Adventures in Spanglish

I was born in the United States to Mexican immigrant parents who spoke only Spanish at home. Our mother, who never quite mastered English, made it a point to teach us to read and write in Spanish from a tender age. Although they expected us to speak proper Spanish, unavoidably, some dreaded "Spanglish" words cropped up in our speech, much to their consternation. Perhaps some of you will recognize a few words. A warning, however: None of these words is proper Spanish, and if you, poor soul, should ever attempt to say these words in Mexico, Spain, or in any other Spanish speaking country, all you will get is an empty stare or a look of complete bewilderment. So, at the risk of corrupting the language of Miguel de Cervantes and the other greats of Spanish literature, I give you Espanglés:
Spanglish/English/Spanishla marqueta/ the market/ el Mercadola yarda/ the yard/ el jardínel lonche/ lunch/ el almuerzo, la comidael parqueo/ the parking lot/ el estacionamientola carpeta/ the carpet/ la alfombralos esquirrels/ the squirrels/ las ardillas—my father's personal favorite—okay, so his Spanish has finally been corrupted after living in this country for the last 50 years or so.
If you master these words and utter them without the faintest hint of irony, then congratulations! You are a full-fledged "pocho"* and no one will ever trust your Spanish again.

Excuse me while I feed los esquirrels lonche in my yarda.
*A Mexican-American who speaks poor to no Spanish.

4 comments:

Dona Junta said...

sooo true!
you forgot "La Bika" =)
My parents got corrupted as well!

La Traductora said...

Another favorite of mine is "QUE CUTE"-uttered with a high pitched squeal.

Ashley Tritt said...

if you dont mind me asking, what part of mexico are you parents from?

Clementina said...

Hola, Ashley!
I don't mind at all. My parents were born in Zacatecas in the very center of Mexico.
Thanks for asking!