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Los pequeños quijotes contra la política migratoria de Trump

Una mañana fría a principios de 2016, estaba parada al lado de mi hija de 6 años frente al espejo del baño. Estábamos jugando con pintura para el rostro: rayas amarillas, puntos verdes y una mancha azul por aquí y por allá. De pronto, mi hija hundió el dedo índice en el pequeño bote de pintura blanca y, mientras se pintaba los cachetes, dijo: “Mira, mamá, así me preparo para cuando Trump sea presidente. Para que no sepan que somos mexicanas”.

No ve mucho las noticias y no parece ponerle demasiada atención a la radio, pero de alguna manera se enteró de la forma en que Donald Trump había anunciado su candidatura a la presidencia: “Cuando México nos manda a su gente, no manda a los mejores”, sino que envía a “violadores”.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Littlest Don Quixotes Versus the World

On a bitter cold morning in early 2016, I was standing next to my 6-year-old daughter in front of the bathroom mirror. We were playing with face paint: yellow stripes, green dots, a blue spot here and there. At one point, my daughter dug her index finger into the little bucket of white paint, and, as she spread it across her cheeks, she said: “Look, Mamma, now I’m getting ready for when Trump is president. So they won’t know we’re Mexicans.”

She doesn’t watch much news and doesn’t seem to pay very close attention to the radio, but perhaps somehow she knew about how Donald Trump had announced his candidacy for the presidency, saying, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” but instead sending “rapists.”…  Seguir leyendo »

Students from a Confucius Institute in the US visiting the Confucius Temple in Qufu, China, April 17, 2013. Imaginechina via AP Images

Since their beginning in 2005, Confucius Institutes have been set up to teach Chinese language classes in more than one hundred American colleges and universities, including large and substantial institutions like Rutgers University, the State Universities of New York at Binghamton and Albany, Purdue, Emory, Texas A & M, Stanford, and others. In addition, there are now about five hundred sister programs, known as “Confucius Classrooms,” teaching Chinese in primary and secondary schools from Texas to Massachusetts.

But while the rapid spread of these institutes has been impressive, in recent years their unusual reach in the American higher education system has become increasingly controversial: Confucius Institutes are an official agency of the Chinese government, which provides a major share, sometimes virtually all, of the funds needed to run them.…  Seguir leyendo »

No es que quisiera negarme la chuleta. Sencillamente, el camarero del bar de Chicago donde yo intentaba cenar no se enteró de lo que su cliente extranjero quería pedir. Estábamos hablando inglés. O lo que pensábamos ambos que era el inglés. Pero no existe un inglés único, sino muchas hablas más o menos inglesas. En el inglés de Inglaterra, que hablo por haber nacido y crecido en ese país, «chuleta» se dice «chop» con una «o» muy corta y redonda. En el inglés que predomina en los Estados Unidos, la vocal se escribe igual, pero que se parece más a una «a» española y se pronuncia como si fuera «cha-a-a-p», con un sonido largo y con la boca ancha.…  Seguir leyendo »

At Harvard, the star of Arabic A is a girl named Maha. Maha Muhammed Abulaal, to be precise. She's the pouty protagonist in the melodrama that runs throughout "Al-Kitaab," the standard beginning text in Arabic classes at Harvard and other American universities.

We are taught to speak our first Arabic sentences by expressing Maha's incurable angst. We learn in Chapter 1 that Maha is desperately lonely. In later chapters, we are told that she hates New York, has no boyfriend and resents her mother.

Soon we encounter her equally depressing relatives in Egypt -- such as her first cousin Khalid, whose mother died in a car accident and who was forced to study business administration after his father told him literature "has no future."…  Seguir leyendo »

By E. J. Dionne Jr. (THE WASHINGTON POST, 23/05/06):

Yes, let's talk about the English language and how important it is that immigrants and their children learn it.

And please permit me to be personal about an issue that is equally personal to the tens of millions of Americans who remember their immigrant roots.

My late father was born in the United States, and grew up in French Canadian neighborhoods in and around New Bedford, Mass. When he started school, he spoke English with a heavy accent. A first-grade teacher mercilessly made fun of his command of the language.

My dad would have none of this and proceeded to relearn English, with some help from a generous friend named James Radcliffe who, in turn, asked my dad to teach him French.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Ilan Stavans, profesor Lewis-Sebring de cultura latinoamericana e hispana del Amherst College (LA VANGUARDIA, 28/03/05):

Responda, rápido: ¿qué término emplean los cubano-norteamericanos de Miami en lugar de traitor (traidor)? Kennedito. ¿Y cómo llaman los mexicanos del este de Los Ángeles al Tío Tom? Burrito. Como cualquier lexicógrafo puede atestiguar, ninguna de estas palabras -al menos en los sentidos arriba reseñados- figura en el léxico español normativo. Ni tampoco se encontrarán en el Oxford English Dictionary. Dan fe -en cambio- del rápido incremento de vocabulario del spanglish, ese idioma híbrido y colorista -en parte inglés, en parte español- que puede oírse actualmente en casi todo Estados Unidos.…  Seguir leyendo »