Words such as ‘sándwich’ and ‘nuggets’ have been accepted in to the Spanish language but when Spaniards want to hold a conversation in English in can easily result in Spanglish.
Or so says the Oxford University Press that has created http://www.100spanglish.es/ – a website where it is possible to view videos and practice English with the objective of avoiding the mistaken construction of sentences such as “I am very preoccupated” or “I have give a shower”.
According to the OUP Spain is at the tail in Europe in learning English with only 20 per cent of Spaniards capable of maintaining a conversation in a different language against the European average of 44 per cent.
In http://www.100spanglish.es/ there are videos of well known Spaniards such as José María Aznar, Emilo Botín and José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero speaking in English albeit rather badly. OUP say users can vote for the most amusing with the rankings currently topped by Franco with “Aiguanmuviman” – although when I viewed he’d slipped to number 5.
The prize for the best users of Spanglish is an English course entitled “My Oxford English” which has been prepared on-line by Oxford University.
The OUP reports that only 9 per cent of Spaniards between 18 and 55 study English. They do so to travel (35 per cent), for work (50 per cent) and for personal satisfaction (15 per cent).
Twenty-nine per cent of this age group have never studied English and of the 71 per cent that have two out of three have attained a low or medium low level.
I believe the term Spanglish was coined in the USA for the language developing where the Spanish and English speaking communities coincide. Spanglish was later used for Spain especially in the coastal areas where the same mix takes place. I have read it could apply to Gibraltar – but that patois is Llanito which is a far more fluent mix of the two languages. Certainly the Spanish workers in La Línea who work on the Rock have created their own slang – Linense – using English or corrupted English words and phrases learnt from their work mates. I would also argue that the British community in Spain, which doesn’t speak Spanish per se, is also developing a patois by dropping English words and inserting basura, ayuntamiento and so on.