Speaking Spanish Helpful? - page 3

Do you find that speaking Spanish is helpful in your job? I am considering starting to learn it on my own (have been for quite awhile) and was wondering if all of you here think it would be useful... Read More

  1. by   BellafromNYC
    I love languages. Love them. Even though I only speak "American."
    I've taken classes in Spanish, German, Hebrew and Russian.

    My neighborhood is one of the most ethnically diverse zipcodes in San Jose, California -- which is no slouch when it comes to cultural diversity. My next door neighbors are Vietnamese, as are the owners of the 7-11 I frequent. I have several neighbors who are (what's the pc term?) Hispanic.

    I grew up in So Cal and only remember 1 Hispanic in my elementry school (in the 50s). Now, I go into local stores and frequently the clerks are unable to speak English. Would I like it to be different? Well--I think that the fact that most Americans can only speak one language where most of the world speaks at least two is a bit embarrassing, and makes us less culturally sensitive. Let's face it, whether we like it or not, the influx of Spanish-only speaking folks is not going to subside any time soon, so, uinless you are going to be politically active and fight against it that way, why waste time being upset?

    In my nursing class of 29 we are extremely ethnically and culturally diverse. I've been learning from many my classmates how to say hello in other languages. I love it!

    heart


    I agree with you. My parents came from Dominican Republic and I was born here but at the same time speak spanish fluently and you know it comes in handy. Even when I have to speak to people who only speak French or Italian. I believe people have to stop being so ignorant and understand that the whole world is diverse it is not only the United States and by the way americans are not full flesh americans (unless you are a native indian) because immigrants from Italy, Ireland, England, and Germany came settled in the US it just so happend that England was our mother country so that is why we speak english, but how about if it was spain the US would have been a spanish speaking country. No doubt I am proud to be an American. I was born in this country. One more thing there are people who live in this country and do not speak english and you know where they are right now in Iraq fighting for this country. There were 300 Dominicans from Dominican Republic in Iraq fighting for the US. They did leave Iraq last week but I agree that they did because Bush is there for oil. Bush is no good for us.
    Last edit by BellafromNYC on Apr 26, '04
  2. by   brinaa
    that is how i feel, its like us going to mexico and demanding they learn my language.
    thats just plain crazy
  3. by   prmenrs
    There's a big difference between the philosophic argument about speaking English in the US and the pragmatic need to communicate with someone right now. If they don't speak English right now, you'll need to use an interpreter, one of those translator phones or something to get the job done.
  4. by   BabyRN2Be
    Quote from nekhismom
    I need a spanish for healthcare professionals course, though. I mean, I know how to say average words, but have you ever tried to obtain consent in spanish for a procedure that you have NO idea how to even begin to translate??? Absolutely horrible.
    Nekihismom,

    I've got a book called "Labor and Delivery In My Pocket." It's not a book really, but a very small spiral notebook that gives basic nursing information in a pocket sized book - it fits perfectly in scrub pockets. In this book, it has a TON of Spanish phrases which we use all the time in L&D, such as "I need to do a vaginal exam", all the basic questions which we NEED to ask in L&D. It even has information on obtaining a consent! I bought the book for all the Spanish translations alone. I think they might make a line of "In My Pocket" books for certain specialties. I highly recommend them.

    Also, I'd like to improve my Spanish. It's really going to be essential one day if not today.
  5. by   alk3rainbow
    You can't argue the benefits of knowing spanish in the US today, but it doesn't seem fair to be forced into learning someone elses native language when they are the ones immigrating over here. I learned a foreign language in high school, but while my whole family wanted me to take spanish because of how 'useful' it would be, I never wanted to learn it. Its an ugly language to me, I have no want to learn it...and when you don't want to learn something you usually don't. I picked french, not quite as useful, but it was fun for me. If someone wants to look down on me in the future for not speaking spanish that's fine, I'll just continually wonder why they won't learn english.
  6. by   mitchsmom
    Spanish Ed was my first degree, but I'm really rusty now because I only taught for two years, around '92-93. We have tons of Latinos/migrant workers in my area and speaking Spanish is very helpful in medical fields. My main problem is that I can speak and write better than I can understand/hear, unless they have very clear/educated/bookish Spanish. Also I didn't learn any of my Spanish from Mexicans so it's a different dialect that I hear around me now. It usually comes back to me fairly well when I'm immersed though.
    PS..I agree about the "butter" sound for learning to trill R's... repeat "butter" several times in a row and it sort of replicates it. Although, if the goal is strictly to communicate you could probably never trill the first R and you'd still get your point across, so prioritize the vocab.

