I'm mostly mexican, and do not speak spanish, am I learning for myself or for others?

I ask this question with an open mind, I’ve heard it all…I have been cussed at, spit at, ridiculed, laughed at, you name it, because I look mexican and do not speak spanish. I know what I have learned in school and that is about it. It never occurred to me that this is a "problem" for people who speak spanish, until I was about 14, when I started working. People told me I should be ashamed of myself, and would make me cry at first. I wanted to learn so bad that I would stress about it in high school and try to learn and do all my other school work, but it is very hard to learn. Now I feel like I am only trying to learn to please others and not myself, it would be great to know, spanish, but a part of me has a feeling of resentment, that I am being forced to do this. If I didn’t look so mexican would I still have to learn? My father tells me I don’t have to, this is america, he speaks spanish, and now never uses it, he feels that I shouldn’t have to, but i have mixed feelings…he doesn’t know what its like to be made fun of and not even be able to understand your own co-workers. Im also mixed with philipino, american indian, and irish, but this means nothing to anyone else but myself because they only see a mexican girl. I wish I could be more informed about my mexican culture, but people have told me even if I learn spanish, I didnt grow up with the culture and would never fit in anyways…anybody have any thoughts on this? something i havent heard before? Im not asking for anyone to be sorry for me, but it would be refreshing to hear something encouraging, or helpful.


  1. One thing I have learned about language over the years: Knowing someone’s language is the key to understanding them. More than culture, the language defines a people.

    If you want to understand your culture, learn the language first.

    I was not raised learning Spanish. I learned it as a missionary for the LDS Church. I live in NY City where there are a LOT of Spanish speaking people.

    I have a friend from Brazil, whose first language is Portuguese. He looks Mexican (he has a lot of indian blood). He takes crap from the Spanish speakers in this area because they think he should speak Spanish

    I have noticed that many of the immigrants wish they could learn English, but either they don’t want to spend the time, or they don’t think they can. Many of them are bitter about it. Their lack of English skills holds them back. They are poorer because of it.

    Yet they respect those that have taken the time to learn their language, and conversely do not have respect for those that share the same ethnicity that do not.

    Take some time to learn Spanish. It will help you to understand your heritage better.

    Michael B
  2. Language is really good thing to be familiar with, but don’t be ashamed if you don’t speak Spanish. If you are interested, there are many books, classes, online lessons..etc that will help you learn. As for following culture, it’s only up to the individual to choose. I know a few who speak their native language fluently and yet lose their culture, that they stop speaking eventually. Plus language is not the only thing to help you learn your culture..so I disagree with Michael on that part..you can start eating Spanish foods, celebrate festivals..learn about history, watch movies..etc..those too will help you learn about Hispanic culture..and you don’t need to learn Spanish to know your heritage. Again, there are many classes, tutorials..etc to help you learn Spanish if you are interested. Adios, hasta la vista, y te quiero el bueno. (wish you the best 😉


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