The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 Gustavo Arellano ArchiveBlogview
How Easy Is It for Mexicans to Learn English?
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments

Dear Mexican: The other day, I witnessed a young gordita retrieve a bag of Fritos, open it, then walk over to the chili station and pump in two steaming piles of 7-11 chili into the bag. At that point the Frita Bandita then shook the bag and started comer those nasty, now-hot, chili-soaked Fritos. Needless to say, I was appalled. And enfermo. Why not just buy a bag of Chili Cheese Fritos? Do most Mexicans shamelessly mangle foodstuffs like this? What other foul comida are Mexicans shoving past their mustaches?

Señor Roast

Dear Gabacho: You mean chili billies? The first time I had chili ladled over Fritos or tortilla chips were at Sage Park in Anaheim during my time riding the bench for the La Palma Little League Senior Minor division. Gabachos went crazy for the dish; us Mexicans shrugged, bought a bag of Fritos, and drowned it in Tapatío. 25 years later, we pour Tapatio on Tapatío-flavored Doritos—and? Spare me your mock shock: the most famous dishes buried under chili, the Coney Island dog and Cincinatti chili five way (spaghetti, chili, cheese, onions, and beans) are favorites of poor gabachos in the South and Midwest. They’re great dishes, and fulfill the working-class dream of filling your gut for cheap and offending precious pendejos like yourself.

 

The sentiment among most U.S. citizens is that new Mexican arrivals in the US of A should immediately learn to speak English (the least that they could do). How easy would that be for the Mexicans? Would it be easier for us to learn to speak Spanish? Are there more Spanish words than English words? Is it fair to even ask that question?

Tongue Tied Gringo

Dear Gabacho: All’s fair in love and etymology, son! Gabachos don’t realize how pinche hard it is to learn how to speak English. The Oxford English Dictionary currently has 171,476 words in its Second Edition that it categorizes as “current use” (and this is not including tenses and obsolete words) while the Real Academia Española estimates about 100,000. That said, Mexicans do learn how to speak English, if slowly: A 2016 study by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) showed 69 percent of Mexican immigrants “reported limited English proficiency [LEP], compared to 50 percent of all immigrants.” That might seem high, but compare that to another immigrant group that came from similar poverty: Vietnamese. The MPI showed 67 percent of Vietnamese report LEP, but I don’t hear people freaking out about them. Maybe because they historically voted Republican?

Years ago, in response to some political bullshit heaved by Shrubya and his ignoble Cabal of Curs, I remember seeing long lines of people outside Mexican consular offices waiting to get a Matricula Consular card. I know matricula means “enrollment” but what exactly was the purpose of the cards? And why was it so important that people would stand in line all day to get one? P.S. #fucktrump

Gringo Wants to Play Bingo

Dear Gabacho: You said it, loco. All those cards do are serve as a form of ID for undocumented folks that allow them to do everything from open bank accounts to buy alcohol at clubs to apply for a driver’s license in certain states. Know Nothings, of course, take the document as further proof Mexico is trying to Reconquista the United States, which is kinda like realizing you’re on fire only when the flames expose your ulna.

 

Ask the Mexican at themexican@askamexican.net, be his fan on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

 
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
    []
  1. It can’t be very hard on the level of basic usage and vulgarity.

    This guy proves it.

    But I don’t think language is the key issue.

    After all, all those progs in colleges know English all too well, but they are anti-white and anti-American.

    Btw, I think a lot of blacks talk their own kind of language even though it is ostensibly English. It’s more like rappish or Bonglish though it’s officially called Ebonics.

    Maybe the reason why George W. Bush was so pro-Mexican was he couldn’t speak English either.

    Trump is good with speaking in a bigly way.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
    AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
    These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
    Sharing Comment via Twitter
    http://www.unz.com/garellano/how-easy-is-it-for-mexicans-to-learn-english/#comment-1810613
    More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  2. The other day, I witnessed a young gordita retrieve a bag of Fritos, open it, then walk over to the chili station and pump in two steaming piles of 7-11 chili into the bag.

    No wonder these Aztec Mayan bloaters love America. The white man pays the bill for their diabetes.

    Read More
  3. Pues, por supuesto it’s hard for eses burros to twig to English – they can’t even learn to cross to the sunny side of the street when it’s cold outside! And ever try to teach a Mexican about layering clothes? How about remembering to bring a fork to the table, for those of us who prefer to eat off a plate and not out of a dripping tortilla, for fuck’s sake – is that too much to ask?

