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Llanito, el idioma de Gibraltar Posted by on May 17, 2012 in Spanish Culture

El otro día os dejé un pequeño texto escrito en un idioma muy particular, que algunos rápidamente, y con razón relacionasteis con el Spanglish. Espero que no resultase muy difícil de entender, y traducir. Sin embargo, este idioma tan solo puede escucharse en una pequeña parte de la península Ibérica, Gibraltar, y se conoce como “Llanito”.

Este término hacía referencia a los habitantes del “llano”, gente de Algeciras, Campamento, San Roque y Los Barrios que durante la segunda guerra mundial, cruzaban la frontera para trabajar ir a trabajar a Gibraltar, una pequeña colonia inglesa al sur de España. Poco a poco su español se fue mezclando con el inglés británico, creando este particular dialecto, por llamarlo de alguna forma. Si sabemos un poco de inglés, y no nos llevamos mal con el andaluz, no tendremos problemas en entender este exclusivo idioma. Aunque no solo toma expresiones de estos idiomas (inglés y español), sino también de idiomas locales, algunos muy antiguos, como el judeo-español, el hebreo, el árabe, el maltés y el genovés. Hasta hace poco era tan solo de transmisión oral, pero en estos últimos años también se empieza a usar escrito.

He localizado el origen de la denominación del idioma en la siguiente anécdota: parece ser que nació de estos trabajadores andaluces que trabajaban en Gibraltar, que al oír a las mamás gibraltareñas llamar a sus yanitos (diminutivo españolizado de Johnny-Johnnito), comenzarían a denominar a todos los gibraltareños yanis (Johnnys), y de ahí se pasó al actual yanitos o llanitos.

 

Some days ago I gave you a small written text in a very particular language, which some of you rapidly, and wit some reason you related to Spanglish. I hope it wasn’t very difficult to understand and translate. Nevertheless, this language only can be listened in a small part of the Iberian Peninsula, Gibraltar, and is known as ” Llanito”.

This term referred to the inhabitants of the “plain”, people from Algeciras, Campamento, San Roque and Los Barrios who during the Second World War crossed the border to go to work to Gibraltar, a small English colony in the south of Spain. Little by little their Spanish mixed with the British English, creating this particular dialect, to give it some particular name. If we know a bit of English, and we don’t go along too bad with the Andalusian accent, we’ll have no problems in understanding this exclusive language. Though it does not only take expressions from these languages (English and Spanish), but also from local, some very ancient languages, as the Judeo-Spanish, the Hebrew, the Arab, the Maltese and the Genoese. Until a few years ago it was only of oral transmission, but in the latter years it has also begun to be written.

I have located the origin of the language´s name in the following anecdote: it seems to be that it was created by these Andalusian workers who were employed at Gibraltar, who on having heard the Gibraltarian moms calling their “yanitos” (Johnny-Johnnito’s diminutive in a Spanish way), they would begin to name all the Gibraltarian yanis (Johnnys), and from that we got the current yanitos or llanitos (Gibraltarians).

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About the Author: Magda

Hi all! I’m Magda, a Spanish native speaker writing the culture posts in the Transparent Language Spanish blog. I have a Bachelor’s in English Philology and a Master’s in Linguistics and Literature from the University of Granada, in Spain. I have also completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Education, and then worked as an English teacher in several schools and academies for several years. Last year was my first at university level. In addition, I work as a private tutor, teaching English and Spanish as a foreign language to students and adults. In my free time, I’m an avid reader and writer, editing and collaborating in several literary blogs. I have published my first poetry book recently. And last but not least, I love photography!


Comments:

  1. andreas:

    ¡Hola Magda!
    ¡Qué información más interesante!
    De veras, para mí, no hay informaciones que no sean interesantes sobre España.
    Andreas

  2. Martha Gonzalez:

    I love these articles. In 2003, my cousin and I were having breakfast in our hotel in Paris and speaking “spanglish”. A lady came over and asked us if we were from Morocco because they use English and Spanish there as well as we were. We explained we were Mexicans residing in United States and to us, who speak both English and Spanish, using Spanglish comes naturally. I’m glad you explained about the Llanitos in Gibraltar. Best wishes for continued success with your site. mg

  3. Magda:

    Este fenómeno es bastante curioso Andreas, porque es independiente del desarrollo del Spanglish en otras zonas. Y el acento andaluz es tan gracioso, mezclado con el inglés jeje.

  4. Magda:

    It´s a similar phenomenon Martha, I´m glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for your best wishes!

  5. Viktorie:

    Hola Magda, gracias por el articulo, me parecio muy util. Mira, ahora estoy escribiendo mi tesis de Master sobre el LLanito. Soy estudiante de Praga /La Republica Checa/ de Filosofia y Letras, de Universidad Carolina. Me gustaria preguntarte si me pudieras ayudar con la busqueda de las informaciones sobre este tema?
    Muchisimas gracias de antemano por tu respuesta.

    Atentamente,
    Viktorie