Was That Spanish? Essay

1073 words - 5 pages

The United States is an exciting and unique place to live, I have lived here for seven years now and have been fascinated by all of the different cultures that I am surrounded with and by the way that the people interpret and adjust those cultures. This of course includes their languages. I come from Venezuela and that is a Spanish speaking country, I speak fluent Spanish and I am both an American and Venezuelan citizen. My mom is Venezuelan and my dad is American so I am not just an American that lived in a Hispanic country, I am Hispanic. During my time here in the States I have seen that most of the Spanish spoken in America fits into one of these categories; what Americans consider Spanish, Spanglish, angry Spanish, and “real” Spanish.
The first category is sometimes the one that confuses me the most, it makes me laugh or shake my head in disbelief. It is what Americans consider to be Spanish, but actually is not, or is close to an actual word that they are trying to say but does not quite make it into the Spanish category. I have many friends who try saying words to me that they think are in Spanish but sometimes turn out to be a completely different language! One of my friends once told me “Danka” and asked me if she was pronouncing it right. I told her that I did not know, since I am not German, she then looked at me confused and said “I thought that was Spanish?” Cases like this extreme one are not all that common, but they do happen and I try to handle them as gently as I can. But there are so many people who are unaware of what they are saying and the words that they are using.
The second category is Spanglish, and it is the most interesting one to try to understand and the most difficult to translate. I once asked my friend if she had ever heard of Shakira, she said that she had never heard of her before. I could not believe it and I started to explain who she was and describe her, but me friend still did not know who she was. I was shocked, everyone knows who Shakira is, on a sudden hunch I decided to pronounce her name in an English accent and suddenly my friend’s eyes lit up. She knew who Shakira was and could name a couple of her songs. This would have made no sense to me seven years ago, but now it only slightly surprised me. The difference was all in the simple way that I pronounced her name, it is like that with many different things here in the States. When I am with Hispanics they sometimes say words that I have never heard before, sometimes it takes me a while to connect the dots, but the words will more often than not be English words said in a Spanish accent. These words are not actual Spanish, but for some they are easier to use than the Spanish word. Since there are many different nationalities here in the States there are also many different...

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