Ask a Mexican on the "No Espeak English" Ruse and the World Cup

I'm a half-mexicana, half-gabacha working as an appointment scheduler in a medical office. I'm one of a handful of schedulers there who speak Spanish. I've noticed in the years I've been working in this field that about seven to eight times out of 10, when a Spanish-speaking patient calls, gets one of the schedulers who doesn't speak español and waits for myself or someone else to call them back . . . the patient actually speaks English well. I find this out only because (since mi mamá mexicana always told me to never assume someone can't speak English and do him/her the courtesy by waiting until he/she requests Spanish) I call back speaking in English, and they respond in English. I don't mind speaking Spanish with any of my patients — in fact, I'm happy I can be of service — but it makes me wonder why would anyone would want to wait and waste precious time to get their health situated by not speaking English if there is no Spanish speaker available at the time (given they have the capability). Some of my patients really need the help and I am ready para hablar, but others probably have better English skills than several of the gabachas I know.


Appointment Desk, This is Chiquita Curiosa. How Can I Help You?

Sometimes, Mexicans who can speak English pretend not to so they can gain an advantage over their gabacho adverseries — the classic "No espeak English" ruse when either trying to get out of a situation or trying to make the gabachos think they're a stupid Mexican. Other times, the English-knowing Mexican will still prefer Spanish because they can be more exact. That seems to be the case here, especially given you're in a medical profession and some Mexican health practices just don't translate well into the King's English — how do you tell your doctor, for instance, that your mom's remedy for a broken clavicle is Vicks and 7-Up?

For those of us living in California, the FIFA World Cup is a big deal. Since we have such a huge Mexican population that has been here a while, is it a safe bet that they root for the U.S. team and the one from Mexico? I know that I tend to place my hopes on Mexico once the Americans get the boot in the first round. Couldn't we get a little more love going for our SoCal community by making our support in the World Cup international?


Soccer Gabacho

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Historically, no Mexican in the United States would ever root for los Estados Unidos — not so much because it was considered traitorous, but mostly because the team was middling at best and über-gabacho. That has changed in the past generation, as the U.S. has not only become a mid-level power that consistently whips Mexico's ass on the pitch, but also because the squad is now diverse. At the same time, El Tri has underachieved behind the fresa foot of Javier "Chicharito" Hernández ("Little Pea," so nicknamed for the size of his huevos) and the most overrated Mexican since Maná. Most Mexican-Americans will still root for Mexico over the U.S., but there's at least a grudging respect for the norteamericano side — and at least brown members of Uncle Sam's Army don't get pelted with urine bags anymore . . . much. Nevertheless, I don't see a fruitful Mundial for either team, so Mexicans will probably do what they did during the last Cup: suddenly discover their Spanish roots, and go for the goal-getting gachupines.

¡Ask a Mexican! Videos are back!: Gentle cabrones: after a years-long hiatus, I've relaunched the video version of this columna. Follow my weekly rants on Twitter by clicking the hashtag #askamexican and ask away. Enjoy!

 
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2 comments
nickdwaters
nickdwaters

Odd to see someone refer to themselves as half-gabacha or gabacho. Do you hate yourselves due to your mixed ancestry or is this some "class" thing?  The US has given Latino's more than enough reason to see themselves as different. I just wish it weren't so, and it needn't be this way but for some incredibly stupid people who manage to get elected.  There is too much emphasis on cultural identity and that inherent nationalism serves to keep us apart "us and them" "Latino and gabacho".  I don't call myself anything but American, even though I have a smidgen of "mixed" ancestry, though sometimes I would rather not be seen as white for what I hope can be perceived as intuitive reasons.


US_War_Veteran
US_War_Veteran

This is in regards to the first article "Mexican on the "No Espeak English" Ruse".


Dear half-mexicana, half-gabacha, besides the two answers given in the article I would like to offer a third one, it is entirely possible that a person that is bilingual chooses to call and request a Spanish speaking scheduler, why? because they are trying to save your job, I know I have done it myself;  It's sort of like those self-checkout machines at the store/supermarket, I always go and wait in line to be checked out by an actual human cashier instead of going to the self-checkout machine even if they are empty, why? because I know some bean counter in some corporate office is trying to cut jobs to increase the company profits and get a promotion, and he or she is probably comparing how many customers self-checked out versus how many go to the cashiers so they can justify getting rid of a cashier or two, so in my sick and twisted mind I'd like to think I am helping some one keep their job by being "needed" and not being replaced with a computer, the same for goes for automated phone operators, if I can help it I try to get a live person on the line rather than using the automated service. 

 
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