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Aflac and Amateur Spanglish

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©Ixmati Communications, 2017. Unauthorized use or duplication of this material without permission from the author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mari D. González with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Aflac

I’m yet to see how “Tu vales por two” resonates with bilinguals. Because “two” sounds contrived; the common phrase is, “Vales por dos.” For the intended effect, “two” should have referred to “ti”–instead of “tu”–as the object which receives the action; “tu” (or two as referred there) is a subject.

This is a good example of amateur Spanglish, non-fluent Spanglish or Spanglish for beginners. For Spanglish to work, it has to be a mix of emotionally-charged words in Spanish that are commonly known among Spanish speakers–mostly of Mexican origin–which do not translate in well English or words in English that were never learned in Spanish because they are too long or impractical.

Spanglish is an “insiders” language that is learned both at home and school by socializing with other Spanglish-speakers who are, of course, bilingual. Spanglish is for a subculture of in-group members that grew up speaking Spanish and English simultaneously whose parents are Spanish-dominant.

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