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Old 04-02-2012, 06:49 AM
 
Location: Paris, France
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This question is directed at all who have had experience living in or visiting Argentina.

I recently heard about quite a large community of Argentine citizens there of English descent. I'd be interested to know more about them - like have they maintained their English culture, do they still speak the English language well, what is their general reputation among other (larger) groups in Argentina, such as Spanish or Italian Argentines? And do they find life difficult because of the Falklands/Malvinas issue?

The reason I ask is that Argentina is the only country I can think of that is non-English-speaking that received a large flow of migrants from the UK during the early 20th century. All the other countries that did, such as the US, Canada and Australia - were already English speaking. So the English there do not seem to have hung on to much of their original culture and have integrated well into the mainstream culture of the adopted country.

Is this the same case in Argentina?
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:33 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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I have friend in Chile, who has an English surname and doesn't even speak English very well. There are many people all over South American who have surnames that are English, German, French, Italian, Polish, Irish, Japanese, etc, and some have been presidents of their countries (O'Higgins, Fox, Pinochet, Stroessner, Kubitschek, Fujimori, etc.).

When emigrants were leaving Europe for the New World, they didn't all come to the USA. Plenty of Europeans after the colonial era sailed to South America, and their descendents are still there. Argentina has a lot more Italians than English, and in fact the two most famous Argentine athletes are of Italian ancestry (Gabriella Sabatini and Manu Ginobili), and Argentine cuisine is largely Italian-influenced.

If you glance through this list of famous Argentinians, you will see that those with Spanish surnames are in the minority.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Argentines

What are Anglo-Argentines like? Well, they are just like Argentines.

Last edited by jtur88; 04-02-2012 at 08:58 AM..
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:00 AM
 
12,677 posts, read 14,063,903 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by britinparis View Post
This question is directed at all who have had experience living in or visiting Argentina.

I recently heard about quite a large community of Argentine citizens there of English descent. I'd be interested to know more about them - like have they maintained their English culture, do they still speak the English language well, what is their general reputation among other (larger) groups in Argentina, such as Spanish or Italian Argentines? And do they find life difficult because of the Falklands/Malvinas issue?

The reason I ask is that Argentina is the only country I can think of that is non-English-speaking that received a large flow of migrants from the UK during the early 20th century. All the other countries that did, such as the US, Canada and Australia - were already English speaking. So the English there do not seem to have hung on to much of their original culture and have integrated well into the mainstream culture of the adopted country.

Is this the same case in Argentina?
Many of the "ingleses" who entered Argentina were actually Irish, and Argentina has the largest population of people of Irish descent outside of the English-speaking countries. From what I have been told and what I have read they are well integrated into the Spanish culture of Argentina, and that includes the language. A number of famous political figures in Argentina have were from Ireland or of Irish descent, including several with what seem to be English names, e.g. Brown.
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Chicagoland
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There are a lot of Welsh, too, in Patagonia. One interesting linguistic point relating to them is that they skipped the Anglicization stage of Welsh people - i.e. when all the Welsh in Wales were learning English, the Welsh in Argentina were learning Spanish. As a result, you find lots of Welsh Argentines who are bilingual in Welsh and Spanish, but can't speak English.

As for Anglo-Argentines, though they are a smallish community, they've been quite prominent in Argentine society. They have their own English institutions, such as:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurlingham_Club_(Argentina)
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Chicagoland
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Originally Posted by kevxu View Post
A number of famous political figures in Argentina have were from Ireland or of Irish descent, including several with what seem to be English names, e.g. Brown.
Yes, such as Admiral William Brown, founder of the Argentine navy. And possibly the most internationally famous Irish Argentine: El Che (Ernesto Guevara Lynch).

And another great Irish Latin American comes from next door: Bernardo O'Higgins, founding father of Chile.
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Old 04-03-2012, 03:05 AM
 
Location: Earth, Milky Way
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My family lives in Argentina, all are British by blood and some were born in England, others were born in Argentina. They are part of the British community, mix with other British descendants and sometimes read Anglo-Argentine newspapers, such as the Herald; these speak very good English and because they haven't had any new language influences, many use archaic vocabulary, such as ice-box instead of fridge, and pass these terms down to their children.

Some descendants have, of course, lost their 'Britishness' and either speak heavily accented English, if at all! The younger generations, whose great-grandparents were the initial settlers in Argentina, often feel more Argentine than British, again, if they even acknowledge their British heritage.
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Old 04-03-2012, 03:57 AM
 
Location: Paris, France
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Interesting, thanks to all who replied.

Are there any English/Irish areas of Buenos Aires - eg a "little England", like New York's Little Itay, or Chinatown?
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:36 AM
 
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Most of those with Irish last names have a Spanish origin. Spanish received a large number of Irish refugees during the last 3 centuries, many of their descendants went to America. Irish last names such as O'Higgins or O'Donell are entirely naturalized in Spain. There are also many English last names in Spain such as Hill, Summers, etc, their ancestors were Catholic Refugees. There are also the families of Sherry exporters, Osborne, Terry, Garvey, Domecq and a large etcetera.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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My experience has been that they are quite assimilated to the ambient Spanish language and Argentine culture, although quite a few British traits remain. Many do speak English, quite well in fact, but it is usually their second language, not their first. And as others have pointed out some speak little or no English.

Interestingly enough, many of them still seem to partake in things typically thought of as British like polo, golf, private schools with uniforms for their kids, and even the way they dress. But they tend to do all of this mostly in Spanish.
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Springfield MO
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La Cumbre in the Cordoba province is littered with Anglo - Argentines who are from Brit, Irish, Welsh descent. Many of them speak both languages, play the "Englishmen" by playing golf, drinking G & T's, bowls, and the occasional horse riding expeditions chasing a fox.
Most criticize Argentina and talk constantly of "things were better back 'ome" - but have, in the majority, only visited the UK and not lived there, and see things from a weird perspective.
The Porteno Anglo-Argentines are quick to declare their British ancestry, but on the other hand, have more Argentine idiosyncrasies than the real British-born counterparts.
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