None of the many people who have informed me that Spanish is easier than the Romance and Germanic languages they speak, speak Spanish well; in many cases they also do not speak the Romance and Germanic languages they speak as well as I do. When I inform them that the actually more-difficult Romance language is Portuguese, they do not know what to say. Some have said to my face that they disbelieve me because both Spanish and Portuguese are spoken by brown people, so they just must be easy and writing in them must be VERY easy. It is entirely impossible that they would have formal writing styles very different in syntax, vocabulary and stylistic conventions from casual speech, and unlikely that there would be standard forms of oral discourse equivalent to BBC English. Finally, it is highly unlikely that Mexico would have national newspapers not written in slang. People with Ph.Ds in foreign languages tell me these things and I say it is more than a “micro” aggression and that it expresses extreme chauvinism but that more importantly, it demonstrates abysmal ignorance. But if I had said this during diversity training the other day it would have hurt the feelings of the aggressors and I would have experienced retaliation, so I did not say it.
One thought on “After diversity training”
“[M]any people who have informed me that Spanish is easier than the Romance and Germanic languages they speak…”
I’ve heard that too. I took Spanish throughout high school and one year of college, but my moderate fluency, through lack of practice, has withered.