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Gerald Erichsen

English Words Become Part of Everyday Spanish

By January 5, 2013

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Probably the biggest change in Spanish during the past few decades has been the adoption of numerous English words, often without changes in spelling and even sometimes pronunciation. Among the words that have been accepted as legitimate Spanish by the Spanish Royal Academy are marketing, camping, sex-appeal, look (as in someone's new look), fan (such as a sports fan) and software.

This phenomenon is discussed briefly in the Real Spanish Grammar's latest feature, on English loanwords in Spanish.


January 6, 2013 at 10:52 am
(1) sfree says:

Mr Erichsen,

Thanks for this wonderful lesson from which I’m learning a lot.

Here’s my version:

The French business enterprise, Semiocast, published the [its]
ranking of the cities and countries most active in the
popular microblogging site, Twitter.
Based on [according to] this classification, Venezuela ranks
thirteenth among the countries in the world and fourth
in the Latin American region where it is bested [surpassed by]
Colombia (third), México (second) and Brazil (first).

‘I used ‘Semiocast’ in apposition just like ‘Twitter’ was used.
It’s just my preference and for consistency.

‘its’ — I think using this could be tantamount to editorializing
but I thought I could color the passage.

‘based on’ is not as popular as ‘according to’, I think.

So is ‘bested’ but it’s just my opinion.

Where is the pronunciation stress in the apocopate
‘decimotercer’? Should it be on ‘de’ as in the original accented
word; or on the penult as in the unaccented decimotercero(ra);
or on the final syllable since it now ends in a consonant other
than ‘n’ or ‘s’?

Thanks again.

– A student

January 6, 2013 at 11:41 am
(2) Spanish Guide says:

In decimotercer there are two stressed syllables, the first and the last. It’s pronounced the same as if you had two words, décimo tercer.

January 6, 2013 at 2:40 pm
(3) sfree says:

Mr Erichsen,


Is there a good guide somewhere or a general rule as to where to put the stress when pronouncing concatenated words, now that the accent(s) may no longer be necessary?

It is a bit tricky for me to determine how simple words are pronounced let alone concatenated ones..

Perhaps it behooves the speaker to check the word construction or origin and accordingly, as in this case, breaks the word into its components and pronounce them as they normally are pronounced separately .

Thanks again for your help.

– A Student

January 26, 2013 at 9:48 pm
(4) Spanish Guide says:

Yeah, you have the best idea. For most words, the stress still goes on the penultimate syllable. Confusing matters these days, though, is the influx of foreign words (especially English), which don’t use written accents. So sometimes you just need to know.

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