Chapter :

[Spanish music]

[Male Narrator] In recent years the growing Spanish-speaking population has made Spanish a vital part of the language scene in North Carolina.

[Victor Medina speaking Spanish with subtitles]

[Teresa Fernandez speaking Spanish with subtitles]

[Evelyn Valladares] And when I go home I talk to my children in Spanish, which they hate by the way, because they say, "Mom talk to us in English." And I say, "Oh no you need to you need to learn the language. You need to be bilingual."

[Female Speaker] There is a process that you go through as a second language speaker becoming really comfortable with the new culture.

[Victor Medina] It is very important when coming to the United States, because it's the key for the language. If you no have English, you no have nothing. I think so.

[Female Speaker] I started dreaming in English and I remember that, thinking, wow, I'm becoming fluent, you know, that my dreams are in English. And then there came this place where I am like, well, who am I now? Because now I write in English, I read in English and I speak English most of the day. And that was really confusing, you know. And then that is where it starts hitting you. Where you go, "Oh I don't know who I am. I am, am I my language?"

[Female Speaker] They're going to learn English because they have to know how to function in America. They probably already know English before they get here. But we as an American society we are a multicultural society or at least we claim to be so we should at least know how to communicate with at least one other nationality.

[Spanish teacher speaking in Spanish]

[Mary Ann Spivey] I think more and more you see the translations for both, and I think that we have to be considerate of others as well and start learning other languages and other cultures too.

[Hector Jaimes] I believe that little by little Spanish is taking or acquiring a lot of importance in the culture of the United States. It has become the second language in the United States. A lot of students are very interested in learning the language just because of newspapers, media, and other venues of interaction with Hispanics. I would say that, perhaps, in the near future this country will be bilingual, Spanish and English.

[Children talking in Spanish]

[Spanish Radio]

[Jon Hernandez] A lot of the Hispanics they now own automobiles. They'll put a piece of their country on their car whether it be a flag, or it could be their cap or something hanging off of their mirror that indicates who they are. Hispanics are very proud of their origin very proud of their heritage and more so very proud of their culture. [Spanish] English will become their first language because that's what they're learning in school that's what they're watching on tv. They'll have to communicate in Spanish in order to have some kind of correlation with the family unit, but this is a new community in a new land. The culture is something that they bring with them and they [unintelligible] with them.

[Female Speaker] Even if it is an American person who can speak Spanish I will just engage into Spanish conversation because it feels good. It's a part of who I am. I am somebody who originally was nurtured by this language. And so I want to hear it. So I seek out conversation in Spanish. But when you find somebody that is amazingly fluent like you are in both languages then what there is this interesting dance. You know like somebody calls you on the phone and you hear a little bit of an accent and so you kind of know that they speak Spanish and they hear your little bit of an accent. And so then there is like so normally I will make the first move, and I'll say something in Spanish. And then they'll go, "Which language would you rather talk in." And then I say, "Well, whichever of the two." So we just go into "Spanglish" you know.

[Spanish music]