The Wall Street Journal reported a few days ago on a very interesting phenomenon taking place in L.A.’s Koreatown:
These days, English isn’t the second language of choice anymore for some immigrants settling in the U.S. In the city that is home to the country’s largest foreign-born population, many Spanish- and Korean-speaking immigrants are choosing to learn each other’s language before they tackle English.
…More than a courtesy, the language exchange is born out of economic necessity…
…Students like Han San Lee spent more than two hours enunciating “uno, dos, tres…” and other Spanish words and phrases beamed on a screen from the instructor’s laptop. As the manager of a garment factory in L.A.’s fashion district, Mr. Lee says he’s too busy to study English since moving here from Korea seven months ago.
…Among the Mexican workers at the Galleria grocery is Rúben Hernandez. In three years he has risen from an apron-wearing bag boy to a necktie-sporting front manager, thanks to picking up Korean informally from his colleagues and friends. The 30-year-old immigrant also speaks English. But, because he spends the day dealing with Koreans, “I think I speak Korean just as well as English now,” he says.
This is why I love America.
Click here for full story.
Filed under: Cross-Cultural Pollinasian, Ka-Changlish--A Hybrid of Spanish and an Asian Language Spoken Out of Economic Necessity, Koreatown, Los Angeles, Multiculturalism Can Be More Than Lip Service
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