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Llanito

From Academic Kids

Llanito is the name for the mixed language spoken in Gibraltar. It is also spelt Yanito. It is also spoken by overseas settlers and their descendants in Spain, United Kingdom, and Spanish-speaking Latin America and Hispanic communities in United States. It is a mixture of English and Andalusian Spanish with influences from Moroccan Arabic, Genoese Italian, and Hebrew, as well as other linguistic impacts (see Demographics of Gibraltar). Gibraltarians may also call themselves 'Llanitos' (female 'Llanitas'). The term 'los Llanis' is also used in La Línea, the town on the other side of the border, to describe — generally disdainfully — their neighbours.

To many outsiders, Llanito sounds incomprehensible, as speakers appear to switch languages in mid-sentence, but to Spanish speakers who can understand English, it sounds surprising and unique. They also mispronounce English words, giving them an Andalusian flavour. For example, bacon is pronounced 'beki'; or cake, 'quequi'. A policeman is known as 'un bobi', (from "bobby"). Gibraltarians, especially with higher education, speak standard Spanish of both Andalusian and Castilian dialects and standard English of the British English variety.

Lanito receives little governmental support or official recognition.

Examples

Yanito: Hombre, I'm telling you que no puedes...
Spanish: Hombre, te digo que no puedes...
English: Man, I'm telling you you can't...

Yanito: Hay call para ti.
Spanish: Tienes una llamada./Hay una llamada para ti.
English: There's a call for you.

Yanito: Sí, pero at the end of the day...
Spanish: Sí, pero a fin de cuentas.../Sí, pero al fin del dia...
English: Yes, but at the end of the day...

Etymology

In contention. Some attribute it to llano (plain), a reference to the isthmus between Gibraltar and Spain, or to Gianni+-ito or even Johnny+-ito.

See also

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