Weekly Tip – 3/19/15

Weekly Tip: Ask first. Don’t assume.

Every week I hear students saying that they try to speak Spanish with native speakers, but that they answer them in English.

Have you ever had this issue? Have you ever wondered why?

Here are a few reasons:
– Sometimes they do not speak Spanish fluently. Just because a person has a Hispanic name and looks stereotypically Latino, doesn’t mean that they speak Spanish. Many people of Mexican descent were born and raised in this country, speaking mostly English, to avoid as much prejudice as possible.
– Some people take offense to being spoken to in their native language while in the US and want to show you that they speak English too.
– Some people lack patience. It is what it is. You’re impatient about some things, some people are impatient about listening to others speak a foreign language.
– Some people are just trying to make it easier for YOU, so they’re going out of their way to speak YOUR language.
Etcetera…there are many reasons why people may respond in English.

So what do you do if you really want to practice your Spanish with native speakers?  It’s very easy. Just ask them if you can. Tell them that you heard them speaking Spanish, that you’re learning Spanish and that you were wondering if you could practice with them for a minute. When you do this, you will be amazed at the results that you get. 9 out 10 people will go out of their way to help you and will be absolutely thrilled that you’re learning their language! It’s really that easy.