Americanisms in Spanish-Italian bilingual dictionaries

  • Cesáreo Calvo Rigual Universitat de Valencia


Apart from containing different kinds of lexicon, such as the essential, specialised and colloquial lexicons and so forth, bilingual dictionaries should also include the geographic variations of a language, being an important part of its lexicon as a whole. With regard to Spanish language this matter is even more important. In fact, its regional varieties have always played an important role, especially within Latin America. All this resulted in the great importance that such varieties have gained in many works (such as dictionaries, grammars and orthography manuals) promoted by the academies of the Spanish language, over the last few decades. In this work the presence of Latin American expressions in three large bilingual Italian-Spanish and Spanish-Italian dictionaries (published by Hoepli, Garzanti and Zanichelli publishers over the last few years) will be analysed. Our study focuses on three matters: a) the analysis of the presence/absence of the words that are used to designate the same object, that is, the ‘bus’; b) the analysis of lexicographic labels which indicate the Latin American expressions, as well as the frequency of such labels; and c) their use within a specific segment of the three dictionaries. Very different results have been found. One of the dictionaries (Garzanti) appears to be the most complete by far, if we consider both the variety of the labels that have been used and their frequency. On the other hand, the other two dictionaries only use one generic label for all Latin American expressions. In addition, in them such expressions are used with a much lower frequency. This sort of situation is not acceptable to us, since nowadays-bilingual lexicographers can count on many updated works that contain the lexicon of Latin American varieties of Spanish language. Lexicographers should use such works in order to offer a more complete representation of the Spanish lexicon as a whole.

Author Biography

Cesáreo Calvo Rigual, Universitat de Valencia

Catedrático de Filología italiana en la universidad de Valencia


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Tam, L. (dir.) (1997), Dizionario spagnolo-italano. Diccionario italiano-español, Milano, Hoepli.

How to Cite
Calvo Rigual, C. (2015). Americanisms in Spanish-Italian bilingual dictionaries. RiCOGNIZIONI. Rivista Di Lingue E Letterature Straniere E Culture Moderne, 2(3), 135-146.