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16 Mar 2016

Ask a Mexican: How Quickly Do the Descendants of Immigrants From Mexico Stop Speaking Spanish?

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Dear Mexican: Our grandparents came from Mexico. Nearly all of our parents’ generation spoke Spanish. However, in my generation, pretty much none of us do. One cousin’s daughter does because the cousin married a fluently bilingual spouse.

Most white people I know long ago lost both awareness of what their actual ethnic roots are, and the original language with which their people came to America, if it wasn’t English. Heck, British English can be pretty confusing. What my cousins, most of our kids and I know of Spanish is what we learn in Spanish classes.

It’s clear we lost our language treasure. Fortunately, we love being Chicanos. What do you know of this loss on a local or national scale?

Spangless Chicano

Dear Pocho: The 2011 National Survey of Latinos by the Pew Research Center reported that while 91 percent of first-generation Latinos said they spoke Spanish “very well/pretty well,” and 82 percent of the segunda generation did, only 47 percent of third-generation Latinos claimed the same—far higher than virtually all other immigrant groups, but still nearly half the numbers of the first generation.

Far more telling is the language of preference for each generation while consuming culture: When it came to listening to music, the percentage rates of Latinos who listen to music exclusively in Spanish, English and Spanish, or exclusively in English, changed dramatically toward preferring English between the first (49, 31, 18), second (18, 26, 54) and third (10, 16, 74) generations, respectively; the same happened with language preferences in watching television for the first (40, 34, 25), second (12, 17, 69) and third (5, 11, 83) generations.

Moral of the story? As I’ve been saying for a decade, all Mexicans irrecoverably become Americans in el gabacho—only the stats change, always toward inglés. So much for a real Reconquista.

I am constantly in disbelief that so many undocumented immigrants—primarily Mexicans—risk life and limb to enter the United States to, as they’ll say, “provide a better life for their children.” Aren’t they aware U.S. kids now are fatter, sicker and dumber compared to most of the rest of the world?

Since U.S. kids are presently “mandated” to get risky, experimental vaccines by age 18, we now have epidemics of autism, asthma, learning disorders, diabetes, childhood cancers, ADHD, etc. We have the most vaccinated children in the world, with many more vaccines on the way—fodder for Big Pharma.

Conversely, most racists think illegals are “dirty” and bring diseases into this country, even though it has been proven immigrant children are very healthy until they’ve assimilated into the U.S. Your thoughts?

Mother Warrior

Dear Gabacho: While you’re right about niños in the United States being a fat, lazy lot, and también about Mexican kiddies becoming the same as they assimilate, your tirade against vaccinations is puras mamadas.

There was recently a measles outbreak in Orange County, one of the largest to have happened in the U.S. in years. While patient-privacy laws prohibit us from knowing the identity of the victims, stats came out showing vaccination rates in la naranja. The least-vaccinated pendejos? Areas where rich, stupid gabachos were in the majority. Areas with the most-vaccinated people? Mexican-heavy cities.

Mexicans, unlike gabachos, don’t have the luxury of believing far-fetched conspiracy theories put out by celebrity chichis who put our children at risk—we’ve got curanderos for that.

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

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