I really can’t remember what language I first started speaking or understanding. I want to say that it was Spanish. That way I can say English isn’t my first language. It doesn’t really matter because being bilingual is a part of my everyday life. That said, like many other second generation Chicanos and other Latinos in LA I speak Spanglish and code-switch like crazy. I’ll start a sentence like, “Hey mom, I’m going to the store para comprar tortillas.” Or there are phrases I just can’t say in English because the sentido (meaning) is all wrong.
I love hearing others go back and forth from one language to another, but seeing it in print (such as Don Quixote in Spanglish) makes me love my bilingualism even more.
Sign on the right found outside a church in Huntington Park.