Savoring the Spanish of My Youth, as the Language Marches On
ALBUQUERQUE — Something about the languages we speak fascinates me.
Roaming around Latin America as a correspondent for more than a decade, I wrote about Palenquero, a Creole language kept alive by descendants of runaway slaves in northern Colombia; Sranan Tongo, Suriname’s lingua franca; Papiamentu, the vibrant language of Curaçao; and even learned how to say “Mba’éichapa?” — How are you? — in Guaraní, the indigenous language that holds sway in Paraguay.
When I returned to the United States in July, I wondered what it would be like to live in a country where the Spanish language is so politicized that some speakers are facing new hostility. I was puzzled as to why Spanish seemed so threatening in an English-speaking superpower. I asked myself, what does the future hold for Spanish in the United States and around the world?…
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