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Who can speak Spanish in the US? Not me (apparently).


I would like to shed a light on a subject that is extremely hypocritical, bias, and considered a double standard.

I recently did some research and wrote a paper on this subject and I would love to share this with everyone and... I want feedback. I want everyone to let me know your thoughts. I want to know if this is bothersome or not.

The subject is Spanish in the United States.

In the United States there are certain people who can speak Spanish (in public specially) and people who can't speak Spanish (in public).

The people who can generally speak Spanish in the United States without being berated or told to "go back to their country," are White-Americans.

And I am speaking about those who learned the language are pretty fluent and those who know about three words and whenever they speak to a Hispanic they think its cute to say "hola," which sadly they pronounce hoe-lah.

Now I am going to speak about both because I find both sides interesting.

WHO CAN SPEAK SPANISH IN THE US?

The White-American who is fluent and can have a decent conversation in Spanish with a bilingual or (Spanish) monolingual speaker is usually put in a high pedestal for being able to learn it/speak it. They can go out in public and people will smile at them when they start speaking Spanish. People figuratively clap and give them standing ovations for learning another language.

Now, the false speakers who know a couple of words of Spanish and love to show it off to their Hispanic friends or Hispanics in general that they meet think it's cool and funny to do so, but let me open your eyes and your ears and let you know that NO. IT IS NOT FUNNY. IT IS NOT COOL. (please stop).

Saying "grassy-ass" for gracias. Or "no bueno." Or saying that adding an O to every word makes is Spanish, is not funny. What you are doing is making a joke about a language. Languages are inter-sectional. Languages are tide to culture, national origin, etc. Underneath you are laughing about someone's culture. Languages are not a laughing matter. In sociolinguistics, they call this "Mock Spanish." Because you are mocking the Spanish language and you might not find it offensive or racist but it is. You are belittling the Spanish language. You are making it seem like "oh Spanish is easy. Any one can learn it," but in general, learning a language is hard because you are not just trying to learn the grammar, the orthography, but also the culture and what it brings with it.

Now these Mock Spanish people in the United States are allowed to use false Spanish and people tend to laugh about it and this phenomenon is normalized. Lets change that, because I do not think it is fair nor okay to joke about a language.

(you guys really think this is funny?)

Personally -- I have done this with other languages and ever since I learned about Mock Spanish, I have caught myself. For example, I learned some arabic words when I was young like how to say hi, how are you. I remember when I would find out someone spoke arabic I would immediately say hi, how are you? in arabic. It was a way of me saying "oh I know a little bit of arabic," but truly 1 sentence should not be considered "knowing a little bit." I have corrected myself and I have stopped doing this. I have also stopped asking people where they are from or where they were born (but that is another conversation for another time).

Another example is "ching-chong." CHING- CHONG is not even a word in Chinese. It does not exist. I know a lot of people when I was younger that would say ching-cong whenever someone would say I speak Chinese or anything that had to do with the Chinese language. By saying Ching-Chong you are making a joke about a language, and that isn't funny. Well, at least to me.

(I'm getting sidetracked).

WHO CAN'T SPEAK SPANISH IN THE US?

Me.

Mi familia.

Latinos/as.

Hispanics.

People of color who learn Spanish.

If you are constantly on social media

or are following the news, I know you have seen the videos of White-Americans telling Hispanics to "go back to their country," because they heard them speak Spanish in public.

These White-Americans are berating, bashing, and bothering these Hispanics just because they were not speaking English in public.

Because lowkey they felt left out,

they probably thought these Hispanics were speaking about them (which was probably not the case).

First of all, in the United States there is not official language.

English is not the official language; therefore, one can speak whatever language they feel like speaking.

Second of all, it is not mandatory to speak English in public spaces.

Third of all, I find it unfair that I and my latino/a people are berated and spoke to with hatred for speaking Spanish in public where on the other hand, if a White-American were to speak it or mock it, it would be perfectly fine.

I will not submit to this.

I do not care if you feel uncomfortable because I am speaking my native tongue.

I do not care if you feel left out because I am speaking Spanish to my mother at Walmart.

I will keep speaking Spanish.

I will not allow you to berate me , and I hope more people stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves and also call out the unfairness.

S/O to my latino/a people for learning two languages and being able to code-switch (using two languages in one sentence).

Me encanta when I see a sentence that flows in Español y en Inglés. (that is code-switching).

It is time to stop the double standards.

Here is a book that is based on racio-linguistics.


mividayourlife@gmail.com

Washington, DC United States

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