Tuesday, April 03, 2007

I think a gentleman named Jose Ramon Ubieto, who is billed as a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst, may have set the all-time record for Spanglishisms per paragraph in an article in La Vanguardia today. The subject seems to be self-esteem, body image, and what's wrong with superficial consumerist society.

Check these out:

"...una felicidad prometida pero que en realidad sólo atisbamos en su versión low-cost..."
(a promised happiness that we can only reach in its unsubstantial version)

"...una serie de placeres minúsculos y algo efímeros que constituyen los estándares de ese bienestar prêt-à-porter."
(a series of minuscule and rather temporary pleasures that are the basis of that easily-purchased well-being)

OK, I know, and so does Mr. Ubieto, since he's so careful with the accents, that pret-a-porter is originally French, not English, but he's using it as international gobbledygook.

"...Es el don't worry, be happy!"
(It's don't worry, be happy!")

I'm not exactly sure what he means here.

"...nos anestesiamos con una moral light sostenida en el fun..."
(We anesthetize ourselves with undemanding social mores based on enjoyment.)

"...Se trata de planear sobre la vida, como hacen los jóvenes practicantes del parkour..."
(We try to glide over life, like the youths who do parkour)

Whatever parkour is. Sounds pseudo-Franglais.

"...Así nació el body building como sueño de recreación de la propia anatomía..."
(Thus body-building was born as the dream of recreating one's own anatomy)

"...ciudadanos de a pie que aspiran al nothing is impossible..."
(Ordinary citizens who hope they will be able to reach their goals)

"Ahora nos llegan los exitosos (en Estados Unidos) makeover televisivos que prometen un cambio radical..."
(Now the successful (in the United States) television makeover programs that promise a radical change are arriving..."

"¿Radical? Dejémoslo en un lifting del yo que alcanza para lo que alcanza."
(Radical? Let's call it a superficial change in the ego that does whatever good it does."

"¿Se acuerdan cuando surgió el primer reality show?"
(Do you remember when the first reality show came out?"

I count ten and one-half Spanglishisms and one and one-half international Franglaisisms. In nine paragraphs. That's pretty good.

I bet if you asked Mr. Ubieto why he used so many bits of non-Spanish in only nine paragraphs, he'd probably tell you something about his text shows the superficiality of modern language use in the imprecise and pretentious incorrect use of foreign words and phrases.

I also bet that the real answer is that Mr Ubieto's own thoughts are rather superficial themselves, and he didn't feel the need to work real hard expressing them in clear language when he could just throw in a few easy international code words.

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