How Bilingual Siblings Argue

A photo of kitty siblings fighting, because it's cuter than human boys fighting.
Image source: Tambako the Jaguar

(Overheard conversation between my two sons yesterday.)

13 year old: Ugh! My hair is being so stupid! It won’t do what I want it to!
10 year old: I hate when I can’t style my hair, too.
13 year old: Ha! I wish I had your hair! You have good hair!
10 year old: Does that mean you think I’m bonito?
13 year old: No, you’re still feo.
10 year old: What?! … Well, you’re feo-er!
13 year old: You’re the más feo del mundo.
10 year old: Well, you’re feo to the luna and back!

You realize how badly you want your kids to be bilingual when you make no attempt to break up the argument but instead smile that they’re insulting each other in Spanglish.

Spanglish Mentiras

For years my younger son has had the habit of crawling into my lap at the dinner table after he finishes eating. I don’t remember why, how or when this started – I only know that he’s a big 10 year old now with unwieldy limbs, and this tradition is becoming uncomfortable. This is the conversation we had at breakfast this morning.

10 year old: Let me sit with you!

Me: No, ahorita no, this chair isn’t built for two people. La silla se va a quebrar.

10 year old: Por fa? I’ll wash the dishes!

Me: Mentira!

10 year old: I’m not mentira-ing, I really will!

I love his Spanglish, but his Spanish is getting better when he chooses to use it – His bribing skills though, are quite advanced. Check out a post I wrote for SpanglishBaby called, The Lesser Known Dangers of Bribing a Bilingual Child.

My Spanglish

There have been plenty of posts such as, “Pass the Vacuum” and other Carlos-isms, which poke fun at Carlos’s English. I also still make fun of him for asking “How many years do you have?” when we first met – So I thought it was only fair for me to write a post about my Spanish mistakes. The one that still makes my cheeks burn red is in the post Most Embarrassing Spanish Speaking Moment, but here are a few words I’ve apparently invented on the path to Spanish fluency.

Quesoso – (pronounced “kay-so-so”) I’m actually proud of this one and have stubbornly used it for years. I call things “cheesy” a lot in English, like, “Oh my gosh, this novela is so cheesy!” … But how do you say “cheesy” in Spanish? I don’t know, so I took the word for “cheese” and added on the appropriate ending.

Afordable – (pronounced “ah-for-dah-blay”) I didn’t know the word for “affordable” in Spanish (“asequible” which I still forget) – so I took a stab in the dark… hey sometimes it works.

Polandia – I was watching a soccer match and Carlos asked me who was playing. I answered “Polandia contra …” (whoever was playing against Poland, I can’t remember.) … Apparently Poland is “Polonia” in Spanish… I still think mine makes more sense.

Tiene un punto – I was trying to say “He has a point” but Carlos says this idiom can’t be translated directly. Oops!

That’s all I can remember for now, but I’m sure there will be more to come.

History of Spanglish + A Spanglish version of Little Red Riding Hood

Sometimes we think of Spanglish as a modern invention – something that the younger generation has created as the Latino population grows in the United States and American culture becomes increasingly popular in Latin America. The truth is, Spanglish has been around a long time. The term, “Spanglish” was first coined by a Puerto Rican linguist named Salvador Tió in the late 1940s. Tió also came up with the word “inglañol” – which is not nearly as popular, (my guess is because it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue the same way.)

While the term “Spanglish” first started being used in the late 1940’s, its roots go much further back to the 1800’s, The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, and the 100,000 Mexicans left on the new U.S. side of the border – Mexicans who later became known as “Chicanos.”

Honestly, while I suspected the origins of Spanglish to be something similar to what I found, I wasn’t prompted to research it until recently. Watching I Love Lucy with my little boy before he goes to school is one of my favorite parts of the day. An episode called “Ricky Minds the Baby” aired one morning and in this episode, Ricky tells the story of “Caperucita Roja” (Little Red Riding Hood), to Little Ricky – and he tells it entirely in very charming and amusing Spanglish.

1/18/54: “Ricky Minds the Baby”
I Love Lucy Episode 80 – Filmed 12/3/53
Story: Ricky decides that Lucy deserves a rest, so he offers to take care of Little Ricky.

