Lifestyles

August 27, 2011
 

Not English, not Spanish, just Spanglish

More articles by »
Written by: Tapia - Gonzales
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

Tapia - Gonzales
La Vida Valle is where I write about "la vida" living in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Life, art and culture, poetry, prayers, travel, and camping! yes, that's my new thing. I blame the heat and high humidity for the madness. Contributions and comments are always welcome .



Visit Art.com
 
 

 
Nydia in Cheyenne

Pros and Cons of Road Trips During the Pandemic

  Shelter at home orders have affected people’s mental health and responsible travel could be an option to release tension and feel better. These days traveling in a Recreational Vehicle (RV) is considered a safe option ...
by Tapia - Gonzales
0

 
 
Dorsey in Lake Corpus Christi

Is Buying an RV Worth the Hype?

Several articles are lauding the camping travel experience as the ideal way to practice social distancing while enjoying a wonderful vacation in the great outdoors. Recreational Vehicle rentals have increased 1,000% and sales a...
by Tapia - Gonzales
 

 
 
Mayors Mendez and Lopez

Brownsville and Matamoros Mayors Meet Before the COVID-19 Crisis

NOTE FROM 5/30/2020 – It was inspiring to see the friendly and professional relationship between these two elected officials and the respect they have for each other. I know they will work together to combat the COVID-19 ...
by Tapia - Gonzales
 

 

 
Civil War Brownsville

Central Brownsville Now a National Historic District

It was long overdue, for Brownsville’s downtown is one of the most historic sites in Texas. The downtown has an impressive collection of 19th and 20th century architectural jewels. This newly designated historic district enco...
by Tapia - Gonzales
 

 
 
Winner of the Conjunto 17 and Under Prize at the 2019 Big Squeeze Youth Accordion Competition.

Conjunto Music Legacy

What is Conjunto music? It is nothing like Norteño or Tejano music and has deep roots among the people of the Rio Grande Valley. Conjunto means ensemble. The music has been a witness to the joys and sorrows of the Valley’s M...
by Tapia - Gonzales
 

 




Visit Art.com