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Old 02-05-2012, 08:30 PM
 
Location: The 719
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Pretty much every Latino/Hispanic multi-generational Pueblo person I know from here doesn't speak a lick of Spanish.
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:50 AM
 
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There are really two distinct groups in Colorado that speak Spanish: First, recent immigrants from Spanish-speaking countries (legal or otherwise). They comprise the largest group, and tend to congregate in the metro areas, the resort towns (where they make up many of the "worker bees"), and in areas of Colorado where labor-intensive agriculture is still practiced. The second group, concentrated in far southern Colorado (and northern New Mexico) are the multi-generational "Nuevo Mejicanos" who still speak a variation of Castilian Spanish that has never really modernized. They are especially found in the San Luis Valley in Colorado and in the northern tier of counties of New Mexico. Their Spanish dialect is different enough from most of today's modern Mexican Spanish dialects, that many words don't even mean the same thing in the two dialects. Some immigrant Spanish-speakers are truly not bi-lingual in English, but almost all Nuevo Mejicanos are fluent in both their dialect of Spanish and in English.

A good book that addresses the unique aspects of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico Spanish is this one: Museum of New Mexico Press : Publisher of books that reflect the collections of the Museum of New Mexico and explore the culture of the Southwest.

As an aside, I'm a firm supporter of the idea that English should be the official language of the United States, but I also believe that people should be free to speak whatever language they want in addition to English. I have no problem with people speaking Spanish, Ute, Apache, Navajo--whatever--among themselves or in non-official activities, but they should be able to speak sufficient English to conduct essential business and government dealings.
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Old 02-06-2012, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdc1211 View Post
Since Pueblo is about 50% Hispanic, does that mean you better speak Spanish to survive there. Do service industry workers have to know Spanish to even be considered?

Just wondering how important knowing the language is there? Do most non-hispanics there know it, and is it a problem for those that don't? Or do most Hispanics there speak English too?
Most hispanics in that part of the state speak English, because they grew up in both cultures. The exception to this are newly arrived Mexican immigrants, most of whom probably don't speak it.

Do you need to know Spanish? You can do fine and get along nicely without it.

However, if you wanted to learn Spanish, you would be able to communicate with the Hispanics and Mexicans in their own language, and they would appreciate you all the more for it.
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Old 02-06-2012, 04:37 PM
 
Location: Riverside, CA
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Originally Posted by 80skeys View Post
However, if you wanted to learn Spanish, you would be able to communicate with the Hispanics and Mexicans in their own language, and they would appreciate you all the more for it.
Personally, I haven't felt this to be the case in Colorado. When I speak Spanish to Spanish-first speakers here, they switch to English. Back in CA, they insisted that I spoke Spanish.
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Old 02-19-2012, 01:24 PM
 
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Default Hi

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Originally Posted by David Aguilar View Post
Personally, I haven't felt this to be the case in Colorado. When I speak Spanish to Spanish-first speakers here, they switch to English. Back in CA, they insisted that I spoke Spanish.
I think the reason Spanish-1st speakers revert to English is that they realize you're not a Spanish-1st speaker. That happens to me when I attempt to speak in Spanish to Spanish-1st; how I've learned to handle this is I ask if we can please remain in Spanish language. This is usually met with a quick, "q. bueno, o andale, o etc." which encourages me to take a risk and be corrected (which happens and I welcome); I take it as a living learning education outside the classroom and a chance to meet a new friend. It's actually thrilling to be taken seriously speaking Spanish. I've wanted to be able to speak Spanish, so I've been advancing there with speaking Spanish when I can.
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Old 02-19-2012, 01:31 PM
 
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Hi, I've had the same experience, but upon pressing with Spanish words I find many Latinos/as understand but have never have spoken Spanish--multi-generational distance I imagine. That shouldn't be a pre-requisite to being Latino/a, but for me, it was. i don't know if I'm harder on myself or what, but I had a real yearning to speak Spanish. It took me 4 years before the light bulb came on, although I'll never be fluent, I find that by practicing "out loud" I've become pretty good over the years. Sometimes I'll listen to a cd that asks me to repeat words, which helps, on my way to town, or work, etc, and I enjoy that type of learning that I end up using it with someone to see what their reaction is to what I'm saying. Anyway, that's been my journey with Spanish.
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:53 AM
 
Location: Riverside, CA
12,205 posts, read 21,323,258 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaBeLatina View Post
I think the reason Spanish-1st speakers revert to English is that they realize you're not a Spanish-1st speaker. That happens to me when I attempt to speak in Spanish to Spanish-1st; how I've learned to handle this is I ask if we can please remain in Spanish language. This is usually met with a quick, "q. bueno, o andale, o etc." which encourages me to take a risk and be corrected (which happens and I welcome); I take it as a living learning education outside the classroom and a chance to meet a new friend. It's actually thrilling to be taken seriously speaking Spanish. I've wanted to be able to speak Spanish, so I've been advancing there with speaking Spanish when I can.
I was just noting the geographical/cultural difference between here and CA, I could probably speak Spanish all day back there if I wanted to.
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:37 AM
 
638 posts, read 853,142 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McGowdog View Post
Pretty much every Latino/Hispanic multi-generational Pueblo person I know from here doesn't speak a lick of Spanish.
I think that may ring true in lots of areas in the US where the kids are 2nd+ generation. I know tons of people who say they can understand it but don't feel comfortable speaking it.

My grandma's family comes from the bay area from way back when it was Alta California but when she was growing up (in the 30's I think) they were supposedly sending people back to Mexico, even though they may not have had anything to do with Mexico.

Her parents didn't know English but they made sure that their kids didn't speak Spanish or speak English with an accent.

Here in New Mexico a lot of slang is Spanish-based, and the terms are fairly common even for those who don't speak Spanish. Here are a couple Youtube Videos that they made about how we (Albuquerqueans/Burqueños) talk here:



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Old 02-20-2012, 09:07 PM
 
Location: Riverside, CA
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I've never been to ABQ, but ^that's hilarious!
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:46 AM
 
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Yeah it is!

I'm a white guy and not all these things I say, but for example I never thought "umbers" wasn't standard American English!!

I'm sure you can find similar accents in other parts of NM and AZ, NV, UT, CO, TX, CA, etc. that are in the same relative region.
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