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Assimilation

Couple days ago, I met a third generation Mexican immigrant (legal). He didn’t speak Spanish. Ok, he said he didn’t.

5 Responses to “Assimilation”

  1. Anne Says:

    As I understand it, that is fairly typical of immigrants regardless of the mother tongue language: the adult immigrants may not ever learn effective English; their children will be more or less bilingual (depending upon the age they were when they immigrated). The grandchildren of the adult immigrants will likely not speak the grandparents’ mother language.

  2. Heartless Libertarian Says:

    My mom is second generation German immigrant. (My great grandfather Schluetter was born in Hamburg.)

    My grandmother and her two sisters spoke fluent German. Neither my mother nor any of her cousins speak much beyond ‘Ja’ and ‘Nein’.

    My grandmother and great aunts apprently used to use German when they didn’t want the kids to know what they were saying.

  3. tgirsch Says:

    My wife is second-generation Puerto Rican and speaks very little Spanish. But this is in large part because of her first-generation conservative father (born in San Juan) who refused to speak Spanish in front of his children growing up. Interestingly, the children are somewhat bitter about this, not because of any loss of identity, but because knowing a second language (especially Spanish) would have been extremely useful.

    I also have an Argentine coworker with three children. One of them was born here in the US, while the other two were born in Buenos Aires and spent their early years there. The two older children are bilingual. The youngest understands Spanish but does not speak it. This despite the fact that Spanish is spoken almost exclusively in their household.

  4. Michael Says:

    Yeah I can believe that. Probley had a very clean accent too.

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