Dear Mexican: After a year in Spain, I speak more-than-decent Spanish, and I want to get a job in the nonprofit field where I can put it to use. Thing is, my Spanish is pretty peninsular. I maintained my seseo, thank God, but people have told me I have un acento andaluz (¡mentira!). Are the Mexicans gonna laugh at me? LA GALLEGA
Dear Galician Gabacha: Going to Spain to learn to speak Spanish is like going to Mexico to learn good government. The number of Spaniards in the United States is minuscule — 1,285, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2011 American Community Survey, and a bunch of them are undoubtedly Basques and Catalans. It'll all be fine, but Mexis will forever make fun of your lisp and your use of vosotros, and more important, you're going to get your curse words wrong.
Mi familia and I live in a mobile home community. For roughly all of last week up to and including today, some Mexican kids have been taking shortcuts through other people's yards (including mine), and since our next-door neighbors (who are also Mexicans) have two perros, the little hijos de putas love to get their jollies by pestering the hell out of them! And they have the nerve to pretend not to understand what's being said to them (both in Spanish and English). Is calling la policia (and possibly threatening to alert la migra) my only course of action? What steps can be taken to ensure that these kids' lazy parents actually give a rat's culo to keep their children in line? As far as respeto is concerned, I believe people should have to show that they actually deserve it instead of expecting and/or demanding it simply because they exist. If you're too lazy to prove yourself to be worthy of respect, you sure as hell won't get it from me, at the very least. A KNOW KNOTHING IN NEED OF WISDOM
Ask a Mexican
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Dear Gabacho: "Hijos de puta"? The correct disparaging term in Mexican Spanish is "hijos de la chingada" ("sons of the fucked one"). And while you call yourself a Know Nothing, you're obviously not — you care enough about your Mexi neighbors to watch out for their dogs, you understand the primacy of respeto in the Mexican psyche and you seem to know more Spanish than some Chicano politicians. No need to call the police or la migra on this one. You and your Mexi neighbor should approach the parents and tell them what their chamacos are doing. If they don't care, then time to get nuclear: Bust out the chancla.