Jump to content
Chapala.com Webboard

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

viejomalogato

To speak English

Recommended Posts

A bit off topic, but I recall a friend of mine who studied Dutch in the Netherlands telling me that Dutch wasn't a language. It was a throat disease. (My brief travels in rural parts of that fine country seemed to bear this out.) :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A bit off topic, but I recall a friend of mine who studied Dutch in the Netherlands telling me that Dutch wasn't a language. It was a throat disease. (My brief travels in rural parts of that fine country seemed to bear this out.) :D

Funny... but it is helping me with my Spanish, with the J and the G, like jaula, juez, regidor, ....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I frequent a grocery store in San Juan where the staff refuses to speak any English, Whether this is from pride, obstenancy or plain stupidity is hard to say.

What a dumb thing to say.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The other thing to do is practice on every Spanish speaker you enounter: waiters, shopkeepers, gas station attendants, etc. Ask them to correct you. They always appreciate the effort you are making. When I run into a waiter, etc. who persists in speaking to me in English, I gently chide him that I will never learn his language unless he helps me by speaking it. Works every time.

We enjoy eating at Mario' in San Antonio; we always get Spanish lessons with our orders. Plus, the young lady at the paper store across from Super Lake speaks perfect English, but she knows to only speak slooow Spanish to me. She's wonderful at helping me through my orders.

Carol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Viejo, it's not just English speakers that are being picked on. Those stores refuse to learn Japanese, Chinese, Tagalog and the worst thing, they won't learn Dutch. Think of all the business they are losing. Just out of morbid curiosity, what langage did you think the folks in a very small village in Mexico would speak?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't lurk anymore - thank you for my chuckle of the day. Here's my observation -.why not find a new grocery store that fits your need for English if this one irritates you so much?

Since I assume the OP is living in Mexico voluntarily, he/she should remember that There are lots of shops NOB that will make them very happy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Viejo, it's not just English speakers that are being picked on. Those stores refuse to learn Japanese, Chinese, Tagalog and the worst thing, they won't learn Dutch. Think of all the business they are losing. Just out of morbid curiosity, what langage did you think the folks in a very small village in Mexico would speak?

Good sense of humour. thks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just out of morbid curiosity, what langage did you think the folks in a very small village in Mexico would speak?

In the case of San Juan Cosala, it's a dialect of Nahuatl. A lot of Mexicans from the surrounding villages, including Ajijic, joke that Spanish is a second language in San Juan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I frequent a grocery store in San Juan where the staff refuses to speak any English, Whether this is from pride, obstenancy or plain stupidity is hard to say. I am 78 and try hard to speak spanish, but some things do escape me especially if they are the least bit techinical. I accepted this situation until I received a notice from the Monterey County voting information service, which is also in Spanish. It would seem that a place of business which receives a large portion of their patronage from the English speaking populus would avail themselves of speaking another language even a little bit.

Thank You

R

I don't mean to be offensive, but I couldn't think of a more negative comment. And you wonder where the term “Ugly American” came from. Heck, Mom was working on her 6th or 7th language at 86 when dementia took over..

My Swedish American parents taught us kids that when you go to another country, you try to learn the other language. So I, a “D” student in languages, learned to speak the languages of the countries I’ve lived in. And if I can do it, you can do it too, if you try.

Hey, if you don’t want to, no big deal. But don’t be mad if the person you meet here doesn’t or chooses not to speak to you in English. Remember, that in this class conscious society a person who can only speak one language is often considered to be low class.

You don’t have to speak the language well, I don’t, you just need to be understood.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I frequent a grocery store in San Juan where the staff refuses to speak any English, Whether this is from pride, obstenancy or plain stupidity is hard to say.

If you were Chinese and lived in the US, would you describe the staff of the store as you did above if they didn't speak Mandarin?? Has to be the dumb post of the month.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm. I wonder if the OP was just looking to have some fun. Hard to believe anyone would expect to find an English speaker in a village this small. I guess after thinking about the post, I can't believe any rational person would make a statement like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I sympathize with the OP if they are really just frustrated. Spanish is not the official language of Mexico and I think that goes back to the many indigenous languages spoken. There are still about 50 indigenous languages organically spoken in Mexico. Just speaking for me personally, a large part of the charm of iberoamerica is the Spanish language.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Johanson, while the term "Ugly American" appears to have originated with a photo taken in Cuba in the late 1940s, the term came into popular usage following the publication of Lederer and Burdick's novel "The Ugly American" in the 1950s. The title is an ironic referrence to the physical appearance of the book's hero, whose understanding and compassion for the local popultion in the country where he worked (fictionalized Burma) was anything but "ugly."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Johanson, while the term "Ugly American" appears to have originated with a photo taken in Cuba in the late 1940s, the term came into popular usage following the publication of Lederer and Burdick's novel "The Ugly American" in the 1950s. The title is an ironic referrence to the physical appearance of the book's hero, whose understanding and compassion for the local popultion in the country where he worked (fictionalized Burma) was anything but "ugly."

Very good book,a little dated but should be required reading for Americans who choose to live abroad,IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmmm, my ,mistake.

I came from a farming community where approximately 50 % of the population was spanish speaking, including some who had been there for years, and only spoke Spanish. In Salinas the bi-language was welcomed which was reflected in the voting and newspapers. I agree that the goal should be to speak as fluently as possible in the language of one's residence. But that depends largely on age and talent. I guess for me to expect some amount of interest in what it is I need, is not to be expected. Thank all of you for puting me on the right path to enlightenment.

r.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmmm, my ,mistake.

