On conservative talk radio, they express concern over the so-called "reconquista." It's not something I hear in my circles and I'm in Mexican American Studies! This rhetoric is clearly about boundary maintenance and stoking the fear of whites and others in order to promote reactionary policies. Studies like the one mentioned should help quell such concerns. -Angela
Wed Sep 13, 12:46 AM ET
U.S. citizens concerned that Latino immigrants will
have them singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" in
Spanish can rest easy, according to an academic study
published on Wednesday.
A report in the Population and Development Review
found that far from threatening the dominance of
English, most Latin American immigrants to the United
States lose their ability to speak Spanish over the
course of a few generations.
The study by sociologists Frank Bean and Ruben Rumbaut
of the University of California, Irvine, and Douglas
Massey from Princeton, drew on two surveys
investigating adaptation by immigrant communities in
California and south Florida.
It concluded that by the third generation, most
descendants of immigrants are "linguistically dead" in
their mother tongue.
"Based on an analysis of language loss over the
generations, the study concludes that English has
never been seriously threatened as the dominant
language in America, nor is it under threat today,"
the researchers said.
"Although the generational life expectancy of Spanish
is greater among Mexicans in Southern California than
other groups, its demise is all but assured by the
third generation," it added.
Third-generation immigrants are American-born with
American-born parents, but with three or four
The study, which also included some data from
immigrant groups from Asian countries, weighs into a
polarizing debate in the United States on the
desirability, or otherwise, of linguistic assimilation
for immigrant minorities.
Differences flared earlier this year when a group of
Latino and Caribbean artists recorded a version of the
"The Star-Spangled Banner" in Spanish, prompting
condemnation from some public figures including
President George W. Bush.
"The national anthem ought to be sung in English,"
Bush said of the version, dubbed "Nuestro Himno" by
the artists. "And I think people who want to be
citizens of this country ought to learn it in