"Italglish" (like Spanglish)

Boatti, Stephen SBoatti at TVRATINGS.COM
Thu Mar 8 16:28:41 UTC 2001

        Some years I ago, I read several pieces in the popular press
(including NYTimes), about Spanglish, a conflation of Spanish and English
words used by Hispanic immigrants. This brought to mind similar locutions
used by my Italian-American immigrant family in the 1940s and 50s, which I
dub Italglish. For example, the Italian word for "to drive" (a car) is
"guidare." Yet my relatives always said, when speaking Italian, that they
were going out to "drivare" a car, attaching the Italian infinitive ending
"-are" to "drive". This even though, when pressed, they knew the real word,
"guidare." Somehow, they felt more comfortable with Italglish. I could come
up with dozens of examples - "cake-a" (instead of "torta") for "cake",
"carro" for "car",  "grosseria" for "grocery". "farma" for "farm",
"ride-are"- "to ride." The words were used in otherwise grammatical Italian
sentences. I took me years to realize these were not real Italian words, and
today they seem quite absurd (though endearing) to me.

        My question is, is anyone familiar with any research or articles
done on this phenomenon, specifically with respect to Italian immigrants?


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