ANTH 412 Sec. 5
May 4, 2015
The United States is a country made up of immigrants, and consequently has adopted a large number of different languages and dialects. A while ago, the thought was that when immigrants enter the United States, a “monolingual nation”, immigrants were to learn and adapt to the language and the American culture. This has changed over time as the country has become more diverse, immigrants in the United States are conserving their native language and culture, but also mixing it with the “Americans”. It is reasonable to state that a mixture of languages and cultures has been taking place, and both native and foreign populations have to adapt to these changes. People now are free to choose their preference on language and culture to identify themselves. The question is then, how and why the difference in preferences.
My family and I are Mexican immigrants and have been living in the United States continuously for ten years. Living in the same household for ten years my brother (Oscar, 19 years old) and I (23 years old) share the same values and thoughts, but we do not share the same preference for language since he prefers to speak in English while I prefer Spanish to communicate. Some of the reasons to explain the variations on preferences and opinions toward languages are stereotyped. In the Mexican/American context in the U.S., Mexicans consider speaking Spanish hugging their nationality and not embracing the American culture, and speaking English means having been “Americanized”. Since language is really tied with culture “to areas such as customs, traditions, literature, social issues, history, music and the arts, and, to an even greater extent, to general academic areas, trends, sports, and politics” (Francis, 1998, p. 29) language could represent the preference of only certain areas and not an entire culture. The paper will analyze the differences in preference of Spanish vs. English...