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Expat Vocab Hour: Anglophone and Anglophile

Do you know what both of these A-words mean?

I was only familiar with one of them until I moved to Barcelona and the other suddenly became paramount.

An Anglophile is easy enough to figure out: just as a logophile is a lover of words, an Anglophile loves the English, and often their language as well.

My boyfriend is English, and I blog about words: pretty easy to paste an Anglophile label on me.

But the root -phone is trickier, because analogous forms such as homophone and microphone don’t exactly offer a trail of breadcrumbs.

A Brief Digression: Linguistic Battles in Barcelona

Stay with me here, it’s relevant.

Barcelona, Spain has two official languages–Spanish and Catalan. Almost everyone there can speak Spanish, but most public signage and state services are in Catalan. The predominance of one language over another is a frequent topic of discussion on television chat programs and in the newspaper. Although I can speak both languages fluently now, when I first arrived my Catalan skills were much weaker than my Spanish. But I soldiered on, insisting on speaking only Catalan with my Catalan friends, debating the merits of having two languages share one city. They would make reference to catalanòfons (say cat-ah-la-NO-phones), and I would nod vaguely–si, si–having no idea what they meant.

Finally it dawned on me. Catalano-PHONES. Catalan speakers.

End Digression

Anglo-phones. Speakers of English!

We took this word straight from the French, and if you Google it you’ll see that many of the results relate to the Anglophone-Francophone distinction in France.

We can speak of Anglophone countries, such as Ghana and Belize. We can also choose whether or not to capitalize the word; as a capitalization-happy American, I prefer the big letters.

Expat Bonus
Expat is short for expatriate. You knew that. But did you know that the full word is frequently misspelled as ex-patriot?

An ex-patriot who isn’t an expatriate might get his compatriots down; an expatriate who’s been repatriated is probably a dead patriot.

Bonus Bonus
The only spelling I’m ever unsure about is how to spell misspelled.

Bon weekend, my Anglophiles…

3 replies on “Expat Vocab Hour: Anglophone and Anglophile”

Doesn’t “Anglophile” refer more usually to someone who imagines all things [culturally] English to be the bestest evar? The type is lampooned in Fawlty Towers, inter alia.

It’s a pretty broad term: it can also refer to a crazy britpop fan, a serial Englishman-dater, a pub food enthusiast (although that’s a stretch on many counts), etc. Admittedly I may have been stretching it in my own case; I’ve never seen a single episode of Fawlty Towers, although I am a raging Doctor Who fan, if that counts.

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