Saturday, September 8, 2012

"Espanglish is Accepted and Dissed at the Same Time by the Royal Spanish Academy

NPR has just reported that The very conservative Royal Spanish Academy, that determines what words are allowed into Spanish, has added "espanglish." So I consulted Diccionario de la Lengua Española, (2nd Ed.) and here is the definition:

1. m. Modalidad del habla de algunos grupos hispanos de   los Estados Unidos, en la que se mezclan, deformándolos, elementos léxicos y gramaticales del español y del inglés.

My rough translation: Mode of speaking of certain Hispanic groups in the United States in which meanings and gramatical elements of Spanish and English are mixed in a deformed manner.

One of the commentators in the NPR article objects to the characterization of "Espanglish" as "deformed."Let's compare to English. Here is James Nicoll in Wikipedia

"The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and riffle their pockets for new vocabulary." 

 And what of it? There are twenty-six winners of the Nobel Prize in Literature from English speaking countries. Eleven from Spanish speaking countries. And since five of these are from Latin America, we might guess that they do not consult the Academy's "Diccionario" when they write (and perhaps even those from Spain don't consult it either). 

Is it unthinkable that someday the Nobel Prize in Literature will be awarded to someone using "Espanglish" in their work, recognizing its creativity and power?

No comments:

Post a Comment