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Old Posted Aug 17, 2019, 12:01 AM
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Will Spanish have strong staying power in the US long after peak immigration?

Some say that Spanish in the US would decline without "replenishment" of new Hispanic immigrants, due to assimilation of the previous waves, just like Italian, German etc. did. Hispanics are no longer the largest main new immigrant group, which is from Asia, and most Hispanics are native-born with the percentage of foreign born Hispanics down from its peak of 40% in the 2000s. Many people say that by 2 or 3 generations of family upbringing stateside, few Hispanics are fluent.

Also, unlike French in Canada, there doesn't appear to be an infrastructure for operating in Spanish on a regional/educational/infrastructure level outside larger immigrant communities, so that for instance, there's the option that non-natively Spanish speaking people can get their kids into classes taught in Spanish the way the public school system can operate in French in Quebec. Correct me if I'm wrong but bilingual education in the US seems to operate more along the lines of easing non-English-proficient students into an English-dominant environment, and not getting already fluent English-speakers learning Spanish.

Others think that the critical mass of Spanish is different in a way that means it has staying power, as it connects the US to a large share of the rest of the Americas. That is a fair point, as geographically the US is connected in a way to Latin America that may allow Spanish more utility than say Italian or German did back in the day.

I'd imagine Spanish will still be the most common language taken in school for a long time to come for most American students, but in terms of fluent, vibrant communities generations into the future, what do you think?
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Old Posted Aug 17, 2019, 12:23 AM
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english is a powerful force, in a peculiar way. i anticipate further mixing, more than any kind of pure staying power of spanish. although, i think spanish is a handsome language and encourage its use.
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Old Posted Aug 17, 2019, 1:58 AM
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That all depends on the region in the US and like you said the replenishment of new Hispanic immigrants. For instance I see Miami as always being a bilingual city no matter what.
On a personal note I have 4 nieces & nephews (2nd. generation Americans) and only one is fluent in Spanish, the rest can barely speak it let alone write it much to my dismay.
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Old Posted Aug 17, 2019, 2:05 AM
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I'm also wondering, if there would be any large enough community to sustain a critical mass of Spanish speakers born and raised locally, even if immigration slows down and doesn't replenish the supply of speakers.

It would have to be something like the Pennsylvanian Dutch/Amish keeping German alive after most German-Americans assimilated into English. Or Hasidic Jewish communities like Kiryas Joel in NY keeping Yiddish alive after it declined a lot among other American Jews elsewhere.

It might be plausible that some group of motivated people would want to keep Spanish alive, generation after generation, like these two cases, so that some areas persist in absence of immigration.

But maybe it's different with the Pennsylvanian German and Hasidic communities' Yiddish situations because these involve religious minority communities that want to raise their kids separately/differently from the school systems/ culture of mainstream American society and I don't think as far as I know that there are any Hispanic communities like that.
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Old Posted Aug 17, 2019, 3:22 AM
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Yeah, English is so incredibly dominating its hard to imagine there isn't a lot of change in store for Hispanics in America. I've never understood how people can immigrate here and never learn English(young people anyways, old people can do what they want). It not only helps you live here but it's so helpful all over the world.

It's actually mindboggling...If you know ZERO words in Arabic you can find your way around Dubai in 99% of situations. Think about that, in the middle of the Middle East you don't have to learn any word of the local language. Just English. I've had zero issues in Japan, little in China, and none in the Middle East(besides Oman). The only issues I had with not knowing the local language was in France, which I, funnily enough, was in an Arabic-speaking area of town, so I ordered my food in Arabic.


It's a crime not to learn it.
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Old Posted Aug 17, 2019, 3:22 AM
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English is the language of business and tech. Spanish will be around, but assimilation will yield more folks that understand it. Its interesting when you encounter folks that have been in the U.S. for 10+ years, and not an ounce of English comprehension.

I guess thats the nice thing about certain metros is that one in theory doesn't have to learn the language of English to live and prosper, but it will surely limit to a degree advancement or career options. So its best to learn it, at least in the U.S.!

