Read all about it! Bill Santiago, Spanglish genius, comedian and fabulous writer has a great column today over at HuffPo. Get over there and take a look.
I promise you, promise you you’re going to LOVE his writing. In fact, I’m going to re-read it just about now. He also has a brilliant way of explaining Spanglish to people like me who can’t describe it any better than just a mesh of 2 languages in my brain, going on “al mismo tiempo”.
But here’s an excerpt:
…See, this is the way a properly wired Spanglish mind processes information — constantly analyzing English and Spanish in terms of each other, scrutinizing translations, combinations, confabulations. Your brain is in a constant loop between the two operating systems, your two cultures, your two realities. Granted, most of the time it’s unconscious. Uno ni se da cuenta, really, that you’re doing it. It’s just that cuando you have both languages inside you, vives en los dos a la vez. It’s very quantum, como quien dice.
It can be a little dizzying to always be filtering the world in a Spanglish default mode. Pero, would I want it any other way? ¡Jamás! Which by the way is one of my favorite Spanish words, meaning “never” or “never again” or “when el infierno freezes over.”
There’s a lot of passion in the word jamás; you can feel it when you say it, spewing up like magma from way inside your gut. It’s pronounced with a soft ‘j’ (like an ‘h’ in English), not with the jelly ‘j’ in pajamas. You can hold that soft ‘j’ sound as long as you like, depending how much you are feeling it in the moment, and then nail the sentiment with a dramatic accented stress on the last syllable. It’s very cathartic. ‘Never’ can also be translated into Spanish as ‘nunca,’ of course. But ‘nunca,’ isn’t nearly as strong a word. It only means never. Whereas ‘jamás’ means never ever ever ever ever. So never say ‘nunca’ when you mean ‘jamás.’ Not to be confused with Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist group, by the way.
See what I mean? Es la única persona que me puede explicar lo que pasa en mi cabeza con los dos idiomas. And with comedy!
You can also get Bill’s book, “Pardon My Spanglish” over at Amazon and catch his stand-up around the country. His website is on my blog roll to the left.
Saludos Bill! Keep the funny posts coming.