    Read More
  4. ANY language is hard to learn, or it wouldn’t be LEARNING A LANGUAGE. I’d like to know the age breakdown as well. Could it be that the high number is factoring in older immigrants who may have limited proficiency due to age? Studies show that the YOUNGER you are when you learn a language the greater proficiency you will gain.

    Read More
  5. Many of the primitive Indian Mexicans and Central Americans don’t speak more than about 50 words of Spanish. The Hispanic Indians who take Spanish in American high schools often flunk or get C- because they don’t know Spanish.

    Case in point. UCLA medical center, one of the most prestigious hospitals turned over the management of their medical records warehouse to a company that hired 4ft 10 Hispanic Central American Indians brought in directly from their primitive jungle mountain villages.

    They lived in the warehouse on bunk beds and the company graciously installed a shower and kitchen totally against building code and housing regs of course. But hey the kitchen and shower were for the benefit of illegals. And anything that benefits illegals is good. Of course the fact that the companies that smuggles them to America also benefits is ignored.

    Anyway, the deal was that a Dr would request the medical records from the hospital records room and a Spanish speaking hospital clerk would call the warehouse. But the warehouse dispatcher did not speak or understand more than a few words of Spanish so could not understand what records were being ordered. OK, just tell him the medical records numbers.
    But the dispatcher didn’t even know the Spanish words for numbers.

    Then one of these primitive Indians was supposed to drive the truck from downtown Los Angeles to West Los Angeles and navigate his way to the basement medical records room.

    It was a real mess. But no one was supposed to complain that these primitive Indians didn’t know either Spanish or English. They didn’t have drs licenses and often got lost between the warehouse and the hospital.

    Read More
  6. Learning English is very hard when non-English speakers in our midst have no need and no desire to learn English. Spanish-speaking Hispanic communities in the United States have reached critical mass. They are everywhere. You could pretend you are in Mexico. There is no practical need to speak English in these countless nuevo-Mexican communities.

    Indeed, to make the pretense even more credible, the United States government posts its official documents in English and Spanish to make our new countrymen and women from south-of-the-border feel at home. Same for the banks and corporations. “For English, select 1 … for Spanish, select 2″.

    Read More
  7. ” . . . Vietnamese. The MPI showed 67 percent of Vietnamese report LEP, but I don’t hear people freaking out about them. Maybe because they historically voted Republican?”

    Yuge false comparison Gus, but what else can one expect from a naco cretin like you?

    English and Spanish are both Greco-Roman alphabet based languages. (with loads of cognates, almost cognates and some false cognates)

    Take a look-see at Vietnamese, cara de pija:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=vietnamese+language&tbm=isch&imgil=PA1e_0pRBKotCM%253A%253Bgco5ZgljMsOCDM%253Bhttps%25253A%25252F%25252Fen.wikipedia.org%25252Fwiki%25252FVietnamese_language&source=iu&pf=m&fir=PA1e_0pRBKotCM%253A%252Cgco5ZgljMsOCDM%252C_&usg=__0ThtZ2ksFeEskC1lc8u4k0OMVEs%3D&biw=1440&bih=753&dpr=1&ved=0ahUKEwiknc7Sh-_SAhVC0iYKHUMcB_kQyjcIZg&ei=-AXVWKRBwqSbAcO4nMgP#imgrc=PA1e_0pRBKotCM:&spf=192

    Read More
  8. Give me a break. I’m old enough to remember the coochie coochie girl, Charo, on the Tonight Show claiming she’d learned enough English in a month or 6 weeks just by watching daytime tv to manage in an English speaking US. My experience? Many Spanish speakers act like they don’t know English just to ignore you.

    Read More
  9. @cakeeater
    Give me a break. I'm old enough to remember the coochie coochie girl, Charo, on the Tonight Show claiming she'd learned enough English in a month or 6 weeks just by watching daytime tv to manage in an English speaking US. My experience? Many Spanish speakers act like they don't know English just to ignore you.

    That’s HOOTCHIE Coochie girl.

