Do You Like It When a Gringo Speaks Spanish?: 5.27
So as you may know, I'm a young globe-trotter. I'm one partially because I wanted to be one, and thus, I can function in at least three languages: English, French and Spanish. Now, mi espanol es terrible. En francais, je suis sur que les persons francophones ne pensent jamais que je suis francais. But I can get by. And the French appreciate that I don't totally massacre their language with my accent, at least. Grammar is a whole 'nother story.
But in fact, I've been told that my French skills are "ghetto-fabuleux" (in Paris, by a semi-permanent expatriate, for the record). And hundreds read this blog every day, so apparently my English is pretty a-okay.
Also, in my globe-trotting adventures, I've discovered that I can communicate with pretty much any European. Period. Because they all know multiple languages. Unlike 90% of Americans. Seriously. Look it up. 90%.
But closer to home, in Los Angeles, I'm more unsure of when to deploy my fledgling language skills.
Sorry, awkward questions.
So readers, what do you think about a gringo speaking Spanish? Take a crack at these situations...
Your landlord sends over three Spanish-speaking guys to fix your air conditioner which is leaking onto, and thus rotting, your cheap, ticky-tacky ceiling tiles. Broken English or broken Spanish to explain the problem?
The valet is getting the car of a flashy guy who's speaking in Spanish to them. Speaking Spanish as well is just patronizing and weird, right? Or is it?
The news announcer lady pronounces her Spanish name like she's never heard English, so shouldn't you?
Your Latino pal switches linguistic sides and goes into rapidfire Oaxaca-Spanish with the guys painting his house while you're touring their work. Is there anything to do but stand there awkwardly?
Honestly, if it was up to me. . . I like practicing my Spanish & Spanglish. I think it's like a bonus of living in Southern California. Like the ocean. Or the fact that I can sample amazing cuisine from dozens, if not hundreds, of cultures in a 20-minute radius. Yeah, like that.
Sorry, I'm just asking because I care about respecting the people around me. That's all.
TECHNORATI TAGS: English, Spanish, Spanglish, American Culture