Estados Unidos Hispano

>> From the Library of
Congress in Washington DC. >> Good Afternoon. My name is Georgette Dorn. I'm the Chief of the
Hispanic Division. It is a great pleasure to
welcome Luis Alberto Ambroggio to the Library of Congress. But first of all I
would like to make sure that you close your cell phones. So we don't– we're not disturbed. And then I want to thank
Talía Guzman Gonzalez for having organized this event. And Catalina Gomez for having
produced this beautiful flyer. Luis Alberto Ambroggio
is a poet and essayist. A member of the North American
Academy of the Spanish Language. And a great friend of
the Library of Congress. In discussions will be
doctor Enrique Pumar. Who is a sociologist, a professor
at Catholic University of America. And a contributor to the handbook
of Latin American Studies. And Carmen Benito-Vessels, who
is a professor of literature at the University of Maryland. Thank you. [ Applause ] >> Good afternoon. My name is Enrique Pumar. And I am the Chair of the Sociology
Department at Catholic University. And also a contributing
editor to the handbook. It is always a pleasure to be
invited to the Library of Congress. And especially to be invited
by Georgette and her team in the Hispanic division. It's truly an honor to be here. And especially on this
occasion when we have to– we have an opportunity to
discuss such an important book. So my role here today is to
offer some introductory remarks. I am the warm up act for the main,
you know, for the main attraction. And that should take very briefly. I wrote some remarks just
to sound more organized than what I usually are. So I hope you don't
mind if I read them. The recent publication of
"Estados Unidos Hispanos" by Luis Alberto Ambroggio. Constitute a significant
development in the sociology of knowledge of Hispanic Studies. According to Carma Hein,
"Historical conditions give meaning to particular manifestations
of knowledge production". In his words, every epoch has
its fundamental neo-approach. And it's characteristics–
characteristic point of view. And consequently sees the same
object in new perspectives. Following this parsimonial
observation, one can conclude that the growing number
of self-identified. Hispanic residents in the
United States and the density of migration flow in
the last decades. Are the ecological conditions
primarily responsible for the abundant and often
contentious literature. Revealing the own forces–
the forces behind the growth, the impact in corporation
dispersion. And composition of the
Hispanic community. Today about 54 million
Hispanics or 17% of the population call
the United States home. If demographers are
correct or trusted at all. This figure is expected to
rise to about 31% in 2016. It is no wonder that even as candid
literature review of the term "Hispanic Studies" would
yield 1,000's of entries. Despite the volume and
depth of the field. Alberto Ambroggio's contributions in his latest book are
noteworthy in many respects. First, after conducting an
exhaustive historical research Ambroggio . That Hispanics and Hispanic culture
have marked a constant presence in American Society. And were major protagonists
in the formation and development of this nation. Reaching this conclusion is
not a small accomplishment. When one considers the
neglect and careless narrative that so much characterized
the pro's of well-known, mainstream American historians. On this point, however,
Ambroggio's book is in good company. Many other scholars for example, Ray
Suarez have also documented these– the indispensability of
this marginalized history. Second, unlike many of his
contemporaries however, Ambroggio investigates the presence of Hispanic culture
one step further. When he documents how
meaningful our world was– our world was regarded by
such key American figures. As Jefferson and even Walk Whitman. Already in 1790, the statesman from
Virginia was reading "Don Quixote". And few indispensable exposition
of the Hispanic historiography. Third, we learn also that
the exile condition far from being restraining is
a source of inspiration. And unleashes the copious
cultural production of many intellectuals in exile. The literature and the literary and
artistic repertoires of this group. By that I mean the Hispanic refugees or exile community are too
numerous to summarize here. But who can forget the resilience with which Jose Maria Heredia
turned nostalgia and adversities into the pedigree of his– life. Or the voluminous work
of Garcia Lorca after his brief residence
in New York City. In 2000, the New York Times– a New York Times article about the
work and– life of Garcia Lorca. Concluded that the poet went back to
Spain "A changed man" in quotation. Fourth, the evidence presented in this book leads even the casual
reader to one unsettling conclusion. The cultural production in
exile constitute the filler of our own national identity. Consider for instance the
