Llanito (pronounced|jɑˈnito or IPA| [ʒɑˈnito] ) or Yanito is an Andalusian Spanish based spoken in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar.cite web|url=http://www.everyculture.com/Ge-It/Gibraltar.html#orientation|title=Culture of Gibraltar|publisher=Everyculture|accessdate=2007-10-05] Gibraltarians also call themselves "Llanitos".It consists of an eclectic mix of Andalusian Spanish and British English, marked by a great deal of code switching and loanwords from many other Mediterranean languages.


Andalusian Spanish is the main constituent of Llanito, but is also heavily influenced by British English. However, it borrows words and expressions of many other languages, with over 500 words of Genoese and Hebrew origin.cite web|url=http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=eng#Gibraltar|title=Gibraltar Ethnologue profile|publisher=Ethnologue|accessdate=2007-09-21] its other main language constituents are Maltese and Portuguese. Among more educated Gibraltarians, it also typically involves code-switching to English. Some Llanito words are also widely used in the neighbouring Spanish town of La Línea de la Concepción (due to the influx of people from La Línea working in Gibraltar over many years).cite web|url=http://www.geo.ya.com/milinea/paginas/diccionario.htm|title=Linense Dictionary|publisher=La Línea de la Concepción|accessdate=2007-10-05]

To some outsiders who only speak either English or Spanish Llanito may sound incomprehensible, as speakers appear to switch languages in mid-sentence, but to people who are bilingual in both languages, it can sound interesting and unique. One feature of the language is the pronunciation of English words with an Andalusian flavour. For example, bacon is pronounced "beki"; cake, "keki"; battery, "batteria"; and a policeman is known as "un bobi", (from "bobby"), porridge is called "kuecaro" (a Spanish-sounding version of the brand Quaker Oats) and Happy Birthday is "Hapi Berfday". Most Gibraltarians, especially those with higher education, speak standard Spanish of both Andalusian and Castilian dialects and standard English of the British English variety.

Llanito has significant Jewish influence, because of a long standing Jewish population in Gibraltar. They introduced words and expressions from Haketia, a largely-extinct Judeo-Spanish language spoken by the Sephardic communities of Northern Morocco, such as Tetuan and Tangiers and the Spanish exclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in North Africa.


The Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation has also aired some programmes in Llanito including "Talk About Town" - a discussion series in which three presenters discuss local affairs, from the need to replace a street sign to important political affairs.

"Pepe's Pot" was a cookery programme which also used Llanito.Martín, Carmen Fernández (Universidad de Cádiz) [http://users.ox.ac.uk/~pbellido/XIII.pdf "Gibraltar and Its Hinterland: Sociolinguistic Exchanges Between Two Neighbouring Communities"] (pdf) Retrieved 12 August 2008.]


The official demonym of Gibraltar is "Gibraltarians". However, the people of Gibraltar may also be referred to as "Llanitos" (female "Llanitas"). This term is commonly used in the neighbouring towns of La Línea, San Roque, Algeciras and the rest of the Campo de Gibraltar, as well as in Gibraltar itself. When speaking in English, the people of Gibraltar tend to use the word "Gibraltarians" to refer to themselves but when speaking in Spanish they prefer to use the word "Llanitos" rather than the Spanish name for their official demonym, "Gibraltareños".

The truncated term "Llanis" is also used by the people of Gibraltar, where it can be heard all around the territory and proudly chanted in songs during the annual Gibraltar National Day.


The etymology of the term "Llanito" is ambiguous. In Spanish, "Llanitos" means "people of the flatlands." It is thought that the inhabitants of La Línea with important social and economic ties with Gibraltar, were actually the first to be referred to as "Llanitos" since La Línea lies in the plain and marsh land surrounding The Rock. An alternative theory for the origin of the word is that it is a diminutive of the name "Gianni". During the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries the majority of the male civilian population of Gibraltar came from Genoa and "Gianni" was a common Italian forename.


ee also

* Languages of Gibraltar
* Spanglish
* Languages of the United Kingdom

External links

* [http://www.llanito.com/default.htm A searchable database of Gibraltarian sayings and street signs]
* [http://www.panorama.gi/views.htm A weekly comical editorial in exaggerated code-switching Llanito by the daily "Panorama" (newspaper)]


* es

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