Because there have been so many Latin American migrants in the US, it was inevitable that very soon, Spanglish would be born. Spanglish is either mixing Spanish and English (e.g. anyway, no me importa) or translating an English phrase word for word into Spanish (e.g. saying nos puede llamar atras meaning can you call us back instead of nos puede volver a llamar).
This occurrence is also present in the Chabacano language. Chabacano has been infiltrated a lot by English that we sometimes utter words which we take from this foreign language and Chabacanize it.
A good example is the word factoria. I remember a few years back, my father and I were listening to a Chabacano radio news program. This radio announcer uttered the word factoria instead of fabrica. Obviously this guy relied on his English vocabulary when he forgot the Chabacano word for factory (or maybe he didn’t know the word at all).
If you read Chabacano posts in online forums, you will see more people “Chabacanizing English”. Here are some examples that I found:
Proposa- meaning to propose (the correct Chabacano word is propone)
Fontana- meaning fountain (the Spanish word is fuente although I haven’t really heard anyone use this word verbally in Chabacano. The Chabacano dictionary of Rolando Arquiza Santos however does translate the word fountain as fuente. Camins’ does not seem to have a Chabacano word for fountain.
Experiencia- meaning to experience (in Spanish, the noun experiencia does exist, it is not however a verb (as in experienciar). In Rolando Arquiza Santos’ dictionary, the noun experiencia does exist however the verb experiencia doesn’t. In Camins’ dictionary, the noun experiencia doesn’t even exist let alone the verb experiencia. The Spanish word for to experience is experimentar, this is not true for Chabacano however.
Resolva- meaning to resolve (the correct Chabacano word is resolve).
Expecta- meaning to expect (this word doesn’t exist in Chabacano)
Policia- meaning policy (this word means police and not policy (like in Tagalog)
Corecta- meaning to correct (the correct Chabacano word is corregi)
Locacion *pronounced as locashon- meaning location (this word doesn’t exist in Spanish).
There are also words of this type which used to be popular but are not used too much anymore. Some examples are:
Actualmente- meaning actually (actualmente in Spanish means currently)
Embarasa- meaning to embarass someone (the word embarazar means to get pregnant in Spanish)
If you speak English and Chabacano, it is not hard to see how these words came about.
In Spanish, you would occasionally hear people say taxa (meaning tax), parquear (meaning to park and if you check a Spanish dictionary, these words do not exist.
John M. Lipski has this to say about this phenomenon:
More recently, the predominant source of lexical borrowing has become English, as in all other Philippine languages; not only are individual words borrowed, but entire expressions may be introduced into Chabacano speech, and among those speakers reasonably fluent in English, code switching is common. Nouns and some verbs may simply be given a Chabacano form, much as occurs in bilingual Spanish/English speech in the United States: sacrificiá `sacrifice’ (Sp. sacrificar); compositá `compose’ (Sp. componer); dependable `dependable’ (Sp. confiable); dolyar `dollar’ (Sp. dólar); valuable `valuable’ (Sp. valioso); serioso `serious’ (Sp. serio); preliminario `preliminary’ (Sp. preliminar), etc.
I hope no one will get the idea that I look down on this manner of speaking. If you have been reading this blog a lot, you will know that I am very open-minded when it comes to the Chabacano evolution. I don’t possess any purist or preservationist ideas when it comes to speaking Chabacano. With this article, I only wish to enlighten fellow Chabacano speakers about this phenomenon that we don’t even realize exists. Ironically though, it is most often the purist Chabacano speakers or the hispanophiles who invent these words whenever they fail to find a Chabacano equivalent for an English word.