Tuesday, 7 August 2012


Spanglish refers to the blend (at different degrees) of Spanish and English, 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. The Hispanic population of the United States and the British population in Argentina use varieties of Spanglish. Sometimes the pidgin 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. Spanglish does not have one unified dialect and therefore lacks uniformity; Spanglish spoken in New York, Miami, Texas, and California can be different. In Texas and California a large Mexican population can be found and within that population are Chicanos or second-generation Mexican-Americans. Some of the Spanglish words used by Chicanos could be incomprehensible to Hispanics from Florida.

Spanglish is not a pidgin language. It is totally informal; there are no set hard-and-fast rules. There are two phenomena of Spanglish, borrowing and code-switching. English borrowed words will usually be adapted to Spanish phonology. Code-Switching and Code-Mixing on the other hand is commonly used by bilinguals. Code-switching means that a person will begin a sentence in one language and at a certain point this one will begin speaking in another language. This switch will occur at the beginning of a sentence or a new topic. In code-mixture this change in language will occur at any given time with no regard to the beginning of a sentence or topic.
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. However, implications present themselves. Researchers differentiate: those who mostly speak Spanish are labeled limited English proficient, and those that can switch codes freely are considered bilingual.