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Spanish, English languages merge to make Spanglish

By Gheni_Platenburg
Sept. 29, 2010 at 4:29 a.m.

Spanglish, a hybrid language has roots in Spanish and English.


1. Lonche-lunch; Spanish word-almuerzo

2. Carro-car; Spanish word-coche

3. Cloch-clutch; Spanish word-embrague.

4. Yonque-junkyard; Spanish word-desguace.

5. Yarda-yard;Spanish word-patio

6. Asistir-to wait upon or to give service to Spanish word-atender

7. Atender-to attend; Spanish word-asistir

8. Puchar-to push; Spanish word-empujar

9. Van-van; Spanish word-la furgoneta.

10. Parquear-to park;Spanish word-estacionar

11. Chatear-to chat; Spanish words-conversar and charlar

12. Troca-pickup truck; Spanish word-camioneta.

13. Actualmente-actually;Spanish word-de hecho

14. Marketa-market;Spanish word-mercado

15. Mopear-to mop; Spanish word-trapear

16. Carpeta-carpet; Spanish word-alfombra

17. Te mando un e-mail-to send an e-mail; Spanish translation-mando un correo electronico

18. Biles-bills; Spanish word-el recibo

19. Blokes-block; Spanish word-cuadra

20. Appointment-apointment;Spanish word-cita



48.4 million

The estimated Hispanic population of the United States as of July 1, 2009, making people of Hispanic origin the nation's largest ethnic or race minority. Hispanics constituted 16 percent of the nation's total population. In addition, there are approximately 4 million residents of Puerto Rico, a Caribbean U.S. territory.


. . . of every two people added to the nation's population between July 1, 2008, and July 1, 2009, was Hispanic. There were 1.4 million Hispanics added to the population during the period.


Percentage increase in the Hispanic population between July 1, 2008, and July 1, 2009, making Hispanics the fastest-growing minority group.

132.8 million

The projected Hispanic population of the United States on July 1, 2050. According to this projection, Hispanics will constitute 30 percent of the nation's population by that date.

22.4 million

The nation's Hispanic population during the 1990 Census.


Ranking of the size of the U.S. Hispanic population worldwide, as of 2009.

Only Mexico

(111 million) had a larger Hispanic population than the United States (48.4 million).


The percentage of Hispanic-origin people in the United States who were of Mexican background in 2008. Another 9 percent were of Puerto Rican background, with 3.4 percent Cuban,

3.4 percent Salvadoran and 2.8 percent Dominican. The remainder was of some other Central American, South American or other Hispanic or Latino origin.

44 percent

. of the nation's Dominicans lived in New York City in 2008 and about half of the nation's Cubans in Miami-Dade County, Fla.


Percentage of children younger than 5 who were Hispanic in 2009. All in all, Hispanics comprised 22 percent of children younger than 18.

27.4 years

Median age of the Hispanic population in 2009. This compared with 36.8 years for the population as a whole.


Number of Hispanic males in 2009 per every 100 Hispanic females. This was in sharp contrast to the overall population, which had 97 males per every 100 females.



The percentage of the Hispanic-origin population that lived in California or Texas in 2009. California was home to 13.7 million Hispanics, and Texas was home to 9.1 million.


The number of states with at least a half-million Hispanic residents - Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington.


The percentage of New Mexico's population that was Hispanic in 2009, the highest of any state. Hispanics also made up at least one fifth of the population in California and Texas, at 37 percent each, followed by Arizona(31 percent), Nevada (26 percent), Florida (22 percent) and Colorado (20 percent). New Mexico had 916,000 Hispanics.


The percentage increase in the Hispanic population in Alabama between July 1, 2008, and July 1, 2009, which led all states.

4.7 million

The Hispanic population of Los Angeles County, Calif., in 2009 - the largest of any county in the nation. Los Angeles County also had the biggest numerical increase in the Hispanic population (78,000) since July 2008.


Proportion of the population of Starr County, Texas, that was Hispanic as of 2009, which led the nation. All of the top 10 counties in this category were in Texas.


Number of the nation's 3,143 counties that were majority-Hispanic.


The increase in California's Hispanic population between July 1, 2008, and July 1, 2009, which led all states. Texas (300,000) and Florida (105,000) also recorded large increases.


Number of states in which Hispanics were the largest minority group. These states were Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wyoming.


2.3 million

The number of Hispanic-owned businesses in 2007, up 43.6 percent from 2002.

$345.2 billion

Receipts generated by Hispanic-owned businesses in 2007, up 55.5 percent from 2002.


The percentage of businesses in New Mexico in 2007 that was Hispanic-owned, which led all states. Florida (22.4 percent) and Texas (20.7 percent) were runners-up.