work of Faustino Sarmiento or even more recently, Octavio Paz. What would they have
said about who we are without confronting the other? The concluding feature
that one draws from the 5 chapters
that organize this book. Is a dynamic– is a dynamic,
cosmopolitan community who embraces diversity
and celebrates creativity. And it's in constant
co-existence with others in exile. As Richard Sennett, a very
prominent sociologist would say. "The trajectory of Hispanic culture
in American amount to nothing more than a fine illustration
of the uses of disorder". Luis Alberto amply stipulates, "Las estadísticas aquí utilizadas
de diversos años y décadas pasadas se actualizan. Con una progresión ilusionante. Nuestra rica historia y realidad
se consolida positivamente". In sum, one can only
hope that pundits and policy makers do not overlook
the lessons this well researched and encyclopedic book
so fondly brings us. Immigrant communities bring life, cultural life to the
experiment that we call America. Thank you very much. [ Applause ] >> The beautiful part
of our community is that you will learn
many different accents. So this is the Argentinian accent,
the one that I'm going to use. And I will be bilingual. My presentation as the
book is in Spanish. But I will try to translate. How many of you here
speak only English? So, okay. So I will
try to do my best. Thank you so much Enrique
for the presentation. And what I will do now is offer
you a power point sharing some of these great discoveries
that I had when I came here. I came here in 1967. The following year, I was on the leadership program
for the United Nations. And I had to do my
internship at the White House under the first year
of President Nixon. And as I tell in the book,
at that point in time, some of the fellow
White House staffers. When they met me and I–
they would say, "Well Luis, you have to really learn English
and talk in English and so on". And I would tell them, "Well
listen, I am doing that with you but you better learn Spanish". And a few of those guys
who survived me now, they are in the mid 80's or so. When they see they said, "Oh
Luis, you were so right". Okay, anyways how many of you
do not understand English? Do I need to translate that? >> Spanish. >> No, no English so that I
can translate it into Spanish. No, everybody understood
what I said? With my accent and everything? Great. Okay, then I will start
my power point presentation. And this is the– obviously
the cover of the book which is out there for sale. And I will be glad to sign it. And okay, let's go to the next. Now, you know, our history– Hispanic history in
the US is amazing. Our– the first people that
came over here, Ponce de Leon. Was with different
expeditions in 1513. So that's about a century
before the pilgrims. And not only that, there are
certain things that are unbelievable because there were expeditions. And not only expeditions,
actual settlements in different parts of the US. Like Ponce de Leon will go from
Florida all the way up north. They went to Missouri, Mississippi. They went west to many
different states. And for instance, I found out that
the Jesuits placed some missions in Virginia. It is there, very, very small
letters in that paragraph. By the way these are paragraphs
taken from my book of the history. So you have all kinds
of dates and so on. And this is what the
book is all about. Statistics, dates and
funny stories that some of them I will share with you. The picture which is on the
book is Gaspar de Villagrá. Gaspar de Villagrá wasn't Spanish. He was an American. He was born in Mexico. But he was a lawyer. In fact he was the one who
led the first whatever– court, lawsuit or claim. He wrote also– he
was a poet as well. And in 1598 on the expedition
with Juan Oñate in Nuevo Mexico. He wrote his book of poetry. I will read for you a
paragraph in English of someone referring to his book. He says– and this is F.W. Hodge. This "what works about the poem"– this is "Historia de
la Nueva Mexico". That was published in 1610. By the way, he studied
law in Salamanca. Even though he was
born here in Mexico. He says, "What works about
the poem is the disclosure of competing claims in the
epic structure of intent. And epic celebrates,
exploits intelligence and courage of the protagonist. But to do so it also requires
honoring the antagonist. The Homeric Greek epic for
example celebrates conquest. And yet it dramatizes
the agony of warfare. Making heroes of both the
victor and the vanquished. And creates this equal measure
in order to immortalize Greece. Or in the case of Villagrá, Spain
yet it seems to me that Villagrá in some strange and I
think unintended way. Immortalizes not Spain but America". Okay, enough. I don't have too much time. I'd like to leave time for us to
engage on a dialogue, un coloquio, discutir un poco así
que voy a ir rápido. Okay. See in our actual territories
the US you see all of the states that were either Spanish
