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Native Spanish Speakers in the U.S.

 

Questions about culture and cultural differences between countries and languages.


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Old March 04, 2014, 02:11 PM
Branwen Branwen is offline
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Smile Native Spanish Speakers in the U.S.

Hola!
I am taking a beginner's Spanish class, so I'm not very good at the language yet. My professor really wants the class to learn a lot about the cultural aspects, as well as more about native Spanish speakers in my country.
I was hoping there would be some native Spanish speakers in the United States that wouldn't mind giving some insight on what it's really like to live in the U.S. with your native language being Spanish.
What are the different ways you use the Spanish language in the U.S., in contrast to how you used it in the country you lived previously?
How do you feel you are perceived when using Spanish in the U.S.?
What was the process of learning the English language like?
What is your perception of cultures in the U.S. in comparison to the country you lived previously?
Lastly, do you have any tips or suggestions for me as I try to learn the Spanish language? Do you know of any ways I could be more exposed to the language?
Muchas gracias!!!
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  #2  
Old March 05, 2014, 07:32 PM
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Villa Villa is offline
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Hola Branwen. This is a great topic amigo mio.
First it's very interesante to note that there are almost
70 million Spanish speakers in the U.S. who speak Spanish
as a first or second language. And Spanish is the primary
language spoken at home for almost 40 million people.
There are 21 Spanish speaking countries in the world and the
U.S. is the second largest Spanish speaking country after Mexico.
This means that there are more Spanish speakers in the U.S.
than in the whole country of Spain where Spanish comes
from. There are over 500 Spanish language TV stations in
the U.S. and in Los Angeles, California more people watch the
news in Spanish on channel 34 than any of the English speaking
news channels! There really is an Hispanic Spanish speaking nation
right inside the U.S. held together by television in Spanish, Spanish
language radio stations, (over 300 of them in the U.S., church service/fellowship
in Spanish, Spanish language newspapers/magazines, Spanish speaking A.A. meetings,
Spanish speaking soccer clubs, Spanish speaking baseball clubs, movie theaters
in the Spanish language, bilingual signs(some of which are only in Spanish) etc. etc.
On top of this Spanish is the language most studied in all levels of schools from
kindergarten to the university and adult level. Almost 3 million people study Spanish
in the U.S. We also have double immersion programs that teach both Spanish and
English in all the subject in the classroom from kindergarten to 6th grade and beyond.

Spanish speakers in the U.S. naturally gravitate to each other because of the language and the
hispanic culture. In the U.S. there are Spanish speakers from just about every one
of the 21 Spanish speaking countries. 60+% of Spanish speakers are from Mexico
of course. 10% are from Puerto Rican and around 6% are Cubans. There are as many
Salvadorians in the U.S. as there are in El Salvador. In New York there are many people
from Ecuador, the Dominican Republic and of course Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is an afflicate
state belonging to the U.S. and Spanish and English are both official languages there but
more people speak Spanish. Puerto Ricans can come and go in the U.S. without passports.
We have little Havana, Cuba in Miami and it is considered another providence of Cuba.
There are also many Colombians in Florida now along with all the other Spanish speaking
countries. California is known for having a lot of Mexicans but there is a large number of Central
and South Americans in California. Lots of Colombians, Peruvians, Ecuadorians and Argentinos
in California. Study Spanish a lot because some day you might take a
trip to Los Angeles, California.

"How do you feel you are perceived when using Spanish in the U.S.?"

There still is a lot of discrimination against Spanish speakers in the U.S.
Very similar to other countries where two languages and cultures come
together. I've experienced it personally over the years.

Lastly, do you have any tips or suggestions for me as I try to learn the Spanish language? Do you know of any ways I could be more exposed to the language?

For example, I live in and around Los Angeles, California so in several
jobs I've had there was always somebody around who spoke Spanish
that I could talk to and learn from. Go to a church where the sermon
and services are in Spanish. Watch TV in Spanish every day. I do.
In California they have programs in libraries that get toether English
and Spanish speakers who teach each other both languages. I did this
with a guy from Peru that had his master's degree from Peru but not in the
U.S. I helped him read the books to get his master's degree in the U.S.
and he taught me Spanish. I always find somebody at the gym that
speaks Spanish. Went to Houston, Texas one time. Everybody was
speaking Spanish at the gym and the ice rink there. I joined right in with them
speaking Spanish. Get audio books in Spanish and music in the Spanish
language and learn the Spanish language lyrics off the internet. Go to A.A.
meetings in Spanish. Join a Cuban club or some other Spanish speaking club.
Take Salsa dance lessons with Spanish speakers. Go to the Salsa clubs. I do.

Last edited by Villa; March 05, 2014 at 08:13 PM.
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