Monthly Archives: October 2015

In Spanish “hog heaven” with ANLE

Last night I attended an event of the Academia Norteamericana de la Lengua Española (ANLE), the United States branch of the Real Academia Española. The event was the induction ceremony for ANLE’s newest member, Eduardo Lolo, a professor at CUNY’s Kingsborough Community College.

For this linguist, the event was Spanish hog heaven. First, ANLE’s General Secretary, Jorge Covarrubias, introduced the inductee. Sr. Covarrubias is from Argentina, and his cadences were delightfully Italian. (In case you didn’t know, some 70% of Argentinians have Italian blood, and the Spanish there shows definite Italian influence.) Prof. Lolo then spoke. He is from Cuba and his Spanish sounded completely different from Sr. Covarrubias’s. Understanding him was at first rough going for this non-native speaker, but I got the hang of it after a few minutes. Finally, ANLE’s director, Gerardo Piña-Rosales, critiqued Prof. Lolo’s presentation. He is from Spain, so this was yet another accent, one that I am more familiar with.

All three men spoke beautiful, erudite Spanish, elegant yet crisp and communicative. It was a treat to hear these three different accents produced at such a high level of linguistic sophistication.

I shouldn’t neglect to say that the subject of Prof. Lolo’s talk, and Sr. Piña-Rosales’s critique, was children’s theater, a topic that I knew nothing about, and in fact had no idea had been the topic of academic research. Now I know a little more, and am impressed with how rich the subject is.

Lo pasé muy bien; gracias, ANLE.

¡Estoy en El Diario!

[Today is Spanish Friday so this post is in Spanish. ¡Scroll down for English translation!]

Le agradezco a Carmen Molina Tamacas por haberme incluido en su artículo:

Sin embargo, no comparto el optimismo del artículo en cuanto al futuro del español en los EE. UU. Según los lingüístas cuyas obras he leído, como Carmen Silva-Corvalán de USC (en California) y John Lipski (Penn State), los inmigrantes hispanos, como los italianos, griegos, alemanes, y judíos en décadas anteriores, van perdiendo su idioma dentro de pocas generaciones. Solo la llegada constante de nuevos inmigrantes permite la continuación del idioma.


Many thanks to Carmen Molina Tamascas for having included me in her article about Spanish in the United States (see image/link above). However, I don’t share the article’s optimism regarding the language’s future here. According to the linguists whose work I have consulted, such as Carmen Silva-Corvalán at USC and John Lipski at Penn State, Spanish-speaking immigrants, like the Italians, Greeks, Germans, and Jews in earlier decades, generally lose their own language within one or two generations. Only the constant arrival of new immigrants enables the language’s continued vitality.