or Mexican and so on even after the independence. So you have there for instance,
Alabama Spanish until 1783. Arizona until 1821 and Mexican
until 1848 and so on and so forth. Quite a number of the states that
actually form the US, our US, were Spanish– Hispanic I will say. So either Mexican or Spanish. By the way, as I said all of these
are paragraphs from the book. So and I even you know as I
said as a prophecy in 1775. The congress, continental
congress following Thomas Jefferson' suggestions. They rejected the British
pound, the sterling pound. And they adopted the Spanish dollar. In fact, the sign of
dollar is from the– Imperial logo of arms
with a logo of plus ultra. And it's amazing, I
mean, I played this game. I said, "Well pull out a dollar from
your pocket and see who signs it". Usually it will be a Hispanic name. Let me see, I will pull one just
to make sure that I am correct. And if it not– let's
see this is $1. And who signs it? Rios. So it's one of those
whatever, do I have it here? Yeah, Rosa or Mateo Rios. Okay, let's go to the next one. Now, another interesting
fact is you know who placed the actual foundational
stone on the White House? And I will say, well
usually you need to ask one of the presidential candidates
and they will name the name. Because it happened to be a
Hispanic immigrant, Pedro Casanave. He came from Navarre,
Spain and he worked like we all immigrants
usually do and work hard. He was a real estate agent and became the fifth
mayor of Georgetown. Which was the oldest part
before Washington was created. And he placed the foundational stone
on the White House or the key stone. I don't know how you
say that in English. La piedra– la– the
key stone, right? Key stone on the White House. That time it was called
the president's house. And he selected a really
interesting date. The 12th of October of 1792. And that is the reason
why we are called– our capital is called Washington
DC, District of Columbia. Okay that's one. Like that there are many,
many anecdotes both personal and I will share some of those. As we all historical that are not
well known or not known at all. Okay, one of my discoveries
was amazing. It's the fact that our creator, Thomas Jefferson not
only he knew Spanish. But he obligated his
daughters as well as all the relatives
to learn Spanish. See, this is Peter Carr, he
sent him this letter in 1787. See it's in Spanish and in English. You can read the English there. "Español, préstale mucha atención. Y procura adquirir un
conocimiento exacto del mismo. Nuestras relaciones venideras con
España y la América Hispánica harán que la adquisición de este
idioma sea muy valiosa. La historia antigua de esa parte
de América también se ha escrito en ese idioma. Te envió un diccionario". He always– siempre hacia eso. He always did that. Either sent a grammar or
a dictionary or a Quixote. See this is probably too
small but here is the letter to Mary Jefferson Eppes
which was the youngest one. He writes to her aunt. Said, "I have insisted of her here. I have insisted on her
reading 10 pages a day in her Spanish "Don Quixote". And getting a lesson in
her Spanish grammar". And he seems to be,
he was very insistent. O sea Jefferson aparentemente
insistía totalmente porque en sus cartas. En el capítulo relacionado con esto
en el libro pues hay muchas citas. Insistía tremendamente en eso. Tal es así que la hija,
Mary wrote him back. And said, "Dad, I finished
Reading "Don Quixote". Now I am starting to read
Lazarillo de Tormes". Another classical novel in
Spain and the Spanish world. Not only that. That was a novel that was forbidden
by the inquisition as well. Anyway, so– and not only that. For instance, I mentioned
before his nephew Peter Carr. Over there he is sending a
dictionary Ingles-Español de Baretti. And then also grammar and
other books in Spanish. And I like to– I like to emphasize
the second paragraph which he says. "Cuando llegues a ser
un hombre público, político tendrás oportunidad
de utilizarlo. Y las circunstancias de poseer tal
idioma podría darte una situación de preferencia frente
a otros candidatos". Hello– what? That's, you know, it's amazing. I don't know. Is he our founder, our creator,
our– amazing, amazing, amazing. Okay, I could keep on going
but you can read the book. Then, Walt Whitman. Walt Whitman when he was
young he was in favor of the Mexican war in 1848. But then he changed totally
his mind and his attitude. And he wrote this when they invited
him to celebrate the anniversary of the foundation of Santa Fe. And look what visionary
declarations he made there. I don't know whether I have
it in English in the book. I think I may have. But let me see, oh yeah. Let me see. No, it's not translated
into English yet. But basically what he says there es. "El carácter hispano le va a proveer
algunas de las partes más necesarias a esta compleja identidad Americana. Ningún origen muestra una mirada
