A weblog by Will Fitzgerald

Hybrid language

Toyota received a lot of publicity (for example) for their ‘bilingual’ Camry advertisement: a father explains to his son that he bought a hybrid car for the same reason he learned English, ‘for your future.’ But it’s not very bilingual–just one phrase (‘mira, mira aquí’). In fact, the script sounds more like an ad for English assimilation–the son doesn’t seem to speak much Spanish; ¿y porqué habla el papá el inglés con su hijo dentro el espacio privado de un coche unless this is the goal?

For real code-switching fun, you can listen to San Francisco’s El Kalle, a reggaeton y mas station. I love to listen to the DJs madly moving between English and Spanish.

(This post will probably upset my brother, though, because he’s not crazy about his (bilingual) son listening to reggaeton. But my Spanish isn’t good enough to understand the objectable parts–until they start playing songs in English.)


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