John Cowan cowan at
Tue Dec 20 00:04:47 CET 2016

On Mon, Dec 19, 2016 at 2:13 PM, Doug Ewell <doug at> wrote:

> > This document specifies an Extension to BCP 47 that provides subtags
> > for specifying the source language or script of transformed content,
> > including content that has been transliterated, transcribed, or
> > translated, *or in some other way influenced by the source*.  It also
> > provides for additional information used for identification.
> Seen in the light of "influenced by," I guess I can live with the notion
> that Spanglish (and similar hybrids) is a "transformation" of one of the
> constituent languages.

I can't accept that.  Consider the first lines of "Ode to El Spanglish
Poem" by Sandra Santiago:

My tongue transforms
the written word
into a sword,
chopiando language,
creating interlingual innovations.

There is insufficiency in English
to describe the diasporic
condition of my soul.

My words invade el ingles,
as they become the contra
to the prejudice of thick accents
and to the racism against

Here's another, called simply "Spanglish", by Andrés González Castro:

¿Pero qué es esta nueva algarabía,
this real mess de lenguas abrazadas,
unidas in just one, tan enlazadas
you don’t believe it si tú no lo hear?

Sí, ya tú sabes que pasó last year.
That’s the problem, you know , las temporadas
he doesn´t work , que son muy fastidiadas.
OK. Te dejo. Bye. Take care, María.

The first is not a transformation of English, partial or otherwise, into
Spanish, nor is the second a transformation of Spanish into English.  They
are original works written directly in Spanglish itself: they exist only
because it exists.  (Note the bilingual rhymes in the second poem.)  The
-t- tag with its reference to a source is wholly inappropriate to them.
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