retrospectiva más grandiosa, más grandiosa en términos
de religiosidad y lealtad. De patriotismo, valentía,
decoro, gravedad y honor. The Hispanic carácter will
provide one of the most important, necessary elements to this
complex American identity. No other origin shows such a
retrospective vision bigger. Bigger in terms of
religiosity and loyalty. Patriotism, courage and so on." So this is our poetic icon. So these are discoveries that I
have really discovered myself. When I came here, I never– okay. Then, the book, the 5th
chapter of the book deals with the literature,
Hispanic literature. This is literature written
in Spanish in the US. Which starts in 1522. The first book published,
written in this area by Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca was
published in Spain in 1542. But it deals with–
and it was written through his mission in
Nuevo Mexico in 1539. And then in the poetic gender–
and this book by the way. Deals not only with
the prose novels, also theatre and essays and so on. The poetic gender is led by
Bartolome de Flores in 1571. And he published this
book in Sevilla. And probably written in Florida. And the other person that wrote
the famous poem Florida was Fray Gregorio de Escobedo. Who wrote that poem between
1583 thru 15– probably 89. Even though it was
published in Spain in the beginning of the 1600's. Amazing, this I cannot translate
except for the first one. These poems were written in mid-18–
19– 1800's o sea 1850, 1850's. Look at the type of topic. In this book I point out
to many topics that are so current, it's amazing. Here for instance,
the first one says. "Hermoso idioma Español. Que te quieren prohibir. Yo creo que no hay razón
que tu dejes de existir. Beautiful Spanish language. They want to forbid you. I don't think there is any
reason for you not to exist". You know, and here we– have
English only and this and that. Now, the second one is interesting
from the point view of Spanglish. Obviously for English speaking
people probably this is not so important. But in Spanish, the mixture of the
languages is such that you know. If you don't use the correct
word– I can tell a personal story. I translated and published
Robert Pinsky's "Selected Poems." He was the poet laureate. And he insisted in
reading the poem in Spanish on some of the presentations. I said, "No listen, let me read it". Because if you don't put
the right accent or the– pronounce the ñ. You know
the words change totally, the sense of the word. Year for instance in Spanish is año. If you don't pronounce the ñ,
it's a totally different word. And I will not say it because
they are videotaping this. So it's interesting that that poem and if somebody is
willing to translate that. Because I don't know
how to do it, it says. "Conocía en California
una paisana muy bella. De 18 primaveras educada
en una Americana escuela. Ingresaba algunas frases que
olían a gringo a la legua. Con frecuencia se le oía
llamar al cesto, basqueta. Cuenta las cuadras por bloques. A un cerco decirle fensa. Al café llamarlo cofe. A los mercados, marqueta. Al bodegón, groceria". Now, I won't translate
the whole poem. But grocery obviously in English. I mean, I'm going grocery
shopping and so on. In Spanish it means– what would be
the best translation for groceria? >> Bad word. >> Rudeness. >> Rudeness. Ugly. Everything totally
different from grocery shopping. Okay. This is a first– we have
the first Hispanic poet laureate in the US, Juan Felipe Herrera. By the way, all these pictures
are in the book as well. And obviously we have
the first court– Supreme Court judge is
Hispanic, Sonia Sotomayor. And I bring this up because the book
is full of these firsts and so on. First senator, congressman,
this whoever. Just to document our history. And our future is really,
really great. And basically I just want to
point out with Silvia Puente. The idea is not the
Hispanic, the US. Here I am emphasizing that
but the idea is the we. We, as part of the US. This is not like the
language that we speak. Our Spanish is not from–
of Spain or of Mexico. It's our Spanish, our
US Spanish language. And we are US Hispanics. We are not Mexicans or whatever. In fact, I will tell you a
story from my family album. My middle son, Javier,
he's the genius type. And when he was 22, he got a
doctorate PhD in Biophysics from the University of Cal Tech. Anyways, when he was 5 years
old, I went to the director of the primary school that was
about 2 blocks from our house. I knew him because we both
coached soccer for the kids. So I told him, "Listen, if Javier
goes there to kindergarten. He will make life miserable
for everyone else. Because he gets bored and starts
doing all kinds of things." And he said, "Okay Luis,
don't worry about it. Just bring him over. He will take a test
for half an hour. And if he passes this, he
goes straight to first grade". I said, "Great". So I bring Javier. 5 minutes, the test is over. He passes. Okay, my oldest son had been
