June 20, 2013


Hispanophone purists are probably concerned about the creep of English into their language; one never sees signs in New York for alquilar (the textbook word I learned for "to rent"), but instead only rentar or renta.  I've heard that carro (= "car" + o) for automobile is used occasionally, and I was especially surprised to see today that someone had turné a paper over to someone else--that is "turned" it over (the word is apparently the 1st-person preterite of turnar = "turn" + infinitive ending -ar).  

But all these words, even if they are adoptions of common and useful English words, seem to have healthy precedents in literary Spanish.  Renta and rentar, carro, and turnar can be found in the official dictionary of the Academia Real Espanola, the royal and more-or-less official source for the Spanish language.  European languages have such broad vocabularies, and they all betray the influence of the same Latin words.

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