2 years ago
alywoah
in English · 7,165 Views
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Latino, But Can't Speak Spanish!?
If you're Latino, it may have been assumed that you speak Spanish. Unfortunately, that's not always the case. Although there's quite a bit of Latinos who are bilingual, fewer American-born Latinos are speaking Spanish.
I am one of them. Although I grew up in a Spanish-speaking (sorta) home, my mother spoke to me and my sister strictly in English. I can pick up a conversation, but I am not very great at communicating back.

Latino, but can't speak Spanish? Oh, I understand that struggle. Here's some of the problems we face --

1) People Will Start Having Convos in Spanish With You

Even extended family members will assume you're fluent in Spanish, and you'll just sit there like, "wtf?" And sometimes you need to ask them to repeat what they just said, and to say it slowly.

2) It's Assumed You're Not Culturally Aware

Just because you can't speak Spanish, doesn't mean you're not culturally aware. You might still be able to dance bachata/salsa/merengue/cumbia. You also might be able to discuss important issues in Latin America like colorism and politics, you just express those things in English.

3) Why Do You Have An Accent...

...If you can't speak Spanish? Some of us grew up pronouncing English words in a Spanish accent, because our teachers, mothers, fathers, and friends pronounced those words in a specific way. It happens. Some of us have a "Spanish" accent, but cannot have a conversation in Spanish to save our lives.

4) We Can't Speak Spanish, But We Can Sure As Hell Cook

You want me to cook you up arroz, arepas, pasteles, empanadas, enchiladas, tres leches, churrasco? DONE! We just need the recipe in English. We may struggle with Spanish grammar, but some of us can throw it down in the kitchen and cook something truly traditional and authentic.

5) We Still Struggle With English Words

Even though we're pretty sh*tty with the Spanish language, there are just some words we only know in Spanish. And sometimes it's hard for us to figure out the English translation of that word is.

6) We Can't Speak Spanish, But We Can Speak Food

We can't hold conversation in Spanish, but we can make an extensive list of all the Spanish names for food. Because let's be real, that's the most important thing to remember.

At the end of the day, we may not be fluent in Spanish, but we still celebrate and love our Hispanic roots!

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I am not Hispanic, but I totally understand the struggles you have to face. I'm Indian, but don't know Hindi, and though it hasn't happened to me yet I know some Indian person will ask me something in Hindi some day... I have yet to face the struggles that you do @alywoah, but I know I will face them someday.
Thank you for commenting, @KDramaKPop1015 ...it's interesting to see how people from different backgrounds can also struggle with the native language. For me it feels embarrassing, especially since my family speaks Spanish fluently. Whenever I do decide to have children, I want to teach them Spanish and learn the language myself.
@alywoah Yeah. It's especially a struggle for me because I'm adopted into a family with American parents. They don't know Hindi, so they can't help me learn my birth language. But I am definitely teaching my children Hindi first, and then English. The reason why is so they don't struggle as much as I am with learning Hindi. That and it makes them 10 times cooler that most the kids their age. Not to be biased or anything...
yes, yes, yes, yes, yes . . .si. I am really, really light skin but my olive completion gives it away. and when I tan I look like I'm spanish but I don't even look spanish so thankfully no one talks to me in Spanish unless I'm in a mainly spanish area then they know cuz let's face it, we know our people when we see em haha.