Also known as the National Hispanic Heritage Month, Latinx Chicanx Heritage Month (September 15–October 15) honors the achievements of Hispanics. The terms Latinx and Chicanx have been adopted to be gender inclusive. The celebration was first authorized in 1968, when the U.S. Congress adopted a resolution asking the president of the United States annually to issue a proclamation designating a week in September including September 15 and 16 as “National Hispanic Heritage Week.” In 1988 Congress expanded the celebration to a 31-day period beginning September 15. The resolution calls “on the people of the United States, especially the educational community, to observe National Hispanic Heritage Month with appropriate ceremonies and activities.” Hispanic Heritage Month coincides with the celebrations of Independence Day in many Latin American countries—including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua (September 15), Mexico (September 16), and Chile (September 18)—as well as with (originally October 12 in the United States but now commemorated there on the second Monday in October). Read more
For more than three decades, a literary renaissance has been going on in the United States. Through poetry, prose and drama, Latino authors illuminated the American experience for Spanish-speaking peoples whose ancestry goes back to Latin American lands. Voces Americanas: Latino Literature in the United States introduces this vibrant literature and many facets of Latino culture.
The Spanish and Portuguese department, its student association (SELACH), and MA Spanish students from San Diego State, University present an exploration of bilingualism and Spanglish in the United States. The exhibit includes information on the role that Spanglish plays in today’s society, its influence in forming Hispanics/Latinos’ sense of identity, and attitudes towards bilingual behavior such as code-switching. It also provides current demographic information of Spanish in the US, myths and fears about bilingualism. This exhibit is located on the 2nd floor of the Oceanside Campus Library and will run until the end of October.
Pictured: Claudia Woodard, Spanish Lecturer at Mira Costa College & San Diego State University with Dr. Alfredo Urzua, Associate Professor, Department of Spanish & Portuguese at San Diego State University.
A report published by the Instituto Cervantes indicates that there are an estimated 52.6 million people in the U.S. who can speak Spanish, which is second only to Mexico’s 121 million.
— NY Post
Latinos are the fastest-growing ethnic group in the country, accounting for 53% of U.S. population growth.
The term Spanglish causes many debates and controversies. It is often used to describe a variety of Spanish spoken in the United States. Many consider it a derogatory term, while others believe it reflects, for better or worse, the experience of many Hispanics/Latinos in the US. It is certainly a mixing of Spanish and English, which has been referred to as ‘a hybrid’, ‘mestizaje’, and ‘fusion’.
What is known as Spanglish is characterized, mainly, by code-switching and lexical borrowings or adaptations. The term Spanglish can also be found in discussions of identity in rela-tion to Spanish-speakers in the US.
Spanglish is NOT a random mixing of Spanish and English. It is also not ‘mock Spanish’ or invented Spanish, nor bad or poor translations which, unfortunately, are often found in public places.
Code-switching occurs when bilinguals substitute a word or phrase in one of their languages with a phrase or word from the other language.
-Heredia, Brown, & Jeffrey (2005). Routledge Encyclopedia of Linguistics. Routledge.
Code-switching is very common among Spanish-English bilinguals in the US. Unfortunately, many people think that code-switching reflects a lack of competence in the languages used. However, many linguistic studies have revealed that, in order to code-switch competently and fluently, it is necessary to have high levels of proficiency in both languages!