University Faculty Member Lends Expertise to Tecnoguía

Dr. Kathleen R. Pletsch de García, Assistant Professor of English and Spanish at Texas A&M International University, has lent her expertise as a bilingual linguist to "MCI Tecnoguía," a first-of-its-kind, comprehensive glossary of technology and computer-related terms in Spanish and English.

The MCI Tecnoguía provides definitions and appropriate Spanish translations for computer commands such as "forward," "print" and "save," as well as technology terms like "semiconductor" and "encryption."

The guide was developed as an alternative to "Cyber-Spanglish," a blending of Spanish and English often used by Spanish and bilingual speakers when referring to technology.

Dr. Pletsch de García, who is adept with computers and Internet technology, said there are a number of reasons why people adopt Cyber-Spanglish.

"Spanish translations do not always exist for technology terms that mostly originate in English. Sometimes translations may sound too awkward, and terms may flow more comfortably or quickly in one language versus the other," she explained.

She noted that while Cyber-Spanglish may be the easiest way for many to express technological concepts, its use is disputed among language specialists.

"Some language specialists say using both languages to express thoughts and ideas enriches and adds diversity to language. Others strongly believe that the use of Spanglish massacres the Spanish language which is the third most widely spoken language in the world," she said

Pletsch de García believes the MCI Tecnoguía will provide both English and Spanish speakers with the tools to communicate about technology efficiently. The guide is available free of charge by calling 1-888-33-TECNO or by visiting the Tecnoguía home page at http://www.mci.com/tecnoguia.

Pletsch de García holds a B.A. in Latin American Studies with an emphasis in Spanish from the University of Arizona in Tucson. She earned her M.A. in Spanish Linguistics and Ph.D. in Hispanic Linguistics with an emphasis in Second Language Acquisition, Phonology and Dialectology at Purdue University.

She maintains a home page for the University's Women's Studies program and developed and maintains a personal home page on A&M International's web site.

Pletsch de García is currently completing a research project on language use and language attitudes in Laredo. The project focuses on code switching, the practice of using two languages simultaneously or interchangeably.

For more information on Pletsch de García's research, please call the University's Office of Public Affairs at 326-2180.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu