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Picture of Kalleh
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In Bierma's recent language column, he talks about the numerous English words that are Spanish. I had no idea that after Old English, Latin and French, Spanish has contributed the most words to our language. (What about Greek?)

I was surprised by some of them, though I am sure many of our linguists here knew them. Some of them include:
    alligator
    barbecue
    cafeteria
    chocolate
    guerilla
    guitar
    (Although, it comes from the Arabic word "qitara," originally from the Greek "kithara," for an ancient stringed instrument. That's not a Spanish etymology, is it?)
    hurricane
    intransient
    jerky
    macho
    moment of truth
    (probably from Hemingway's "Death in the Afternoon")
    ten gallon hat
    tornado
    volcano
    rodeo
    mosquito



[Edited for grammar]

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Since Spanish is a Romance language a lot of words are Latin in origin, so even if English borrowed them from Spanish they really come from Latin (or perhaps Latin's IE roots)

A number of other words are from native American languages and borrowed by Spanish and then by English. Jerky, for instance, is from the Quechua ch'arki "dried flesh".

Looking at that list, one word in particular stands out: volcano. That comes from the Roman god Vulcan.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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My favorite is hoosegow from juzgado 'judged' from juzgar 'to judge'. English borrowed many words from Spanish which are of from Nahuatl (aka Aztec). They tend to end in -te or some variant. The suffix -tl is a definite article, e.g., ahuacatl 'avacado', xocolatl 'chocolate', xitomatl 'tomato'. The sound is a voiceless alveolar lateral affricative /tɬ/ which also occurs in Klingon, where it is written tlh. The fricative /ɬ/ occurs in Welsh, where it is written ll (e.g., llwyd 'gray'.


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quote:
Originally posted by zmježd:
which also occurs in Klingon, where it is written tlh.


It seems that your linguistic abilities really do know no bounds, not even earthly ones.

What's Klingon for "Merry Christmas"?
 
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What's Klingon for "Merry Christmas"?

I'm far from fluent, but I used to belong to the KLI. I'd translate it as QISmaS Quch yItIv /'q͡χɪʃmɑʃ 'q͡χutʃ yɪ'tɪv/ (literally Christmas happy you-enjoy-it).

[After consideration, I added Quch 'be-happy', which is a homonym of Quch 'forehead', and an IPA transliteration for pronouncing it.]

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quote:
It seems that your linguistic abilities really do know no bounds, not even earthly ones.
Sometimes I feel like I am in graduate school when I post here...and am not doing all that well!

I have difficulty understanding how one decides which language our words come from. Arnie makes a good point about romantic language words having their origins from Latin. In my post above guitar comes from the Arabic word qitara, originally from the Greek kithara, meaning an ancient stringed instrument. It seems to me that guitar comes from Greek and not Spanish.
 
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Good question, Kalleh. I think, etymologically speaking, that a word is either inherited from an earlier version of the language, or it is borrowed from a language, which in turn may have inherited it from an earlier version of that language, or may have borrowed it from another language. So, hoosegow was borrowed from Mexican Spanish. The verb juzgar was inherited by Spanish from (Vulgar) Latin: judico (judicare, judicavi, judicatus) 'to judge'. Latin formed judico from judex, judicis, 'judge' from jus and dico 'law' and 'to say' respectively. Latin inherited jus and dico from Proto-Indo-European, and PIE, no doubt, inherited or borrowed those terms from some language that is unknown.


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Does your expertise stretch to other alien languages? For example did you know that Ferengi has 178 words for "rain"?

Wink

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Does your expertise stretch to other alien languages?

I have done some reading in xenolinguistics, e.g., there is a good book by W.E. Meyers, Aliens and Linguistics: Language Study and Science Fiction (1980) and a short introduction online. I do read Suzette Haden Elgin's blog, Ozarque, and have read about Láadan, the language she constructed for her novel Native Tongue. But as far as constructed languages go, I've studied Tolkien's Middle Earth languages, and I have always been drawn to John Wilkins (first secretary of the Royal Society and one of its founders) Real Character. I would like to read or write a study of the Ferengi oto-erotic vocabulary.


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quote:
Originally posted by zmježd:
hoosegow was borrowed from Mexican Spanish. The verb juzgar was inherited by Spanish from (Vulgar) Latin: Latin inherited jus and dico from Proto-Indo-European, and PIE, no doubt, inherited or borrowed those terms from some language that is unknown.

I note that "hoosegow" retains the Latin/Spanish pronunciation of the letter, J, whereas the others do not. I'm sure that's confused lots of non-Latin speakers who see the Catholic cross inscription, "INRI."
 
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Do you pronounce spanish words in Spanish or in English?

I grew up speaking spanish and korean, yet I always think in english. I always pronounce spanish words in english because I can't roll my Rs and I'm always told I sound like a gringo when I speak spanish.
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Hello Madison49 and welcome to our site. I am sure you'll enjoy it here.

My problem with Spanish is slightly different from yours - I learnt Spanish at school in England and our teacher spoke with a Castillan accent - which means I lisp my "Cs" and "Zs" pronounce "cerveza" as "thervetha", as opposed to "servesa". When I first visited Mexico people remarked on my accent, saying that "I spoke Spanish like a Spaniard". It took me a while to realise that this wasn't a compliment, simply an observationFrown

Fortunately I have never had a problem with my "Rs" and can manage the French scrape and the full-bloodied Spanish trill and anything between without difficulty.


Richard English
 
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Of the two Spanish rs, one is a tap (like the one in US English of intervocalic t as in city) and the other is trilled. Thus the difference phonemically between pero 'but' and perro 'dog'. The other problem that Anglophones have in speaking most Romance languages is the tendency to pronounce many of the vowels as diphtongs, e.g., e and o.