Percentage of Hispanic-owned businesses in the construction and the other services sectors; 50.7 percent of the receipts of these businesses were concentrated in wholesale trade, construction and retail trade.


10.5 million

The number of Hispanic family households in the United States in 2009. Of these households,61 percent included children younger than 18.


The percentage of Hispanic family households consisting of a married couple.


The percentage of Hispanic family households consisting of a married couple with children younger than 18.


Percentage of Hispanic children living with two parents.


Percentage of stay-at-home mothers who were Hispanic. In contrast, 16 percent of all other mothers were Hispanic.


Percentage of Hispanic married couples with children under 18 where both spouses were employed in 2009, down from 50 percent in 2007, prior to the start of the recession.


35 million

The number of U.S. residents 5 and older who spoke Spanish at home in 2008.

Those who hablan español constituted 12 percent of U.S. residents. More than half of these Spanish speakers spoke English "very well."

17 million

The number of U.S. residents 5 and older who spoke Spanish at home in 1990.


Percentage of Hispanics 5 and older who spoke Spanish at home in 2008.



The median income of Hispanic households in 2008, down 5.6 percent from the previous year after adjusting for inflation.


The poverty rate among Hispanics in 2008, up from 21.5 percent in 2007.


The percentage of Hispanics who lacked health insurance in 2008, down from

32.1 percent in 2007.



The percentage of Hispanics 25 and older that had at least a high school education in 2009.


The percentage of the Hispanic population 25 and older with a bachelor's degree or higher in 2009.

3.7 million

The number of Hispanics 18 and older who had at least a bachelor's degree in 2009.


Number of Hispanics 25 and older with advanced degrees in 2009 (e.g., master's, professional, doctorate).


Percentage of college students (both undergraduate and graduate students) in October 2008 who were Hispanic.


Percentage of elementary and high school students combined that was Hispanic.


47 Percent

.of the foreign-born population that was Hispanic.



The number of Hispanic surnames ranked among the 15 most common in 2000. It was the first time that a Hispanic surname reached the top 15 during a census. Garcia was the most frequent Hispanic surname, occurring 858,289 times and placing eighth on the list - up from 18th in 1990. Rodriguez (ninth), Martinez (11th) and Hernandez (15th) were the next most common Hispanic surnames.



Percentage of Hispanics or Latinos 16 years and older who were in the civilian labor force in 2008.


The percentage of civilian employed Hispanics or Latinos 16 years and older who worked in management, professional and related occupations in 2008. The same percentage worked in production, transportation and material moving occupations. Another 15 percent worked in construction, extraction, maintenance and repair occupations. Approximately 24 percent of Hispanics

16 or older worked in service occupations; 22 percent in sales and office occupations; and 2 percent in farming, fishing and forestry occupations.


Number of Hispanic chief executives. In addition, 50,866 physicians and surgeons; 48,720 postsecondary teachers; 38,532 lawyers; and 2,726 news analysts, reporters and correspondents were Hispanic.


9.7 million

The number of Hispanic citizens who reported voting in the 2008 presidential election, about

2 million more than voted in 2004. The percentage of Hispanic citizens voting - 50 percent - represented a statistical increase from 2004 (47 percent).


1.1 Million


The number of Hispanics or Latinos 18 years and older who are veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces.


Source: 2008 American Community Survey <>

Source: Language Use in the United States: 2007

Source: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United

States: 2008

Source: Population estimates <>

Source: Preliminary Estimates of Business Ownership by Gender, Ethnicity, Race, and Veteran Status: 2007 <>

Source: Families and Living Arrangements <>


Source: America's Families and Living Arrangements: 2007 <>

Source: Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010, Table 603 <>

Source: Voting and Registration in the Election of 2008 <http>

Source: Educational Attainment in the United States:

2009 <>

Source: Population estimates <>>

Source: International Data Base <>

Source: The Hispanic Population: 2000

Source: Population projections


Source: 2008 American Community Survey


Source: 2008 American Community Survey


Source: Census 2000 Genealogy


During a Spanish vocabulary lesson with her students in 2008, Spanish instructor Maria Salomé Chavarría first heard the word "el sinke."

Chavarría, a native Spanish speaker from Cuernavaca, Mexico, was both taken aback and tickled at the non-traditional Spanish word for bathroom sink that bore a strikingly similar resemblance to its English translation.

"I understood what it meant, but it cracked me up," said Chavarría, who is a Spanish instructor at the University of Houston-Victoria. "The correct word is 'el lavabo'."

She continued, "I didn't know if a lot of people used it or if it was common."

This was one of Chavarría's first encounters with Spanglish.

