Thursday, May 10th, 2012...4:25 pm

31. Bilingual/Bilingue

Jump to Comments

“The habitual speaker of such a mix ends by speaking not two, or even one complete language, but fragments of two that are no longer capable of standing alone or serving the speaker well with any larger audience. As a literary device with limited appeal and durability, ‘Spanglish,’ like other such blends, is expressive and fresh.  But as a substitute for genuine bilinguality – the cultivation and preservation of two languages – I suspect it represents a danger to the advancement of foreign speakers, and a loss to both cultures” (Rhina Espaillat)

Espaillat clearly believes that the construction of “Spanglish” is not a positive thing, but rather a negative construction; she states, “speaking not two, or even one complete language, but fragments of two that are no longer capable of standing alone.” In other words, those who practice “Spanglish” do not master neither English nor Spanish, but mere fragments of both languages. This, according to Espaillet, “represents a danger to the advancement to foreign speakers.” One would question what Espaillet means by “a danger to the advancement.” What advancement? An advancement towards an the American Dream? She also says that this practice will lead to a “loss to both cultures.” This supports the notion that pachucos who speak “caló” or “Spanglish” do not embody American culture or Mexican culture, but rather a separate, unique “border culture.” But, is that necessarily a bad thing?

 

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Leave a Reply

Spam prevention powered by Akismet

Skip to toolbar