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quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
I have difficulty understanding how one decides which language our words come from. Arnie makes a good point about romantic language words having their origins from Latin. In my post above guitar comes from the Arabic word qitara, originally from the Greek kithara, meaning an ancient stringed instrument. It seems to me that guitar comes from Greek and not Spanish.


It depends how far back you go. Guitar was borrowed into English from Spanish. Before that, it was borrowed into Spanish from Greek. Before that, it was probably borrowed into Greek from another language.
 
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My daughter is unable to roll her R's but otherwise speaks Spanish with a native-like Mexican accent. She knows other Mexican kids who can't roll their R's; it's considered a speech defect.
 
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Originally posted by neveu:
Spanish with a native-like Mexican accent.

Is there only one Mexican accent? I don't have a good ear, and know precious little Spanish, but it sounds to me like different accents when I hear Mexicans from various regions speaking Spanish, and they certainly don't all sound the same when speaking English.


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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Well, everything is relative of course. There are subtle differences in accent and vocabulary among the various regions of Mexico. It's been a long time since I studied there, but I believe I remember also that there was an accent associated with the native Indian language. I would guess that the "DF" accent (districto federale of Mexico City) would be considered definitive.

Here in the metro-NY area, there are immigrants representing scores of Spanish-speaking countries. Whereas forty years ago the accent was predominantly Puerto Rican, with an influx of Cuban, nowadays there are plenty of Central Americans (mainly Mexicans) and South Americans (I've met a lot from Columbia, Peru, & Uruguay). The difference between PR and central American Spanish is very distinct. TV and radio stations fall into Mexican and Puerto Rican accents; personally I lean toward the former because I have so much trouble understanding the Puerto Rican accent (tho not the Cuban accent- geographically close- go figure?). One Guatemalan fellow shared with me (confidentially, like a cook sharing an ingredient)that the PR's "r" is very close to an "l".
 
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Is there only one Mexican accent?

I would assume there are many Mexican accents just are there are many English accents. My daughter's teammates at Unidad Deportiva Acapulco thought she was Mexican. I don't see any contradiction here.
 
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Is there only one Mexican accent?

For those with some Spanish, you can read about the varieties of Mexican Spanish here. For those with little or no Spanish, you can look at the map on the same page above and count the colors.

{Edited to remove link to image as the URL (possibly the colon in the URL) was confusing the Groupware software.]

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Es no bueno: Título incorrecto
De Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre
Saltar a navegación, búsqueda

El título de la página solicitada está vacío, no es válido, o es un enlace interidioma o interwiki incorrecto. Puede que contenga uno o más caracteres que no se pueden usar en los títulos.


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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no bueno

I've removed the link to the image, Geoff. It worked by itself, but something about the Groupware (makers of these fine forums) software was not getting translated. If you want to see the map, go to the Wikipedia article I linked to in the first sentence of my previous posting and click on the map on the right-hand side of the article. If that doesn't work, send me an email and I'll send you the link.


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Nice link, zmj. Tho I misspelled Distrito Federal, the reference confirms my speculation that the capital and its surrounding areas define the accent which is most popular, used in all the states, reinforced internationally by its use in TV and radio. The quote below lists the areas where it is the popular usage despite many other accents within their regions:

quote:
Variedad hablada en el centro del país [editar]

Esta variación del español mexicano es la más popular y usada en su mayoría por todos los estados de la república mexicana, en su forma general en el Distrito Federal, Guanajuato, Zacatecas, Estado de México, Puebla, Tlaxcala, Morelos, Durango, Aguascalientes, como también en los estados costeños (Oaxaca, Guerrero, Sinaloa, Sonora, Baja California, Baja California Sur, Nayarit, Jalisco, Colima y Michoacán), septentrionales (Chihuahua, Sonora, Nuevo León, Sinaloa y Coahuila) y meridionales (Chiapas, Tabasco y Campeche con Quintana Roo). Y en casos especiales con Veracruz y Yucatán. El español Central es el más conocido internacionalmente en el entretenimiento de las televisoras mexicanas...


What I would take from this is that-- similar to learning the Parisian accent in French-- one may converse with and be understood by Mexicans from almost any part of the country by learning the central/DF accent. Which doesn't guarantee that one will understand a group of workers from the same village chatting among themselves Wink
 
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Isn't there still a large number of Mexicans whose primary language isn't Spanish?


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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Isn't there still a large number of Mexicans whose primary language isn't Spanish?

Probably under the "official" radar. In the Yucatan peninsula and the areas close to Guatemala there are many speakers of Mayan languages. The vocabulary of the Central Mexican Spanish (around the DF) has been influenced by Nahuatl (aka Aztec). The first time I went to Mexico in '84, many folks snickered at my word choices, saying I was speaking continental Spanish because I used "proper" words for things. My Spanish teacher in secondary school was an American but she learned Spanish from an Argentine. Argentine and Chilean Spanish have diverged from other New World Spanish varieties in some radical ways.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Originally posted by zmježd:
Argentine and Chilean Spanish have diverged from other New World Spanish varieties in some radical ways.

Did that difference result in Ernesto "Che" Guevara's nickname, or is that myth?


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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Did that difference result in Ernesto "Che" Guevara's nickname, or is that myth?

I was unaware of the origin of Guevara's nickname, but evidently it comes from a typically Argentine interjection (link), che, which he used a lot. Che is one of those filler words that provide a pause in conversation and call the listener's attention to the speaker's discourse. (And, their abuse is one thing that drives some folks up the wall.) Its etymology and origin are unknown, but the Wikipedia article I linked to above gives some theories. (If you click through on the left side to the Spanish article, it is longer, but basically goes over some of the same theories as the English one.

[Edited for clarity.]

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Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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