Do you think it's a big deal if a mexican-american don't speak spanish?

I always use the term mexican-american for myself because I can’t just say mexican because I’m not from Mexico. I can’t say just American because in everyones eyes that means Anglo. I am a 5th gen. American on my mothers side and on my fathers side we can trace back 8 gen. here in Cali, back to the Mexican-American war days. Everyday I get people talking to me in spanish and when I say I don’t speak spanish they are all surprised and ask a bunch of questions like "why don’t you speak spanish"? and other stupid questions. They act like they are so amazed! Some think I don’t speak it because I don’t like it. It’s annoying sometimes-they are so ignorant. If I knew it I would speak it but I don’t and if I wanted to right now I’m sure I could take classes and learn but it’s not a main focus in my life right now. Some will say – You turned your back on your culture and crap but I’m proud to be chicano and know my history. Why is it only hispanics who make a big deal of his. Other races don’t

11 Comments

  1. i personally donk think its necessary…eg, there are thousands of irish descendents in australia and ive never met one that can speak gaelic..
    i think the reason they would be surprised is becasue speaking spanish is so widely regarded as normal
    i reacon dont worry about it

    Bob S
  2. they are in America forget Spanish that will get them nothing but a bad acqsent. that aqcsent will get them a low paying job so the moral is dont speek spanish

    mareki
  3. It could be hispanics making a big deal out of t because they are the ones realizing the impact it has on your life (family, friends). I would think an anglo, a chinese , a japanese does not realize what its like because like you they don’t speak spanish.
    do you also realize that other people answering your question, did not even read it?
    how are people from other cultures gonna be affected if you don’t speak spanish, they don’t speak it either.
    No seas pendejo.

    Tazz805
  4. NO it is not a big deal, but why don’t you? It is offered too much in the US because you get better paying jobs with the knowledge of it. Do you know how many people everyday are trying to learn Spanish, it is the second most spoken language in the US.

    The beauty of being Hispanic, Asian, or anything else is the fact that for the most part you know your roots. Black (here by slavery) and White (here by colonization) Americans do not know their roots for the most part. Blacks have a general sense that they more than likely came from West Africa, and Whites have a general sense that they are more than likely German, Irish, or etc. It is more or less a guessing game for us, so that means we would have to learn the history of so many different cultures and there is a chance that we still be wrong about any of them belonging to us.

    Asians make a big deal about knowing their history and roots as well, and I think one should. America has a tendency to generalize people and their culture, making them forget their history. Although I am one for interracial dating and things of that sort, I think one should be proud of their roots, and be happy to know where they came from, it us why they are beautiful and unique.

    You see it as them making a big deal because you have a choice, I would be happy if my family knew enough to make a big deal (but maybe because I don’t have a choice).

    I think you should know Spanish, not because you are Mexican but because you want to get ahead in this world and as of right now many hispanics are coming over here to America (we need translators and things of that sort). I am sure they would feel more comfortable with you helping them than me, because they feel like you or your family has went through similar situations.

    Ashley
  5. The guy right above me don’t know anything. He says that people of other races would not understand you because they don’t speak Spanish either. C’mon, of course other races understand. There are many other people who go through the same thing like Chinese-Americans who don’t speak spanish and others. I knew an Armenian guy who was born in the USA and got a hard time for not speaking Armenian. I understand you also about Hispanics giving a hard time about it, from what I seen here in Los Angeles people from Mexico do give Chicanos a hard time about not speaking Spanish but remember that they are in your country, you are not in theirs. It’s not like the old days anymore when Chicanos were the majority here, In Los Angeles you have more illegal Mexicans now than the 3rd generation and so on Chicanos. Even the gangs used to be Chicanos but seems like lots of them are now filled with illigal border brothers now. I feel you though, most Chicanos do not want to be mistaken for this group.

    HULKSTER
  6. Actually I admire you for sticking up for the English language as a U.S. Citizen and for rejecting those who might impose another country’s language and culture on you.

    But here is a word of advice. Learn a few key phrases in Spanish. When someone starts speaking Spanish to you, expecting you to understand it or to talk back in Spanish, just say, "Adonde estamos, Senor [or Senora / Senorita]? Estamos en Mexico? NOMBE! Estamos en Los Estamos Unidos, VATO! Por lo tanto, hablamos Ingles. Es importante poder comunicarse en la lengua del país que donde resides. Si no, los ciudadanos locales le llamarán un CABRONE ignorante. Pero le diré lo que — Puedo llamarle un taxi para tomarle a la frontera mexicana así que puedes volver al país que tu amas tanto, si usted quisiera. Aye?"

    I am bilingual in Spanish and English and I’m an Anglo living on the border, U.S. side When I run across Hispanics who have been living here a long time but can’t speak English, this is what I tell them however I’m an Anglo so it doesn’t sink in as well and they just perceive me as just another "Gringo Stupido" who doesn’t understand their self-righteous Mexican pride. You as a Mexican American might have more impact when you attempt to get these linguistic BURROS to get with the program and speak in the language of the land they live in versus trying to shove a square peg in a round hole every day.

    This reminds me of the Cheech and Chong song, "Mexican Americans" from the movie "Up in Smoke" where Cheech Marin sings:

    "Mexican Americans…they go to night school…and take Spanish…and make a ‘B’…"

    HA!

    So keep speaking English and fight this attempt to cram down on you culturally whenever impudence tries to get you to abandon your common sense. Good Luck. And God Bless the USA.

    John S.
  7. learn to communicate somehow ,
    why is the language we speak so important?
    When i read the words some people use to describe alien’s, it makes me sad, sad,
    our soldiers are putting their lives on the line for those people in devastated countries so they can have the right to freedom of speech, then I read in this room that someone doesn’t want them to have that right or they are limiting them to something less that what the American constitution allow’s
    our guys are over there dying,
    for them to have that right,
    and yet were over here denying them.
    who’s’ the bad guy’s and who’s the good guys.?
    we forget that just a few years ago all of our people once came here over the last 300 years ,and chose to speak whatever they wanted, Italian German Chinese but it was always Hey bud im american , so lay off.
    that was America then,
    what have we turned into?

    t-bone
  8. You and your family have been Americans longer then most other Americans so why should you speak Mexican or Spanish. My ex mother-in-law was Castilian and she corrected me many times that Mexican is not Spanish; guess it is like American not being English. My background is Irish Scot, and German but I speak none of those languages, I am an American and speak the American form of English. The hyphenated -Americans in most generations past seemed to vanish in the second or third generation but for some reason it has become a label to make people different or feel better and is hanging on for ever; I have never identified myself as Irish-American, Scottish-American or German-American as I am simply an American; I know my heritage both within the US, I am Southerner, and where my ancestors came from but I am just an American without a hyphen and that is in my opinion the best thing to be.

    GunnyC

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