A new dialect of English has emerged out of Miami’s Spanish-speaking Cuban community, according to a professor at Florida International University.
The dialect, Miami English, which borrows literal translations from Spanish to English known as calques, dates back to the 1950s when Cubans began moving to the region en masse.
“The variety we have been studying for the past 10 years or so is the main language variety of people born in South Florida in Latinx-majority communities,” said Phillip Carter, a Florida International University professor, according to a New York Post report. “The variety is characterized by some unique but ultimately minor pronunciations, some minor grammatical differences, and word differences, which are influenced by the longstanding presence of Spanish in South Florida.”
Carter emphasizes that the use of calques is a long-standing practice in language evolution, with historical examples like “dandelion,” derived from the French “dent de lion,” meaning “lion’s tooth.”
Examples of Miami English relying on the literal translations from Spanish to English may include asking for meat empanadas instead of beef empanadas — as carne is a literal Spanish translation of meat.
Another example would be “We got down from the car” instead of “We got out of the car.” The Miami English expression borrows from the common Spanish colloquialism “bajar del carro,” where bajar means to get down.
Nick Koutsobinas ✉
Nick Koutsobinas, a Newsmax writer, has years of news reporting experience. A graduate from Missouri State University’s philosophy program, he focuses on exposing corruption and censorship.
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