Kara: So, Lupe, in your family setting, when you guys are having family get-togethers, you have a large family, do you normally speak English or Spanish or is it a mix, or how does it all work out at a party?
Lupe: It’s definitely a big mix, and as some people call it, Spanglish, because I do have some siblings that speak English, that were raised here and speak it well, and sometimes we feel more comfortable speaking in English, so we’ll speak in English, but there are a lot of my family members who moved here when they were older, and never had the opportunity to learn to speak English, therefore I speak Spanish to them, and there’s also times when I’m talking to a certain person and we will be speaking in English and I’ll suddenly forget a word or it pops up into my head faster in Spanish so I’ll go from English to Spanish and then right back to English and that’s when we call it Spanglish, just because it’s a little mixture of both. Sometimes I’m speaking in Spanish and I won’t remember how to say something and I’ll think of it in English. Therefore I’ll say it in English, but I can only do that with the ones that speak both English and Spanish.
Kara: And what about your nephews and neices. I know as far you and your sibling, you guys were all born in Mexico. Your nephews and nieces, a lot of them were born here in the United States. How is there Spanish, and how do you communicate with them?
Lupe: Well, that was actually something that we talked about with our whole family because we decided them being born here, we wanted to make sure that they didn’t lose that part of, you know, their heritage and their culture. We wanted them to still be able to speak Spanish, so we decided we’ll all talk to them in Spanish, especially for the first five years of their life because once they started school we know it was going to be a little bit tougher once they started learning English. It was going to be easier for them to try to speak English, which most of them do. They come home and they suddenly just speak English and don’t want to speak Spanish anymore, so we try really hard to speak only Spanish around them because we know all their English, they’re practicing at school, so they really need to keep up with the Spanish at home.
Kara: And do you feel like that is something you’re losing, you’re family’s losing by being here in the United States, part of your language with the younger generation?
Lupe: I think it’s definitely a choice. I know other people who prefer that their children don’t speak Spanish. They have the opportunity to teach them and decide not to. Maybe they feel that if their kids only speak English, they won’t feel left out at school, or you know, that sometimes what I’ve heard from other people. They want them to be and feel just like the other kids, so they don’t want them speaking Spanish, but I think that is a choice that you make and you make it when they are young and for us, we decided we don’t want them to lose that, and I think that we have a big say in that and there’s a lot we can do about it and so we’re all working really hard to make sure that they don’t lose that and so far, you know, out of all my nephews and nieces, you know, maybe a couple are really forgetting their Spanish, but for the most part, all of them are doing really good and speaking both English and Spanish