Communication Clash | Rant Control | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Communication Clash 

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Gustavo Arellano’s syndicated Ask a Mexican column took on the issue of “proper” Spanish on May 26, with a court-interpreter reader bemoaning the “dumbing down” of the Spanish language by so-called bilingual professionals and native Spanish-speakers themselves. He also asked, “Do Latino immigrants really need to master English?

Curri BarcelA3 says yes, and asks immigrants to take it further: “Now is the time for Spanish speakers to not only show that they can speak proper English, but also speak and write proper Spanish and invert the roles, being [that] Spanish is the new business language, and make all English speakers learn Spanish.”

Commenter Maria, a first-generation American from Miami, disagreed with this tack. “As the population changed, everything about Miami changed. It became a hostile territory. Rather than becoming an international, multilingual city, many areas were closed off to English speakers. ... The last thing America needs are ‘foreign countries’ with their own agenda inside our own borders.”

Rant Control agrees with Christina Green, who brought it back to the question of language itself. “The use of colloquial Spanish is not what this court interpreter is debating, but rather the butchering of a beautiful language and the subtle discrimination that comes with [it] ... all Hispanics must be ignorant so you need to talk to them as such.”

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