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Chapala Corruption Because Expats don't speak Spanish


Mad_Max

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Interesting article in Notisistema - http://www.notisistema.com/noticias/?p=494610

using google translate

The language barrier between foreigners who live in Chapala and Mexican authorities fosters corruption of police, prosecutors and staff of Roads, confirmed by the locals as Eduardo Lopez Ortega, who knows the stories of some affected.

"Because they see a American and although the American attempt to speak Spanish and do as much as possible, they grab your hand and petite money and so if you understand but if not, do not understand. I say this because here comes a guy who speaks much Spanish the other day stole his cell and said to him, bring a translator if you want. "

He says the only option for Americans and Canadians to stop abuse is to call a translator or Mexican friends to help them come to terms with the authority but not always available and must pay bribes to get the help they should be free. (By Victor Montes Renteria)

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Yes, corruption among police can be a problem, partly because they are so poorly paid. However, communication usually is not the problem. My father has lived here in Mexico for over 15 years, does not speak any spanish, but he has always found a way to communicate with everyone. I have lived her for 10 years, and now speak fair spanish, my wife is Mexican and speaks perfect spanish. We have the same problem with corrupt police wanting a bribe or mordita (Little bite). This is not a communication problem, but more a tradition and way for the police to make enough money to keep their families fed.

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That's a good point, up north, where I am right now, we think the Mexicans are dumb is they can't speak English well. But when most of us come to Mexico, we forget those feelings and some of us actually get mad when a Mexican cashier or store owner in Mexico can't speak to us in English.

I have a good friend who has been in Jalisco for 33 years who hasn't learned Spanish but supports, I think Arizona, when they suggest Mexicans who can't speak English after perhaps 4 years should be deported. I didn't have the courage to ask her whether or not she should be deported because her lack of Spanish.

Pete

El ruco de Nacolandia

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Johanson, dont know where up north is for you. A mexican can cross the Rio Grande and never speak a word of English and not have a problem no ,matter how long he stayed. We try and make it as easy as possible for out illegal and legal friends by making almost everrything in both english and spanish. I wish that same courtesty had been given me 16 years ago when I showed up in Mexico????

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Why on earth would an educated person compare herself(himself) to the illegals who for the most part have a pretty low education and go to the States to do work that most people do not want to do?

If you move to a foreign country learn the language and the culture, it will be to your advantage to do so , the people who go to the States and learn the language find better jobs and have a better chance to make a decent living. It is the same all over the world, for some reason English speaking people seem to think English is enough...it is not.

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Interestingly, the U.S. has no legally mandated official language like Mexico does. I certainly agree that we should learn Spanish, as a practical matter learning a new language when one is pushing 70 in age is a bit challenging, particularly being able to hear and understand it while it is being spoken rapidly by the locals. I have much better luck speaking it than I do hearing it simply because my old brain can't process it as fast as it is spoken.

Sure wish I had learned it fluently when I was a lot younger!

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Why on earth would an educated person compare herself(himself) to the illegals who for the most part have a pretty low education and go to the States to do work that most people do not want to do?

If you move to a foreign country learn the language and the culture, it will be to your advantage to do so , the people who go to the States and learn the language find better jobs and have a better chance to make a decent living. It is the same all over the world, for some reason English speaking people seem to think English is enough...it is not.

Also why compare 16 years ago when maybe a few hundred thousand American and Canadian expats resided in Mexico full time to the millions of Spanish speaking [bilingual or not] residing in the US at that time and beyond. Companies and gov't want their money also. Here companies and gov't could care less about such a very insignificant number of non Spanish speaking residents. Only tourist zones do.

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Mexico does not have a treaty obligation to support the other language. The USA is obligated under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

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It's nice to have a friendly debate like we are having here. You all have made some very good points. I think, and it's only my opinion, that a greater % of Mexicans who come to the US learn English, than those Americans and Canadians that I have been exposed to (living near Lake Chapala or around PV) try to learn Spanish. I don't know about the rest of Mexico.

Now maybe that is because we are all older, and use that as an excuse not to try to learn Spanish. But what ever the reason is, I find that I'm treated so much better, because I do speak Spanish Oh, it's street Spanish and I make a lot of mistakes. But the folks understand me. Do I understand the news on Mexican TV, not all of it, I've still got a long ways to go.

PS BigD. You make a very very good point. But in a way it was better for me that Mexico doesn't try to make life easier for those who only speak English. In my case it forced me to learn basic Spanish sooner

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I keep expecting someone to open a school specializing in survival Spanish here. You know, very little grammar and lots of the stuff you need ever day, right away. Then you could communicate quickly in less than 90 days. Yes, then you would have to get better, but you wouldn't be deaf and dumb.

