Spanglish by Janice Castro: A Developing Phenomena

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In "Spanglish" author Janice Castro defines Spanglish as "a common linguistic currency wherever concentrations of Hispanic Americans are found" but unlike other "broken English efforts" Spanglish has been widely embraced by "Spanish speaking immigrants and native born Americans alike" (76-7). Janice Castro in "Spanglish" describes the many forms Spanglish exemplifies. Rather than declare "go to the supermarket" one would say "ir al supermarket" (77). Yet the phenomenon, Castro explains, is not limited to form but in the way "many English words are transplanted [because] they are handier than their Spanish counterparts" (77). Castro, for example, uses the term "lonche", a blend of America's "lets do lunch" and Spanish's "afternoon break: almuerzo" (77). In the past years, Castro observes, "Spanglish begun to turn into a national slang" to which no one is immune to (77). Major advertisers have jumped on the multi-lingual bandwagon "eager to tap the estimated $134 billion in spending power wielded by Spanish speaking Americans" (78). However, some things are often lost in translation. An airline attempting to publicize that customers "could settle back in luxuriant seats inadvertently said they could fly without clothes" (78). Nevertheless, Castro believes Spanish speaking viewers are "amused by the mangled Spanish [recognizing] these goods as a sort of friendly acceptance" (78). "Spanglish" writer Janice Castro notes what may be the single most important reality: Spanglish is growing faster than our population. Living in one of the Hispanic populated cities Castro makes reference to in "Spanglish", it is evident that this slang is coexisting aside American culture for better or worse. By breaking the single language barrier we allow ourselves to become less intolerant to other cultures. However, it may also be noted that for many Spanglish is replacing the Spanish and English language. This often lazy blend obstructs Americans from fully learning either language in...
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