    Read More
  10. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    American English isn’t too hard — 1,000 words should do the trick, of which a quarter will be cuss words. Easy peasy. So there’s absolutely no excuse for Mexicans to not speak English. If you’re still skeptical, watch the film, “Born in East LA.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason

    American English isn’t too hard — 1,000 words should do the trick
     
    I have had coworkers who were born in the USA who probably had vocabularies of less than 1000 words, especially if you exclude names of things that you can buy in a supermarket, and were still unable to spell common English words like "receive" correctly, which my Spanish-speaking 8 year old daughter can do after 10 months in the US.
  11. Ability to learn a new language depends on a number of factors including linguistic ability in the individual’s first language, age, general intelligence, exposure to the new language, and so on.

    My four year old daughter came to the US from the Dominican Republic 10 months ago and she is already fluent in English, and using words like pacifier, transform, and poophead correctly in grammatical sentences. She did not learn any of these words at home. She has no discernible foreign accent. However she also spoke Spanish very well before and her school teachers said she spoke like a teacher. She has now forgotten how to speak Spanish, but still understands a certain amount.

    The older we get, the harder it is to learn a new language and speak it without an accent.

    Spanish and English have many words that are the same or very similar, so it is not particularly difficult to go from one to the other. Most speakers of English would probably understand Spanish words like “antibiotico” and maybe even “dolor” which means pain or “tomate” which is a red fruit with seeds that is used in salads and pizzas and ketchup. It is not too hard to figure out that Rio Grande means Big River or that Santo means Saint, or that Sacramento means …

    Read More
  12. @Anon
    American English isn't too hard -- 1,000 words should do the trick, of which a quarter will be cuss words. Easy peasy. So there's absolutely no excuse for Mexicans to not speak English. If you're still skeptical, watch the film, "Born in East LA."

    American English isn’t too hard — 1,000 words should do the trick

    I have had coworkers who were born in the USA who probably had vocabularies of less than 1000 words, especially if you exclude names of things that you can buy in a supermarket, and were still unable to spell common English words like “receive” correctly, which my Spanish-speaking 8 year old daughter can do after 10 months in the US.

    Read More
  13. Fortunately there are still patriotic Americans who refuse to learn a foreign language on American soil:

    Read More
  14. Having learned Spanish, I can attest that it is very difficult for an adult to become fluent in another language. But you have to be *very* motivated, and that might be the problem. I once spoke with a government employee who lived in a border town in the U.S. She told me that almost no one spoke English, at least not day-to-day. This is in the United States.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Uebersetzer
    People who live in border areas and/or come from ethnic minorities may be bilingual or trilingual, occasionally knowing more languages. A friend of mine is a Belgian citizen. He speaks fairly good English although his family originates from what is now Turkey. I asked him what his first language was and he surprised me by saying Arabic. He is an ethnic Arab with roots in the Hatay region, which the French mandate in Syria handed over to Turkey before WW2. He was educated in French, speaks Turkish and also has some command of Dutch and I think also Italian.
    , @hyperbola
    Adults can learn foreign languages fairly readily, but usually not in a laguage school. A school is useful for about 8 weeks to get a basic idea of grammer. Thereafter there is no greater motivation than the immersion of being in a foreign country where you may not eat if you can´t "speak". It is also a learned skill. Each successive language become easier to learn (I am up to six).
    , @Jonathan Mason

    Having learned Spanish, I can attest that it is very difficult for an adult to become fluent in another language. But you have to be *very* motivated
     
    Motivation is crucial, and also the opportunity to practice. I was over 50 when I started learning Spanish and became fluent after about a year, meaning that I could call a dentist's office on the phone and make a dental appointment without any worries about not making myself clear, or not understanding the person on the other end.

    However, speaking a language fluently--that is without hesitation--is by no means the same thing as reading, speaking, understanding, and writing it like an educated native--and these are all different skills. To me the hardest foreign language skill is being able to watch a movie or TV show and understand 100% of the language in real time.
  15. @LiveFreeOrDie
    Having learned Spanish, I can attest that it is very difficult for an adult to become fluent in another language. But you have to be *very* motivated, and that might be the problem. I once spoke with a government employee who lived in a border town in the U.S. She told me that almost no one spoke English, at least not day-to-day. This is in the United States.

    People who live in border areas and/or come from ethnic minorities may be bilingual or trilingual, occasionally knowing more languages. A friend of mine is a Belgian citizen. He speaks fairly good English although his family originates from what is now Turkey. I asked him what his first language was and he surprised me by saying Arabic. He is an ethnic Arab with roots in the Hatay region, which the French mandate in Syria handed over to Turkey before WW2. He was educated in French, speaks Turkish and also has some command of Dutch and I think also Italian.

