Archive for October, 2009

I almost feel sorry for this guy

So, this guy is managing a dilapidated hotel in Taos, NM. He’s trying to turn it around. The employees speak Spanish for the most part and they speak English too. The manager wants them to speak English and to use the Anglicized versions of their names because he claims they’ll be easier to understand on the phone. The interviewers verbally beat this poor guy up! But is he right? Read the rest of this entry »

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Immigrant Parents and Language Learning

I am the child of immigrants. Like many children growing up in dual language environments, I grew up speaking a home language (Spanish) and although I knew some English, I learned most of my English in school– starting in kindergarten. My mother in fact says we learned English together.  As a child I quickly became aware that the English spoken by my parents and that spoken by the rest of the world was not the same. Today, I came across this article in SF Gate where Jeff Yang talked about conversations with his mother-in-law in context of reading two popular blogs: my mom is a fob and my dad is a fob. I laughed and I cried, what can I say. These are exactly the kinds of interactions I’ve had with my parents and continue to have with my mom. Malapropisms, eggcorns, and spoonerisms— I had to have a whole dictionary for what my parents meant. But, through it all parents convey that they love their children and that they care. While the two fob sites draw on examples of Asian moms and dads– let me tell you this stuff isn’t limited to Asian parents!  There are so many wonderful examples of exactly the kinds of interactions I had with my parents (okay, the accents and words were different but with the same kinds of slips and intents). Read the rest of this entry »

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