Hello? Or Hola? A Theoretical Look At Spanglish

2628 words, 11 pages

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221). For the majority of the film, Flor spoke in Spanish and always seemed to be formal and polite when communicating. The Clasky family, however, spoke in English and was much more casual when talking among themselves or with other people. Consequently, whenever the family members spoke to Flor, they would have a translator or speak slowly and gesture so she could interpret the meaning of a message.
Later in the movie, this issue is somewhat resolved when Flor learns to speak English. By being able to speak both Spanish and English, Flor became, what Kramer (2007b) indicated as, “multi-codal.” This means being able to exchange one speech code for another when communicating (Kramer, 2007b). The ability of being mulit-codal not only allowed Flor the opportunity to converse with the Clasky family, but to understand the meanings behind language as well.
There are, however, downfalls to speech community theory. According to Wood (2004), when variations are found among the ways in which groups communicate, “it’s tempting to make comparative judgments about which style is better,” (p. 226). At one point in the movie, for instance, Deborah tries to relay a message to Flor, even though, in order to do so, Deborah has to find someone to translate for her. During this period, Deborah tells Flor, “You must learn English,” showing how Deborah is judging English to be more important than the Spanish language.
Another theory that can be applied to the film is standpoint theory. According to Wood (2004), standpoint theory is defined as something that “arises out of the material, social, and symbolic conditions that shape a group’s experiences” (213). To make it clear, a standpoint is a learned position rather than a cul View More »

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