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anglicismos - género y número

Over the last few decades, Spanish has been inundated with English words and is having to adapt to incorporate them. In fact, these anglicismos or extranjerismos are so frequent that many authors hesitate when it comes to writing them in italics.

In general, when the spelling and pronunciation remain unaltered (extranjerismos crudos), the word should be written in italics or in quotation marks to show that the word doesn't follow the usual rules, e.g. el software, un casting.

"En este caso se advierte de su condición de extranjerismos crudos y de la obligación de escribirlos con resalte tipográfico (cursiva o comillas) para señalar su carácter ajeno a la ortografía del español, hecho que explica que su pronunciación no se corresponda con su forma escrita".1

 

Some Anglicisms are spelled the same (with added tilde where appropriate), but pronounced as if they were a Spanish word, e.g. un airbag, el iceberg, un máster, un tráiler.

Others have been adapted to sound the same using the Spanish spelling, e.g. un bol, el pádel, el fútbol. 

When the word is either spelled or pronounced in fitting with Spanish, italics are not used.

 

Some words, however, are in a state of flux and can be found written several ways. 'Whisky', for example, is generally left unaltered (crudo), but it can also be seen written as güisqui. Although the RAE recommends using italics for the unadapted version, it is generally written without.

As with all Anglicisms, there is a strong tendency to choose the English version since it sounds more 'cool' or sophisticated.

 "Aunque sigue siendo mayoritario el uso del extranjerismo crudo —que debe escribirse siempre con resalte tipográfico—, la adaptación 'güisqui' ha ganado terreno y resulta preferible, pues permite evitar los errores frecuentes que se cometen al intentar reproducir la grafía inglesa". DPD

 

 

 

Two problems that arise from incorporating Anglicisms are deciding on the gender of the noun and the spelling/pronunciation of the plural version. Bear in mind that usage varies between countries, and the recommendations by the RAE aren't always followed.

 

El género

The vast majority of Anglicisms are masculine. Unless the word clearly has a feminine-like construction or underlying feminine meaning, it will be treated as masculine. As discussed previously, this may be the noun that encompasses that class of thing, an omitted noun, or the gender of the Spanish equivalent. With a limited number of nouns the gender varies.1

-un after, un software, un driver, etc. 

-el jazz, el rap, el blues, etc. (el género musical)

-el rugby, el fútbol, el golf, etc. (el deporte)

-el whisky, el martini, el sherry, el brandy/brandi (el licor, el vino)

-la interfaz  ("Aunque no es infrecuente su uso en masculino, debe emplearse en femenino, ya que esta palabra incluye en su forma el sustantivo femenino 'faz'"DPD)

-una performance (una actuación)

-una mountain bike (una bicicleta)

-el/la wifi  (la conexión inalámbrica)

-la/un/una web (la red, un sitio web, una página web)

-una rib (una lancha de ese tipo)

-un/una selfie (una foto / un autorretrato)

 When referring to people and professions, the gender is variable.

-El/la DJ viene de Madrid

-Hay que hablar con el/la community manager

-Es un/una crac(k)

 

 

El plural 

The spelling and pronunciation of the plural forms follow more or less the same rules as Spanish words; however there are a few exceptions/caveats.1

 

Normally, in Spanish, nouns ending in vowel+Y would end in -es in plural; however, newly-incorporated Anglicisms usually just take the -s, while the y is replaced with i.

el rey /la ley → los reyes / las leyes [Normal rule]

el gay   los gais [Anglicism]

el jersey   los jerséis

el espray   los espráis

Anglicisms ending in consonant+Y take -s. The DPD recommends that these Anglicisms should be adapted by replacing y with i to agree with Spanish pronunciation. However, in practice, many of these nouns tend to be left unadapted (crudos) and take the English spelling or a hybrid with -ys.

un ferry (un ferri) → los ferries (ferris) [ferrys advised against by the RAE but common1]

un whisky (un güisqui-menos frecuente) → los whiskys/whiskies (los güisquis)

un dandi → los dandis

un hobby → sus hobbies [crudo]

 

 

Words ending in S or X follow the standard rule: monosyllabic words or polysyllabic agudos (accent falls on the last syllable) take -es, while the rest are invariable. In practice, nearly all are heard invariable in speech.

un compás → los compases [Normal rule]

la crisis → las crisis [Normal rule]

el fax → los faxes [ 'los fax' se escucha]

un baipás → los baipases [palabra aguda; se escucha los baipás/bypass)

un campus → los campus [invariable]

 

 

Words ending in sh or ch are often left invariable in spoken Spanish.3

un sándwich → los sándwich [los sándiches is recommended by the RAE]

el flash/flas → los flash (los flashes/flases recommended)

el sketch → los sketch

el lunch → los lunch

 

Words ending in vowel + l, -r, -n, -d, -z, -j, normally take -es in plural, although there are some exceptions. In practice, however, many of these are seen spelled and pronounced invariably or with just a final -s.

un pan → unos panes [Spanish word]

un bol → unos boles [Often seen:'los bols']

un pixel → unos píxeles

un máster → unos másteres [Often seen: 'los máster' or 'los másters' -read more]

la interfaz → las interfaces

el tráiler → los tráileres [Often seen: 'los tráilers']

el cáterin → los cáterin [exception; invariable]

el driver → los drivers [anglicismo crudo; English spelling]

Words ending in consonants other than -l, -r, -n, -d, -z, -j, -s, -x, -ch generally form the plural with -s

un crac/un crack → unos cracs/cracks

un esnob → unos esnobs

el cómic → los cómics

un club → clubs/clubes [exception; both possible]

el álbum → los álbumes ['los álbums' se escucha pero se considera incorrecto]

el look → los looks

 

Words ending in a consonant cluster (two or more consonants together) generally form the plural with -s. However, in spoken Spanish the s is often not pronounced.

el iceberg → los icebergs

el récord → los récords

el cásting → los cásting /los cástines

el lífting → los líftings

el test → los test [exception; invariable]

 

Adjectives in general don't takes plural or gender of the noun

Esas gafas son muy cool

Mujeres fashion

 

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-anglicismos género y número-