Lifestyles

August 27, 2011

Not English, not Spanish, just Spanglish

More articles by »
Written by: Nydia O
Tags:
Spanglish Advertising
Valley Morning Star, Pasa - Tiempo

Valley Morning Star – Pasa – Tiempo

I’m sure most of you have seen many different variations of advertising in the “ Spanglish” language, billboards and ads are everywhere today as they were yesterday.

Sometimes, I don’t believe we even notice the “language,”we just read through and understand them. Some say only bilingual people can understand these messages, but I tend to disagree. People who are born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley are very  familiar with the lingo and slang.  Those new to the Valley, learn them very fast.

The situation works the same way in Northern Mexico; people who are born and raised in border towns are very familiar with the English language and slang. Both areas, southernmost Texas and Northern Mexico are like a “whole other country,” the phrase used in the promotion of the State of Texas, which I believe  is a better fit for our region.

In his book, Translation Nation, Hector Tobar describes it this way “Here people speak a strange Spanglish that can be impossible for outsides to decipher, what linguists call pidgin, a language meshing English and Spanish grammar and border slang” Chapter Four.

Spanglish is experienced when driving on Expressway 83 seeing advertising billboards, when we eat at Mexican restaurants and read a menu, when we read our local newspaper, and the popular Bargain Book, we are in contact with Spanglish.  Here are some classified ads I found in the Bargain Book:

REMODELACIONES- Pintura interior, Exterior, Sheetrock, Tape & Float, Carpinteria, Fencing, Agregacion de Cuartos, Roofing, Electricidad, Plomeria, Tile Showers, Precios Razonables, Call Tony.

TRABAJOS de electricidad y plomería para su Mobile Home y para su casa. Cambiamos tinas, llaves, toilets, sinks, líneas de agua y drenaje.

Harlingen’s Valley Morning Star has PASA-TIEMPO; a section dedicated to leisure activities.

Pasatiempo is a Spanish word meaning Pastime.

 Recently I’ve talked to people about the new billboards for PRONTO Insurance, (featured photograph for this article) and they just love it, not only because it’s funny, but because it mixes in a bit of our culture. The one photographed for this article mentions a flying “chancla,” (slipper). The flying “chancla” evokes many fond memories, especially for those growing up with Mexican parents. Who can forget the thrill of escaping and running away from our mother’s flying “chancla”?

I have a feeling this practice is international and not exclusive of Hispanic moms, what do you think?

Facebook Comments

comments


About the Author

Nydia O
A bird does not sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.-Maya Angelou. La Vida Valle is where I write about "la vida" my life in the Rio Grande Valley. From this bi-cultural corner on the tip of Texas, I share my poems and spiritual and travel experiences. I also blog about the arts, nature and my passion for historic preservation and architecture. But most importantly, let's talk about "la vida" - living our lives - in a vacation state of mind. Contributions and comments are always welcome .




Visit Art.com
 
 

 
Nana's Taqueria of Weslaco

The Tasty Side of Immigration

We celebrate Hispanic Heritage month from mid-September to mid-October, but let us think of those who came to the United States from Mexico in search of a better life and by doing so improved our own lives. The list I have comp...
by Nydia O
0

 
 
Chef Roberto with daughter Alejandra Gonzalez

Culinary Culture in Weslaco, Texas

The lower Rio Grande Valley spans roughly 75 miles between Brownsville and Mission, Texas. For visitors and locals who prefer “mom and pop” restaurants, the variety of options can be overwhelming.  For starters, and becaus...
by Nydia O
0

 
 
Lupe and Nydia

Why Mexican Culture Celebrations in the US?

Mexican Independence Day is celebrated every September 16, but to kick off the holiday one must experience the Grito de Dolores (a call to arms; a cry). This “kick-off” happens the night of September 15 and is reena...
by Nydia O
0

 

 
Border patrol

Celebrating Mexican Independence Day with “La Migra”

Only in the Rio Grande Valley can one enjoy a Mariachi concert, a Mexican Folkloric dance recital, the official “Grito” ceremony and  Conjunto Norteño music by a band composed of Border Patrol officers. That was the lineu...
by Nydia O
0

 
 
Cambria

Cambria McAllen Showcases Local Talent

This article is the first of several others I will publish that resulted from a recent tour of hotel properties in McAllen, Texas. Please note that this is not a paid advertisement. The sole purpose of this article is to showca...
by Nydia O
0

 




Visit Art.com

0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>