I came from a farming community where approximately 50 % of the population was spanish speaking, including some who had been there for years, and only spoke Spanish. In Salinas the bi-language was welcomed which was reflected in the voting and newspapers. I agree that the goal should be to speak as fluently as possible in the language of one's residence. But that depends largely on age and talent. I guess for me to expect some amount of interest in what it is I need, is not to be expected. Thank all of you for puting me on the right path to enlightenment.

r.

Oh, now you're pouting? I'll tell you why nobody sympathizes with you old bad cat, it's because in your original post you said '' Whether this is from pride, obstenancy (sic) or plain stupidity is hard to say. '' When you post garbage like that, don't expect people to sympathize.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Viejo, you really don't get it. I and my wife have been roaming all over Mexico on our time off since 1969. I have run into English speakers in my travels in some of the most remote parts of Mexico. In every case, they couldn't WAIT to practice what they knew on us. Like most rational people, if there was no English speaker encountered, I always assumed that no one in the little town SPOKE English. Now, to take that further, I wouldn't even try English. My God, I'm in Mexico in a small town. I was surprised when there was an English speaker. You stated in your OP that the folks you were dealing with "refused" to speak English. "Refused?" My Lord man, it's rare in SJ to have even an 8th grade education. It's almost a certainty that they don't speak or understand English. What in the world led you to assume that they wouldn't respond because they chose not to? Even the most humble person in Mexico understands that being multi-lingual has financial advantages. Many Mexicans send their children to special English classes because they understand that. The reason you are getting very little support on this matter is because it is so obvious that you completely misunderstood what happened. If you still think that what occured was a deliberate insult, you are really in the wrong place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Too funny. The GOP are trying to pass a bill now stating English only and that means no one in government is to speak anything but English if asked even if they know another language. No wonder Obama's support with Hispanics is 74% vs Romney at 22%.

And some want Mexicans in their country to speak English. lmao

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Politics?

Do people in government here speak anything other than Spanish? Is not the official language of government here Spanish?

What's good for the goose. . . .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But you did not read the post that states when the customer has another language and the employee can speak it they are not to do so. It is not about the official language!!!! Geesh!!

Many Americans complain about the unwillingness of government employees in Mexico to speak English. There are maybe 1 million English speaking expats in Mexico. There are 20 million plus Spanish speaking people in the US.

But another negative for the GOP.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, I responded to this:

Too funny. The GOP are trying to pass a bill now stating English only and that means no one in government is to speak anything but English if asked even if they know another language. No wonder Obama's support with Hispanics is 74% vs Romney at 22%.

And some want Mexicans in their country to speak English. lmao.

That's politics. You know the rules here. You were commenting on U.S politics in a partisan manner. As usual.

You didn't answer my question. Does Mexico's government really accomodate non-Spanish speakers? Or do you expect to speak and do all paper in Spanish when you deal with them? I agree with this, BTW. Language can be a unifying factor in a nation. Remember what happened to the Tower of Babel?

Why is this OK in Mexico while it is not OK for the U.S. government to do the same? How many languages should the government there do business in? 2, 4, 6, 20, all of them? Where does it stop?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most from NoB don't realize that a large number of the inhabitants of this planet can manage in three or more languages. Isolation in the USA makes this unusual for the majority, but does not excuse their linguistic arrogance. Fortunately, I grew up in a part of the USA where French was spoken and I'm told that I could swear at farm animals quite fluently in the Qu´becois dialect. Later, in school, I had the oppertunity to study proper French and was able to use it in my travels in the Middle East, Europe and Polynesia. I also managed to pick up enough Turkish to travel that country without starving or getting lost. Now, I use Spanish, when appropriate, and feel that it is my obligation. If the other person happens to speak English better than I speak Spanish, they have the option to make the change; their choice, not mine.

There just aren't any excuses for not learning the basics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There just aren't any excuses for not learning the basics.

Actually, I can think of several "excuses" for not learning the basics:

  • A child who can't attend school because his parents need him to work to help support the family. Very recently in the State of Mexico, an 8-year-old boy was killed by a tractor as he knelt in the field to pick tomatoes. He wasn't in school, he was working to help feed his family. There are thousands upon thousands of children in Mexico who attend one or two years of school AT MOST--despite theoretically compulsory eduction through sixth grade.
  • A deaf child who attends school in any state. There are no schools for the deaf (no, not even the school in Jocotepec--it is now a CAM, or Centro de Atención Multiple, where children with all kinds of disabilities are grouped together to learn whatever their teachers can try to teach them). Deaf children are actually discouraged from learning Mexican Sign Language...and in case someone may not be aware, Mexican Sign Language has no resemblance to American Sign Language OR to Spanish.
  • A child who doesn't attend school because parents can afford to buy him or her the uniforms, the shoes, and the other necessities that would permit him to enter.
  • A child who doesn't attend school because his or her parents aren't able to pry his or her birth certificate out of the powers that be at their local registry office. Think this doesn't happen? Read the newspapers.
  • A child who doesn't attend school for medical reasons, however spurious. For example, children who are listed as undetermined sex on their birth certificates (hermaphrodites) ARE NOT PERMITTED TO ATTEND SCHOOL. Think this doesn't happen? Watch the news.
  • Children who live in areas where there are no schools. Yes, those areas exist.
  • Children who don't attend school because they are American citizens and have come to Mexico with their Mexican parents, who have lived in the USA. Those children have no apostilled birth certificate and are not allowed to enter school without one. There are thousands of these children just in Mexico City and the State of Mexico.
  • Etc. I won't belabor the point.

So...even your statement "There just aren't any excuses for not learning the basics," comes from a very first-world frame of reference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...