What is Spanglish?

Despite their differences, English and Spanish language decided to accept one another and form a union where they blended into a new form known as Spanglish. If the first time you heard this term was from the Adam Sandler movie (seriously?!) or reading these lines, you’re way behind on your Latin heritage lessons. So get ready to discover a phenomenon that has taken both North American and Spanish countries by storm.

Defining Spanglish

The term ‘Espanglish’ was coined in 1940 to define the combination of Spanish and English by people speaking both languages fluently or parts of both.

Since the American Army forced English on the Puerto Rico island’s residents, the result was the widespread usage of Spanglish amongst them. The result was commonly used by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico since the American Army forced English on the island’s residents.

With the growing interaction between both races, many English words found their way into Puerto Rican dictionaries and one of the most famous Hispanic terminologies was born.

Many believe Spanglish to be a language and others believe it to be a mixture of two languages where their respective grammar is overlapping. Spanglish isn’t unified in states which embraced it, including New York, Texas and California.

Still, many of today’s Spanish-speaking countries and communities use the marriage of English and Spanish heavily, especially those in Miami since you need a little of both languages to live there.

Panamanians commonly use Spanglish, especially the Zonians, since the U.S. has controlled the Panama Canal for almost a century.  A Zonian is a person associated withe the Panama canal zone.  Generally they maintain the canal.

Spanglish is everywhere!  Mostly if you want to attract Latinos and Hispanic-Americans in the U.S.

Spanglish is everywhere!  Mostly if you want to attract Latinos and Hispanic-Americans in the U.S.

Why You Should Start Learning Spanglish

There are many reasons you need to start learning this new mixture of languages. First off, the Hispanic-American population is definitely growing.

Between 2000 and 2012, the number of Hispanic immigrants rose from 35.3 million to 53 million. As a result, Hispanics are the largest American minority, a fact you need to acknowledge by learning how to communicate with this population.

Another important reason is the spread of Spanglish across different media. Take Fall 2014’s TV listings for example; the best new show in the season is Jane the Virgin, a show which combines both languages quite often. Also receiving nods are Cristela and the highly successful Devious Maids.

TV aside, take a look outside. Many of your favorite brands have embraced this new phenomenon, injecting it into many of its ads. For instance, wireless operator AT&T started using bilingual and Spanish ads to attract a considerable chunk of its users, i.e. Spanish speakers.

Setting You on The Road to Learning Spanglish

Learning this new form of communication isn’t as difficult as you may think, especially since you’ve already mastered Spanish, English or both. First off, you have code-switching, which is when you switch between both languages.

A good example of Spanglish is one your friend may be using, “Ay, Ese, what’s up?” Another way of using this language is through translating entire words or phrases without worrying about grammar.  For example, you can say “está p´arriba de ti” which means “it’s up to you”. You may also want to learn a few words such as “Lonchar” for “Lunch” and “Remover” for “Remove”.

So get a book, app or class and start exploring the world of Spanglish.

How do you feel about Spanglish? Tell us in the comments!

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