Culture

Gold Cup Video Opens Debate on Whether New Generations of Latinos Should Speak Spanish

A recent ESPN Deportes video sparked an online debate that rings true for many children of Latino immigrants in the United States — should they be speaking Spanish or not?

The clip, taken outside the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, during the last game for the Copa de Oro between Mexico and Panama, focuses on a young fan of El Tri. Reporter Jose Del Valle approaches the boy, saying to the camera, “Here we have the future of Mexico!”

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Del Valle leans over to the boy, asking, “¿Cual es tu nombre?” in Spanish.

To which the boy asks, “My name?”

Del Valle continues asking him why he thinks Mexico should win the Copa de Oro, to which the young boy says, “What?”

Now, the internet claims the boy is part of the “No sabo generation” as one Instagram user put it.

@espndeportes

El niño se quedó con cara de “What?!” 😅😳.

♬ original sound – ESPN Deportes

As new generations of Latinos grow up in the U.S., will Spanish disappear as their first language? Should second or third-generation Latinos who predominately speak English aim to teach their kids Spanish? We’re breaking down the debate.

The “What?” that has the internet saying Latino parents should teach their kids Spanish

Users on social media blame the child’s parents for not teaching him Spanish from an early age.

“The sad truth about this country is that many paisanos don’t teach their kids Spanish, such a shame knowing it’ll be good for them to speak 2 languages,” one wrote on Instagram.

Another added, “It’s not his fault, his parents are a fault.”

However, the Pew Research Center statistics state that 85% of Latino parents speak Spanish to their children, with 97% of immigrant parents adding this in a 2015 National Survey of Latinos.

Meanwhile, users are calling the child “No sabo” part two. Referring to people who are not fluent in Spanish.

Others are wondering if shaming a child for not speaking Spanish is a way of gatekeeping Latinidad. Are there specific metrics we should follow when raising our children in the U.S.?

What about assimilation? The discussion reaches further into the nuances that come with the languages we’re raised with and how, perhaps, parents are just trying to help their kids “survive” in a new country.

Also, others are calling out the Reporter, Del Valle, for not repeating the questions in English.

“I understand the kid doesn’t speak Spanish, but also, Del Valle, if you see something like this should speak to him in English, because at the end of the day the first language here is English.”

Some commenters disagree and claim Spanish is not the dominant language in the U.S., asking to leave “No sabo” kids alone

Although many poked fun at the young boy in the comments section for his lack of fluency in Spanish, others have come to his defense, claiming not speaking Spanish doesn’t make him any less Latino.

“Why are we cheering on this payaso with these tonterias and making fun of a poor child,” one person said on Instagram.

“The future of Mexico speaks English very well,” another one added.

But this debate is not new; it has been going on since the first “No sabo” video emerged on the internet.

Leading others to point out how this ongoing debate about being inarticulate in two languages is breaking the Latino community apart rather than bringing us together. As lifestyle brand, Hija de Tu Madre Tweeted:

Artists such as Gina Rodriguez have pointed to comments saying she’s not “Latina enough” for not speaking Spanish fluently in the past as well.

“What happens in this country is that we are the Latino community…we’re all different…to put us in a box is unfair,” she said. “My parents specifically were terrified of us having accents because they were made fun of their whole lives for accents, so they wanted to assimilate us into a culture that wouldn’t put up their guard against us. So, they chose to teach us English as our first language.”

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