Official Spanish dictionary adds bagel, pretzel, van

October 16, 2012

For a long time, Spanish-speakers struggled to describe “bagels” or “pretzels” to those who didn’t know the English word. Now, the task of describing the bread-based snacks just got easier.

The official Royal Spanish Academy dictionary will include several new “estadounidismos,” or words commonly spoken by Spanish speakers in the United States, according to El País.

The next edition of the dictionary will have the English terms bagel, pretzel, van, Latino, paralegal, email and phishing. (Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “phishing” as a scam by which an email user is duped into revealing personal or confidential information.)

Also, several Spanish cognates of English words will be added to the dictionary, including: billón (billion), trillón (trillion), rentar (rent), agencia (agency), podiatría (podiatry), departmento (department, as in State Department) and parada (parade).

With more than 55 million Hispanics living in the U.S., the academy thought it was important to recognize these words in the dictionry, Gerardo Piña-Rosales, president of the North American Academy of Spanish Language, told El País.

“They are Spanish terms that reflect the national character [in reference to the U.S.],” Piña-Rosales said. “These are forms of the language that Spanish speakers in the U.S. have become accustomed to.”

Piña-Rosales said it’s important to remember there exists a separate Spanish subculture in the U.S., just as there is in Mexico or Argentina. In Spain, if you say the word departamento instead of ministerio (ministry), nobody will know what that means. But in the U.S., departamento is a commonplace Spanish word, he said.

The Royal Spanish Academy tries to keep its finger on the pulse of contemporary language. In August, the academy decided to add the words tuitear (Twitter), tuit (tweet) and tuitero (Twitter user) to the dictionary – referencing the ubiquitous social media site, Twitter. Words like blog, libro electrónico (e-book) and tableta (tablet, as in electronic devices like the iPad) already are in the dictionary.

As El País stated in its article, soon phrases that seem like a bad translation of English will be accurate Spanish, such as: “He enviado un ‘email’ con una ‘aplicación’ para ‘rentar’ un piso frente a la tienda de ‘bagels’”.

Translation: “I sent an email with an application to rent a floor in front of the bagel shop.”

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Court rejects tax reform and asks legislators to eliminate four points
Costa Rica
402 views
Costa Rica
402 views

Court rejects tax reform and asks legislators to eliminate four points

Luis Fernando Cascante / Semanario Universidad - October 17, 2018

Costa Rica's Plenary Court has rejected the proposed tax reform bill in its current state and asked the members of…

30 protesters released from prison in Nicaragua
News
527 views
News
527 views

30 protesters released from prison in Nicaragua

AFP / The Tico Times - October 17, 2018

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega freed 30 political opponents on Monday, an action greeted with relief by human rights organizations. They…

La Sele continues to struggle, falls to Colombia, 3-1
La Sele
547 views
La Sele
547 views

La Sele continues to struggle, falls to Colombia, 3-1

Alejandro Zúñiga - October 17, 2018

One of La Sele’s shining moments happened right there, at the Red Bull Arena, a little over a year ago.…