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Does Spanish in the U.S. actually present an inconvenience?

 

Questions about culture and cultural differences between countries and languages.


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  #11  
Old April 18, 2014, 02:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zarnium View Post
Every time there's a news article about the prevalence of Spanish in the U.S., there are always a bunch of commentors who say absurd things like "Mexicans need to assimilate and stop speaking Spanish, it makes me really angry when I see people speaking Spanish at the bus stop" or "Lowe's started putting up signs in Spanish, so I refuse to shop there anymore." These are obviously the most petty of the complaints, but since I don't live near a heavily Hispanic region of the U.S., I wanted to ask; is there really any major inconvenience or hardship to English-speakers caused by people speaking Spanish in the U.S.?
Some people may be prejudiced / biased against Mexicans of Latin American Spanish speakers.

And there are additional issues, IMO.

Spanish speaking in the US has political connotations with the recent illegal immigration, amnesties, political power of illegals, and La Raza.

I am studying Spanish again with a great teacher and preparing for DELE this year. I also hope to travel to Mexico to improve my Spanish next fall by spending 5 weeks in Mexico.

I separate the language from the political aspects.

In addition to loving the Spanish language, having Spanish ability can be practical for certain jobs.

Good posts on this thread.

Yes, as a poster noted, Americans can be a little prickly when it comes to non-English being spoken. Any foreign language.

As for the post about work, I can see why companies want an "English only" policy for communication purposes.
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  #12  
Old April 18, 2014, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Meeksrd0 View Post
It's annoying to me that when you asked if this were a real problem everyone immediately started calling the other side racists. Like let's just give up on making clear cut arguments and start saying the other side is intolerant instead.
Well, it's a bit hard to not call someone a bigot when their only reasons for disliking Spanish is "I think it's really, really annoying, and Mexicans should always speak English here, just because." I've seen no practical arguments from the anti-Spanish side, just a lot of people who highly dislike it for no particular reason, and who think that Spanish being spoken in the U.S. is disrespectful to our culture, but don't give any reasons why or clearly define "respect" in the first place.

Now, if you've got some sort of actual evidence that the use of Spanish in the U.S. is somehow making life demonstrably and unacceptably worse for English-speakers, feel free to present it. I realize you're playing devil's advocate here, but I honestly haven't found an anti-Spanish argument that isn't a lot of hot air, or a lot of circular logic: "I don't like Spanish because I don't like it."

The most practical anti-Spanish argument I've seen is that, due to the influx of Spanish speakers, learning Spanish is a valuable job skill, meaning that someone who doesn't know Spanish is at a disadvantage. This is true, but it's always been the case that people who have secondary job skills that are in demand at a given time will be more employable than those who don't have them, and that's true at all times and in all industries. Society and technology aren't static, so neither are useful job skills.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meeksrd0 View Post
If you want a serious answer to your question go to a conservative forum and ask them. I don't agree with what they have to say, but it's unfair and weak to demonize them just because they don't think the same as we do.
I've come across more than enough anti-Spanish sentiment to get a clear idea of what they think, so I wanted to come here and get the other side of the coin.

Last edited by Zarnium; April 18, 2014 at 03:43 PM.
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  #13  
Old April 18, 2014, 11:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zarnium View Post
Well, it's a bit hard to not call someone a bigot when their only reasons for disliking Spanish is "I think it's really, really annoying, and Mexicans should always speak English here, just because." I've seen no practical arguments from the anti-Spanish side, just a lot of people who highly dislike it for no particular reason, and who think that Spanish being spoken in the U.S. is disrespectful to our culture, but don't give any reasons why or clearly define "respect" in the first place.
There are many cultural differences and as I noted many connotations with Spanish now, IMO.

In my hometown, illegals are undercutting citizens in certain jobs and even starting unofficial businesses.

The Spanish language has become political. I like the Spanish language, but not the invasion from Mexico.

I cannot do anything about, so it's not my concern.
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  #14  
Old April 19, 2014, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Aprendo View Post
There are many cultural differences and as I noted many connotations with Spanish now, IMO.

