What does "movies gratis en espanol" mean?


Quick Answer

The Spanish phrase "movies gratis en español" translates to "free movies in Spanish" in English. The phrase is an example of the linguistic phenomenon of code-switching, or the mixture of two languages over the course of a conversation.

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Full Answer

The majority of the phrase "movie gratis en español" is in Spanish. The word "gratis" translates to "free" or "for nothing," while the phrase "en español" refers to the fact that the movie is in the Spanish language. The only English word in the phrase is "movie," which is used identically as it would be in English.

Traditionally, Spanish speakers use the word "la película" to refer to a film. Without code-switching, a Spanish speaker would use the phrase "las películas gratis en español" to refer to free Spanish language movies.

Spanish-English code-switching is most commonly encountered near the United States-Mexico border and in Puerto Rico, though it can be heard in regions throughout the world with large Spanish and English speaking populations. In these regions, residents often speak fragments of both languages, regularly switching back and forth between the two several times over the course of a conversation. In this case, the code-switching is likely done to make the phrase easier for English speakers to understand, but the phenomenon can be used for a variety of other purposes.

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