Culture Indentity

This is something that I’ve been wondering for quite sometime. At work, there is a woman who works dish when I come in. She leaves everyday at six. We say hi and bye to each other everyday and we obviously are familiar with each other’s presence within the business. This woman speaks absolutely no English whatsoever, besides the basics: greetings, simple phrases, etc. She can’t communicate with anyone at work because she can’t understand what people are saying. I’ve asked a few people what ethnicity she is, but no one seems to know. One of my student supervisors said that she tried talking to her in Spanish, but apparently the woman got upset with her because she’s not from Spain. I believe my student supervisor said something about her being Italian, from Italy. Is that a normal confusion for people to get Spanish people mixed up with Italians? As you said today in class, the boy who worked with Secondo and Primo in Big Night was Spanish rather than Italian, like the two other men. I guess I’m just curious. A few months ago, I typed a message in Google Translate and I was going to give it to her asking if she would mind doing a brief interview on videotape for my Italian class (obviously Italian food course) and I was going to put it on my blog. But I chickened out. It was going to be an interview about the differences in culture and acceptance in America compared to Italy.

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One response to “Culture Indentity

  1. Bodie,
    Americans in general are renown for not knowing geography and foreign languages. if you pay attention in different movies and books you’ll see how mexicans are taken for italians…. for the mainstream culture an immigrant is an immigrant and there is no distinction. so, i would say, ask Annmarie for a trial sentence and pronunciation, something easy like “buon giorno, come sta?” when you see her.
    she might be a portuguese speaker or a greek one… what is her name?? don’t be shy and imagine how hard it must be for this person to be here and not being able to communicate with anybody!

    As for Marc Anthony… when you go to La Scala… the chef is Mexican, they don’t make it a secret but none of the American customers cares! looking at the movie, even more, i realized how ethnicity and religion have played a big role in this country. hadn’t i pointed out that Marc Anthony cleared spoke spanish nobody in the class would have realized it!! yet he looked so italian. i have to recognize that he also moved like an italian even though Primo and Secondo moved like Italian-Americans… so you know… you could say the same in Europe where all Anglophones are almost all the same to us… Americans, Canadians, Australians, what’s the difference?? and especially are Dutch and Germans and Danish so different? they are indeed but in a way they aren’t just like the Spanish speakers and the Italians who moved to the US and the greek…

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