Gloria was born in Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, where she had the privilege of learning both Spanish and English. Her native community back at home still speaks Spanish; as she writes this text, she incorporates Spanish to identify with her ethnicity and background which she is very proud of. She also incorporates it so that the people back at home can be able to read and understand it. The mixing of English and Spanish in the text helps the reader to understand how proud and passionate Gloria is about her background. In some instances, a reader who understands Spanish will enjoy the text since he can fully understand it. However, for a reader who does not understand the Spanish language, it becomes a bit boring since they will not understand some bits of the text. In fact, most readers will skip the parts with the language they do not understand unless there is a translation.
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The author says that the low estimation of her native language is a low estimation of her, because she believes that ethnic identity and linguistic identity are intertwined. She says someone is well-described by the language he or she speaks, and one has to be proud of the language before he can be proud him or herself. Thus, low estimation of one’s language equals low estimation of the person. The author also contends that if one really wants to hurt her, then he or she should talk badly about her language. This is because, as mentioned earlier, Gloria believes that the language one speaks defines whom one is as exemplified by the statement, “I am my language”. This is an indication that language symbolizes the person. Therefore, it follows that talking badly about Gloria’s language would really hurt her since it would amount to talking badly about her as a person.
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