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A Global Language

The English language has long been seen as the world’s business language. However, in recent years a new global language has been taking hold of some of the oldest, traditional and established languages in the world. The newest global language that is breaking down barriers and is slowly but surely becoming a language spoken around the world is that of technological terminology. With the rapid expansion of the internet and social media in recent years, languages such as Spanish have seen the introduction of English technological jargon into their official language.

The Anglicisation Of Spanish


It is extremely interesting to note the evolution of languages from around the world and this has been especially apparent since the digital revolution began. The Anglicisation of the Spanish language has been a steady development throughout the last decade. Words such as ‘resetear’ (to reset), ‘escanear’ (to scan) and ‘chequear’ (to check) began to appear in the Spanish language. This began the development of modern-Spanish that started to include English words into the official language and it does not seem to show signs of slowing. As technological advancements continue on a daily basis, so too will the introduction of new Anglicised words into Spanish causing the steady shrinking of the world as we know it, being broken up by different languages and cultures.

In recent years there has been a plethora of new words being introduced into the English language such as ‘Like’, ‘Tweet’ and ‘Share’. With a number of English technological words already appearing in the Spanish language, there has been a recent turn towards the introduction of social media terms into Spanish. In 2012, the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) which is the official royal institution for regulating the Spanish language accepted the words ‘tuitear’ (to tweet), ‘tuit’ (tweet), ‘retuiteo’ (retweet) and ‘tuitero/a’ (tweeter). The director of the institution, José Manuel Blecua explained that the new terms were accepted as they are recognised as an activity performed by millions of people. These words will be making an appearance in the RAE’s 23rd edition dictionary that is due to be published in 2014. With social media, the internet and electronic communications being regarded as a significant and authentic revolution, their inclusion into the official Spanish language was fully supported by the RAE.

The RAE And The Evolution Of Spanish

The latest addition from the English language and following on from Twitter craze has been the addition of WhatsApp into the Spanish language. The social software that allows people to communicate for free via their mobile phones as well as send images, videos, voice notes and their location is used by more than 250 million people worldwide. The latest words to be included in Spanish by RAE are, ‘wasap’ (a message sent via the application) and ‘wasapear’ (to WhatsApp, to send a message via the application). With the evolution and incorporation of daily language into official Spanish there are as with many things, two sides to the argument. There are the purists who see the introduction of such words as an offence to the history, beauty and dissolution of the Spanish language the point of view once held by the RAE. In the past the well-respected organisation searched for the introduction of words that were of a certain standard whilst upholding the tradition and culture of the Spanish language. However, as the use of language has completely changed, due to the rapid influence and flow of technology and language associated with the internet and applications so too has the RAE’s opinion. The RAE is accepting these new terms and expressions even though, in two years’ time, Tweeting and the WhatsApp application, could well be out of fashion.

The constant technological innovations also bring with them new challenges for the Spanish language such as whether to start the word with a ‘w’ or substitute it as is normally done for, ‘gu’ for example, ‘guasap’ instead of ‘wasap’. In this case the RAE decided to keep it in its original form so as not to lose the reference to the original brand and is therefore perceived as more colloquial. When there is no counterpart in the Spanish language many of the words coming from English are accepted without being Hispanicised. This is the case with ‘Wi-Fi’ and some verbs such as, ‘tuit’ that have been adapted to achieve a correct use of the term in the language.

The Modernisation Of Languages

The evolution of languages in the era of a digital and social media era has presented new challenges and opportunities. Whilst it can be seen in a positive light as it breaks down barriers between countries and their populations by introducing a new global language the advancement also needs to be taken with caution. Language is central to a country’s culture and tradition and with new technological terminology being introduced into dictionaries and being removed once out of fashion a fine balance needs to be adopted. It can be said that language is almost like an art and with too much tampering; one could ruin the tapestry or painting. With errors hard to correct, the modernisation of languages needs to be taken with care in order to not completely destroy the beauty of languages as they were before the digital age.