20 Stories

Teacher Can't Speak Spanish, Doesn't Get Spanish Gig, Sues

Florida teacher says she's 'otherwise fully qualified' for the job

(Newser) - A Florida schoolteacher has filed a workplace discrimination lawsuit against her employer for turning her down for a job teaching Spanish—even though she doesn't speak Spanish, the News & Observer reports. Tracy Rosner, who teaches third grade at Coral Reef Elementary in Palmetto Bay, alleges in her federal... More »

News Anchor Defends Why She Rolls Her R's

'Certain words just sound better when said in their natural way': bilingual anchor

(Newser) - Donald Trump doesn't think Jeb Bush is setting a very good example for Americans when he speaks Spanish, but a bilingual Arizona news anchor is likely in the Bush camp on this one. Vanessa Ruiz—who was born in Miami, grew up in Colombia, and studied in Spain before... More »

Guess Which Country Has 2nd-Most Spanish Speakers

Mexico has the most, with 121 million

(Newser) - Not speaking or studying Spanish yet? Then this might inspire you: The US now has the second-largest Spanish-speaking population outside of Mexico, according to a new study reported in the Guardian . According to Instituto Cervantes , a non-profit that promotes Spanish language and culture, the US now has 41 million native... More »

Spanish Is the Happiest Language

Scientists' analysis of websites suggests as much

(Newser) - If you're in a foul mood, it might be time to learn Spanish. Languages, and the people who use them, tend to favor using positive words over negatives, researchers find, and they've learned that that's particularly true in Spanish. Experts at the University of Vermont and the... More »

An American First? It's a Spanish-Only Debate

Congressional candidates face off in Colorado

(Newser) - This is one of the more tangible signs of the growing importance of the Hispanic vote in American politics: Two congressional candidates in Colorado will have a Spanish-only debate tonight, believed to be the nation's first, reports NBC News . No translators will be allowed as Republican incumbent Mike Coffman... More »

Texas Principal Who Banned Spanish Loses Job

Amy Lacey told students they could not speak it at school

(Newser) - A middle school principal near Houston who banned the speaking of Spanish on school grounds is out of a job, reports KHOU . The Hempstead School Board on Monday chose not to renew the contract of Amy Lacey, who set off a local firestorm on Nov. 12 when she announced, over... More »

NYPD Rips Cop —for Speaking Spanish

Department calls for 'one voice' in English

(Newser) - On-duty NYPD officers are banned from speaking any language other than English—as a 13-year cop recently learned the hard way. Jessenia Guzman got a "memo of reprimand" after she spoke a single sentence in Spanish while working the switchboard, the New York Daily News reports. "It was... More »

Spanish- Language Ads Hammer Romney

SEIU, pro-Obama super PAC behind spots

(Newser) - Mitt Romney is facing a $4 million Spanish-language ad campaign targeting his biggest gaffes. Labor organization SEIU and Priorities USA, the super PAC backing President Obama, are showing the ads all summer in Florida, Colorado, and Nevada in a campaign kicking off this week. Highlighted Romney quotes include perennial faves... More »

Our Kids Don't Need to Learn Chinese

Spanish, however, would benefit them

(Newser) - Nick Kristof and his family speak Chinese, and “let’s be frank,” he writes in the New York Times , “if your child hasn’t started Mandarin classes by third grade, he or she will never amount to anything.” Oh, actually … “just kidding,” continues... More »

Hotel Owner Forces Latino Employees to Change Names

NM innkeeper forbids speaking Spanish

(Newser) - A hotel owner who demands that Latino workers change their names to Anglicized versions and not speak Spanish in his presence is causing a stir in New Mexico. Larry Whitten laid down the law: Martín (mahr-teen) and Marcos are now just Martin and Mark, and employees he considered insubordinate... More »

Dozens of Sacrificed Girls Found at Inca Site

(Newser) - Dozens of carefully buried human sacrifices have been found in a coastal Inca site in Peru, reports the Telegraph. Most of the dead are teenage girls, and one appears to have been pregnant. The bodies, which still contain skin and hair, all bear signs of knife slashes along the neck.... More »

Basque Separatists Hand Over Power After 30 Years

After 30 years, separatists lose power in Spanish region

(Newser) - Security has been ramped up in the Basque region of Spain today as it prepares for the inauguration of its first non-separatist government in 30 years. Spain's national left- and right-wing parties have come together to form a unity coalition, ending decades of rule by Basque separatists. The terrorist group... More »

A Rose by Any Other Name Might Smell ... Manly?

Language influences perception, study finds

(Newser) - Think of the Golden Gate Bridge. Would you describe it as fragile, elegant, and slender? Or strong, dangerous, and sturdy? When they pictured a bridge, a group of German speakers offered the first group of words, while Spanish speakers offered the second, NPR reports. The difference, believes the psychologist behind... More »

Tom's Geography Needs Work

Star confuses Brazil with Spain

(Newser) - Tom Cruise is on a roll with the gaffes as he promotes Valkyrie in Rio de Janeiro, the New York Post reports. First the star tried to be cute by saying hola and gracias to reporters—forgetting that Brazilians speak Portuguese, not Spanish. Cruise also said he loves Brazil for... More »

Xmas Spirit Translates Better in Foreign Tongue: Keillor

Writer 'feels the religious fervor' at Spanish mass

(Newser) - Garrison Keillor is no Scrooge, but can find it hard to get the Christmas spirit, he writes for Salon. In New York for “the general dazzlement and variety,” and a holiday unbound by obligations of small-town homogeny, Keillor finds Yuletide spirit in a Spanish-language mass at St. Patrick’... More »

Latino Voters: Four Myths

They don't want Spanish-language ads—and they will vote for a black guy

(Newser) - Pundits are way off on Hispanic voters, writes Arian Campo-Flores in Newsweek. Four common misconceptions:
  • Immigration is everything. A recent survey showed that education, health care, the economy, and crime were more important in the demographic. Recent immigrants are most likely to care about immigration—and least likely to be
... More »

Miami Needs to Study Spanish

International financial hub finds Latinos' language skills lagging

(Newser) - Miami's role as an international city—the "financial hub of Latin America," as one businessman calls it—is threatened by its residents' declining Spanish skills, the Miami Herald reports. Many descendants of the Cuban entrepreneurs and businessmen who flooded South Florida in the '60s and '70s speak only... More »

Immigrant Kids Talk the Talk: 90% Master English

Fluency makes dramatic leaps across generations

(Newser) - Although many Spanish-speaking immigrants who moved to America know little English, that's not true of their children and grandchildren, according to a new Pew survey. Only 23% of first-generation immigrants said they were competent in English, but 88% of second-generation and 94% of third-generation residents said they can carry on... More »

Arabic, Asian Languages Gaining More US Students

Arabic enrollments grew 126.5% from 2002 to 2006

(Newser) - American students are studying Arabic and Asian languages more than ever before, according to a Modern Language Association survey. Spanish has been the most studied language since 1995, still with more than 50% of students, but Arabic is fastest-growing, jumping 126.5% from 2002 to 2006—making up 1.5%... More »

Dems' Miami Debate Makes Foray Into Spanish

First presidential debate translated live on Univision

(Newser) - Democratic hopefuls took part in a Spanish-language debate in Miami yesterday, having questions translated UN-style from Spanish to English, and answers back again into Spanish. Though he'd agreed to the ground rules, bilingual contender Bill Richardson couldn't resist  asking in Spanish if he could continue in Spanish, and Sen. Chris... More »

20 Stories