• Mike and everyone,
    Thanks for the discussion. I found it to be healthy and insightful.

    April 17, 2008 at 9:20 a.m.

  • I agree Chris ,the simple question produced a laundry list of excuses,history lessons and just plain skirting the issue.
    I said many,many times if any other laungage was used ,it would have been overlooked.
    Your newspaper article proved the point.

    April 16, 2008 at 1:46 p.m.

  • Seems to me that if another country besides Mexico was at our southern border and we had a lot of their immigrants in this country, the feelings would be the same.  The way things are going, if China recalls their debt and we're unable to pay it, we better learn to speak Chinese, because they may own us.   Let's not forget, we borrowed money from Mexico, too.

    April 16, 2008 at 12:43 p.m.

  • Victorian,
    The power of words fascinates me. I suppose a daily newspaper or Web site is, by definition, a bit of a pot stirrer.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:26 p.m.

  • Stirring the pot Chris?  Or just poking sticks?

    April 15, 2008 at 8:46 p.m.

  • I'm not sure it's accurate to say it was only one letter writer who objected to the word. We received several phone calls in the newsroom after the headline appeared and before the letter to the editor appeared. I agree it wasn't a huge response, but it wasn't just one person.

    April 15, 2008 at 8:09 p.m.

  • Chris,
    I definitely agree.... all this started with one person who was offended by the language because she may not have been smart enough to google the word to learn the translation.  Maybe she just didn't know what it meant.  I think it was just her way of stirring something up.

    April 15, 2008 at 7:47 p.m.

  • The people who commented on the Spanish headline are those people who are afraid of the "Mexicanization" of Victoria.  They think that Hispanics are uneducated people who are here to take their jobs, take advantage of the welfare system, and break into their houses.  These people must realize that, like it or not, they are going to have to deal with foreigners more and more as our economy moves towards a global one.  Otherwise, pick your own crops, bag your own groceries, build your own streets, and basically carry your own weight.  Without the help from other countries, whether it be land, labor, or capital, our country would crumble.  Just ask North Korea.

    (btw Germans are European, Anglo-Saxon, and Christian, therefore not evil foreigners)

    April 15, 2008 at 4:44 p.m.

  • Actually, Chris, I think the answer is pretty simple and almost as obvious. As previously stated, the fact that Spanish has been "forced" on America is a great source of the dissension that grew out of the article that welcomed Mr. Clinton to the area. I'm pretty sure had the one person not chosen to make such an issue of it with her letter to the editor, very little if anything at all would have been said about it. But her letter touched on the very sensitive issue of illegal immigration and the attendant feeling Americans have, particularly in the areas of the country where the Mexican influx is significant, that both illegal immigration and the language that the majority bring with them has been forced on us.
    Of course, there's a huge German/Czech influence in the area as well but my guess is if you asked 100 of the Hvlinkas, the Sauers, the Havilceks or the Beliceks their nationality, 99 of them would (honestly) respond with, "American."

    April 15, 2008 at 4:36 p.m.

  • I appreciate all of the comments so far. The conversation has veered off from the original question, but that's fine. Surprise makes any conversation more interesting. I still wonder, though, what people think about why everyone is so comfortable with a German word in a headline, but some complain about a Spanish word.
    Personally, I certainly see the value of knowing any foreign language. I was surprised Spanish wasn't offered in VISD until middle school. They say it's easier to learn a foreign language when you're younger.

    April 15, 2008 at 3:55 p.m.

  • It's out there for you to learn if you want to learn it.  You can find used programs like Rosetta Stone on EBAY (the homeschool curriculum store)  LOL   However, a classroom setting (homeschool classroom or public school classroom) isn't the best or the quickest way to learn a foreign language.  You learn a language quicker and retain it better when you WANT to learn it or when you NEED to learn it.  I think you, as an adult who WANTS to learn, will learn it faster and better than you ever did when you were FORCED to learn it in school. 

    April 15, 2008 at 1:55 p.m.

  • Maybe it's just easier to find instructors to teach Spanish.  Although the school districts should at least make an effort to find someone of a different heritage in order to offer more variety to the students.  I would have loved to learn German, but all that was available was Spanish.....and I already know that language!  No complaints, easy A!

    April 15, 2008 at 12:34 p.m.

  • Thanks for the link Becca.

    Whenever I'm in South America / Mexico / Central America, it always takes me a day or two for my Spanish to come back to me, maybe these videos will speed that up some.

    April 15, 2008 at 12:05 p.m.

  • If you want to brush up on your Spanish here is a link to UT's Spanish Proficiency Exercises.  It includes vocabulary, grammar, and phrases printables and several video samples with each lesson to help you learn Spanish.  We used this in our home until our local library offered Rosetta Stone Spanish for FREE.  I wish they had offered more than just Spanish.  Our library doesn't offer Rosetta Stone anymore but UT's page is still up and running and it's FREE.  If anyone knows of similar lessons for German or Japanese PLEASE SHARE!  My daughter wants to learn Japanese and this time I want to gear our learning more towards the child.  (Do all children love to watch Naruto cartoons in Japanese or is that just something that my children do?)

    April 15, 2008 at 11:19 a.m.

  • German use to available in public schools years ago. My brother and I took French here in the 60's. Even in Mississippi one of my cousins took German back in the 60's in his public school, Mississippi. One of my sons took Latin, the dead language.
    We have had many, many languages in this country since the beginning, nothing new. People have always worked around it. Those who were smart learned the country's language. The problem is the "forced" thing. We were not forced to have German everywhere even though we have a load of  German heritage in the central, south Texas area. My wife's relatives from Italy and Lebannon, nothing was forced for her grandparents, their brothers and sisters, relatives to be helped out.
       As they say, we are part of the world. Well, if we are why only one language is "force" translated? People here from all over the world. The only thing people are upset about is why one language being forced when the language of business and government here is US English. Technology is nowadays that we should be able to handle much more than one language if needed.

    April 15, 2008 at 11:09 a.m.

  • I know how those few people feel.  My son wanted German as his foreign language and I made him learn (some Latin) and Spanish.  Do you think he likes Spanish now?  It was forced on him.  The fact that I made Spanish and Latin his only choices made him not very fond of Spanish and Latin.  You would think that a home-school mom would know better than to require the same things that the state requires without offering more choices and freedom.  I regret not listening to my child.  I regret not allowing more freedom when it came to foreign language options.  ::slaps forehead:: 

    April 15, 2008 at 10:42 a.m.

  • German is an Anglo language, and Spanish isn't.

    Brown and White, Black and White, it's about color, race and heritage. One is acceptable by the public, others are not.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:37 a.m.

  • Spanish is taught in Texas high schools and foreign language is a requirement for graduation.  German is not even an option.  Maybe Spanish is viewed as being forced on people and it leaves a bitter impression in a few people's minds.  If German was one of the foreign languages offered in ALL Texas public schools maybe there would be more bitterness towards German.  That's just my guess.  I think we should learn as many languages as we can but that should be our freedom and our choice not a mandate from the state - or mom.  Just a guess.....

    April 15, 2008 at 10:17 a.m.