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UNITED STATES: Spanglish



The post on Spanglish clearly represents the collective judgment of WAIS. The idiotic article promoting Spanglish has been the target of so many challenges that, with apologies to John Wonder and others, I have chosen to post one by Tim Brown, who writes:

"I have lived, worked, and socialized among Hispanics both abroad and in the United States for more than 40 years, speak Spanish not English at home, and have raised four totally bilingual and bicultural children. Anyone who says Spanglish does not vary from region to region in the US is entirely ignorant of reality in this country. Spanglish is a slang mixture of Spanish and English words that is sufficiently different in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California as to allow its users immediately to recognize the place of origin of another speaking Spanglish.

I agree entirely with those who insist that English is the key to success not just in the United States but throughout the globalized sectors of modern society throughout the world. I also agree that English should be the primary language in the US. If implemented with sufficient sensitivity, I even accept it should be our official language, as it once was in California, Arizona, and New Mexico. I do not even have a problem with Hispanics using Spanglish as an argot, just French Creole is in Martinique and Haiti and other argots are elsewhere.

But I do strongly condemn the promotion of Spanglish to ethno-political ends by those who appear bent on first encapsulating or Hispanic populace in a cocoon of isolation and ignorance and then exploiting those so disadvantaged in the pursuit of hidden ideological agendas. Quite the opposite."

We should celebrate not condemn Spanish [not Spanglish] as our second tongue. But we should do so by teaching it as a second language and doing so by having it taught by cmpetent native speakers. I doubt this will even happen because in order to do so first we would have to fire almost all the Spanish/Spanglish teachers who today are primarily engaged in passing on their unknowing students an exceptionally bad form of Spanish patois, and that would enrage both the National Association of Teachers [or whatever it's called] and the political activists who are exploiting our Hispanics for fun and profit.

The problem is not the students. They can learn good Spanish as easily as they can learn bad. The problem is vested interests bent on doing the latter. It is the abject failure of most of our teaching establishment to teach Spanish properly, not Spanglish, that most distresses me.

Ronald Hilton - 10/30/00


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