Growing Up Spanglish

By Efrain Nieves

The other day I was reminiscing on my young years when I did not have the slightest idea on how to speak English. I was born in the States, how could that have happened? Because my parents had never spoken a word of English en la casa (well, maybe a one or two). Back then, I was never rediculed for not knowing English. Afer all, my neighborhood was predominately made of Puerto Ricans straight from the island.

Of course, as the years fly by I became fluent in English. Often, I remind myself  how those days were innocent. Running through the backyards and all the neighbors were family or lived in the same town from back in the island. Spanglish became my generations language to confuse the elders in the family when we thought they were snooping into our conversations. We would race to to the corner store to buy ajonjoli or coco-leche Bennie, the store owner, would bring back from the island. Though I never lived in the island, the old neighborhood was my Puerto Rico.

How did you grow up Spanglish?

Revised, original article date 6/08/10
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