I was watching Univision today for a bit and rediscovered “Spanglish.” I like to watch, not only for some news around the Latino world (not necessarily the best source, and certainly not the only source), but it’s good to watch to practice my Spanish listening skills as native English speaker.
Of course, novellas are an excellent source, but they can be quite addictive. Viewer, beware.
Obviously, every person on cable or TV speaks differently. As a result, I understand better some days more than others, depending on the speaker and my frame of mind.
When I say frame of mind, as a Native American English speaker, I sometimes try too hard to understand and find it difficult. But when I just relax and don’t try to translate, I find I understand much better and it comes easier.
Anyway, back to Univision. Jorge Ramos, on the program “Al Punto,” interviewed the actor, Wilmer Valderrama, currently most famous for television’s, “That 70’s Show.” The expected items for discussion came up.
The Latino vote, immigration, and comments on violence in the entertainment media, reflecting the recent tragedy in Colorado, were all covered topics. But, at the end of the interview, Jorge, with a grin on his face, started listing “Spanglish” words spoken by Hispanics in the U.S.A., like “chatear, printear, participar, blog, blogear” and many others. That’s the nature of two cultures intermingling, and it results in practical communication.
The first time I heard “parkear el car,” and many others, was in Texas, the state with the longest border with Mexico. Now the language purists out there cringe when they hear such phrases. I understand that. But I ask you, what harm is it if it creates a better or easier way of communication among people with different language backgrounds.
I guess the big fear is that language as we know it will deteriorate into some mush/mash, making it indistinguishable. Well, at one point in the history of Western civilizations, most of us were speaking some form of Latin, thanks to the ancient Romans. It spawned the series of Latin-based languages we have today—referred to as the Romance languages. It’s evolution, baby, don’t fight it.
Again, if you are a native English speaker, then there are a lot words you already know in English that have their equivalent in Spanish, like anterior, angel, capital, casino, drama, era, and the list goes on. This is one of the things we remind our participants in our Super Thinking + Spanish seminars.
Don’t forget to look for the next seminar that may be coming to your town. If one is not listed near you, Contact Us, and we may be able to bring this seminar to your town. Our Hispanic Globe team loves meeting new people and appreciating new places. We would love to hear from you.