    We had many Hmong, but unfortunately, the only people we had to interpret for them was their family members, and you always prayed they understood.
    Have you read The Spirit Catches you and you Fall Down by Fadiman?
    We had to read it in my BSN program this semester. Great book, I would have liked to have read it even if it wasn't an assignment. It is about the Hmong and miscommunication but the main idea applies to any culture.
  7. by   FutureNurse2005
    this has been a very useful thread for me! Thanks to everyone who has contributed! We plan on moving to California after I graduate, and hearing that speaking spanish would be an asset, that is definitely something I will work on!

    Thanks!
  8. by   Tweety
    Quote from alk3rainbow
    You can't argue the benefits of knowing spanish in the US today, but it doesn't seem fair to be forced into learning someone elses native language when they are the ones immigrating over here. I learned a foreign language in high school, but while my whole family wanted me to take spanish because of how 'useful' it would be, I never wanted to learn it. Its an ugly language to me, I have no want to learn it...and when you don't want to learn something you usually don't. I picked french, not quite as useful, but it was fun for me. If someone wants to look down on me in the future for not speaking spanish that's fine, I'll just continually wonder why they won't learn english.

    How do you know they aren't learning English? Very few Spanish speaking people are refusing to learn English. That non-English speaking patient just might be trying to learn, but hasn't. But when they are in the hospital they haven't learned completely at that moment.

    But more and more it is becoming increasingly unnecessary for them to learn English in certain parts of the US, like Miami. I swear you don't have to know English to live and function there. Weird, it's like a foreign country.

    Who is forcing you to learn Spanish?

    Anyway, what I find frustrating about Spanish is the danged masucline and feminine nouns. Same as French. Makes it a difficult language to learn.
  9. by   Mr_D
    Great thread -- I've been debating whether to take Spanish this summer, fall, and Spanish for med professionals in next Spring. Having read this, I'm doing it.

    thx,
    Mr_D
  10. by   Energizer Bunny
    I am thankful to all of you for your responses. They have just solidified what I think I already knew in the back of my head!
    Thanks again!
  11. by   Havin' A Party!
    Quote from alk3rainbow
    ... it doesn't seem fair to be forced into learning someone elses native language...
    Incorrect assumption.
  12. by   heart1st
    I, for one, find Spanish a beautiful language. They have many "soft" sounds that give it almost a gentleness that is not found in English. One of my natively-speaking Spanish friends tells us her name, and it is far more beautiful in Spanish than how we say it in English.

    Some of these soft sounds are the rolled 'r', the way that "d" is pronounced, which is much more like a very hard "th" (or is it soft? What linguists call hard I always seem to think are soft, and vice versa).

    In learning a language, one of the things that I think is the most fun (and the least taught) is the "music" of that language. In a French tape course I looked at, they talked about how the French break their syllables in a different place than we do. The French break syllables, if I recall correctly, on consonants, where we break syllables in English on vowels.

    The difference can be heard in this way:
    Say: Mississippi. You say "Mi-si-si-pi" in English.
    But, if you speak with a French accent, you say "Mis-sis-sip-i"; you can
    hear the "French accent" when you say it this way.

    heart
  13. by   Energizer Bunny
    ooooh guys, I'm just getting tingly thinking about dh and I being able to speak spanish to each other and not have the kids know what we are talking about! LOL! Fun...guess I'd better get learning! Anyone know of any good starter websites?

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