I deal with a lot of logistic companies as clients, and my god, the amount of folks (workers) that do not understand English is mind boggling. Folks that have been here 10+ years, and know nothing or should I say nada.

Its a big problem that whole SOP's have to be in Spanish along with on-boarding paperwork. Some of these 3PL's prefer candidates that are bilingual, especially with management. Likewise with light manufacturing.
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Old Posted Aug 17, 2019, 3:39 AM
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How does Puerto Rico fit into this discussion? Are we excluding it? If so, would the status and future outlook of Spanish in the US change were it to gain statehood?
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Old Posted Aug 17, 2019, 3:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdreamz View Post
That all depends on the region in the US and like you said the replenishment of new Hispanic immigrants. For instance I see Miami as always being a bilingual city no matter what.
On a personal note I have 4 nieces & nephews (2nd. generation Americans) and only one is fluent in Spanish, the rest can barely speak it let alone write it much to my dismay.
My wife's mother was born in Cuba and she has 6 grandchildren (2 are my children) and to her dismay none of them can speak Spanish. US entertainment is just too dominant. Any child who grows up in the U.S. is going end up speaking English and struggle to speak anything else unless a ton of effort is put into maintaining that other language. They may hang on to basics just to communicate with abuela but there is little chance of actual litteracy.
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Old Posted Aug 17, 2019, 4:17 AM
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Originally Posted by dave8721 View Post
My wife's mother was born in Cuba and she has 6 grandchildren (2 are my children) and to her dismay none of them can speak Spanish. US entertainment is just too dominant. Any child who grows up in the U.S. is going end up speaking English and struggle to speak anything else unless a ton of effort is put into maintaining that other language. They may hang on to basics just to communicate with abuela but there is little chance of actual litteracy.
Same thing with my mom. They can communicate somewhat with their abuela even though she practically raised them.
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Old Posted Aug 17, 2019, 4:46 AM
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Originally Posted by wg_flamip View Post
How does Puerto Rico fit into this discussion? Are we excluding it? If so, would the status and future outlook of Spanish in the US change were it to gain statehood?
I would assume not much. Most Puerto Ricans seem to have made their way to Florida and NY anyways. Making it a state might encourage more Americans to learn it Spanish though, who knows.
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Old Posted Aug 17, 2019, 5:03 AM
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I would assume not much. Most Puerto Ricans seem to have made their way to Florida and NY anyways. Making it a state might encourage more Americans to learn it Spanish though, who knows.
I doubt that though given the current hostile political atmosphere towards hispanics by the current administration.

'I hope Trump deports you': Customer threatens Puerto Rican woman for speaking Spanish
Video :
https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/i-ho...183528034.html

Puerto Rican Burger King manager told to 'go back to Mexico' after speaking Spanish

Video Link


This happened last month in Florida where 1 in 4 residents are hispanic.

Man threatens to report Spanish-speaking women to ICE

Video Link
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Last edited by bobdreamz; Aug 17, 2019 at 5:23 AM.
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Old Posted Aug 17, 2019, 6:24 PM
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Originally Posted by bobdreamz View Post
I doubt that though given the current hostile political atmosphere towards hispanics by the current administration.

'I hope Trump deports you': Customer threatens Puerto Rican woman for speaking Spanish
Video :
https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/i-ho...183528034.html

Puerto Rican Burger King manager told to 'go back to Mexico' after speaking Spanish

Video Link


This happened last month in Florida where 1 in 4 residents are hispanic.

Man threatens to report Spanish-speaking women to ICE

Video Link
Can you people look past Trump, ever? He will most likely be president for like 1.5 more years. You guys look at presidents as if they were Gods. They are here. Then they go.

