February 11, 2015
Engaging with the text
1. The author Tanya Maria Barrientos decided to give her article a Spanish title prepared me for the subject by showing me that it will be about Spanish in some way or form. It led me to also believe that in the use of “Se Habla Espanol” Barrientos was trying to hence that it is used in a variety of places with the same three words. Connecting it to the stereotypical Latino that they are all the same did support my impression as the title conveyed that Barrientos saw that the Latinos were people who “wait[ed] tables and clean[ed] hotel rooms.” It meant to Barrientos that speaking Spanish meant to be poor. To be all the same. Just a poor Latino with a job that is typical. Such as the words of “Se Habla Espanol.”
2. The anecdote at the beginning of the text has the effect of showing the point of view of the conflict that Barrientos has in learning her native language; which caught my attention in wanting to know why she would degrade her own native language.
3. The significance of learning Spanish to Barrientos is that she tried hard for two decades to isolate herself from stereotype but then suddenly a shift in society changed it all. It is important to Barrientos because speaking Spanish is what kept the Latino community together and without knowing Spanish she could not call herself a Latina and have pride in herself.
4. The reason Barrientos added Spanish words to the writing is for the reader to see Barrientos’ perspective of knowing Spanish. Without knowing the language, the feeling of being left out is present. If the words were translated the stance would then change. If the translations are just handed out to the readers then her point would not be proven.
5. Being from Austin and born as the first Mexican American generation my accent is very selective. When I speak English, I speak in a normal non-differentiating accent. My English words are fine and clear, but at times I have a monotone accent and I don’t notice it. Although, when I speak Spanish I have an accent that is immediately distinguishable. The only time I would speak Spanish if I am comfortable speaking it to the person I am with. That someone who I’ve known for a long time and know that they’ll understand me and speak it right back.