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Language Conference: Martín Caparros proposed a new name for the Spanish language

(CÁDIZ, 03/28/2023) Academic Carme Riera (centre) moderates the table discussion on “Spanish, the lingua franca. Mixing and intercultural interaction in the Spanish-speaking community” (EFE / Román Ríos)

Should Spanish, a language spoken in twenty countries, find another name? Argentine writer Martin Caparros was asked this Tuesday in Ninth International Conference on Language Open this discussion suggested “American” as a new name for this language.

Mexican writer Juan Villoro He also considered this discussion necessary, because, in his opinion, to describe Spanish as a language in which one-fifth of the speakers are Mexican is “archaic”. For him, the language should be called “strictly speaking” “Hispanic Americans”.

Both writers bring these propositions to the table Spanish, lingua franca: miscegenation and multiculturalism in the Spanish-speaking community.Where they engaged with the Peruvian writer Alonso CuetoSpanish Carmen Riera and Spanish writer Angel Lopez Garcia.

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to Martin Caparros, “It’s time to look for a common name” for this language, so that it is not that of one of the twenty countries in which it is spoken. “It is worth looking for a name for what we are talking about,” said he, and it occurred to him. “American”which maintains the originality of the tilde for ñ, a result, he explained, of monks’ “laziness” to write n twice.

Mexican writer and journalist Juan Villoro (left) and Argentine journalist and writer Martín Caparros, during the table discussion “Spanish, a common language: Mestizaje and multiculturalism in the Spanish-speaking community” (EFE / Román Ríos)
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The author of the article America He believes that the word “Spanish”, which meant “land of rabbits” when the Phoenicians invented it, is “undeniably disingenuous”. Spain today, he said, is a country “full of Spaniards who want or don’t want to be”.

The Argentine writer pointed out that the concept of “Spanish” is “disputed”, especially in the field of language, recalling how he always thought that what Lope de Vega spoke or wrote was “Castilian”.

“To say that the Spanish language would sound like a product of a country called Spain,” he said, considered that “it would make sense for 450 million people not to think they spoke another language.”

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according to Martin CaparrosTo search for another name would be to enrich a language formed “with the scent of many languages ​​and which is not attributed to any kingdom.”

to Juan Villorothe mixing of Spanish has advanced so far that it left behind times when Spanish seemed to be “spoken only one way” and in which a hotel concierge in Madrid didn’t understand when a Peruvian customer called to say “Sorry, the bathtub faucet broke: I need a plumber.” .

Or so he remembers Alonso Cuetoin the dubbing of the films you will listen to John Waynein a canteen in Western, the waiter asked, “Chateau, give me a short film.”

Academic Carme Riera (center) moderates the discussion table “Spanish, the lingua franca: miscegenation and multiculturalism in the Spanish-speaking community.” Photo: EFE/Román Ríos)
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passage of words

Alonso Cueto Now celebrate that the “traffic of words” between one side of the Atlantic and the other is “more nurturing than ever,” thanks to a “pathway” set by editors like Carlos BarralWho published novels in Spain by writers like Mario Vargas Llosa also Juan Rulfo. Language “pollination” has also spread through tourism, trade, immigration or television.

“The idea of ​​language purity is useless and outdated,” said the writer, for whom English words like “chip” will remain in the language just as Arabic terms like “ditch” have remained before.

“We shall always be proud that we are impure,” he added, after stating that the Spanish language is a “living organism” that has the “engine room” of its renewal in colloquial speech.

However, he considered it “terrible” to see “we have lost fortune” in a world where an emoticon replaces words like “I congratulate you or I love you”.

Mixed language

This loss of wealth occurs in language spoken in countries like Mexico, where today only 6.6% of the indigenous languages ​​spoken when it gained independence from Spain are spoken, or in Peru, where 37 indigenous languages ​​have disappeared. . There are 21 in imminent danger of destruction, and where Quechua resists in ten million people.

Lopez Garcia He noted that Spanish was a mixed language long before the colonization of America, when Latin crossed Galician or Catalan words on the Camino de Santiago before the tenth century.

And the same as what Carmen RieraAt the time of the Conquest, he explained, “there was no interest in spreading the Spanish language.” Indigenous languages ​​were definitely favored “in a selfish position” to avoid competition when applying for jobs in management.

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It was with the independence of the countries when “everyone claimed Spanish as their national language”, the language being discussed these days in the Spanish city of Cadiz.

fountain: EFE.

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