Should non-Hispanic Americans learn to speak Spanish, or will that offend Mexican-Americans?

A Mexican-American colleague claimed that Mexicans are offended when non-Hispanic Americans speak Spanish. However, I was under the impression that Americans were criticized by the rest of the world for speaking only English.

7 Comments

  1. Why offended? That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. Spanish is Universal. I’m Hispanic, and I don’t feel offended when people from non-latin countries (including the US) try to learn Spanish. On the contrary, we like when other people want to learn our beautiful language. Actually, I like helping people learn Spanish. Also, since the US are close to Latin America, it’s logical that Americans want to learn Spanish or Portuguese. Furthermore, remember some states of the US have a Hispanic past such as Texas or California, and it’s common people from those states want to learn more about their prior history.

    Spanish is not limited to Hispanic people. If you want to learn it, learn it 🙂

    Mariale
  2. LOL, no, only insecure fools are "offended" by non-latinos speaking Spanish. I think many don’t like the gabacho accents most Americans have, but it’s more funny than offensive…also, many who do NOT speak Spanish are probably jealous.

    Actual Mexicans (not Mexican-Americans) and latinos from other countries are usually impressed if you at least try.

    Kaviani999
  3. you should learn to speak Spanish (or any other language) it shows respect and awareness of their culture, I can’t see why they would be offended. I always speak Spanish to Mexicans.

    Lauren
  4. Offended?? No way! Since my husband is from Mexico (I’m from Texas, not hispanic) we have tons of friends from Mexico, not to mention a lot of family. Everyone is extremely impressed with the fact that I speak fluent Spanish and that I am able to read and write in Spanish as well. What really ‘floors’ them, is that I speak Spanish with a Mexican accent!!! But, that’s what be married for 26 years to a hispanic man will do to you!!! LOL! I LOVE speaking Spanish!!!!!!!!

    wannaknow
  5. It doesn’t matter if they’re offended. They came to this country and if they’re offended by anything they experience here they’re free to leave.

    All people should feel free to learn any language they desire regardless of whom might be offended. That being said, the language of the USA is American English, and anyone who chooses to be here should expect and be expected to communicate in our language. Once again, if anyone is offended they have the options of leaving, changing what offends them, or accepting that they will be offended.

    Arctic Angel
  6. If you’re traveling extensively in another country, you should learn at least some of the language. Nothing gives Americans a worse reputation that walking into any shop or restaurant in the world and automatically expecting that English is spoken there. If someone walked into your shop in the United States and demanded that you speak German, could you? Absolutely not.

    If your questions means that Americans should learn to speak Spanish in the United States, then NO! Absolutley not! Hispanics here need to learn English. Period.

    I have traveled in a couple of dozen countries and the only place I’ve ever been where someone was insulted when you try to speak their language is France.

    randyw36

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