In my hometown, illegals are undercutting citizens in certain jobs and even starting unofficial businesses.
Illegal immigration and the potential economic problems that come with it are an entirely different issue that has nothing to do with the issue of whether or not the use of the Spanish language is causing any demonstrable harm.

I think it would be a mistake to conflate the two; it seems to me that the people who are against the Spanish language are just people who are against illegal immigration, so they decide that they dislike everything related to it and demand that it all must go, whether or not that's logical. (Never mind that there are plenty of legal immigrants.)

Complaining that you don't like illegal immigration is one thing; complaining about the Spanish language being present in the U.S. just because illegal immigrants speak it and you don't like it by association is quite another. As I've said, such people haven't given an actual case for the language itself causing difficulties to them other than "I don't like it."
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  #15  
Old April 20, 2014, 01:42 AM
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I see your points.

We see it the same way.
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  #16  
Old April 26, 2014, 11:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aprendo View Post
There are many cultural diitfferences and as I noted many connotations with Spanish now, IMO.

In my hometown, illegals are undercutting citizens in certain jobs and even starting unofficial businesses.

The Spanish language has become political. I like the Spanish language, but not the invasion from Mexico.

I cannot do anything about, so it's not my concern.
Aprendo, have you or anybody seen what Jeb Bush has recently
said about illegal immigrants? I'm on my phone or I would give
you a link. He is now defending illegales as if he were a liberal.
Type in "Jeb Bush will rise with his stance on illegals" Let me
know what you think. Many conservatives are upset with him.
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  #17  
Old April 29, 2014, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Villa View Post
Aprendo, have you or anybody seen what Jeb Bush has recently
said about illegal immigrants? I'm on my phone or I would give
you a link. He is now defending illegales as if he were a liberal.
Type in "Jeb Bush will rise with his stance on illegals" Let me
know what you think. Many conservatives are upset with him.
Yes, I read his comments.

Jeb is a politician who still has greater political ambitions for his future. He has to be on board with the illegals and he also needs the Latin vote.

In addition, I don't know if this is related, but Jeb is married to a Columbian and he majored in Latin American Studies for his BA.

With the illegals it's a political football game.

There is no sense of order or common sense in America. I have given up on the country.
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  #18  
Old May 04, 2014, 09:30 AM
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Thanks for the reply, Aprendo. "Ilegals are doing an act of love."
In Spanish we would call this El colmo! What a hipocrite.
So you've given up on the country? That's a rhetorical question.
Sabes lo que quiere decir El colmo? That's a real question.
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  #19  
Old July 21, 2014, 03:57 PM
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I think people here are a bit too lenient regarding foreigners when it comes to language!

I live in the Netherlands and we have plenty of foreigners here who don't speak Dutch at all, mainly because they can get away with English just fine because almost all Dutch people speak English well enough!

But I have to say that as a Dutch person I find it quite strange, to say the least, to go into a bar or restaurant and having to order in English because the person serving me doesn't speak a word of Dutch!

I think that when you move to a new country, you should integrate as best as you can. That means learning the language of the country, too. You cannot expect the majority to conform to YOUR preferences; you are the minority in this case, so you should conform to THEM. It's only natural.

If you don't bother to learn a country's language because you speak English and you know that most of the people in that country already speak English you are incredibly ARROGANT. This happens a lot over here in the Netherlands. Almost everyone here speaks English well enough, so foreigners often don't bother to learn Dutch. But I think that shows a great disrespect for the culture.

It's fine if you also want to maintain your own culture within your private life, but if you live in a country with a different language to your own native one I believe you should really make some effort to learn it. If you are Spanish and you live in the Netherlands, fine, speak Spanish with all your Spanish-speaking friends over here but also learn to order something in Dutch because you LIVE HERE! Do you honestly expect all Dutch people to speak to you in English just because you are too lazy to learn Dutch???? Think about it! It makes no logical sense whatsoever.
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  #20  
Old July 21, 2014, 06:56 PM
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If I were to live in the Netherlands, I would certainly make it a priority to learn Dutch even though, as you state, English is widely spoken.
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