Best Way to Avoid Anglicisms in the Spanish Language

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The use of anglicisms in Spanish is increasing due to the influence of English in this language. Learn how to protect and write better Spanish with iScribo.

Do you know what anglicisms are? According to the RAE, an anglicism in Spanish is a word that is used in English to express something that could be said in Spanish. For example, start-up instead of ‘empresa emergente’ or remake instead of ‘nueva versión’or ‘adaptación’.

Nowadays, the use of anglicisms is overrated and is often totally unnecessary in Spanish discourse because there are equivalents in this language. The indiscriminate use of English voices not only impedes the proper understanding of the text but also alters the functioning of Spanish as a language.

Anglicisms Accepted by the Spanish RAE

The RAE has accepted and included in the Spanish vocabulary anglicisms that, due to their use, have become part of the language. This is due to the evolution of the language itself:

Chat, plotear or candidatar

Al llegar al trabajo, enciendo el chat para hablar con mis compañeros.

(When I get to work, I sign in the chat to talk to my colleagues.)

There are other anglicisms that have adapted their spelling, such as ‘rugbi’, but many people still write rugby. In this case, the RAE recommends that we write the word in italics when, for whatever reason, we decide not to adapt it.

The RAE allows anglicisms if the text requires their use due to its characteristics, for example if it is related to marketing or if it is a very specific technical text, the anglicism will be in italics.

Whenever possible, we will try to introduce the equivalent word in English and the anglicism in brackets so that, from then on, only the English equivalent is included in the text.

For example:

En Inglaterra, las escuelas se enfrentan a una ola de noticias falsas (fake news) que perjudican al alumnado. Estas noticias falsas están a la orden del día.

(In England, schools are facing a wave of fake news that harms pupils. Fake news is the order of the day.)

How to Avoid Anglicisms

When an English word comes to mind when speaking in Spanish, stop and think about whether it is necessary to use that anglicism. Surely there is a Spanish word you can use instead.

For example, we are going to suggest some alternatives in this sentence:

NO:

¡Me has hecho un spoiler del final del capítulo!

(You gave me a spoiler for the end of the chapter!)

YES:

¡Me has fastidiado/destripado el final del capítulo!

If you can’t find any Spanish words, you can use the quick search tool of the RAE or the Fundéu, I assure you that someone else has had the same doubt before you and the solution is just a click away.

Make a ‘lluvia de ideas’ (and not a brainstorming)

The brain is a muscle and, like any muscle, you have to train it to get used to it and to make it perform tasks effortlessly. With this theory, you can avoid the use of unnecessary anglicisms in Spanish.

Speak, stop, think and use alternative words. If you are writing, remember that iScribo detects unnecessary anglicisms and suggests alternatives so that you can write correct Spanish. This is also a sure-fire way to learn. Which anglicisms in the Spanish language do you think are more integrated into this language? Tell us in the comments.

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