Many third-generation Hispanics don’t speak Spanish, but their parents do. Why?

SAN ANTONIO – A Pew Research Center examine discovered that just about 70% of second-generation Latinos in U.S. are bilingual and fewer than 1 / 4 of third-generation Hispanics speak Spanish.

It’s why KSAT’s Alicia Barrera and RJ Marquez spoke with a professor at Our Lady of the Lake University on KSAT News Now concerning the matter, and he or she says the lack of Spanish between generations was usually a manner of parents defending their kids from punishment or ridicule that they themselves had skilled.

“When someone criticizes the way you speak or the way you say certain things,” Dr. Maribel Larraga, Professor of Humanities & Social Sciences at OLLU stated. “They are criticizing you as a person.”

Third-generation Latinos who don’t speak Spanish usually are not unusual, and arguably probably the most influential Latinas of our lifetime was third era and didn’t speak Spanish fluently.

Yes, La Reina, it’s well-known Selena didn’t speak Spanish rising up. She realized it later in life as she rose to fame.


Other third-generation Latinos who don’t fluently speak Spanish, are a pair of outstanding political figures from San Antonio, the Castro brothers.

Congressman Joaquin Castro stated his grandmother spoke primarily Spanish, but he stated after his parents have been punished for talking Spanish at college he and his brother, former San Antonio mayor and presidential candidate Julian Castro, have been taught English.

“It really is just a generation of people who had a language literally beaten out of them in our school system,” U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro stated. “And it’s so tragic and unfortunate because it was not only the loss of a language, but also partly the loss of a culture.”

Norma Ochoa is seventy years previous. Her first language was Spanish, and whereas at school in San Antonio in second grade she stated a trainer shamed her for talking Spanish within the classroom and it made an influence on her.

“I felt she demeaned me, and I felt that I wasn’t good enough to be there, and I just didn’t, I didn’t want to go to school,” Norma Ochoa, a second-generation Latina, stated. “So after that, you know, after maybe a week or two at school of having all that cast upon me, I just felt like I didn’t belong there.”


That ostracization led to the choice to solely educate English to her kids.

“I definitely decided that I was not going to let this happen to my daughters,” Ochoa stated.

Norma’s grownup daughter Nicole Ochoa Malesky stated she is aware of her mom did this out of affection and safety. She doesn’t blame second-generation parents for not educating their kids Spanish, but as a substitute society from that period.

“I felt very separated from my culture,” Ochoa Malesky stated. “I felt very… I wasn’t considered Anglo and I wasn’t considered Hispanic. So then where did I fall?”

Castro stated simply because a Latina or Latino doesn’t speak Spanish it doesn’t make them much less Hispanic. He stated there are such a lot of alternative ways to embrace your roots.

“There’s so much more to the culture than just the language,” Castro stated. “So I hope that folks will be proud of who they are, regardless of whether they can speak Spanish or not, and that folks will accept people, you know, even if they don’t speak Spanish perfectly.”


Ochoa Malesky stated she needs to embrace that a part of her heritage, saying it’s who she is. She stated she needs her kids to really feel that freedom. She stated that concern creates a way of individuals being quiet or not wanting to speak about issues.

“That’s not the world that we live and we have to, we have to voice out,” Ochoa Malesky stated. “As I’ve gotten older and had children of my own realizing that I want to give my children that education, I don’t want that history to be erased. That the stories that we tell, that’s how we gain compassion and empathy and a love for all people and all beings is to understand we’re a multicultural world, we don’t live within.”

Castro stated he’s passionate sufficient concerning the language to make it a purpose.

“I would love to be fluent in Spanish and I’m resolved before I die to actually get there and be able to speak it fluently,” Castro stated.

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