going to that primary school for 5 years prior,
never heard a word. Now the second day
Javier was in school, Fred Cook, he calls me at work. And said, "Luis, I have
Javier here in my office". I said, "Oh my goodness!" And he was laughing. Said, "He must have done
something really bad for them to bring him to your office". And he was, "Yeah, so on–
" "Well, what did he do?" He said, "No, you better
talk to him". I said, "But give me a
clue or something so– ". "No, that's fine. It's better for you to
talk" and he was laughing. And I said, "Well you know,
Luis was there for 5 years. Never they took him to your office". "Si, I know"." Fine, I'll talk to him
when I get back from work". So by 3:00 o'clock I
get back from work. I wait for Javier to come in. I open the door. I said, "Oh hi Javier. How are you?" "Fine, dad". "How was your day in school?" "Oh great." "Oh, okay," I said, "You know,
Mr. Cook called me and told me that they had taken
you to his office." "Oh yes dad". "Well, what happened?" "No, this kid called me Mexican
and I told him Virginian. And Mexican, Virginian". "And then what happened?" "No, then I hit him". "Oh my goodness", I said. And then he turns and I still
remember his face and said. "By the way dad, what is Mexican?" Okay, so probably Chris– neither
Chris nor him knew what Mexican was. But my son probably say, "Oh
you know, this is not water. This is agua". And then Chris told him Mexican. "By the way dad, what is Mexican?" So anyway, the idea is
that Jefferson asked us to learn Spanish, to
learn many languages. So the idea is that we are more and more multi-cultural,
multi-lingual nation. And– okay this is the end. And this is a book that I have
written with passion and pride. And I hope that it will be
coming in English as well. So I hope that not only
we, the Hispanic community, read it and learn from it. But also– the English
speaking community so that we all learn our
history, truly as it is. And not just the official version. And this is a poem that I
have read many, many times. Which is whenever I go in
Latin America, they announce me as a poet or writer from the US. They always say, "Oh, down
with giant keys of whatever". And I say, "No wait a minute." I said, "You know, the US, we are part of America
and Hispanic America." And then I read them
this poem which is called "Paisajes de Estados Unidos". "Si cada ladrillo hablara. Si cada Puente hablara. Si hablaran los parques,
las plantas, las flores. Si cada trozo de pavimento hablara. Hablarían en Español. Si las torres, los techos, los
aires acondicionados hablaran. Si hablaran las iglesias, los
aeropuertos, las fábricas. Si cada surco de este país hablara. Hablarían en Español. Si los sudores florecieran
con un nombre. No se llamarían piedras. Sino González, García,
José, Rodríguez o Peña. Pero no pueden hablar. Son manos, obras, cicatrices que
por ahora callan o quizás ya no." Estados Unidos Hispanos. Thank you so much. And now– [applause]. It is my pleasure to introduce
la Doctora Carmen Benito-Vessels. Which will lead the debate or
the discussion on these topics. And Enrique if you want
to come on over as well. And I think that probably
we will do it in– oh no. We have 1 Spanish-English– great. >> Thank you very much Luis Alberto for giving me the opportunity
to be here today. And thank you for organizing
this event. I think that this poem
is probably the best way to start our conversation. And is– when I first read the book. I was looking for specific
data and I knew it was there. So I read it a little bit
fast and I was overwhelmed by the amount of information. The second time when I was
invited to lead the discussion. I was even more amazed because this
in my view is a little [inaudible]. It's an encyclopedia
that is disguised in the form of a very humble book. Like this poem, I think it's the–
and this poem is the history, in my view, of the Hispanic
population in the US. And I don't know if there is more
room to add to what is already here. But if we have something,
I'm sure that– well. As Luis Alberto has mentioned that
you have made several discoveries in your– during the
writing of the book. And I wonder if there
is still something else that you would like to add. I'm sure a second edition
is at the door. Because you have more to
say and what else would you like to include in this book? Or to expand because obviously there
is enough material here to do so. >> Amazingly enough I think that practically every
day, we find something new. I mean, a new name, a new
person that has won an award for instance is of Hispanic descent. In fact, yesterday or
something I read so and so– this was in the sports side of
the– and all of the sudden I said. "Oh my goodness, this is a– like Football, American
Football" and all of the sudden. This guy was considered to be the
most valuable player sort of say. And his name, for instance,