I don't think Trump will influence people learning Spanish in 30 years lol
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Old Posted Aug 17, 2019, 6:25 PM
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And by the way, showing two examples proves nothing. I can show you two examples of pretty much anything you want to see.
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Old Posted Aug 17, 2019, 6:38 PM
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Originally Posted by dave8721 View Post
My wife's mother was born in Cuba and she has 6 grandchildren (2 are my children) and to her dismay none of them can speak Spanish. US entertainment is just too dominant. Any child who grows up in the U.S. is going end up speaking English and struggle to speak anything else unless a ton of effort is put into maintaining that other language. They may hang on to basics just to communicate with abuela but there is little chance of actual litteracy.
There is something very wrong with foreign language education in this country... tons of people "learn" Spanish but can't hold a conversation or even read a paragraph. Probably we start too late.
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Old Posted Aug 17, 2019, 7:00 PM
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Probably we start too late.
I think that's it. I took Spanish for the first time in 9th grade.

I think in the US it's harder to convince people the utility of learning a new language. First of all, we are a huge country, so it's not like we live in Belgium and need to learn another language for business or entertainment. One of my professors is from the Netherlands and she said flat out she couldn't even write her research articles in Dutch because the terms she uses for her papers she has learned in English only. English dominates academic research and entertainment. Second, even if we travel abroad chances are people will accommodate us.

It's a hard sell. For better or worse.
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Old Posted Aug 17, 2019, 7:17 PM
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Annexing California and Texas didn’t have too much Spanish language staying power. Seems more likely to thrive on Spanish speaking annexed islands.
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Old Posted Aug 17, 2019, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by M II A II R II K View Post
Annexing California and Texas didn’t have too much Spanish language staying power. Seems more likely to thrive on Spanish speaking annexed islands.
Those areas weren't really Spanish speaking though when they were incorporated into the US. I believe whites outnumbered Hispanics in Texas when Texas declared independence. Also, I don't think California, Neveda, Utah, and New Mexico were really populated that much by Spanish speakers when the US took over.
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Old Posted Aug 17, 2019, 11:03 PM
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I don't speak Spanish (I speak English and French) but live in NYC so of course I'm exposed to it daily. It's odd to me to live in a culture that seems so proud of its monolingualism. I lived in Germany as a young Army brat (forgot most of what I learned during that 3 years) and have studied both French and Japanese since (most of the Japanese is unfortunately gone as well) but I've always believed that knowing a second (at least) language made me a better learner and more open to new cultures and ideas. Even my die-hard Republican sister who lives in El Paso, TX is proud of the Spanish she knows.
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Old Posted Aug 17, 2019, 11:22 PM
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Originally Posted by dave8721 View Post
My wife's mother was born in Cuba and she has 6 grandchildren (2 are my children) and to her dismay none of them can speak Spanish. US entertainment is just too dominant. Any child who grows up in the U.S. is going end up speaking English and struggle to speak anything else unless a ton of effort is put into maintaining that other language. They may hang on to basics just to communicate with abuela but there is little chance of actual litteracy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdreamz View Post
That all depends on the region in the US and like you said the replenishment of new Hispanic immigrants. For instance I see Miami as always being a bilingual city no matter what.
On a personal note I have 4 nieces & nephews (2nd. generation Americans) and only one is fluent in Spanish, the rest can barely speak it let alone write it much to my dismay.
This is absolutely crazy (and what a failure on the part of the parents!)

This would be equivalent to me having children with my Anglo gf and raising them in, say, Ottawa, and having them grow up unilingual (with only English).

I figure that MAYBE if we move to somewhere like the heart of the USA, then yeah, despite my efforts, maybe my kids won't be fluent in my language... but if they're raised in an environment where it exists to a good degree? No way.

Even in a much less Hispanicized region than Miami (my portfolio is in Brevard County) I've had to use Spanish with handymen and/or my neighbors many times. It would be easy for a child to be in touch with the language there... let alone Miami!
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Old Posted Aug 17, 2019, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by M II A II R II K View Post
Annexing California and Texas didn’t have too much Spanish language staying power. Seems more likely to thrive on Spanish speaking annexed islands.
Mexican Texas went through what American Texas is going through today. Except in the opposite direction. White Southern Americans moved down there and tilted the demographics towards English speaking Anglo. Texas and California were sparsely populated.
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