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Check Out Our Talking with Mi Gente Essay

Carmen discusses the origin of Chicano English and identifies it as an independent dialect rather than one modified from either English or Spanish. This language according to her is most common in the Southwestern part of the US. Carmen chose to discuss this issue due to a question asked by her friend which queried why Mexican-Americans find it difficult to speak fluent English. This despite these students having been born in the United States and having being given the same educational opportunities as their fellow citizens. What is wrong about that question was the assumption by the friend that these students were talking English with a Spanish accent and were therefore likely to have Spanish as their native language. These students were using Chicano language which is widely used by people with Mexican backgrounds. There are some dialects which are nearly similar to Chicano English especially Puerto Rican English but they are not exactly alike.

The growth of Chicano English can be traced back to the time Mexican immigrants settled in the US and had to learn some elements of English if only to communicate with other ethnic groups. Their children though born in the country learnt to use their native Spanish and the main stream English due to their parental influence and the influence of school. But the Spanish background did not fade entirely and their Spanish heritage still continued to affect their spoken English and so Chicano English became their preferred language. However, there are still some Chicano English speakers who do not know Spanish and it is difficult to tell who is bilingual or not. Chicano English has also been influenced by other local dialects and has also influenced other dialects too. Chicano English is here to stay and it is time members of society learnt more facts about it. 

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