Is Spanglish just Spanish Slang?

Is Spanglish just Spanish Slang?

What is Spanglish?

Spanglish is a variety of Spanish that contains English elements due to the influence of English on the Spanish language.

Spanglish is largely spoken by the children of immigrants that came to the USA from Central and South America. Being completely immersed in English from birth everywhere except perhaps at home, Latino Americans, whose native languages are both Spanish and English, seamlessly incorporate English words when speaking Spanish.

Why does Spanglish have a bad rep?

Systematically speaking an existing language in a different way is going to raise eyebrows. Many native Spanish speakers do not welcome the emergence of Spanglish with open arms, however, and many recognize the manner of speaking Anglicized Spanish as improper and even culturally oppressive.

The problem is that it’s different. Native speakers of Spanish coming from Central America coexist in close proximity nearby. Being in such close contact spotlights a clear distinction between the two.

So what? Languages evolve.

While it is true that all languages evolve and the language you speak now is not the same language that was spoken a few hundred years ago, with Spanglish, we are talking about a notable division of speech within two generations. Therefore, the recent adaptation of speaking in Spanglish draws more attention to itself than say, the gradual evolution of Middle English to Modern English over the course of hundreds of years.

Keeping that in mind, academic communities previously fought to “preserve” the Spanish language. The idea that an Anglicized Spanish is the common tongue to native Spanish speakers’ children was and remains unfavorable to many. The reason is not only because Spanglish is deemed improper or simplified speech, but because it’s a sign of assimilation, which understandably can threaten one’s culture and tradition.

Language destruction or Language enrichment? Is Spanglish good or bad?

Language is a vehicle for human beings to communicate. Language is constantly evolving, changing, and therefore, it’s really impossible to say that any language is “pure” and any subsect emerging from that language is damaging to its integrity. The main curiosity with Spanglish is that it has developed within such a short period of time. So the question here should be, "does Spanglish do an adequate job of facilitating communication between humans?" To which, the answer is yes.

Potential Problems

Spanglish can cause a semantic drift between its speakers and speakers of Spanish when Spanish words look or sound similar to English words. For example, the word carpeta in Spanglish is used to refer to a carpet or rug, while traditionally in Spanish, carpet means "folder."

Bonus: Is Chicano also Spanglish?

A common misconception of Spanglish is that it is an independent dialect of Spanish or an entirely new language. However, Spanglish takes an existing dialect of Spanish spoken in the USA and ornaments itself with English elements. On the other hand, Chicano English is a fully formed dialect of English that includes Spanish elements including pronunciations.