Monthly Archives: October 2012

What are “estadounidismos”?

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The Royal Spanish Academy (RAE – Real Academia de la Lengua Española) has admitted the inclusion of “estadounidismos” for the next edition of its dictionary.  The “estadounidismos” are the words or uses that are characteristic of the Spanish spoken in the United Stated of America (according to the DRAE – Diccionario de la Real Academia de la Lengua Española). Some of these new words include the following: “email”, “hispanounidense”, “paralegal” (asistente de abogados), “van” (microbús), “aplicar” (from apply, which means solicitar); “departamento” (of a Ministry, not only in the sense of an apartment), “parada” (from parade, which means desfile); or “elegible” (from eligible, which means beneficiario).

According to Gerardo Piña-Rosales, president of the North American Academy of the Spanish Language (ANLE – Academia Norteamericana de la Lengua Española ), the inclusion of those terms by the RAE shows the growing influx of the Spanish language in the United States.  However, it is necessary to distinguish the “estadounidismos” from the “spanglish”. The first implies the use of some words admitted by the RAE, while the latter involves the mix of both languages: Spanish and English.

You can find the whole article for your Spanish practice here:  “Los ‘estadounidismos’ entran en el diccionario de la RAE”, by Eva Sáiz. El País (October 15th, 2012).

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The “war” of the Spanish language against other predominant languages

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The article below reminds us that Spanish is the language of 450 millions of people all over the world and it is the second language in teaching (after English) and the second most used on the Internet.  Also, Spanish is the obligatory foreign language studied in Brazil (about 200 millions of inhabitants) and its use is spreading all over the United States.

In the book «El español en las relaciones internacionales» (“The Spanish language in the international relashions), by the diplomatic and writer Javier Rupérez and David F. Vitores, Phd in Linguistics and Literature, it is mentioned that English and French are the languages used in international forums, while the Spanish remains as a “translated language.” However, according to Rupérez, who was the former Ambassador of Spain in the United States, that situation could change if there were a significant increase of native Spanish speakers, which could likely happen in the United States.  In the same sense, Humberto López Morales, the Secretary-General of the Spanish Language Academies’ Association since 1994 and academician of the Language Academy of Puerto Rico, assured on his book “La andadura del español en el mundo  (“The journey of the Spanish in the world”) that in 2050 the Spanish will be the language most spoken in the United States, even above the English.

While I do not like the idea of a fight among predominance of languages, the truth is the facts demonstrate that the use of Spanish is increasing, either for business, tourism or international development work.  Only time will say if the use of languages in international forums will change in order to be more functional and reflect the actual usage of the language.  In the meantime, let’s keep practicing our Spanish with this article: “La “guerra” del español contra otros idiomas predominantes” by Javier Parra.

Retrieved in: http://www.practicaespanol.com (September 23, 2012).

 

“Aquellas pequeñas cosas” / “Those little things”, by Joan Manuel Serrat

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Enjoy the song, following the lyrics in Spanish in the video. Below, find the translation into English.

“Those little things”

One may think/ that time and absence killed them./ But, their train/ sold a round-way ticket./
They are those little things/ that left us a time of roses/ in a corner,/ in a piece of paper/ or in a drawer.
Like a thief,/ they lie in wait for us/ behind the door./ They’ve got you so much/ at their mercy/ like dead leaves/ that the wind drags/ over there and here,/ that they smile at you sadly and/ make us cry when nobody sees us.

Films in “Spanglish”

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The article below highlights the constant switch between the Spanish and English languages and the use of Spanglish in the Oliver Stone film “Savages” (Salvajes), which includes on its cast the actors Salma Hayek and Benicio del Toro.  This is not the only film that has included the use of Spanglish, but what is interesting here is that through this film it is displayed the importance of the Spanish language in the United States.  As it is indicated in the final part of the article: “… this time it seems that Stone knew how to capture the inalienable truth that the Spanish language should not be seen as a minor language and that North Americans must assume that they need to know the essential expressions of the language that is spoken beyond Rio Grande, since there are many millions of Hispanics that crossed its rich waters in order to settle in the old British colony, but without forgetting their mother tongue.”

Enjoy the reading in Spanish by clicking the following: Películas en “spanglish”, by Javier Parra

In: http://www.practicaespanol.com (October 1st, 2012).