Chavarría, like many other Texas residents, has had to adapt to the growing language phenomenon known as Spanglish.

Spanglish can be defined as the code switching or mixture of both English and Spanish in the same conversation among people who speak parts of both languages.

It also includes hybrid words that are a mixture of the two languages.

Examples of common hybrid words include "parquear," which means to park; "lonche" which means lunch; and "carro," which means car.

Although Spanglish is largely used in Texas, a number of other states also have a growing number of Spanglish speakers.

Those states include California, Arizona, Florida, Chicago, New México, Washington and the commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

"The browning of America is creating this need," said University of Houston-Victoria English instructor Christine Granados. "It's keeping up with population statistics."

Beginnings of Spanglish

Gina Ramirez-Meré, an assistant professor of Spanish at Victoria College, said early traces of Spanglish have been around since the beginning of immigration.

"Lots of words have transcended 200 years. They've been around since the creation of Texas and the Wild Wild West," said Ramirez. "As people migrate, they come to need certain words. That's why they create it in Spanish."

Ramirez also emphasized that Spanglish words are not static. They change based on geographic locations.

"It's almost a different language in Texas than it is in California," she said. "In Texas, there are so many people doing manual labor they see a need to use more verbs to communicate, whereas perhaps in California where the work is mainly agriculture-oriented, they have to create more words for things they use."

The introduction of new technologies has prompted the usage of Spanglish even in Mexico, said Chavarría, who gave the examples of CD or iPod.

"Language is a living thing. It changes and adapts. New words and verbs come into play all the time," said Ramirez. "Fifty years ago you would not have been able to find an entry for "to microwave" or "to text."

Upperclass attitudes

Granados said more English-only speakers are using Spanglish as a bridge to reconnect with their Spanish roots.

"In university settings, it seems Mexicans of upper middle class are trying to learn Spanish to get some of their culture back. Using Spanglish helps them to reconnect with Mexico," said Granados.

For many Spanish purists, the melding of Spanish and English is not looked upon favorably.

"It's a class thing. The socioeconomically advanced people tend to be purists, while the lower socioeconomic people don't care," said Granados. "People with money have more time to study the language, while more working class people have the mentality of just adapting and going with the flow."

She added, "Some people think it's a bad thing because it means they are losing their homeland. The only thing is for some of us, our homeland is the U.S.," said Granados.

Native Tex-Mexicans like Daniel Sanchez admit there is a language barrier between Spanglish speakers and traditional Spanish speakers, which can make communication difficult even among people in the same family.

"We just laugh at each other because even though we both come from Mexican heritage, our words are different," said 51-year-old Sanchez. "From the blink of any eye, I can go from Spanish to English That's how I grew up. If I went to Mexico, I would be a lost puppy."

As a native Spanish speaker, Chavarría also agreed the language barrier with Spanglish speakers can be difficult at times.

"I find it difficult to hold conversations with people who are code switching," said Chavarría. "I'm used to speaking all English or all Spanish. It is just very hard to see some people mix in one sentence Spanish and English and do it very fast."

At those moments, Chavarría said she decides whether to use all English or all Spanish when responding, in hopes the other person will follow suit, making the conversation easier to understand for Chavarría.

Spanglish in the classroom

Although the Spanglish language is growing, many Spanish teachers avoid teaching it to their students.

"As a Spanish professor, I always like to see people use correct Spanish, but I do understand in conversation to understand one another, people need shortcuts and slang," said Ramirez.

In Ramirez's classroom, using Spanglish will result in a bad grade.

"I always try to stress the correct form and pronunciation," said Ramirez. "It's just like in English. You wouldn't want students to use slang in papers."

Although she chooses not to teach Spanglish in her classes, Chavarría said for some beginner Spanish students, it could be a good start for learning the language.

"It's called inter-language," she said. "The problem comes when you stay in that stage and don't move on to the target language."

Overall, Chavarría remains a strong advocate of not using Spanglish in academic or professional settings.

"If you can find that word in Spanish, then use it in Spanish," she said.

Future of Spanglish

The U.S. Hispanic population is expected to triple by 2050, making Hispanics 29 percent of the U.S. population, according to the Pew Hispanic Research Center.

In turn, both Spanish and Spanglish appear to be here to stay.

"The reality is we are a melting pot," said Granados. "We're going to be like Canada but instead of English and French, our two native languages will be English and Spanish."

She continued, "Texas is going to set the trend for the rest of the country."

Sanchez is making sure his granddaughter, Giselle, will be ready for when Spanish becomes a dominant language.

In doing so, however, he is sure she is learning some Spanglish as well.

"We're teaching her what we know," said Sanchez. "She's picking it up slowly, but she's learning."



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