Why Do Some Bilingual Mexicans Deny Speaking English?
Dear Mexican: I'm a half-mexicana, half-gabacha working as an appointment scheduler in a medical office. I'm one of a handful of schedulers there who speak Spanish. I've noticed that often when a Spanish-speaking patient calls, gets a schedulers who doesn't speak español and waits for someone to call them back ... the patient actually speaks English well. I call back speaking in English and they respond in English. I don't mind speaking Spanish but it makes me wonder why anyone would want to waste precious time to get their health situated by not speaking English. Chiquita Curiosa
Dear Pocha: Sometimes, Mexicans who can speak English pretend not to so they can gain an advantage over their gabacho adversaries — the classic "No espeak English" ruse. Other times, the English-knowing Mexican will still prefer Spanish because they can be more exact. That seems to be the case here, especially given you're in a medical profession and some Mexican health practices just don't translate well into the King's English.
For those of us living in California, the FIFA World Cup is a big deal. Since we have such a huge Mexican population, is it a safe bet that they root for the U.S. team along Mexico? I place my hopes on Mexico once the Americans get the boot in the first round. Couldn't we get a little more love going for our SoCal community by making our support in the World Cup international? Soccer Gabacho
Dear Gabacho: Historically, no Mexican in the U.S. would ever root for los Estados Unidos — not because it was traitorous, but mostly because the team was middling at best and uber-gabacho. That has changed in the past generation, as the U.S. has not only become a mid-level power that consistently whips Mexico's ass, but also because the squad is now diverse. At the same time, El Tri has underachieved. Most Mexican-Americans will still root for Mexico over the U.S., but there's at least a grudging respect for the norteamericano side. Nevertheless, I don't see a fruitful Mundial for either team, so Mexicans will probably do what they did during the last cup: suddenly discover their Spanish roots, and go for the gachupines.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Observer's biggest stories.
- Why the Crackdown on K2 Among Downtown's Homeless Won't Work
Fri., Feb. 5, 8:00pm
Fri., Feb. 5, 8:30pm
Sat., Feb. 6, 3:00pm
Sat., Feb. 6, 7:00pm
- Former Cowboy Joseph Randle Gives Dallas One Last Spectacular Flame Out
- Dallas City Hall Blind as Bat About the Trinity River's Value