, of course - words and expressions like "bon vivant," "tout de suite," "aficionado," "calaboose" (ok, so that's a really old word - I still like it), etc. Nobody condemns it when English speakers do it, but suddenly it's a bad thing when Spanish speakers do it. It seems to me that it's just another example of people who think they're smarter than the rest of us, and who decide what's allowable (better yet, fashionable) and what isn't.

In fact, thinking about it, the only place that I draw the line is when lazy anglophones make up the bogus Spanish words; when they say "argumento" when they should really say "discusión", or "carpeta" instead of "alfombra." Languages should be able to change, but let those who really know the language do it.

Unfortunately, wikipedia omits the best reason to speak the "code switching" Spanglish, from what I've found: it's fun, and it's easier than speaking full time in a language that's not your native one. I've been part of Spanglish conversations with people who spoke English probably as well as I speak Spanish, each of us switching back and forth rather than trying to remember words we have trouble with. It works well.

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