What Do El Pasoans Think of Non-Spanish Speaking Mexicans?
I've been in El Paso for almost 6 years now and I'm still learning Spanish. Since I started dating my wife, my Spanish has improved exponentially because I not only hear it far more frequently, but I'm also making it a point to learn with Duolingo.
You hear stories about certain areas of the world that are very judgmental to those who don't speak the local language. Is El Paso one of those areas? According to the demographics of the area, almost 80% of the population is Hispanic. So this begs the question, what do El Pasoans think of non-Spanish speaking Mexicans? Someone (ProfitZealousideal12) on Reddit asked this question:
I'm Mexican but don't speak Spanish. I was born and raised in Chicago in a home where my parents raised us speaking English only though they speak the language we don't. I understand it pretty well but cannot hold a conversation with the language. People of Hispanic race in stores on the street anywhere will just assume because I look like I speak it and I tell them I don't will look at me funny as if I'm denying it or just don't want to speak it. I wish I could and if I attempt a try with a few basic words the person speaking will carry on expecting a response, I'm left with a blank stare because I get myself stuck and tell them sorry "mi espanol es muy poquito," and walk away feeling and probably looking stupid.
So how do you think El Pasoans responded to this? My gut is telling me El Pasoans are cool with it. At least to the person's face. Then they talk mad s*** in Spanish in front of the person because that's hilarious.
Usually the people from El Paso don’t care, but I remember when I was a teen working retail that a lot of the people coming from Juarez did.
I don't think anyone cares. There's a lot of pochos in El Paso.
But still, it wouldn't hurt to brush up on your spanish. Duolingo is free and it can teach you a lot in a very short time without it feeling difficult or like a chore at all.
You'll be accepted. A lot of people are. Most young to middle-aged people speak English primarily, and a large amount of old people do, also. It's helpful to know it, but you will be accepted.
Remember: There will always be the random people who will get annoyed at you for not speaking Spanish, just as there are random people who would get annoyed at someone not speaking English. The important thing is to do your best to communicate with one another.
Learn the Spanish that you can (yay, DuoLingo and books and Spanish videos! There are so many resources these days!), but don't let the rare bad experience from time to time get you down. El Paso is full of good people, regardless of the languages they speak.
This reminds me of an interesting story about some rednecks. And I'm sure this isn't isolated to these specific people. But have you ever known the person that loses their mind because a child's toy is pattern to teach them Spanish, or is designed for a Spanish speaking family. Yup. Those people legitimately exist. They believe that if you are in the United States, it's English or GTFO!