it wasn't Escobar. I know that Escobar was a
national, it's a baseball player. But something like that. Every day you find more and more– you discover more and
more contributions of the Hispanic community
to our general culture. And our general history
and so on so– >> Right but in addition
to obviously the new data that is coming up every day. Probably I'm sure that the
audience may have questions about this presentation. If not, I could continue but
do you have questions for any of these either poems or topics that Luis Alberto Ambroggio
has presented? >> Hello, my name is [inaudible]. I'm with [inaudible]. Thank you very much for the
book and for your comments. I have 2 quick questions. 1- What inspired you
to write the book? And what was the need you
thought you were answering? And second, when is the
translation in English coming out? >> I am looking for a translator. The first question was what
inspired me to do this? I was then as a cultural
envoy for the US to give lectures in
several countries. And those were the
topics that I selected. Such as Walt Whitman and the
Hispanic element on our nationality. Or Thomas Jefferson and
the Spanish language. And– but basically it's the fact
that I was really totally at awe with this reality when
I first came here. I came to the US in '67
thinking, "Well, here I am. This is English only type of thing
so I better do it and so on". And all of the sudden I start
discovering no, the guy who comes around when I call
Smith and whatever. And somebody else to
come over to do the lawn and the guy that come is Jose. And if I say, "Hola" instead of
"Hello" he– "Oh, my goodness." That's good. So these are– this
is one of the motive of my sharing this discoveries. And as far as the English version, I'd like it to come out
as soon as possible. Hopefully in 3, 4 months
we should have it out. And I'm– I think it's
basically as I said before. The passion and the pride as a– not
as a Hispanic separately but as part of this beautiful country of ours. >> And [mumbles] if I may say,
you know, one of the things that distracts more in this book. Is not only the passion and the
pride but the intellectual pride. And the acute remarks that are
constantly written throughout the book. You know, we are part
of the US as well. Is it time that we
re-write the history books? Is it time that we
teach our students? Or we let the common citizen
know about the Hispanic past? Because this Hispanic past
is part of their history. As Jefferson very well
mentioned, you know, this. We didn't start with
a war of independence. We started much prior. And even our literary roots, you
know, the way Luis Ambroggio pre– Luis Alberto Ambroggio
presents it is very original. Because usually we think about other
figures from either Latin America or Spain that have impacted
North American literature. And comes to mind, Mark Twain with "Huckleberry Finn"
on the pick as novel. Or "Knight in the Court of King
Arthur", that's Mark Twain. But what we find in this book
is that this is a 2 way street. And we find Whitman
in Hispanic poetry. And so it's a mutually
enriching history. I think that is one of the things
that is most– more fascinating. As well as the equanimity
that one finds in this book. The precision of the
words, you know. And there is not one
perfect Spanish. There is not 1 Spanish. There is many variations. And I think that I would
like to ask Luis Alberto or– 1 question and then
another for the audience. It's obvious that you
not only use the language as a poet but with– as an art. I find that each word
in this book is crafted. And I wonder, all of us have a
mechanism for survival being here. And suffering the aberration
of many foreign languages or our own students who don't speak
very well the Spanish language. And we have to make effort– an
effort to keep our Spanish more or less, you know, under
academic standards. Or– you know, or improve
our own language. And I wonder what Luis Alberto
reads to keep his Spanish that beautifully preserved
and so rich after all these years in the US? >> Yeah that's a really
good question. Part of it I think I– obviously
language is part of my identity. And as such I love it
like I love my culture, like I love my family,
like I love– this is. They say that when we go into exile, they ask for however
we want to call it. We tend to grasp something. And basically I think that what
we grasp is precisely our– things that– things
that identify us. It's true that here, here
I am talking in English. So bilingual is in
one of the chapters of the book deals with that. Bilingual is an identity. Because in reality, here in the
US, this is part of our identity. Is being able to say,
"Hola" and say "Hello". That's what makes me
Hispanic American. That's what I tell when
I go to schools here and I you know, worships
and something. I am the first one to insist,
"Listen learn English like the best. But never forget your Spanish." This is something–
