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How has the Spanish language had an affect on the English language?

10 Answers

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In one way, it has affected us. We forget to capitalize Spanish and English when writing in English.

Please capitalize and spell correctly because many members are here to learn English.

  • Bravo, I don't think they are going to do the corrections though... - amykay Apr 5, 2011 flag
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Sydney, this might be a homework question, but perhaps you have asked this question to develop an interesting topic for after-dinner conversation.

One way I see the English language having an impact on Spanish is in the technical, scientific, and medical disciplines. Actually, they impact each other, because developments are made in both cultures. As products, services, and developments occur, the host language of the development seems to have the advantage over the name of the development. As words are coined in the host language, they can be transferred to other languages with very little modification, so other languages respond by adding the new word to their vocabulary.

Welcome to the forum!

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Tacos, tortillas and borritos are foods that everyone who speaks English think are normal English words.

  • I'm not sure about this... at least to me they always seemed even more foreign then the English:) - Foxie Mar 31, 2011 flag
  • maybe I over did it when I said Everyone - dewclaw Apr 5, 2011 flag
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I would say that the impact has been minimal, other than some place names like California, Colorado or Florida, and a few words like barbecue, cafeteria, canyon, cork, cockroach, avocado, artichoke...

  • it looks like you just skimmed through the first 3 letters of the alphabet in a dictionary;) - Foxie Mar 31, 2011 flag
  • Ey compa, don't forget Texas... we're practically part of Mexico. ;-) - DJ_Huero Apr 5, 2011 flag
  • Hum Tejas, part of Mexico no? - pacofinkler Apr 5, 2011 flag
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While I don't live in the American Southwest I do know that our cowboy heritage owes almost everything to the Spanish/Mexican ranching traditions. If fact I'd go so far as to say that the Vaquero taught the Cowboy everything he knew about punchin' cattle in the American West. Starting with the word "ranch" and going on to remuda, lariat, and all the topographical terms like arroyo, canyon, etc. and of course our western state names. (Although I think it's cool that Texas is an Aztec word.)

While I am proud of all the French and Algonquin words that my ancestors have given to American English (and don't ask me if you don't want to be bored silly); I think any John Wayne lovin' American he-man should appreciate what our Mexican Americans brothers and sisters have given us. We wouldn't have an Old West without them.

  • Nice answer, Gary. - Sabor Apr 5, 2011 flag
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an interesting article on Spanish "loanwords" in English


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Just to mention a few

  • We get "ciau" by way of Italian, even if we won;t spell it that way. - samdie Apr 5, 2011 flag
  • I know but this is SpanishDict Samdie. - ian-hill Apr 5, 2011 flag
  • It is "Ciao" and it came from Romany originally. - ray76 Apr 8, 2011 flag
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I think this is a very intersting topic. I am also curious as to the origin of words. There are so many words in Spanish and English that are spelled exactly the same, or, the spelling is very similar. It makes me wonder which language they originated from.

And please do not embarrass me if my grammar is not correct. Not all who post here are grammar experts! In fact, my English grammar education is really lacking. Although I received almost straight As in school, I had some lousy English teachers!

  • Look just fine to me. - interesting - ian-hill Apr 5, 2011 flag
  • Mainly Latin and Greek are the ones that have influenced our languages, including french and of course Italian. - chileno Apr 5, 2011 flag
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Well, I consider myself quite the Don Juan, albeit a little more quixotic than most...

  • Certainly not Don Quixote... - pesta Apr 5, 2011 flag
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Latin and French and Latin by way of French have had a tremendous influence on English. Since Spanish is a Romance language, aside form words that refer specifically to (relatively) recent Spanish culture (foods, bullfighting, Flamenco, etc.), the likelihood is that the word really comes from Latin.

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