02 Nov Does translating anglicisms make us any less cool?
The amount of anglicisms – borrowed English words that we have adapted into our own, Spanish language-
the number that Spanish now has must surely exceed the number ofPokemonsthat invade our streets and parks. This may be a slightly exaggerated comparison, but it’s true that use of the former is often out of proportion. At Okodia, as a translation company, we take interest in the influence of these words on our language and how the population uses them. In this article we reflect upon the appropriateness of translating anglicisms on a larger scale.The invasion of anglicisms: to translate or not to translate?
Many messages that we come into contact with on a daily basis, both oral and written, are full of anglicisms and they are particularly common in many parts of our daily life: technology, advertising, cookery, sport, business, just to name a few. Is so much word loaning necessary? Does the disproportionate use of anglicisms impoverish and weaken our knowledge of Spanish?
You can only use the chat if you are online and it’s really frustrating when the batteries of your mouse run out, when your computer breaks and you haven’t done a back-up or when you accidentally delete an email.
In the Spanish kitchen we don´t make madalenas (a word of French origin widely used in Spanish), we make cupcakes, and along with their toppings and frostings they have stolen the limelight.
And what happens with our teenagers? They communicate through their grammatically correct Wasaps – we´ll say no more about that term, now officially accepted by the RAE (Official Spanish Dictionary)- and they are always on fire or going at full. Or the not so young, who see themselves somewhere between vintage and hipster style. Or the new parents, who take their offspring to newborn and smash cake photo sessions. It would definitely sound much more glamorous if we were to hear it in English
But anglicisms are nothing new: penalties and corners are older than coughing, for example. Some decades ago, Eva Nasarre introduced us to the eighties legwarmers and aerobics, vocabulary that has formed part of our language since then, although today, they are being overtaken by spinning and running. We don’t know whether exercising on a static bike or going out for a run are less effective.
Clearly the fact that Spanish is a living language in a fast-paced world, and is always adopting new words, but everything is good in moderation. Reverting to anglicisms with sound judgement is one thing, or when then is no alternative, but to do so when we have either forgotten or know of no equivalent in Spanish, is another. If you’d like to have a laugh, don’t miss the video prepared by RAE to combat anglicisms or, at least, to trigger a debate about the subject. Maybe the use of some of these words is already out of our hands. It’s almost as if we’ve reached a point that if we don’t use anglicisms for every other word, we´re not as cool, that we´re a throwback from the past.
What do you think about this? We look forward to your feedback, it always gives us that good feeling. In other words, we look forward to your comments, reactions and suggestions that give us great pleasure.