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Just my two cents' worth after having taken 5 languages in college, Spanish being the easiest of all of them:

If you don't at least grasp some basics of grammar and concentrate on all the different verb endings, you're not going to be understood as they don't use pronouns when speaking unless needed for clarity and without knowing the grammar of verb conjugation, you'll have no idea who the subject or object of the sentence is....the verb ending and knowing the tense tells you that. I observe and overhear simple mistakes and big misunderstandings made all the time here by English speakers who use one gender for all nouns and adjectives and one or maybe two verb endings for all persons and tenses. (Don't freak out, but Spanish does have 73 different combinations of verb ending possibilities and verb use is probably the most difficult part of this language to learn if you've never learned a foreign language before.) A couple of people I know who have lived here for over 15 years persist in using the word "su" for "you" because it rhymes with it I suppose, which I'm sure makes the locals chuckle. I have never heard them utter "tĂș" or "usted." Would you understand an English sentence with any of the words "your, his, her, its, or their" randomly susbstituted for the pronoun "you?"

On the other hand, I do believe a working version of English can be learned fairly well by a foreign speaker with the no grammar method as our grammar is very simplified compared to all other languages, it's just our expansive vocabulary and multiple varieties of pronunciation vs spelling (for example we have no fewer than 13 ways to spell the "sh" sound) that make our language challenging....and listening, repeating, and memorizing works well for those aspects of language. When writing and reading the language aren't your first priorities, then that method works well. Unfortunately, Spanish has a few obstacles that you really do need to hurdle at the beginning and practice regularly right along with your cognitive assimilation of practical phrases, vocabulary, and idioms.

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I speak several languages and I have yet to encounter a language you could learn well nough to be able to communicate well in 90 days.

When I was young I worked on a method to teach French. Th students were all foreigners with no prior exposure to French, they lived in France and had 8 hours of instruction a day and went to a home where they could not speak their own language. (in my opinion total hell). It took them 2 years to be fluent enough to communicate well .

I heard the Dominican monks gave themselves 3 yeards to learn an indigenous language when they arrived in San Cristobal.

Learning a language requires consistency and a will to learn. It has to be a real priority or it does not happen. In my opinion the first foreign language is the most difficult to learn, it gets easier afterwards.

Being an older adult is an added difficulty to learning a language. It can be done but it is not easy and do not expect to learn much in a few weeks.

This year we took a Mexican teenager with us to France. He is very smart, understand Zapoteco and is studying English. After a month in France where he spoke English with most people and also learned a whole bunch of French...ah being a kid again and having a brain and an ear like a sponge...

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Mexico does not have a treaty obligation to support the other language. The USA is obligated under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

Interesting. I've never known of such an obligation and would be interested in more details. An admittedly cursory review of the text of the treaty does not reveal such a stipulation. If the USA is indeed obligated as you state, one wonders what impact this could have on proposals for an official language in the US.

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Interesting. I've never known of such an obligation and would be interested in more details. An admittedly cursory review of the text of the treaty does not reveal such a stipulation. If the USA is indeed obligated as you state, one wonders what impact this could have on proposals for an official language in the US.

I was wondering the same thing. The only thing I saw that could possibly be used in support of this claim is that Mexican citizens remaining in the ceded territory could opt between retaining their citizenship or becoming U. S. citizens.

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My O My, and we want foreigners to speak English up North.

Where up north? In Calif just about everything seems to be in Spanish and English. In parts of Texas, English is a second language.

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I have lived here for 10 years now, and speak Spanish fairly well. I have always found it helps to at least speak a few words of the language wherever you are. An example would be when I walked into a Japoneese store ang said hello in Japoneese. The owner greated me and thanked me for using his language. I had to explain to him that I only knew a fe words that I had learned in karate classes. He once again thanked me for greeting him in Japoneese, and said I could have 10% off anything in the store. I was there for a while and did not see him give any other Americans a discount. It also helps to be able to hear the conversations around you, are they talking about you.

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The article makes it seem like the corruption only happens where there are non spanish speaking people. It's probably more corrupt here, mexico state, than there and I have ran into very few people that even speak english. In other words, bs.

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When I first came here very few of the Mexican tradespeople spoke English. A few years later when the influx of people from Canada and the US began the Mexicans, many with no more than a 3rd grade education, learned English to be able to communicate with the new arrivals as most of the newbies didn't even try to learn to speak Spanish.

I have heard some of these people from NOB complain when Mexicans don't speak English and will ask why they don't learn.

I can assure you they are the same people who get furious when immigrants to the US or Canada never learn English.

Your grammar may never be perfect or even good, but a basic knowledge of Spanish can take you a long way.

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There is really not much need to learn english in the us for spanish speaking people. Schools hire spanish speaking teachers, paperwork sent in spanish, workplaces adapt to spanish speakers, drivers license tests in spanish. Most 1st generation immigrants (legal or illegal) in the us do not learn nor need to. Even the courts provide translators.

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