About La Mother Tongue

La Mother Tongue is my medium to share the joys and challenges of being a new parent as well as to share how we make a conscious effort in our daily life to bring baby up bilingual.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Language Profiling

Yesterday , we were driving down the road and bright yellow SUV was not driving appropriately.  I made  some kind of comentario under my breath.  Sofía asked me what the car was doing and I explained it to her. 
We drove by them; I glanced over and saw that there were two Latinas in the car and the driver was TALKING ON HER CELULAR!  Gggrrrr.  Two seconds after passing the car, Sofía said, “Esas señoras hablan Español, cierto, Mami?” I was SHOCKED of course.  I answered her that they indeed spoke Español and asked her how she KNEW that they spoke Español.  Her response?  No sé.”
Image Detail I suppose I have handed down the Language-Profiling gene to Sofía. (I really like to call it Racial Profiling, but that has a WHOLE different meaning.) Maybe it is a good skill that she will need if she becomes a CIA agent instead of the Veterinaria that I’m sure is her destino.   I suppose I Language Profile because I'm a Language Nerdo. But it is also easy to do in our area. The majority of non-gringos are either off the boat or first generation immigrants, so it is easy and rather accurate. Here, at least, if someone looks like a foreigner, they generally are a foreigner, but I realize this isn’t the case in other regions of the country.  But I love to check out people's factions, shoes and socks, gait, skin and hair color, and  language rhythm to determine what language they speak and if they are immigrants or children of immigrants. If I sense a hint of being a Spanish-Speaker, I immediately transition into Español.  I’m more comfortable with it and I want Sofía to be exposed as much as possible.  But who am I kidding?  I switch to Español even when Sofía ISN’T around!  іJa ja jee jee! I just find it fascinante to look at a person’s appearance and culturally dissect him or her to discover from where he or she is or what language he or she speaks.  Do YOU Language Profile?

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