There was recently a question about Portuñol and it's genesis and usage. The argument has been made (by me) that this subject is off-topic for this site, since it's not about Spanish, but about a mixture of Spanish and Portuguese.

There are a couple languages that Spanish mix with that causes a "mixed language". Portuñol is one. Frespañol is another (French/Spanish mix).

Should these questions be on topic?

To complicate things, this site is in English and about Spanish. Should this site allow questions about Spanglish?

  • It should be noted that Riverense Portuñol is actually a mixed language, not simply code switching. Spanglish, by comparison, is code switching. And neither are proper Spanish. :P
    – Richard
    Commented Nov 22, 2011 at 15:53

2 Answers 2



Portuñol, Frespañol, and Spanglish refer to code-switching of two different languages, as opposed to a completely distinct language. We shouldn't accept questions on languages other than Spanish (for example, Portuguese just because it's related and similar to Spanish). But these mixtures or blends do involve Spanish itself, and should be on-topic.


Richard, I think you need to explain how something about a mixture of Spanish and Portuguese is not about Spanish.

It's even harder than saying a question about verbs cannot be a question about Spanish.

Or it's like saying a question about cakes on cooking.SE is not a question about flour or eggs... or cooking.

And as has already been said, we specifically discussed whether questions involving other languages would fall within our scope: Comparisons with English in questions is OK, what about comparisons with other languages?

Finally, Portuñol is specifically not a mixed language. The term "mixed language" has a specific meaning in linguistics which is quite distinct from the phenomenon called "code switching". Portuñol is an example of the latter.

  • Calling Portuñol a mixed language isn't entirely inaccurate, as you claim. Riverense Portuñol is a mixed language and has taken on a life of its own, including unique words and phrases. Because of that, it is actually a separate language from Spanish. That is why it not "about Spanish". Portuñol as a general concept is more about code switching, I admit. But it's not as cut-and-dry as you make it seem.
    – Richard
    Commented Nov 22, 2011 at 15:47
  • 1
    Aha well this makes the whole topic even more interesting to me! So I would find it quite a shame to ban questions on either the Riverense mixed language or the Portuñol code switching. It seems good questions would help find out interesting things that are not cut and dry! (-: Commented Nov 22, 2011 at 16:24
  • I added a new section to my answer about Portuñol mentioning Riverense Portuñol. Thanks for pointing it out! Commented Nov 22, 2011 at 16:39

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