Spanish, Spanglish and Nicaraguan
Susan and I have been having a conversation that has evolved into more or less the title here. The word for computer came up. I first heard computadora in Costa Rica and that seems to be the norm here in Nicaragua. But, ordenador got added to my vocabulary when watching ST:TNG in Spanish.
The popular opinion is that ordenador is real Spanish (as from Spain) and compuador or computadora are Latin American Spanish. That got me thinking about how the Spanish language evolves. And, well, any language evolves. Here is my theory of the morning.
When something new appears, it will probably start its life as a chunche. That is, a thingie. It might be "the thingie to create spreadsheets" but it doesn't have its own name. If it becomes important enough locally (and I mean locally at the community level) then its individual name evolves.
I would guess that a name in Latin America is more likely to evolve from English than it would in Europe. The computer continues to be a good example as I expect the first at least personal computers in Latin America came from US sources. That would mean documentation in English and even company names or divisions with the word computer in them. In Europe, early computer technology probably came from local manufacturers and documentation translated to many languages seems to be the norm.
Now, let me address what I meant by local. In Estelí there are lots of computers. It is a significant part of people's lives as are cars, televisions, cellular phones and lots of other stuff. They all tend to have names. But, when you get into the campo, these things don't matter. So, for example, if someone here says "una barra" it will mean a piece of steel, pointed on one end and flat on the other, used to make holes in the ground (and lots of other things). People will not ask if you are talking about a loaf of bread or lipstick.
Unfortunately, as I did a bit of research I see that computador is the Portugese word for computer. So, I need a new theory.