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0 Vote

What I mean is I hear tex mex people use correct spanish words such as cuarto which is room and limpiar is clean, I also learned from Tex mex speakers that doll is muneca and a swing is called a columpio. Why is there correct spanish in spanglish conversations?

  • Posted May 12, 2010
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8 Answers

6 Vote

Spanglish refers to the code-switching of English and Spanish, in the speech of people who speak parts of two languages, or whose normal language is different from that of the country where they live. For example, the Hispanic population of the United States and the British population in Argentina use varieties of Spanglish. Sometimes the creole spoken in Spanish holiday resorts which are exposed to both Spanish and English is called Spanglish. The similar code switching used in Gibraltar is called Llanito. Spanglish may also be known by a regional name, e.g. "Tex-Mex" in Texas, (cf. "Tex-Mex cuisine").

Spanglish is not a pidgin language. It is totally informal; there are no hard-and-fast rules.

There is no clear demarcation between Spanglish and simple bad Spanish or English. "Parquear" for "to park" is clear deliberate Spanglish; "actualmente" for "actually" rather than "at present" is closer to erroneous use of a false friend, and ambiguous as it has a clear, but different, meaning in true Spanish.

These phenomena are produced by close border contact and large bilingual communities along the United States-Mexico border and California, Oregon, Washington, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Florida, Puerto Rico, The City of New York, and Chicago. It is common in Panama, where the 96-year (1903-1999) U.S. control of the Panama Canal influenced much of local society, especially among the former residents of the Panama Canal Zone, the Zonians. Some version of Spanglish, whether by that name or another, is likely to be used wherever speakers of both languages mix.

In Mexico, the term pochismo applies to Spanglish words and expressions. In the late 1940s, the Puerto Rican linguist Salvador Tió coined the terms Spanglish, and the less commonly used inglañol [1] for English spoken with some Spanish terms.

Spanish and English have mixed a great deal. For example, a fluent bilingual speaker addressing another, like bilingual speaker might indulge 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. Changing some words to English, for example, "Te veo ahorita, me voy de shopping para el mall": "See you later, I'm going shopping in the mall". Spanglish is mostly spoken this way.

Spanglish phrases often use shorter words from both languages as in: "Me voy a hacer wake up". (Rather than: "Me voy a levantar" or "I am going to wake up.") A common code switch in Puerto Rican Spanglish is using the English word "so" (therefore): "Tengo clase, so me voy" ("I have a class, so I'm leaving"), rather than the Spanish "porque" with different order ("me voy porque tengo clase").

Example: In Spanglish, yonque denotes "junkyard", not the standard Spanish desguace.

  • Very nice - good job! - Gekkosan May 13, 2010 flag
  • Thanks - princessjane May 13, 2010 flag
  • I like this, very very informative and gets the point across with lots of info regarding the question - RosalieB May 13, 2010 flag
  • I'm copying this for my students if you don't mind. - Delores--Lin May 13, 2010 flag
4 Vote

Why not? It would be a whole lot harder to believe that every single word has been corrupted than that only some words have. Are there correct English words in Tex-Mex? If so, is that a surprize to you?

3 Vote

I take offense at your use of tex-mex as a derogatory term. I remember your last message, that you posted twice, and frankly I dislike your "tone" of voice. Tex-mex comes from Mexico and I live in Texas, many Mexicans do, and they speak natural and fluent Spanish from Mexico. "Why is there correct Tex-mex in Spanish"? Maybe because it comes from Mexico where Spanish is spoken?

3 Vote

I could ask, but I'm not going to, because I'm not as rude as all that, how come that the United States is the top Super Power in the world, when the gringos are so darned ignorant and narrow-minded? I could wonder at the fates of the world that have determined that a belligerent, bullying, disrespectful people should also represent the greatest technological advances and, in some cases, some very advanced concepts in terms of freedom and equality. Such and odd mixture.

I could marvel that such an "advanced" First World country should be so full of people who can't even spell correctly in their own language, who can't in many cases locate their own country in a map of the world, and much less their home state in a map of their own country.

I could go on and on about the amazing idiocy of people who pretend to pass judgment on people and cultures they haven't even bothered to explore, or tried to understand.

But I'm not going to say any of that, because my momma taught me good manners, and she said that if I didn't have something good to say about someone, I should not say anything at all.

And fortunately, I do have a few good things to say about my fellow country-folk, and I have been lucky to have the chance to meet lots of sensitive, polite and wonderful people, that give one hope, and help even the score against the weight of the bigots and the ignoramuses that don't know how to reverse or control the constant back-flow between their rectum and their mouths (or fingers, as may be the case).

1 Vote

No te preocupes Jeezzle.

It's a very odd question and I can't imagine anyone will take any notice of it.

1 Vote

this isn't an answer but a question. what is "Tex Mex"? and what does the above question mean? i'm from Texas and still don't know what Tex Mex is. ha!

0 Vote

When you learn a new language, is possible that you find some terms of the another languages, now, for example in spanish you can say HAPPY BIRTHDAY but you don't really know english.

0 Vote

Spanish and English have mixed a great deal. For example, a fluent bilingual speaker addressing another, like bilingual speaker might indulge 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. Changing some words to English, for example, "Te veo ahorita, me voy de shopping para el mall": "See you later, I'm going shopping in the mall". Spanglish is mostly spoken this way.

You are totally right about this. I've heard it more than once.

I also think that the frequent use of that mode of speaking may became your usual way and then you start using it even with no bilingual people.

Now you have a problem because you have forgotten the proper way of speaking Spanish.

Every time one of my kids does that, I correct them and tell them the correct Spanish word to use instead. I want them to keep being truly bilingual as they are now.

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