Sunday, June 15, 2008

No inglés, sorry!

I'm not scared to die, I'm a little bit scared of what comes after

I've generally abstained from discussions about immigration (as pertaining specifically to Border Jumping Mexicans and wall-building lobbyists) and the subsequent topics that follow (If You Live Here You Should Speak English, to be specific), largely because I am a) uninformed and b) apathetic. Largely, I'm uninformed because I'm apathetic. My potential jobs are not in danger of workforce sucking illegals, my welfare is not being drained, and my culture is not being threatened. If anything, I'm pro-Border Jumping Mexicans because man, their food is delicioso and their tequila gets the job done.

As a scholar of a foreign language (and a tourist of others), I'm (academically) of two minds about the whole America = English issue. Mind One says that languages are beautiful and interesting and we should encourage the use of as many as possible. Mind Two says that if I can learn one language and passably babble in two others in under 3 years, then learning English shouldn't be too terrible of a task.

I will admit, however, that when it comes to real world application of my vague convictions, Mind Two wins the fight and feels compelled to join up with the legions of poster-waving conservatives.

I don't mind needing to know basic Spanish to communicate with some of my co-workers. I actually sort of appreciate having an excuse to broaden my lingual horizons. But I do mind when my Spanish-speaking co-workers don't pay me the same courtesy. "No inglés, sorry!" as the sole phrase in your English repertoire doesn't cut it with me.

No más hablo español, Maria.

Maria: Excuse me. Please, food to go. Two. Thank you! *walks away*
Cathi: Wait! What food do you want to go?
Maria: No inglés, sorry!
Cathi: Food to go?"
Maria: Sí.
Cathi: What food?
Maria: No inglés, sorry!
Cathi: Um..... qué?
Maria: ¿Qué?
Cathi: Qué
Maria: No inglés, sorry!
Cathi: *racking brain for vocab from Spanish class* Qué... comidas?
Maria: Ah.... pizza.
Cathi: Kid's pizza?
Maria: Sí. Con.... ah... jamón y piña.
Cathi: Dos pizzas? With ham and pineapple?
Maria: No inglés, sorry!
Cathi: Dos pizzas para niños con jamón y piña?
Maria: Sí.
Cathi: *rings it in*
Maria: *hands over money*
Cathi: *cashes it out immediately*
Maria: Dave.
Cathi: What?
Maria: No inglés, sorry!
Cathi: Dave?
Maria: Dave. Menos dinero.
Cathi: Oh.... you get a shift meal?
Maria: No inglés, sorry!

No comments:

Post a Comment