Archive for August, 2011

Central American variants of the Spanish language

Written by anavarro on . Posted in Central America, Marketing

Central America´s Spanish language.

Central America´s Spanish language.

Spanish has many ways of being expressed, in which typical phrases in a region or idioms related to a certain country develop, as is the case of “Cubanismos,” in Cuba. This article highlights the variants of Spanish in Central America, and gives you some reasons as to why Central Americans, with their peculiar accent, are distinct.

Phonological Aspects

The /s/ at the end of a syllable is said as an /h/, and is most stressed in Nicaragua, less so in certain areas of Guatemala and Costa Rica.  This is the “final breath s,” as pronounced in Andalusia, and now, according to the erudite philologist Rafael Lapesa, it is also highly spread throughout various Castilian-La Mancha regions. In some parts of El Salvador, it has a whistling sound.

In Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador, the phonemes /rr/ and /r/ are vigorously vibrated with the tongue, the “rr’s” particularly strong, multiplying the /rr/ phoneme characteristic of the standard peninsular Castilian, and many Latin American countries. In certain areas of Guatemala and Costa Rica, the allophone /rr/ is the fricative variant [ɹ], which is to say, the “rr” has similarities to northern Spain’s [ɹ], like in Navarra, la Rioja, el País Vasco, and areas of Aragón, also in the interiors of Ecuador and Perú, and nearly all of Bolivia.

The muffled occlusive often changes from bilabial to blurred: from “aceptar” to “acectar,” or “concepto” to “concecto.” The following phenomenon isn’t part of the educated norm and is considered as slang for middle and upper social classes: semi-vocalizing  the occlusive (“perfecto” to “perfeito”) or assimilating the word with subsequent consonants.

The following allophone is considered as slang for all of Central America: The /s/ becomes an /h/ in the syllable’s initial position in order to differentiate between another within the same word, i.e. “nehesidad” instead of “necesidad.” This doesn’t occur in Guatemala nor Costa Rica, nor in other Central American republics where the people are educated, as this is generally associated with those having a low education level. This is also a typical phenomena for Colombia. In Central America, this pronunciation has very little prestige, and does not occur among the middle and upper classes.

The wheezing, or lisp, syllable has been recognized in parts of El Salvador and Honduras, in northeastern Costa Rica and in much of Nicaragua.

Morphology

The use of “voseo” in El Salvador.

The pronoun “vos” is prevalent among all social classes in Central America and is a part of learned norms. In Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua, the middle and upper classes use “voseo” completely. In Nicaragua, the pronoun “vos” is the cultural norm and all classes use it. In past years, various medias have also begun to use “vos.” Costa Rica also uses “voseo,” however, they and Guatemalans sometimes use the pronoun “usted,” including informal situations (i.e. among friends).

On the other hand, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras are countries where familiarity is not customary and generally avoided. In Costa Rica, using familiarity is considered pedantic. In El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua, “usted” remains unchanged, just like in Spain; and unlike other Latin American dialects, it is respected and highly unusual among people who know each other, in informal context or among family.

Vocabulary

Here we will discuss words used by educated people, affable terms accepted in written rule throughout Central America—not idioms or slang.

An establishment that sells groceries in Guatemala is called an “Abarrotería,” and in Panama, any of the following: “Abarrotería,” “tienda,” “minisúper,” and “comisariato;” El Salvador calls them “Tienda,” and in Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, “Pulpería” or “Mini Súper.” A carbonated beverage in Guatemala is referred to as “Agua” or “Gaseosa;” in El Salvador and Nicaragua, it´s “Gaseosa,” and in Costa Rica and Honduras, it´s “Fresco,” and Panama, “Soda.”

Many words originating from Central America are quite useful and have been included in the Spanish Royal Academy dictionary. For example, there is “íngrimo,” a superlative of “solo” (only) which includes much more than just the word, “solísimo.” “Ingrido,” applies to someone so concentrated that they are unaware of their surroundings, and “fachento” is the superlative to “jactancioso.” (a braggart).

As you can see, many words come from Central America, which are now normal in written language, even transnationally. Without going further, many etymologists seem to give Central America credit to the theory of the word “chancho” (pig) as an adjective and noun (coming from “credo” pork).

The American (Hispanic) Dream

Written by falvarez on . Posted in Hispanic, Marketing

The american dream

The american dream

Many people living in this country have heard about the “American Dream,” which consists of being able to get an education, get married and buy a home of your own. America is a land where one can accomplish incredible things, but, it does come at a price? In the United States, we take the least amount a vacation days than anywhere in the world. US employees only average 13 paid days off a year, while our neighbors to the north, Canada, averages 26 days off a year. In Europe, a number of countries average three times the paid time off that Americans receive; in France, employees average 37 days off and in Italy employees average 42 days off a year.

So why do so many people from other countries come to the United States each and every year? It’s because of that American dream, a dream of which Hispanics are incredibly fond. They do not see the same opportunities in their country, and believe that America offers them what their country doesn’t. Hispanics are hard workers by nature and will work multiple jobs if needed in order to support their family and purchase a home of their own. In fact, a recent study showed that Hispanic home ownership has increased, while there has been a decrease in home-ownership among other races.

I believe that those involved in education and the real estate professions need to heavily target Hispanics. Whether it’s a university or a home builder, Hispanics are here because of their belief in the “American Dream.”

Spiderman

The new Spiderman is Latino

Written by anavarro on . Posted in Video

Miles Morales is Afro-Latino, and to the amazement of all, is also the new spiderman.

With this, Marvel represents the U.S.’s cultural diversity and further evidence of Latinos’  presence.

Will Apple miss Steve Jobs as its CEO?

Written by Pablo Rivera on . Posted in Hispanic, Marketing, Technology

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs

In my opinion, I believe Apple will have a hard time finding a successor for Steve Jobs.  Jobs has not only helped the company in inventing products like the Mac, the iPod, the iPhone and many more cool products, he was and is also key when it comes to advertising the product. One great example is when Jobs introduced the Macintosh in 1984 with an awesome and classic commercial where the message was that the Macintosh was going to change the computer world.

Due to all the time and work he put into this company for many decades, Apple will definitely miss Jobs as its CEO; Apple is what it is because of Jobs, the company is his vision. Almost every Apple product was his idea, and I, as an Apple consumer who owns many Apple products, will keep my eyes open for the next product that is released by Apple without Steve Jobs.