and my kids know that. And basically I am– I
study social linguistics. So I am open to the idea
that languages communicate. And the dialogue and
so on and so forth. But also, I feel that I
shouldn't say words in English and make them like Spanish. Or vice versa, make
English words Spanish. Like I don't think that
I should say, "Troca". I'd rather say truck. And then if I need to say in
Spanish, I say, "Camioneta". Or and so and I can go on and on. I have poems. I have articles written
to that effect. I think that's important because
that's part of the respect of our different nationalities that
are conjugated in our personality. So that we are– well
Walt Whitman usaba– he used many words in Spanish. Por ejemplo, libertad, camarado– el decía camarado, no
camarada– and so on. But he used them in Spanish. He won't say for instance,
"libertady or something like that" I am inventing that. So I think that's why
I kept my language. And I wanted my kids
to– keep this language. And it's so helpful being
bilingual and being good bilingual. In other words, good
English and good Spanish. Another story of the family album. My daughter is– has a
PhD in– oh my goodness. I am becoming senile. It's a PhD in epidemiology. And she was invited by
the– by El Salvador. They were interested in the
research that she was doing. And so they sent a letter from
the department of public health in El Salvador inviting her. Her boss was so impatient that
went ahead and used Google to translate that invitation. Coming del departamento de
salud pública del Salvador. Y entonces fue a Google–
¿todos entienen Español acá? Sí. Bueno. Fue a Google a buscar la traducción. Y entonces de repente
viene y la llama a mi hija. Dice, "Ven, que quiero reunirme
con respecto a ese proyecto". Y viene mi hija y lo nota
a él todo como enfurecido, así serio que se yo y entonces. Le dice el a ella en Ingles ¿no? "¿Qué es esto? Es un– este es un chiste." "¿Por qué?", le dice ella. "No, ¿Qué es esto? Una invitación la carta of the
department of public God bless you. What is this?" Así se lo había traducido Google. El departamento of
public God bless you. Así el departamento
de salud pública. Como nosotros decimos cuando
estornudamos, "Salud". Entonces aquí, "God
bless you" así que– >> Yeah, Luis– Enrique ¿quieres–
o tienes un comentario o– ? >> Allá hay una pregunta. >> Oh, allá. Perdón. >> Tengo un comentario y
lo voy hacer en Español. Pase todos los años– 52 años que
vivo en este país enseñando en la universidad con el gobierno. En estos momentos habiendo
sido profesora– en estos momentos hay
algo que no sé. Por ejemplo, cuando uno va–
hablando de ser bilingüe. Cuando una– pero ¿Por
qué cuando voy a votar? Hay un cartón que dice, "Vote aquí". ¿Por qué? ¿Los españoles no hablan Inglés? no saben, no les preguntan. Y si es así, si no hablan
Inglés, ¿Cómo van a votar? Cuando uno vota, vota por una
persona que usted la conoce. Que usted sabe que va hacer. Usted tiene que decidir
entre una u otra persona. Si esa persona no habla
Inglés ¿Cómo puede votar? ¿Por qué necesitan poner un
cartel que dice "vote aquí"? A mí me ofende, la
verdad, que me ofende. >> ¿Quieres– ? >> Si. A mí no me– >> Es que ninguna persona– >> Si. >> Cuando es una cosa
del país, que va votar. Va votar por la administración
en este país. No, no en fin nomas aquí. ¿Para qué necesitan poner un
cartel que dice "vote aquí"? >> Si. A mí– >> Es ofensivo. >> Claro, eso es personal ¿no? En el sentido de que
a mí no me ofende. Si no que me enorgullece
ver el Español ahí. ¿Por qué? Porque dentro de nuestra comunidad, y digo este yo ayudo aquí por
ejemplo al centro de alfabetización en español, CENAES. Nuestros inmigrantes a veces
vienen sin tener mucha educación incluso allá. >> Entonces no puede votar. >> Perdón, este– aquí
se vota y se habla. Se habla porque hay gente dentro
de nuestra comunidad, mucha. La mayoría de la gente
es bilingüe. Entonces posiblemente hablan. Hay periódicos en español que
precisamente hablan de toda la política. Y que esta gente que
lee, puede leer. Entonces– y por el otro
lado, digamos hay– nosotros. Yo soy miembro de la Academia
Norte Americana de Lengua Española. Tenemos un acuerdo con el gobierno
para traducir documentos oficiales. O sea, el español ha sido ahora
digamos reconocido como un idioma que debe ser traducido. Precisamente porque reconocen
la importancia de esta minoría. Y seguro que los políticos
son los primeros que dicen, "Pongan 'voten aquí'". Porque el voto Hispano ha
significado una gran diferencia. >> Ese, sí. >> Cuando se va votar aquí. No sé cómo es en todos los estados
pero muchas veces hay que seguir unas instrucciones técnicas. Del botón, cual viene
primero, mueva lo demás. Y tal vez allí es que también
necesitan ayuda las personas que no dominan tan bien el inglés. Para poder seguir las
instrucciones y que su voto sea registrado adecuadamente. Son unas– es parte del proceso. Creo que estoy de acuerdo con usted
