latino lingo

All things related to effective Hispanic marketing, Hispanic advertising and Hispanic public relations.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The dead horse that won't die

In the latest example of "when will they get it" is an AP article about the supposed hypocrisy of Republican candidates to advertise in Spanish while talking about how everyone needs to learn English.

On the face, perhaps I could see how one might think this true. But, if you're that "one," then you don't know much about language patterns and immigration. Here's a brief lesson (again).

First, it's important to understand the importance between assimilation and acculturation. I've written about this numerous times, but basically Hispanics are acculturating in the the U.S. society simply because we can. I've outlined these reasons such as the fact our major migration is much more recent, we come from geographically closer locations and technology allows us to stay in tune with our patrias. Very different from the European migration.

For newer arrivals and older Latinos that have been here for some time, the primary language or preference language is Spanish. That doesn't mean we aren't learning English. In fact, by the second and third generation, we become more bi-lingual and ultimately English dominant. Why is this important? Because the biggest growth both in population and purchasing power is in the second and third generation Latinos.

So, we are learning English. But, guess what? Like our European immigrant counterparts, it does take us a little time to learn it.

It certainly makes sense to communicate to those of us that prefer Spanish in that language. That doesn't mean we shouldn't learn English. Making that conclusion is sophomoric. As is an article solely focusing on Republican "hypocrisy" when Democrats are also advertising in Spanish.

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  • At 9:17 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Excellent post.

    Reaching out to voters whose preferred language is Spanish is essentially no different than "Ingl├ęs Sin Barrerras" advertisements for English education materials. Both are consistent with the need to reach an hispanoparlante audience while affirming the necessity of learning English.

  • At 10:22 AM , Anonymous Elana said...

    It's such hypocracy! What do they want--learn english, or stick with espanol? Make up your minds, then keep consistent. And then if you want us to learn english, stop mocking our accents. Yea, we're going to have them. Mr. Lebrija does a great satire of the how Americans portray the hispanic attitude, check it out.


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