Culture

When Your First Language Is Spanish, But English Has Taken Over Your Life

Is Spanish your first language? Maybe, like so many of us, you started off speaking exclusively Spanish, picking up English later on at school, and then… FORGOT IT ALL. But don’t feel alone in this, fellow pochos / gringozados.

It’s a pretty common issue, so let’s vent about it together:

1. You end up doing a lot of smiling and nodding.

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Credit: Logo

? I have no idea what’s going on. ?

2. You miss out on precious, precious chisme.

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Credit: Televisa

This one hurts the most. Tía Concha did WHAT with WHOM back in the day? 

3. Speaking to a relative on the phone becomes an awkward, horrifying nightmare.

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Credit: Paramount Pictures

“Habla con tu tía.”

NoooOoOoOoooooOoOooooooo…

4. Your older relatives judge you…

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Credit: CW

?

5. …And your younger relatives bond with you more closely.

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Credit: YouTube / laurencimorelli ‍

Because chances are pretty good that you’re all in the same boat now (the HMS Niños Americanizados).

6. You basically only remember old nursery rhymes, kids’ songs and prayers.

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Credit: Memegenerator

“Angel de mi sana sana ranita, dulce compania…”

7. You hear a lot about how you’re so “shy” now.

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But, really, you’re just not sure how to say what you want to say!

8. Although Spanish definitely comes more easily when you’re mad or talking to a pet/baby.

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Credit: YouTube / Pri-Fla-E-Marcelinha Dos Santos Iwama

Don’t ask me why these things are true; they just are.

9. You mostly speak Spanish by what “sounds” right…

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Because, for you, Spanish isn’t about grammar rules, it’s just about a feeling.

10. …Which can get hella confusing.

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Estoy bueno. I mean, estoy bien. Soy bien. Both?

11. …And also leads to you avoiding verbs like the plague.

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Don’t worry: You’re not the only one feeling the pain of conjugation.

12. Sometimes, you even mix languages up.

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Credit: YouTube / Daily Breaking News

Très bueno indeed.

13. Accents will be the death of you.

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Credit: ABC

Sure, you can understand perfect “newscaster Spanish,” but throw in a fast-talking Cuban or an Argentine swapping “ll’s” for “jjjjhhhjggg’s” and you’re @#$%ed.

14. And you become self-conscious about your own accent when speaking Spanish.

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Credit: Fox

It used to be so perfect! Let’s just blame television for this. Deal? Deal.

15. Children’s movies with subtitles become a lifesaver.

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Credit: Disney

What better way to relearn the Spanish you’ve woefully forgotten than by listening to “The Circle of Life” in español.

16. You sometimes feel like a huge @#$%ing disappointment.

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You can’t help it. You wish you were better at this!

17. But you know this doesn’t define you.

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And you’re still completely, perfectly Latino, no matter what level of Spanish (or Portuguese, lest we forget our Brazilian cousins) you speak. <3


READ: 5 Beautifully Perverse Responses To Use When Someone Makes You Speak Spanish

So, tell us. How’s your Spanish these days? 

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Alaina Castillo’s New TikTok Trend Is Empowering People To Embrace Their Latinidad

Culture

Alaina Castillo’s New TikTok Trend Is Empowering People To Embrace Their Latinidad

Not everyone has the privilege of growing up surrounded by their cultura, with parents there to pass on knowledge of traditions and customs from home. That, combined with heavily opinionated internet trolls, has led to many people struggling to feel confident in their identity. In a digital world that tries to force us all to fit into boxes, what does “Latino enough” mean and how do you know if you’re there?

Recently, we asked our Instagram community “what does being Latino mean to you?” and although some responses had details in common, for the most part they were as unique as every member of the community itself. There is no one definition of Latinidad, and therefore there is no way to measure what exactly makes someone “Latino enough.”

We got the chance to talk to Alaina Castillo, musical artist and TikTok Queen, about how she identifies with Latinidad and what this TikTok trend is all about. Did we mention quarantine has not stopped her from dropping new music? Check out her latest single, “tonight”!

IMAGE COURTESY OF ALAINA CASTILLO

What does being Latina mean to you? – mitú

“It means that I have something to identify with and be proud of because of my family members, my culture, and the things that I participate in as a Latina.” – A.C.

Side note, this was a personal reminder that we represent the community wherever we occupy space, whether we realize it or not. We are all participating in things as members of the community.

What’s something that, as a Latina, you are proud of? – mitú

“The strength and endurance that we have. I’ve seen it in my dad, his family, and so many others and it makes me feel proud as well as encouraged to achieve my goals with the same mindset as them.” – A.C.

While they may not be perfect (and let’s face it, who is?), our parents are the definition of hard working. Remembering that their blood runs through my veins always keeps me going when the going gets tough. Si se puede!