Links: – Spanglish I
Living in Spanglish: The Search for Latino Identity in America By Ed Morales
Wikipedia – Spanglish
Latinaish – Spanglish Songs Caperucita Roja – Vocabulary

Luchadores + soda = fun

As I mentioned on Facebook yesterday, I received a surprise package on my doorstep. The box contained 11 bottles of Jarritos in various flavors, two luchadores (plastic figures), and a luchador mask. Of course, this totally disrupted my work day as I wasted time playing with my new toys while drinking Mexican soda.

Hours later, my oldest son came home from school and went straight to the fridge, as is his habit.

“YES! Jarritos!” I heard from the kitchen.

He asked if he could drink the Toronja, which is one of my favorites, but I let him have it. The only problem was that he couldn’t open the cap, (it’s not a screw top.) … I let him struggle for a minute or two to see if he’d figure it out before helping him. I guess at least I don’t have to worry about him stealing my Coronas in the near future.

When Carlos came home, he opened a bottle of Tamarindo and put on the luchador mask before going to hide in our youngest son’s room. When our younger son arrived home from school and went to put his backpack away, Carlos jumped out and attacked him.

To make him feel better after Daddy’s mean trick, I gave him a Tutti Frutti (Fruit Punch) Jarritos to drink, and the little luchadores figures to play with.

Later in the evening, the boys got to wrestling around. Our younger son jumped on top of his older brother and began kissing his face like crazy.

“Ew! What are you doing!? Get off!” our older son said, shoving him away.

Our younger son smiled and said, “But I’m a SMOOCH-ador!”

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post or a review. Jarritos sent the package as a gift and I was under no obligation at blog about it. Thanks, Jarritos!

Guanaco actor stars in new mun2 show

Before I visited Miami and spent time with Telemundo, I had heard of the new show on mun2 called RPM Miami. I knew it had something to do with racing cars, and since that didn’t really interest me, I didn’t look into it any further.

During my time with Telemundo I learned that one of the stars of the show, actor Adrian Bellani, is half Salvadoran. Born in Miami and raised in San Salvador, Bellani plays the character Alejandro who is a soldier returning home from a tour in Iraq. He discovers that his father is missing and while trying to find out what happened to him, gets mixed up in the world of Miami street racing.

Two other things that I liked – First, the characters on the show are all bilingual and the show is a mix of both Spanish and English. And second, RPM Miami is shot on location in Miami.

I had the opportunity to meet some of the stars and of course, my question was, “Which one of you is the guanaco?” … Well, they totally misunderstood me. They thought I was saying “El Guajo” – (which is the name of the antagonist on RPM Miami.) Too funny…Chécalo!

RPM Miami premieres Sunday May 1 @ 10p/9C on mun2.

Disclosure: I went to Miami at the invitation of Telemundo. All opinions are my own.

Spanglish Songs

Mi amigo, Federico, randomly dropped a fun multilingual song in my comments and so that got me thinking of my favorite Spanglish songs. Here they are! Be sure to leave yours in comments! Please be aware, most of these songs are not appropriate for niños. There is strong language in some songs, and music videos in general, even if the language isn’t strong, tend to objectify women, so please use discretion.

Kevin Johansen + The nada – Guacamole (Gracias, Federico!)

Me gustas tú by Manu Chao

Frijolero by Molotov (WARNING: Very strong language)

You ready for some old skool? That’s It/Ya Estuvo by Kid Frost

Señorita by Los Lonely Boys

Electro Movimiento by Calle 13 …This song came out last year, but it is puro 1980’s in style.

Pitbull featuring Akon – Shut It Down

Rico Suave by Gerardo … Ay. Dios. Mio. Qué raunchy! I was like 10 years old when this song came out. I didn’t understand the lyrics back then but was fascinated by the video. I can’t believe my parents let me watch MTV at that age.

Cha Cha by Chelo

Stand by Me by Prince Royce

Dejalo Ahi by Fulanito

Yo Digo Baila by Mexican Institute of Sound

If You Want it by Pacha Massive

Okay, now which Spanglish songs do you like? Díme in comments!