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Thread: tarjeta verde

 
  1. #1
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    Default tarjeta verde

    Based on some research into early 20th century newspapers, I have come to believe that the phrase "green card" actually originated with Mexican immigrants who, based on the color of the card at that time, literally nicknamed it a "tarjeta verde," and then that got translated into English rather than vice versa. Today, I see Spanish language sources use "green card," "tarjeta verde" and "tarjeta de residencia" almost interchangeably.

    I'm wondering whether, at least for some Spanish speakers, "green card" has become a sort of "loan translation" so that it's even absorbed into Spanish, similar to the way "carte blanche" is treated as English. Or it might be just a "code switch" -- used more as a switching back and forth between English and Spanish in the same sentence.

    Can anyone advise me as to what they think is going on?

    Thanks very much

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    Default Re: tarjeta verde

    Not in Spain. The neutral phrase "Green card" would have if anything an ecological connotation.

    Example: http://www.uib.es/premsa/gener05/dia-28/1020019.pdf

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    Default Re: tarjeta verde

    Muchas gracias.

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    Default Re: tarjeta verde

    It's an interesting question but my experience with Spanish from Mexico is that "green card" is widely understood but seldom used in conversation. In fact I hear "tarjeta verde" less each year (perhaps because the card is no longer green). "Tarjeta de residencia" is more common addressing the specific document but just as often I hear "papeles" used to indicate a person has or needs one or more of the following" passport, visa, resident alien card, and license.

    Joel
    "El verdadero objectivo de la vida no es el destino final, si no disfrutar el camino."

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