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Aflac and Amateur Spanglish

Aflac

I’m yet to see how “Tu vales por two” resonates with bilinguals because “two” sounds contrived. The Spanish phrase is, “Vales por dos.” Replacing “dos” for “two” does not make this phrase Spanglish. It makes it incorrect in English and in Spanish and for that matter in Spanglish.

This is a good example of amateur Spanglish, non-fluent Spanglish or Spanglish for beginners. For Spanglish to work, it has to be a mix of emotionally-charged words in Spanish that are commonly known among Spanish speakers which do not translate in well English or words that were first learned in English and never learned in Spanish because they are too long or impractical.

Spanglish is an “insiders” language that is learned through socialization and mingling with other Spanglish-speakers. Spanglish is spoken among a subculture of in-group members who grew up speaking Spanish and English simultaneously.

Huicholes: Los Últimos Guardianes del Peyote / The Last Peyote Guardians

A story about the Wixárika People, one of the last living Pre-Hispanic cultures in Latin America, and their struggle to preserve Wirikuta, their most sacred territory and the land where the peyote grows, the traditional medicine that keeps alive the knowledge of this iconic people of Mexico.

Una historia acerca del Pueblo Wixárika, una de las últimas culturas prehispánicas vivas en Latinoamérica, y su lucha ante el gobierno mexicano y corporaciones transnacionales mineras para preservar Wirikuta, su territorio más sagrado y la tierra donde crece el peyote, la medicina ancestral que mantiene vivo el conocimiento de este pueblo emblemático de México.

Available at/Disponible en: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/huicholesfilm

Digital Divide and Latinos: A Comcast Opportunity

 

[College] InternetForAllNow

 

By Mari D. González

 

Many argue that Latinos are ahead of the curve when it comes to online interactions—gaming and social media consumption—but they might ignore the fact that 30 percent of Latino families, including school children, college students and working parents, do not have access to basic Internet services at home simply because they cannot afford it. They are deprived of fully participating in and contributing to a society that now depends on Internet as it once depended on home phone services.

Internet services are no longer an option as cable TV. Internet is not just about consuming entertainment. We are now required to complete employment and college applications online and research homework via the World Wide Web. Some wealthy school districts even require students to watch educational online courses to enrich the classroom teaching.

Do we want a society divided by the ability to access information and make use of an essential technology such as the Internet? Do we want low-income Latinos to be relegated to a segment that “over indexes” on consumption? Or, do we want them to be active participants, contributors, and creators online? Affordable Internet services should be the right for every family in the U.S.

Comcast Opportunity

Comcast has fallen short in signing up people in need for its $10-per month service “Internet Essentials”—a program started to ensure the NBC Universal merger in 2011. Now that Comcast has proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable, the Federal Communications Commission must be pressured to require Comcast to 1) Extend Internet Essentials to all low-income households, 2) Increase Internet Essentials subscribers until the program reaches 80% adoption—which is now at 14%, and 3) Create a strategic plan to close the Digital Divide by allocating funds for non-profits to assist in achieving subscriber goals.

Join the #Internet4All movement! Sign the petition: Demand Affordable Internet for All

¡Internet para Todos!

Muchos jóvenes que necesitan Internet para hacer sus tareas no tienen este servicio en sus hogares ya que no lo pueden pagar. En Estados Unidos hay 80 millones de personas que no tienen suficientes recursos económicos para pagar el servicio de Internet en casa. Esta situación afecta particularmente a familias Latinas de bajos recursos, a ancianos, a quienes no hablan Ingles y a personas incapacitas.

¡Tenemos que exigir Internet para Todos!
El acceso al Internet en los hogares debería ser más fácil y accesible. Pidámosle a la Comisión Federal de Comunicaciones (FCC) que la expansión del programa Internet Essentials (Internet Básico) sea un requisito en la consolidación de Comcast y Time Warner. Esto dará acceso al Internet para todos.

¡El momento de exigir Internet accesible para todos los hogares es ahora!

Favor de añadir su nombre a esta petición: http://ow.ly/EmPKR
Para mas información vaya a la página Internet for All Now en español http://www.internetforallnow.org/en_espanol

Millennials’ High Context is Influencing American Values

By Mari D. González

I’m pleased to see how millennials are influencing our current society. They have acquired a broader awareness of their social and global environments than previous generations.

Millennials are more “contextual” or high context and have influenced the workplace and our current societal values. They are more in tune with their immediate social environment and with global happenings and expect people to have a sense of a global community. They care about world affairs and social causes.

These facts are relevant to cross-cultural communication because millennials are changing the emerging fabric of the American culture.  I’d attribute these changes to two factors. One is the circularity and interconnectedness that online communication offers. Secondly, a great majority of millennials come from cultures that are collectivists such as Latino and Asian.