What Latino figures inspire you? – mitú

“Selena, even though she was an artist that I didn’t really grow up listening to. When I found out who she was, she was someone who I related to because she was a Mexican-American learning to speak and sing in Spanish, while breaking a lot of barriers that people had set up around her.” – A.C.

La Reina del Tex-Mex was a trailblazer indeed! Who else could forget Selena’s iconic “diecicuatro” blurb when she appeared in an interview with Cristina Saralegui? The important thing to focus on is that she was TRYING! As long as we’re all working on improving and being the best versions of ourselves, that’s the best we can do, and it’s okay to make mistakes along the way.

IMAGE COURTESY OF ALAINA CASTILLO

Name one meal that, no matter where you have it, always reminds you of home. – mitú

“Homemade tamales!!!! 100%” – A.C.

You know we love some good tamales, so naturally our next question was…

Where is your family from? – mitú

“My dad is from Mexico and my mom is from Ohio.” – A.C.

Mmmm…Mexican tamales 😋

Have you ever been to those places? – mitú

“Yes, both places. I went to Mexico when I was really young, maybe about two times, and then I’ve traveled to Ohio on various occasions to see family. I was young each time I went to those places so they’re little memories I think of when I miss my family.” – A.C.

What would you say is the most “Latino” item in your home? – mitú

“We have these blankets from my grandma that I grew up using. I thought they were normal blankets but then I saw on social media that almost every Latino household has some and I was like hmmm, what do you know?” – A.C.

IMAGE COURTESY OF ALAINA CASTILLO

What would you say to people who think that not speaking Spanish makes you less Latino? – mitú

“I think it’d definitely be nice to know the language fluently but some people aren’t taught Spanish growing up and that’s not their fault. Not speaking the language doesn’t mean that they don’t have the same customs or should be rejected from the culture that their family is from. I decided to learn on my own because I’ve always been interested in Spanish, and also so I could speak with my family and I see that’s what a lot of other people are doing too.” – A.C.

One more time for the people in the back: not speaking Spanish doesn’t make you any less Latino.

How do you celebrate your Latinidad? – mitú

“With pride. I wouldn’t be who I am today without influences from my family so it’ll always be something I carry with me and proudly show throughout my life and career.” – A.C.

What do you hope people take away from this trend? – mitú

“That Latinidad is something you’re born with and it can’t ever be taken away from you,” – A.C.

So forget about the opinions of other people! All they’re doing is projecting their beliefs onto you and that is not an actual reflection of who you are. We hope you are inspired to embrace your Latinidad on your own terms, and that you walk more confidently in your identity. So duet us on TikTok and don’t forget to use the hashtag #AreYouLatinoEnough to join in on the fun!

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

An Abuelo Got A Hurtful Note From Bad Neighbors About His Decorations And Latino Twitter Came Into Comfort Him

Things That Matter

An Abuelo Got A Hurtful Note From Bad Neighbors About His Decorations And Latino Twitter Came Into Comfort Him

@goldenstef / Twitter

We are rarely more defensive than we are for our abuelos. The viejitos have always been there for us and seeing them treated unkindly is just heartbreaking. That is what one Twitter user experienced after her abuelo got a wretched note about his decorations outside his home.

This is the horrid letter left for @goldenstef’s abuelo by undesirable neighbors.

The letter, which is filled with misspelled words, calls the abuelo’s house an example of a “low class Mexican family.” The letter was written anonymously by neighbors and delivered to the abuelo in an attempt to shame him into changing his decorations. One of the most bizarre moments in the letter is when the angry author criticized the homeowner for having too many American flags claiming he isn’t patriotic and can’t fool the neighbors. Like, which one is it people?

The Twitter user followed up with photos of the house to show the decorations their abuelo has out front.

People flooded the Twitter post with comments supporting and sending love to the abuelo. Fellow Latinos are ready to stand with the abuelo and some just want the names of the people behind the letter so they can talk to them. Some people are stunned at how far the author was willing to go out of their way to be mean to an old man who just wants to decorate his home and front yard.

Latino Twitter wants to come together to let the abuelo know that his decorations are adorbs.

We need to come together to give her abuelo all of the wonderful decoration we love. Let’s turn his house and front yard into a showcase of all of the greatness that Latin America has to offer.

People are falling in love with this viejitos yard.

Honestly, this is a great yard. Who wouldn’t want a yard like this? This yard is original and adorable and worth all of the praise that we can muster. Thank you to people like this for making their yards something unique and worth seeing.

@goldenstef wants everyone to know just how much they appreciate the sweet messages about their abuelo’s yard.

It costs nothing to be kind. It is even better when you can be kind about something someone clearly cares so much about. Who cares if someone decorates their lawn a little too much. At least they are having fun with their lives and that is something we all need more of right now.

READ: Latinas Are Sharing Their Most Treasured Memories Of Their Abuelos And It’s Exactly What We Needed This Month

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