Ecuadorian Spanish - Part 1
When it comes to Ecuador, Spanish is the official language of the country, and it’s the language for intercultural cohesion between all the peoples of Ecuador.
In both Latin America and the rest of the Spanish-speaking world, there are many Spanish variants. Each variant has its own peculiarities; however, all Spanish speakers are able to understand each other.
There are varying factors that influence the type of Spanish spoken; climate, indigenous people, geographic zone, and culture. For example, Latin American Spanish is a wonderful, rich language just like the nations who use it – Bolivia, the Amazon, Colombia, Chile, Paraguay, Ecuador, Argentina, Peru, and others.
Spanish Is the Official Language of Ecuador
When it comes to Ecuador, Spanish is the official language of the country, and it’s the language for intercultural cohesion between all the peoples of Ecuador. Drawing an imaginary map of Spanish variations according to geography, would see it divided into Coast, East, and Sierra. The version of Spanish in each of these regions is different; then to these geographical differences we must also add other differences between urban and rural areas.
Guayaquil has made determined efforts to publicize the Guayaquil dialect that abounds with Anglicisms, colloquialisms and dialecticism; even though the words are not native or entirely exclusive to Guayaquil.
There are thousands of popular expressions used by Ecuadorians, terms like –
- fritada: Translates to fried pork;
- chuchaqui: state of depression caused by alcohol abuse;
- llapingacho: A potato omelet made with cheese, and
- hora ecuatoriana: That which doesn’t respect punctuality, but rather delay;
How These Expressions Should Be Translated
From a translator’s point of view, it’s very interesting to note how these expressions should be translated. The translator will, more often than not, face the dilemma of whether to translate the source text in a manner that conveys the intended meaning, or whether it should be translated literally; meaning that the translator must know not only the words, but be able to interpret what they mean in a given context and be able to express that in the Spanish translation.
Some of these unusual terms are very unique to Ecuadorians: for example, the word ñañito in New York relates directly to the Ecuadorian people who reside there. The word means brother, and it’s a word that’s heavily influenced by native languages, like Quechua. Therefore, if a Dominican or other person calls you ñañito, it means they believe you’re from Ecuador. This is another word that might cause problems in Spanish translation, and the translator would need to understand whether it’s intended literally as brother, or as friend.