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Mount Orégano
Sue Burke
Pure Spanglish: taking the -ing from inglés 
19th-Nov-2007 07:45 pm
Let me see..

A brief lesson in real-life Spanish (as spoken in Spain, I should specify). When words travel from one language to another, they don't always arrive safely.

Perhaps because they're easy to pronounce, English words with an -ing are easy to import into Spanish: el parking, for example, is the place where you park your car. El lifting is what a plastic surgeon may do to your face.

But some words shift in meaning. El zapping is what you do when you channel surf. El footing is what you probably call "jogging": a run around the park.

Some new words result from cross-cultural fertilization. El puenting is bungee jumping. In Spain, the jumping is usually done from a bridge, and a "bridge" is a puente . . . so you get puenting. Vueling is an airline. A vuelo is a flight, so what you do with this airline is el vueling.

Finally, because word order in Spanish is noun-then-adjective but in English it's adjective-then-noun, some adjectives in the form of an -ing word get misinterpreted as the noun: el living is a room in a house where many families have a television set and a sofa. Los Rolling is a common reference to the rock band headed by Mick Jagger.

I giggle every time I hear that.

19th-Nov-2007 07:50 pm (UTC)
Yanno, funny because I was just thinking about this last night...
My Spanish teacher in high school was made of awesome. He was the number one DoD schools linguisitics professor ---and it showed. My English teachers were all ESL speakers of English (imagine that) from Germany and Netherlands etc ...
I've had such a hard time with writing because I revert to using Spanish tenses as active tense or using present progressive forms Estoy hablando which in written English is apparently passive.
So confoozie!
20th-Nov-2007 05:26 pm (UTC)
Spanish vs. English tenses is a problem. As you know, they do not correspond: two kinds of past tense and special meanings to the future tense when used to refer to the present, to say nothing of subjunctive, and a whole lot of differences in when you use, say, simple present or present progressive. . . . It is muy confusing.
20th-Nov-2007 05:29 pm (UTC)
Yep, you pretty much just boggled my mind on that one :D
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