    Read More
    • Replies: @LiveFreeOrDie
    @Uebersetzer
    My point was that, bilingual or decilingual, the defacto idioma es espanol.
  16. @Uebersetzer
    People who live in border areas and/or come from ethnic minorities may be bilingual or trilingual, occasionally knowing more languages. A friend of mine is a Belgian citizen. He speaks fairly good English although his family originates from what is now Turkey. I asked him what his first language was and he surprised me by saying Arabic. He is an ethnic Arab with roots in the Hatay region, which the French mandate in Syria handed over to Turkey before WW2. He was educated in French, speaks Turkish and also has some command of Dutch and I think also Italian.


    My point was that, bilingual or decilingual, the defacto idioma es espanol.

    Read More
  17. @LiveFreeOrDie
    Having learned Spanish, I can attest that it is very difficult for an adult to become fluent in another language. But you have to be *very* motivated, and that might be the problem. I once spoke with a government employee who lived in a border town in the U.S. She told me that almost no one spoke English, at least not day-to-day. This is in the United States.

    Adults can learn foreign languages fairly readily, but usually not in a laguage school. A school is useful for about 8 weeks to get a basic idea of grammer. Thereafter there is no greater motivation than the immersion of being in a foreign country where you may not eat if you can´t “speak”. It is also a learned skill. Each successive language become easier to learn (I am up to six).

    Read More
  18. @LiveFreeOrDie
    Having learned Spanish, I can attest that it is very difficult for an adult to become fluent in another language. But you have to be *very* motivated, and that might be the problem. I once spoke with a government employee who lived in a border town in the U.S. She told me that almost no one spoke English, at least not day-to-day. This is in the United States.

    Having learned Spanish, I can attest that it is very difficult for an adult to become fluent in another language. But you have to be *very* motivated

    Motivation is crucial, and also the opportunity to practice. I was over 50 when I started learning Spanish and became fluent after about a year, meaning that I could call a dentist’s office on the phone and make a dental appointment without any worries about not making myself clear, or not understanding the person on the other end.

    However, speaking a language fluently–that is without hesitation–is by no means the same thing as reading, speaking, understanding, and writing it like an educated native–and these are all different skills. To me the hardest foreign language skill is being able to watch a movie or TV show and understand 100% of the language in real time.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Boris N

    To me the hardest foreign language skill is being able to watch a movie or TV show and understand 100% of the language in real time.
     
    I want to agree on this. Understanding songs is even more difficult. Though to understand, say, 80% or 90% of a movie is achievable. News or documentaries where narrators have a good diction are most approachable, you may understand nearly 99% of them after some practice.

    Some second generation migrants claim they understand their native/ethnic language, as they heard it in the family, but can neither speak nor write nor read even (with languages like Chinese the lack of the latter two skills is very probable). Often they also may say they can understand (but still not speak) because they have watch a lot of TV. Though I cannot assure if with such limited skills they understand 100% of the said or just some amount of it.

    There are some opposite claims that the reason some speaks with no or little accent is they have, again, watched a lot of TV (this one claim I heard from a Scandinavian). Which for me seems less probable as you need literally to speak to speak. Your brain should get accustomed to create speech in your mind on the fly and your muscles to effortlessly produce sounds, it is like sport or playing music - simply listening Mozart does not make one a virtuoso.

    From my experience, I began with reading and I started to understand 99% of any English text only after I had read a lot, but still I could not write properly until I also had written a lot, and I could not understand English speech properly until I had listen to a lot. Each skill helps each other but I have had to practice them independently anyway. Still unsure about my speaking skills as I have not had enough practice. Learning a language is a difficult four-dimensional work.

    However, speaking a language fluently–that is without hesitation–is by no means the same thing as reading, speaking, understanding, and writing it like an educated native–and these are all different skills.
     
