My kids are officially fluent…in Spanglish

Each night I tell the kids in Spanish to go pick out their clothes for the next day of school. It’s a phrase they’ve heard a hundred times or more,

“Vaya a buscar tu ropa para mañana.”

Last night my younger son answered me back, “I already busca-ed mi ropa para mañana.”

Do you see what he did there? He added the English “-ed” suffix to make it past tense. Unfortunately, in Spanish this is not how we conjugate verbs so he should have said, “Ya busqué mi ropa.”… Even though his Spanglish answer is only understandable to English-Spanish bilinguals, I still think children are clever linguists to come up with such silliness without much thought.


  1. Awww… he’s trying. My two older boys are learning how to speak Spanish and they often do this too. The good thing is that you engage your kids to speak in Spanish. Great job Tracy!!

  2. Oh, “Like, Like, Like!” (Me gusta! Me gusta! Me gusta!) My kids are only beginning to put sentences together, so I’m jealous!

    (And, fortunately for me, also competitive… thanks for the motivation to keep on pushing!)

    • @ Kim – Believe me, I’m the same way. It kills me to see a kid younger than mine at the grocery store speaking fluent Spanish with their mother. I get very jealous and it makes me push harder, too. Keep it up!

  3. I love Spanglish! That’s so cute. Reminds me of a cute blog I read about teaching kids spanish called She always has great ideas like you.

    Still trying with the kids over here. I got those perro/gato books you recommended. My girl loves them and tries to read them all the time. I’ve noticed a great improvement with all the kids ever since the verano de espanol. We go to Bolivia in January for several weeks so I’m expecting great things.


    • @ Susan – Thanks for the link. I love the name of the blog. LOL.

      I’m glad that you were inspired by El Verano de español and that the kids improved. Mine really have too. After the summer I slacked off a little because when they come home they need help with homework, etc – and there’s enough frustration explaining things in English without complicating it! … But we speak Spanish 50% of the time these days… Trying to push myself, (and THEM!), to speak it more since they get plenty of English at school.

      So excited about your trip to Bolivia. I’m sure they’ll make some amazing progress. Can’t wait to see your blog posts. Take plenty of photos :)

  4. hahahah Tracy, i come from two spanish speaking parents, and it was my first language, then came school and the spanglish began. my boyfriend is the same (our poor son) sadly it is still with me. My mom gets so pissed
    Mom-“hija que haces?”
    Me-“ando workiando ma, te texto l8r ok” jajajaja
    Do you ever think spanish and english will just mix for us bilinguals?? jajaja loved this post!!

    • @ LaCabrona – LOL!! “te texto l8r” … Your poor mother ;)

      As for whether Spanish and English will just mix together one day – I think it already has for many of us. I think English will always exist, and Spanish will always exist, but “Spanglish” is definitely becoming the native or 1st language for many Latinos in the U.S. It’s the language of our household, and my kids will throw a Spanish word into their English even around my (Anglo) family and not realize it.

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