Spanglish: A Contest Entry

Media Naranja

Lit. You are half my orange. Meaning: You are my soul mate

I have entered a blogging competition with the lovely people at Expats Blog, who help me spread the word about Mexico further by listing my site with them.

Here is a little excerpt from my entry. If you like it, I would be super grateful if you could click through to read the rest and to leave me a little comment (on the Expats blog site). The entry with the most comments wins, so all comments and shares would be super bueno 😉

Thanks in advance for supporting me, and spreading the Mexico love!

Top 6 Words That Make Me Speak Spanglish in Mexico

I have a confession to make. I used to think people who spoke Spanglish were just being lazy or worse just showing off their proficiency in both Spanish and English. However, having lived in Mexico for almost three years now, Spanglish has become my language of choice. There are some words in Spanish that cannot be translated easily or for which we have no concept in English. This makes Spanglish the best option when speaking “English”, but it means that when talking to non-Spanish speakers I have to think harder.

These are the top 6 Spanish words that make Spanglish a necessity for me:

Estrenar, means to use or wear something for the first time, as concept that doesn’t really exist in English. For example if you buy a new dress, the first time you are wear it you would say “Estoy estrenando mi vestido” (almost like I am premiering my dress). I find myself with Spanglish speakers saying “I am estrenando-ing my new top today” or “Come over for dinner, I want to estrenar my new table”.

Desvelado – The first time I heard this word, I grabbed the dictionary and found it translated as sleepless. Huh? Sleepless? That wasn’t something I had heard before. I thought it perhaps meant not being able to sleep, but in fact, the word is used to describe the feeling of not having slept, either due to partying late or because of things on your mind. Those romantic Mexicans even have a song about a guy who is “desvelado” because thoughts of his love keep him from sleeping.

Aprovechar – Every Spanglish speaking foreigner I know, uses this one. It is just such a useful word. It kinda means to “make the most of” or “take advantage of” time or a situation but it comes in one easy word, that sounds so much nicer. All my friends can be heard saying things like “I am going to aprovechar the fact that I am here, to talk to my friend who works nearby” or “You might as well aprovechar your time stuck in traffic to listen to a great show on the radio”. When speaking with solely English speakers I always have to stop and think about what to say instead.

Ganas is one of the first words that started my Spanglishness. ‘No tengo ganas’, is so hard to translate adequately, but essentially means, I don’t have the desire, but it is just so much better than that. It expresses that feeling when you just don’t want to do someone or conversely the real desire to do something. My spanglishiness sounds something like this;

Boyfriend “Do you want to do something tonight”

Me “Nah, I don’t really have ganas to even leave the house

Read more and leave comments here

Photo Credit: Nikhol Esteras Photography
Susannah Rigg is a freelance writer and Mexico specialist. Her work has been featured in BBC Travel, CNN Travel, Conde Nast Traveler, AFAR and The Independent among others. Check out her portfolio here. Contact Susannah by email, info [at] mexicoretold [dot] com and join her on Instagram and Twitter.



4 thoughts on “Spanglish: A Contest Entry

  1. I really enjoy Mexico Retold. A lot of us think and speak back and forth between English and Spanish, so it’s fun to use both at the same time.

    Dave Wells

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