    Fully agree on this as well. Many do not understand such a simple scientific fact when they're discussing language learning.
  19. The reasons why English dictionaries are so big and practically inflated have been explained not once. The main reason is English dictionaries are descriptive, they include every word that could be collected, including slang, technicalities, etc. On the contrary dictionaries made in other countries, e.g. that one by the Spanish Academy, are prescriptivist, that is the dictionary editors carefully filter the words that end up in the dictionary. The number of words, particularly in the dictionaries, has nothing to do with the language difficulty. On the opposite it is estimated that 5,000 most common words can cover 95% of any text, 10,000 to 20,000 are quite enough to attend a college. One does not need to know 50,000 or 100,000 words to communicate, few native speakers know such a big amount of words.

    Read More
  20. @Jonathan Mason

    Having learned Spanish, I can attest that it is very difficult for an adult to become fluent in another language. But you have to be *very* motivated
     
    Motivation is crucial, and also the opportunity to practice. I was over 50 when I started learning Spanish and became fluent after about a year, meaning that I could call a dentist's office on the phone and make a dental appointment without any worries about not making myself clear, or not understanding the person on the other end.

    However, speaking a language fluently--that is without hesitation--is by no means the same thing as reading, speaking, understanding, and writing it like an educated native--and these are all different skills. To me the hardest foreign language skill is being able to watch a movie or TV show and understand 100% of the language in real time.

    To me the hardest foreign language skill is being able to watch a movie or TV show and understand 100% of the language in real time.

    I want to agree on this. Understanding songs is even more difficult. Though to understand, say, 80% or 90% of a movie is achievable. News or documentaries where narrators have a good diction are most approachable, you may understand nearly 99% of them after some practice.

    Some second generation migrants claim they understand their native/ethnic language, as they heard it in the family, but can neither speak nor write nor read even (with languages like Chinese the lack of the latter two skills is very probable). Often they also may say they can understand (but still not speak) because they have watch a lot of TV. Though I cannot assure if with such limited skills they understand 100% of the said or just some amount of it.

    There are some opposite claims that the reason some speaks with no or little accent is they have, again, watched a lot of TV (this one claim I heard from a Scandinavian). Which for me seems less probable as you need literally to speak to speak. Your brain should get accustomed to create speech in your mind on the fly and your muscles to effortlessly produce sounds, it is like sport or playing music – simply listening Mozart does not make one a virtuoso.

    From my experience, I began with reading and I started to understand 99% of any English text only after I had read a lot, but still I could not write properly until I also had written a lot, and I could not understand English speech properly until I had listen to a lot. Each skill helps each other but I have had to practice them independently anyway. Still unsure about my speaking skills as I have not had enough practice. Learning a language is a difficult four-dimensional work.

    However, speaking a language fluently–that is without hesitation–is by no means the same thing as reading, speaking, understanding, and writing it like an educated native–and these are all different skills.

    Fully agree on this as well. Many do not understand such a simple scientific fact when they’re discussing language learning.

    Read More
  21. Immigrants often undergo language attrition. Younger generations of Hispanics in the USA do not necessarily know Spanish, although this may depend where they live. I have encountered young people of Turkish background in Germany who may still speak Turkish (perhaps badly) but can no longer read the language, since their normal language for reading is now German.

    Read More
  22. The phonetic of the English language is very difficult for a native Spanish speaker. We have only five vowel sounds, clear and distinct, without any correspondence with the vowel sounds of the English language. Furthermore, the pronunciation of the words in English has only an approximate correspondence with the writing.

    Read More
  23. @Alden
    Many of the primitive Indian Mexicans and Central Americans don't speak more than about 50 words of Spanish. The Hispanic Indians who take Spanish in American high schools often flunk or get C- because they don't know Spanish.

    Case in point. UCLA medical center, one of the most prestigious hospitals turned over the management of their medical records warehouse to a company that hired 4ft 10 Hispanic Central American Indians brought in directly from their primitive jungle mountain villages.

    They lived in the warehouse on bunk beds and the company graciously installed a shower and kitchen totally against building code and housing regs of course. But hey the kitchen and shower were for the benefit of illegals. And anything that benefits illegals is good. Of course the fact that the companies that smuggles them to America also benefits is ignored.

    Anyway, the deal was that a Dr would request the medical records from the hospital records room and a Spanish speaking hospital clerk would call the warehouse. But the warehouse dispatcher did not speak or understand more than a few words of Spanish so could not understand what records were being ordered. OK, just tell him the medical records numbers.
    But the dispatcher didn't even know the Spanish words for numbers.

    Then one of these primitive Indians was supposed to drive the truck from downtown Los Angeles to West Los Angeles and navigate his way to the basement medical records room.

