Americans and Language

I sat in my International Law class yesterday and two gringos I know from my Arabic courses claimed, as one of the ‘getting acquainted’ questions asked if one spoke or studied a foreign language, that they speak Arabic. I know for a fact they don’t speak a lick of it. I don’t understand why anyone would claim to speak a language if they can’t order at a restaurant? I bet they’d also fill the “fluent” box on applications and forms.

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Categories: Random | Tags: | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Americans and Language

  1. JD

    If only I got a penny for every time some gringo says “I can speak Spanish”. And then when they attempt to speak a word, the butchering begins. I don’t even want to think of how many jobs I didn’t get because someone put down in their resume that they can speak Spanish because they took it through high school and couple courses in college and they spent a week in Cancun. If only Cervantes could hear how these gringos speak! That is the arrogance of the “white man”. All in order to pretend and brag that they know everything and nothing escapes their control. I think it is wiser to acknowledge lack of knowledge. “All I know is that I know nothing”(Socrates).
    Man it seems that you hit a nerve with this one! I had a lot to say.

  2. hmalik

    Lol, this is a bit of harsh criticism. In my opinion, If there is any thing that Americans or any person could take away from these silly required foreign language classes is the opportunity to brag about it when possible. So give the brothers a break.

  3. Om

    This is exactly how felt when I was sitting there looking at these guys bro. You know, the first person to pop into my head was that Will guy that you told me about. As you pointed out perfectly, it has to do with arrogance that unfortunately a lot of Americans carry around. These guys really pissed me off for some reason. And I can see why a qualified native speaker of Spanish like you would be passed over for a job that not only you can do 100x better but also provide a very important language in this country. But Will and his friends somehow manage to label themselves Spanish fluent and make excuses (like, I’m sorry but this guy’s dialect is Argentinian and I only speak Mexican) when they have to speak to or translate for a native speaker. How annoying!

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