We know more English than we think we do

We know more English than we think we do
   0 Published by Nuri at 20/11/2019

No, it's not a joke, as in our every day to day life we use English words without being aware. For example, it's possible that "you have been given some tips for doing something, or in the same way you ask someone to "press play", you "have a mail" or there is a word or phrase that is becoming a "trending topic".

This is due to the influence of English in different areas of our lives: Internet, social networks, the business world...

These words that we have borrowed from English are called Anglocisms. Sometimes they are false anglocisms, as a consequence of bad translation or even words that do not exist in English. On other occasions, a word in English doesn't translate well into Spanish, for example "Reality Show".

Anglocisms that we have invented.
We Spanish have the tendency to put the ending -ing on any word so it sounds like an English word. For example: We do "puenting" because we jump from a bridge, but in English the name for this activity is "bungee jumping". "Footing" is another adaptation we have made, when in fact in English it is "jogging". Another word that has become very popular is "sofing", just sitting on the sofa watching TV or sleeping. This word doesn't exist in English, but an alternative is to be a "couch potato". We say "camping" instead of "campsite"; "lifting" instead of "face-lift"; "parking" opposed to "car park"; "zapping" instead of "channel hopping" and "overbooking" and not "crowded".

Other false anglocisms that we use are, for example: Eres un crack in English would be You rule!, you rock! or you're the boss! ¡Eres muy fashion! is you're so fashionable!, "friki" would be "geek" or "nerd".

Anglocisms that we have incorporated into our language.
It's obvious that in many areas of our lives we have added English words that now form part of our habitual vocabulary. This is due to various reasons: maybe it sounds better if it's said in English, to look good; maybe because the translation of the word in Spanish is too long. Whatever the case, these words are so frequently used that they have ended up being accepted by R.A.E, as for instance: hobby, airbag or blog.

If we look at English words that we use habitually, we can see that we find them in areas such as: fashion, sport, business or social networks.

1. Fashion
We say “I like your new look” or “this outfit suits you well”, we talk about top models who have a shooting (photo session) and who use eyeliner (lápiz de ojos) which is very cool. Perhaps we have bought a clutch (small handbag) or we dress in a “casual” (informal) and “trendy” (a la última moda) way.

2. Cinema and TV
We go to the cinema to see a “thriller” because we have seen a "trailer" that we liked a lot, but just a few minutes before watching the film, a friend who has already seen it gives as a "spoiler" and tells us how it ends. A "remake" (nueva versión) of a film is made, or a "spin-off" (serie derivada) of a TV serial. We can watch a serial by "streaming" (live on Internet). There are programmes that are broadcast in "prime time", for example "talent shows". Maybe every day we watch our favourite "sitcom" or a comedy show because we like the "gags" they tell.

3. Sport
If we enjoy tennis, we hear things like "ace" (saque directo), "match point" (punto de partido), "out" (fuera) or "tie-break" (muerte súbita). If we are talking about football, we can hear about the "mister" (entrenador), "hat-trick" (triplete), "play-off" (ronda final), "dreamteam" (equipo ideal) or "fair play" (juego limpio). In the case of Formula I, we have terminology like "pit lane" (calle de boxes), "pole position" (primera posición) or "boxes" (taller mecánico).

4. Business world
In a company we have the "CEO" or "Chief Executive Officer"(jefe) and his "partners" (socios). There is also the "staff" (personal/empleados), the majority of whom work "full-time" (a jornada completa) and form time to time they take a "break" (descanso). Projects have to be presented within a "deadline" (plazo) with which they have held a "brainstorming" (lluvia de ideas). All businesses need a "marketing" campaign to become recognised and achieve their "target" (objetivo) and part of their "budget" (presupuesto) has to be dedicated to this.

5. Internet and social networks
Nowadays it is very common to buy "online", we visit different "web" pages or "blogs". We read "fake news" (noticias falsas) on the net. Instead of paper books, we buy e-books. We are "followers" of "youtubers" who are "influencers". Most of us have Instagram and publish "stories", photos, images, with their "hashtags". If we like what others have published we put a "like" (me gusta).

So, given the circumstances, we know more English than we think. We have it around us and we use it in our habitual conversations. However, that is not enough, to speak English well you have to learn many more things. Having said that, thanks to the Anglicisms, there are words that we don't have to study because they are already integrated into the Spanish language.

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