Something drew my attention when I received the first message about the activity in the youth center of Arroyo on last 8th November: Why did they include English terms in the title? Wasn´t the presentation in Spanish? I asked the messenger and she told me she did not know anything about it: it was just the title of the workshop. So I went to the organizer of the event and asked him the same question: Why did they include English words in the title of that extracurricular activity? Did they pretend to make it more attractive to young people? Did they want to look modern? Or was just the typical inferiority complex we Spaniards feel before having been abroad? It looked absurd to say “valley” instead of “valle”. Why not saying “Valle de la Dehesa”, much more literary, although not so trendy as “Dehesa Valley”, of course? Did they want to look superior to the rest of us by using English terminology?
Isidro told me that everything new comes from California. Also that Maker Movement that they wanted to present to our FP students. That fact would explain the reference to that area near San Diego, Dehesa Valley. I did not insist much on the issue, but when the day came and I had to accompany my students of Grado Medio to the youth center I understood better what my colleague had told me. The schedule was full of English terms: Hacker Spaces, DIY (do it yourself), Fablab, Maker Fair, Fab Academy, Maker Movement… Undoubtedly the origin of all that was in America and from America it had spread all over the world.
Then I asked one of the speakers why did they use such an exaggerated quantity of English terminology. Wouldn´t it be more sensible to translate all those words into Spanish rather than leave them untranslated? He explained to me that it was more practical to leave them in English. They needed to speak and write to people from many other countries to help each other. By leaving all those words in their original language they could instantly know what they were talking about.
The explanation was reasonable. You may share it or not, but it seems a good idea to have common terms that students and inventors from everywhere can understand easily. What happens in many fields of our present-day society happens in the field of technology, too. The Maker Movement has democratized modern technology but it has made English even stronger: you can do nearly everything no matter where you are with a few gadgets and a bit of help, but still, you will need English to get that help and do it yourself.
The world speaks in English, so does technology