Speaking Spanish Helpful? - page 5

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   mamabear
    Quote from jnette
    And after THAT, Italien !!! :hatparty: Love Italien.. quite similar to Spanish, only prettier, I think.
    It's ITALIAN, honey.
  2. by   mamabear
    Quote from lizz
    Even though I am trying to learn Spanish, this also gets on my nerves.

    In California, everything from grocery items to the DMV to customer service phone lines are presented in both languages. It gets to the point where it almost encourages Hispanics to never learn English.

    I mean, they did come to AMERICA, where English IS the primary language (at least for now ... LOL).

    Like, maybe they should try to learn the language of their adopted country too? Or, at least, don't get mad at us for only being able to speak the language of our native country.

    I want to learn Spanish, but it would be nice if more Hispanics would want to learn English too.

    I agree 1000%! I live in northwest Indiana and, yes, we have a lot of Spanish-speaking residents. However, we also have an equal number of people who speak Serbian, Polish, and other Slavic languages. Are we so afraid of being labeled "not PC" that we trip over ourselves to accomodate one ethnic group but not others? Recently, we had a patient brought to our facility on a 72-hour emergency detention who didn't speak a word of English, yet our manager demanded we find online translation sites and "do our best" to communicate. This patient was an illegal alien who had been in our area for 3 YEARS and managed to lose permanent custody of her 5 month old baby for abuse and neglect.
    This is probably a hot-button issue, but it's what I, and a lot of my co-workers, feel. :angryfire
  3. by   vemiliob
    Yep! I agree, Spanish is difficult language, even for us, (specially Argentineans and Uruguayans). We do not pronounce the difference between v and b, c, s and z, and nio, nia, y and ll and so on.

    We talk and write with a lot of orthographic and grammatical errors. It has rules and exceptions to rules, (sometimes more exceptions than rules) like in family-words, the unit is written in one way but a verb derived from that unit can be written differently (e.g. using J instead of G and so one).

    Any way, I grew up on an Italian and British suburb. Nowadays we hear no more British talking on the streets as some decades ago, even Italians. However it helped me a lot to accept different cultures as something quite natural. We are all human beings, essentially the same.

    I also grew up hearing people expressing prejudices about British, things like they are awful, cold, arrogant etc. Then when I had the opportunity to live in London, I understood how deep the human stupidity is, because I found British people kind, warm and beauty.

    Besides, what are Nurses without the tool of communication? One should be encourage to learn what ever facilitates that tool including foreign languages.
  4. by   Jrnalist2RNinOR
    I think that learning spanish would be useful, however I find (here in Oregon, and in California where I moved from) that it seems like we cater to these individuals a little bit - it seems as though there is no reason for them to learn or try to learn english when then can come to the hospital and demand to have someone speak spanish or when they go to the grocery store and things are in spanish as well

    I do see many native spanish speaking people learning english and I worked in the tutor center at my junior college and helped them

    However, it seems that the majority do not seem to care
  5. by   obeyacts2
    I think everybody ought to learn a second language while still in high school. The reality is, the United States is a increasingly diverse place. As health care providers, we cant wait for people to assimilate to our satisfaction: in the meantime they are getting their appendix out, having babies, and somebody has to be able to communicate with them. In my job (home health aide while going to school) I have come across the need for the following languages: Spanish, Italian, Lao, Chinese, Assyrian, Russian and Romanian. The most interesting case was the Italian speaking lady. She immigrated at a early age (earlly teens) and was fluent in both languages, in fact she worked at a high school. Well, she developed Alz, and she started to lose English. Early in Alz, she spoke English, but as her illness progressed, she began speaking a gibberish that no one understood, then late in her illness she began to speaking clearly and fluently again, but exclusively in Italian. I used to work at night, and she would get so excited, because "Mary" her sister had come to stay the night with her from San francisco (she thought I was Mary :chuckle ) Anyway, I learned some useful phrases in Italian for survival sake. It didnt hurt me one bit to learn Italian. If I had a full time assignment with any non English speaker I would do the same. It is an unfair assumption to assume that elders "never wanted to assimilate" , They may be just like this lady.

  6. by   Ari RN
    Spanish is a MUST here in the U.S. It's kind of our second largest language spoken in the US. (I haven't read the statistics on it but I think it is). I see your from NY. I am also from NY. Spanish speaking people are here to stay and you and everyone need to learn at least the basics. Ex: Where do you have pain? Adonde tiene usted dolor? {That will be $5. I'll be receiving payment from everyone who reads this chain......... Just kidding} I kind of get tired when everyone needs me as an interpretor. Besides, it looks good on your resume!
  7. by   movealong
    I only speak a little Spanish. I picked up some when living in Southern Calif. And I used t travel south all the time. But being away for 9 years now, I've forgotten alot.

    We have a translator service for my job. I can still speak enough to identify myself to them and let them know I will be getting a translator on the line for them.

    In alot of hospitals, they will pay you extra if you are on their translator list. You take a liitle exam to prove you are fluent.

    I do plan to restudy Spanish this coming winter. And I also speak a little Italian. But I find it a little confusing as some words for some things in the 2 languages are similiar, but not the same. I tend to mix them up. Not good.
  8. by   obeyacts2
    Quote from suzanne4
    Spanish comes in very handy for me, even over here. I can explain something to a tourist coming here when no one else is able to.

    Also a litle tip, if you have patients coming to your facility from Cambodia, Laos, and Viet Nam and none of you speak those languages, many also speak FRENCH as there countries were French colonies at some point. This came in very handy for me when I was still living in the US. French is the second language in these countries.

    Hope that it helps.....................
    French is also the languaage of business and government in many African countries, particularly Western Africa (Ghana, Senegal, Ivory Coast, etc) so if your hospital is in an area that has African immigrants, French might be a good choice for a second language.
  9. by   Jrnalist2RNinOR
    Quote from obeyacts2
    French is also the languaage of business and government in many African countries, particularly Western Africa (Ghana, Senegal, Ivory Coast, etc) so if your hospital is in an area that has African immigrants, French might be a good choice for a second language.

    That's comforting to know - I guess I better brush up on the French that I took (I took quite a bit but, having not stayed current with it...well)

    I also took german and began learning ASL which was a LOT of fun
  10. by   arudarbme
    Quote from jnette
    And after THAT, Italien !!! :hatparty: Love Italien.. quite similar to Spanish, only prettier, I think.

    yes, i plan to learn italina in the far future.... that is if i have time to learn .

  11. by   arudarbme
    Quote from Rustyhammer
    Spanish is the essential 2nd language.
    Hispanics are now the largest minority in the US and growing bigger all the time.
    It would be nice to get an extra $100/month for knowing spanish.

    yup, i agree. that is why i want to learn it.
    its a romantic language for me....

  12. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Si, hablar espanol es muy importante!!!! Hablar espanol me ayuda en mi ocupacion!


    Yes, speaking Spanish is very important. Speaking Spanish helps me in my work.
  13. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I also know French.....but am losing it quickly due to NON-use. They dont' speak it much in the Pac NW. I WISH I knew KOREAN actually. That would be very useful in Seattle with so many Korean people living here. All I know is hello, are you having pain, and thankyou, as well as goodbye so far. It's not easy to learn, that is for sure.