Does the United States really have its own version of Spanish?

Does the United States really have its own version of Spanish?

Jáiscul, bildin, beisman, and dorman are terms that are increasingly heard in conversation among Spanish speakers in the United States. English words identifying institute, building, basement, or doorman when not literal translations of local expressions. But does this mean that there is an American language of its own for Cervantes?

With more than 62 million Hispanics, the United States is the world’s second-most-speaking country, after Mexico, although New Mexico is the only officially bilingual state.

To discuss the current status of Spanish, the mother tongue of 491 million speakers (the second in the world), the Instituto Cervantes in New York has organized the “First Conference on Language and Identity: Linguistic Divergence and Social Equality,” which concludes on Saturday. .

In the mouths of linguists, professors, and journalists from both sides of the Atlantic who took part in the debate, the word that sounded the most like “diversity.”

In Salamanca they speak like Salamanca, in the Río de la Plata as in the Río de la Plata and in the United States they speak like Hispanics who live with English,” reassured at the opening of the conference, Friday from Madrid, director of the Cervantes Institute poet Luis Garcia Montero.

The owners of the language are the speakers.

lexical loans

For Ricardo Otegi, a linguist and author of a historical essay on the Spanish language in New York, where 30% of the population is Hispanic, “the Spanish language in the United States has very little that is exceptional.”

And this is how the language is heard on a street in New York, Los Angeles, Miami or Chicago, some of the cities with the largest Latino presence in the country.

This boy didn’t even study haiscul. He used to work as a goalkeeper, mostly on the baseball field, but has now been promoted to come to work as an apartment building (…) in the same Belden. So decided by the head of the fallow, whose name I don’t remember now, but whose last name is Harrison.”

“Spanglish,” “lexical credits”? It is the words that people here have “dealed with since early childhood”, in many cases from the first generation, along with phrases such as “life sentence (life imprisonment)”, “call-back (call-back)”, “food served (Dinner is served).

I think it would be a bad idea to “correct children,” says Othejee, a proponent of “diversity in spoken language and standardization of written language.”

García Monteiro, who recalls that if we separated the Latino community from the rest of the country, it would be difficult to caricature Spanish in the United States as a poor language.”

Above all, no one remembers that the first original word that Christopher Columbus introduced into Spanish in his diaries was “were.” Since then, Cervantes’ language has been built upon and derived from words of all kinds of origins.


For the conference organizer, Director of the Cervantes Institute in New York, Richard Bueno Hudson, although “size matters” – there are 593 million Spanish users in the world – what matters most is “quality”.

In this sense, Spanish seems to have lost the battle with English for the time being, given its absence as a means of communicating science or technology.

The next great battle is the battle of artificial intelligence, made by humans, to program a language that includes diversity, without prejudices, virility, or hatred of poverty.

This is in addition to the challenge that the third generation does not forget the language of their parents and grandparents, in a highly decentralized country, where education of a “global language” is mandatory in school in only 11 states and in 24 states optional. . 16 Others don’t even think about it.

One of the essence of this conference is that we are all in the same boat, that Spanish belongs to everyone and, equally, that we must make it flourish and be able to occupy the place it deserves” along with the English language, concludes Richard Bueno.


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