More on this topic at Hiring Millennial: You’re Likely Missing the Point.

“Latino” Preferred in California

By Mari D. González

The term Latino/a is preferred in California because it is associated with a sense of self-power, “for more educated Californians, ‘Latino’ is the new Chicano in that it evokes their indigenous roots, a shared history of struggle and the colonization of the people in Latin American countries.” Alcoff, L. M. (2005). Latino vs. Hispanic: The politics of ethnic names. Philosophy & Social Criticism, 31(4), 395-407.

Latinos in the U.S.

By Mari D. González

This is a comment I shared on the Hispanic Professionals LinkedIn Group discussion titled, “Bilingualism Key to Breach the Gap.”

“The hope for the advancement of Latinos in the U.S. lies among young educated and aware Latinos/Hispanics who are the product of bilingualism for they did not grow up during the time when speaking Spanish was prohibited.

Unfortunately, before the 1970′s  Latinos or Mexican Americans were either forced to identify  with the general, macro, dominant culture–white–or to be secluded in cluster communities up to the explosion of the Chicano Movement which proclaimed the recognition of the indigenous roots of Mexican culture and empowered Mexican Americans to advance politically.  As radical as it was, the painful conscientious movement was indeed needed.

As a result, young Latinos and Latinas are enjoying one of the greatest legacies from it–bilingualism. We are also more knowledgeable of the two cultures that makes us up. We are integrated. We are expanding our awareness of our culture of origin–Latin America–by socializing online, by traveling and by being more exposed to different cultures and places.

Young Latinos and Latinas are currently graduating from college in record numbers. This can be attributed to our collectivist values, or group efforts to mentor and tutor, to expand culturally appropriate program in colleges and high schools such as Puente and above all to having a willingness of being role models to upcoming students.

That is what differentiates Latinos from whites and blacks. Latinos have a strong commitment to improve their communities. Even when succeeding Latinos might leave their neighborhoods to study or work, most return to uplift others.

Who needs JLo, Jessica de Alba, Ted Cruz, or any of those washed out Latinos. While they might be popular, they have no true influence. Influence is acquired by taking responsibility for and by making an impact on others’ lives and by uplifting human values.

Being Latino is not a label. Being Latino is a strong community commitment to help Latinos in need. Yet, we need to move away from history to create a clear vision of the future as one cultural group. We must ask ourselves, What is it that we want as a group?  Where are we moving toward? What our direction should be?”

Social Media and Americans

By Mari D. González

According to a study conducted by MarketingCharts only 32% of Americans aged 18-64 rate social media’s importance a top priority. The report adds, “That makes Americans about 20% less likely than average respondent across 24 markets to consider social media important to them.”

Ipsos-Importance-of-Social-Media-to-Americans-Oct2013International Social Media

“On a global scale, social media is rated important (top-2 box) by the highest proportion of respondents in Turkey (64%), Brazil (63%), Indonesia (62%), China (61%) and Saudi Arabia (59%). By comparison, social is important to the smallest proportion of respondents in France (17%) and Japan (24%).” MarketingCharts Staff

Super Bowl and American Ethos

By Mari D. González

If one wonders what the U.S. American ethos is, one can see it fully represented in the Super Bowl ads–the dreams, the myths, the wishes, the ideal values, the perceived beauty, the wishful thinking, and what should or could be.

It is great to witness that finally, those ideal values have been updated to be more inclusive and to reflect what most of us observe daily in the U.S. —an obvious ethnic diversity–made up of continuous waves of immigrants that keep moving this country forward.

¡Hola Venky! Indian and Mexican Cultures

By Mari D. González

Hola Venky

Every time I hear complaints about the lack of diversity in Hollywood movies, I wish those who are dissatisfied and passionate about portraying a more realistic picture of the world resolved to change things around.

The reality is that in recent years, white-Americans have become a minority group in California while Latinos and Asians have continued to grow in numbers.

The movie ¡Hola Venky! is a great example of being proactive. According to the Mexican Heritage Corporation based in San Jose, ¡Hola Venky! is a romantic comedy that highlights Mexican culture and music, and also spotlights Indian culture, creating a rich, modern fusion.  “The film follows Venky, a divorced Indian engineer, as he comes to Silicon Valley and falls in love with a Mexican woman, Inez, whose father was a noted mariachi musician.”

Most people who have had any contact with people from India and from Mexico will immediately notice the richness and colorfulness in both cultures’ music, food and dress. That does not mean we should minimize the gaps between these two cultures which can make interactions either captivating or cheerless, depending on how open you are.

But, for those of use who love intercultural communication, ¡Hola Venky! promises to be the perfect movie.