que hay suficiente información en español que se está promoviendo
para los que no dominan la lengua en Ingles. Periódicos, la prensa
y los candidatos. Ellos están hiendo a las comunidades
en español y hablando en español. >> Hablando en español. >> Si. >> Así que creo que lo veo así. Pero tengo una pregunta. >> Si. >> En la primera– ficha que puso. No sé si fue que no lo vi bien. Donde usted menciona los territorios
y estados que eran españoles y ahora son parte de estados unidos. No sé si incluyo a Puerto Rico. >> Puerto Rico, hablo de Puerto
Rico pero es un caso especial. Porque en este momento o sea
la– como te podría decir. La situación jurídica de Puerto
Rico es diferente de un estado en este momento. O sea– >> Pero es un territorio. >> Es un territorio. Por eso digo, tampoco
hablo de Hawái o cosas así. O sea, hablo de los estados aquí
dentro del– esta por ejemplo. Cuando hablo de la literatura
Puertorriqueña en el libro. Hablo de la literatura continental. No de la isla de Puerto Rico. O sea, porque por ejemplo hay más
Puertorriqueños posiblemente en Nueva York que los
que hay en la isla. Pero hablo de la literatura
escrita en el territorio, en el continente de
los estados unidos. No, de Puerto Rico, ¿Por qué? Por la situación especial de Puerto
Rico y que todavía está definida pero no del todo, ¿no? Así que por eso no lo menciono. >> Muy válido, claro,
en la investigación. >> No, o sea realmente
no sé– si Georgette. >> I think the genius of the United
States of your, that of Hispanics like all the other languages. Is that it can also
go into Vietnamese, you know, Cambodian [phonetic]. So the genius of this continent is so many wonderful cultures
and languages. >> Right, right and if I may
add one little thing, you know. Is Spanish was the first
language spoken in Virginia. Much prior than English. Therefore, I am really
looking forward to the day when we have not only
the "vote aquí". But also the names of the streets
or directions in both languages. The same way that it happens let's
say in Catalonia or in Belgium. Because the population
knows both languages. That doesn't mean that one
is superior to the other. It means that they
are– sufficient numbers that justify this bilingualism. And that– as I said, that doesn't
mean that you have to forget one. As Luis Alberto mentioned,
and or give priority of one language over the other. Of course there is one thing,
common sense and there is plenty of attention to that
common sense in this book. Because I'm going to add, we
also have our differences. The Spanish you know
about language, the– nuances and we are all very picky. >> Lo que si no me gustaría que
dijese, "Bote aquí" con B larga. Y ¿Qué pasa? Por ejemplo, una vez en un– en un restaurante estábamos hablando
con unos amigos de la señora del dueño de ese restaurante. Y la chica que hablaba
un poco hablaba español. No sé de donde era
pero hablaba español. De repente nos dice, " Ah sí,
ya le voy a traer a la vaga". Y nosotros nos quedamos, "Oy
Dios mío que falta de respeto." Porque estábamos hablando
de la señora del dueño. Y no ella se refería al bag. Iba a traer a la baga. Pero estábamos discutiendo,
"Pero vaga es con v corta". >> There's one more
question here, please. >> Si, primero agradecerle mucho por
el libro realmente pienso que es un libro fascinante y
muy poco conocido. Muy necesario y que
realmente [inaudible]. Mi caso particular,
nosotros tenemos 3 hijos. Nosotros somos Argentinos. Mis 3 hijos crecieron
inmigrantes por el trabajo. Y ellos son bilingües perfectos. Pero hay que– bilingües en
el sentido de bi-culturales, bilingües y bi-culturales. Es decir saben adaptarse
a las culturas, al modo de ser cultural
de los 2 digamos de las 2 poblaciones [inaudible]. Pero tenemos un tema, un tema
muy serio con nuestras nietas. Allí estamos porque nuestros 3
hijos se casaron con 3 americanos. 2 americanos y 1 americana,
tenemos dos nenas y un barón. Y este libro va salir muy bien
para apoyar la campaña que estamos haciendo para que nuestros nietos
también sean bilingües como debe ser. Porque a veces no se aprecia– ya, yo creo que el tema del
bilingüismo como usted muy bien lo expresa. Es una– muy necesario
inclusive al pasar de los años. Y sin embargo no ha premiado. Es decir que todavía piensan que
con el inglés solo las cosas están– se van a llevar la pared por delante
con la identidad salir al mercado. Para mi es ese comentario solamente. Agradecerle mucho [inaudible]
de un tema tan, tan interesante. >> Si, el orgullo que debe
sentir cuando lo dije aquí ¿no? Cuando uno de sus nietos
lo llama abuelo, ¿no? Creo que es realmente una
obligación nuestra también ¿no? solo que– >> Well, thank you very much. It's wonderful. >> Bueno. Thank you. >> Thank you. Thank you for that. >> Thank you [applause]. >> This has been a presentation
of the Library of Congress. Visit us at

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