Blending Cultures: Spanish Words English Speakers Use Everyday

Blending Cultures Spanish Words English Speakers Use Everyday

It is common to hear Spanish language words like bodega, fiesta or burritos daily across the United states. With 45 million Spanish language speakers, the Spanish language is influencing the everyday language of Americans. With many immigrants from Mexico and other Latin American countries, words for Mexican and other Latin foods are pervasive.  Culturally significant words like quinceañera have also been adopted by Americans. Many other words with Spanish origins, such as chocolate, used in the United States today were passed down from the Spanish colonists to the Americas.

Food with a Spanish Language Influence

Mexican food is very popular in the United States, and with it we have adopted many Spanish language words. For example, salsa simply means sauce in the Spanish language but is not used to refer to a specific type of (often spicy) tomato based sauce commonly used on tacos or eaten with nacho chips. Taco is the Spanish language name for one of the most common and beloved foods in America, which of course originated in Mexico. Another popular food with a Mexican influence and Spanish name are burritos, which have similar flavors and ingredients as tacos, but actually originated in the United States and not Mexico. Burrito comes from the Spanish language word, burro, meaning a small donkey. Cilantro, a common ingredient in Mexican food, is actually the Spanish language word for the herb that is known in other English speaking countries as coriander. The piña colada, a popular cocktail, made with pineapple and coconut milk is Spanish for strained pineapple.

Cultural Influences

Many common words that are used daily have a Spanish language origin. For example, the word bodega comes from the Spanish language word meaning a cellar or place where wine is stored, but in the United States it means a corner store. Macho, a Spanish word denoting masculinity, has become a popular way to describe tough or very masculine men in the United States. Siesta, meaning the afternoon nap commonly taken at midday in Spain, can also be commonly heard when people discuss taking an afternoon break. The similarly sounding fiesta, from the Spanish word for party, has been adapted by many English language speakers. Another common word for a party is quinceañera, a Spanish language compound of quince and años, translates directly to fifteen years. The popular quinceañera parties (or fiestas) celebrate the coming of age of Mexican girls on their fifteenth birthday, similar to the “sweet 16” parties popular in English speaking United States.

Colonial influence

Many of the Spanish language words that you will hear regularly in the United States were words that Spanish colonists borrowed from indigenous languages. Barbecue, from barbacoa, was taken from the Taino language by Spanish explorers to the Bahamas. Potatoes, which are native to South America, comes from the Spanish patate but was originally batata in Taino. Chocolate was developed from the Nahuatl word xocolatl and was subsequently adapted into English.

Importance of Spanish in Everyday American Life

Spanish words have been adapted by the English language for centuries and are becoming increasingly prevalent as an increasing amount of the population of the United States are now Spanish language speakers. As such, the Spanish language is increasingly more important to daily life in the United States and it is important to use Spanish words appropriately with an understanding of their historical, cultural and social implications. As businesses and individuals are using more Spanish daily and seeking translation and copy editing services, the Spanish language experts and copy writing professionals at Spanish with Style will guarantee that your text is translated into perfect Spanish with an understanding of all the nuances of the language.

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