    It was a real mess. But no one was supposed to complain that these primitive Indians didn't know either Spanish or English. They didn't have drs licenses and often got lost between the warehouse and the hospital.

    Source on this story?

    Read More
  24. It’s absurd to compare the English language proficiency of Vietnamese immigrants to Mexican immigrants. English and Spanish share the same Roman alphabet and have similar grammatical structures. Thanks to William the Conqueror, English vocabulary is half Latin-based. English and Spanish have numerous cognates (religious/religioso, delicious/delicioso, etc.).

    Vietnamese is a tonal language, a system completely alien to English. Written Vietnamese uses logograms instead of an alphabet. Most sensible Americans sympathize with Vietnamese and Chinese immigrants and recognize how monumentally difficult it must be for them to develop English proficiency.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Uebersetzer
    This is partly true. Vietnamese is a tonal language with virtually no similarity to English, while Spanish has a good deal of shared vocabulary with English.
    However, Vietnamese is today written in Latin script, even though numerous marks have to be added to represent the tones in the language.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    It’s absurd to compare the English language proficiency of Vietnamese immigrants to Mexican immigrants.
     
    And offensive as well. The Vietnamese were genuine refugees, who had to leave in a hurry.

    Mexicans, in stark contrast, spend their lives well within radio range of the United States-- and Belize, Jamaica, and the Caymans-- and have little or no excuse for not knowing the language of the people whose wages they're undercutting.

    English language instruction is available on all the media that Gloria Trevi is, and at a similar cost.
  25. @Mark Caplan
    It's absurd to compare the English language proficiency of Vietnamese immigrants to Mexican immigrants. English and Spanish share the same Roman alphabet and have similar grammatical structures. Thanks to William the Conqueror, English vocabulary is half Latin-based. English and Spanish have numerous cognates (religious/religioso, delicious/delicioso, etc.).

    Vietnamese is a tonal language, a system completely alien to English. Written Vietnamese uses logograms instead of an alphabet. Most sensible Americans sympathize with Vietnamese and Chinese immigrants and recognize how monumentally difficult it must be for them to develop English proficiency.

    This is partly true. Vietnamese is a tonal language with virtually no similarity to English, while Spanish has a good deal of shared vocabulary with English.
    However, Vietnamese is today written in Latin script, even though numerous marks have to be added to represent the tones in the language.

    Read More
  26. All those cards do are serve as a form of ID for undocumented folks that allow them to do everything from open bank accounts to buy alcohol at clubs to apply for a driver’s license in certain states.

    So where do I apply for my own Consular Enrolment card so I can work undocumentedly in Cancún? I can design better T-shirts than the crap I see on returning gringos.

    Read More
  27. @Mark Caplan
    It's absurd to compare the English language proficiency of Vietnamese immigrants to Mexican immigrants. English and Spanish share the same Roman alphabet and have similar grammatical structures. Thanks to William the Conqueror, English vocabulary is half Latin-based. English and Spanish have numerous cognates (religious/religioso, delicious/delicioso, etc.).

    Vietnamese is a tonal language, a system completely alien to English. Written Vietnamese uses logograms instead of an alphabet. Most sensible Americans sympathize with Vietnamese and Chinese immigrants and recognize how monumentally difficult it must be for them to develop English proficiency.

    It’s absurd to compare the English language proficiency of Vietnamese immigrants to Mexican immigrants.

    And offensive as well. The Vietnamese were genuine refugees, who had to leave in a hurry.

    Mexicans, in stark contrast, spend their lives well within radio range of the United States– and Belize, Jamaica, and the Caymans– and have little or no excuse for not knowing the language of the people whose wages they’re undercutting.

    English language instruction is available on all the media that Gloria Trevi is, and at a similar cost.

    Read More
  28. @cakeeater
    Give me a break. I'm old enough to remember the coochie coochie girl, Charo, on the Tonight Show claiming she'd learned enough English in a month or 6 weeks just by watching daytime tv to manage in an English speaking US. My experience? Many Spanish speakers act like they don't know English just to ignore you.

    “No hablo Ingles….”

    Read More
Current Commenter says:

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Gustavo Arellano Comments via RSS
PastClassics
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
While other top brass played press agents for the administration’s war, William Odom told the truth about Iraq—though few listened.
A thousand years of meritocracy shaped the Middle Kingdom.