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Three Ways Language Purists Need to Update Their Thinking about Spanish

The Spanish language changes all the time. And it gets an awful lot of loanwords from English that add and even replace traditional Spanish words. Here are three ways the Spanish language changes every day.

There are some old and stagnant beliefs about language that are worth analyzing. Language changes all the time, despite what many people, like Spanish language purists, believe.

For instance, it changes especially as new technology arrives. Let's take a look.

1. Adopting new technological vocabulary from English

First, a new invention is created and with that comes a new English word, usually a noun. Soon it's adopted in Spanish as a loanword.

Here are some examples:

text ➡️ texto

chat ➡️ chat

tweet ➡️ twit, tuit

post ➡️ post

click ➡️ clic

2. English loanwords become new Spanish verbs

Oftentimes those new nouns borrowed from English become verbs in Spanish. They usually end in -ar, making it super easy to conjugate for us Spanish learners.

Let's look at these:

texto ➡️ textear

chat ➡️ chatear

twit, tuit ➡️ twitear, tuitear

post ➡️ postear

clic ➡️ cliquear

While I enjoy following the Royal Academy of Spanish (RAE) and learn a lot from their words of the day and language trivia, the RAE has some outdated notions about what they call "extranjerismos", foreignisms.

Ultimately, they're just not fans of loanwords when a word in Spanish already exists.

"Postear" is one of those words. They prefer to use "publicar" when referring to posting on social media.

The RAE states a recent Facebook post, "Although 'postear' does not pose spelling issues, it is an avoidable anglicism, which could be replaced by expressions such as 'colocar' or 'publicar (on the Internet).'"

3. Words changing from gender-specific to non-binary

But now the language is changing from binary (male/female) to non-binary.

In Spanish, there has been a movement for over a decade to change words ending in -o/-a to -x so that they are not gender-specific.

amigo / amiga ➡️ amix

latino / latina ➡️ latinx

But now you can also add an -e in place of the -o/-a ending.

amigo / amiga ➡️ amigue

latino / latina ➡️ latine

todos / todas ➡️ todes

ellos / ellas ➡️ elles

It's ok that Spanish changes. It changes nearly every day with new technology and with new perspectives on gender.

Learn more about these changes, as well as cultural tidbits, in my Spanish conversation classes. Contact me today for more info.


Jackie Donaldson is a language teacher and pronunciation specialist at Amidon Studios. She founded Amidon Studios in 2017 after managing a language institute in Lima, Peru. She's taught English and Spanish to students from all over the world while living in Peru, Mexico, and the U.S. When she's not working or studying, you'll find her gardening, playing with her cat Frankie, swimming, and exploring the globe.

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