Sue Burke (mount_oregano) wrote,
Sue Burke

Pure Spanglish: taking the -ing from inglés

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.

Tags: pure spanglish

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