Language doesn’t define us

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September 20, 2012 by itsalexherrera

It is obvious for us Latinos that not speaking Spanish doesn’t mean that one is less Latino than the rest or not Latino at all. We have the new up and coming generation of Latinos born in the US and who are only fluent in Spanish. But for others this idea of a non-Spanish speaking Hispanic can be confusing. Since the majority of Americans are not Hispanic, this confusion is projected onto media and culture. All we have to do is to show that these people (English-only fluent Latinos) do exist and can be very successful such as the mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa and Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval.

There are many ways someone can be considered Latino. So many that any possible definition would be a very vague one.  A Latino is anyone who comes from Latin America. But what makes us Latino on the inside is our kindness, considerateness, and overall hospitality.  So in this respect if a person is from Latin America, if the person is caring, considerate, and hospitable speaking or not speaking Spanish becomes irrelevant. What makes us Latino is not what or how we Speak fluently, but how we interact with other and having ties to Latin America.

It can be an intrapersonal turmoil, a Latino not speaking Spanish. Just like in the article referencing San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro’s critics and him not acknowledging them, there might be many people ashamed of the lack of Spanish fluency. However, as far as influence goes, they won’t be in a massive disadvantage as it might seem. With 38% of Hispanics being bilingual and 24% being English dominant, only 38% can’t communicate directly with the non-Spanish ones. The keyword here is “directly” because translators, friends, and even children can serve as a way around this obstacle. In conclusion, not speaking Spanish doesn’t take any from anyone’s Latino-ness, the community isn’t shallow to treat each other like this, and there are many Latinos willing to help each other.


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