Letters to the Editor

Thursday, May 09 2013 11:00 PM

Ads in Spanish? Gaspar was only half right

By The Bakersfield Californian

I enjoy Jose Gaspar's columns in The Californian. He is articulate and learned, and he is usually at least half right. But he seems to come from only one position.

In his latest column, Gaspar wrote about the printing of advertisements in Spanish, and how non-Hispanics complain ("How dare those businesses advertise in Spanish?," May 6). I agree with Gaspar that the Hispanic community spends a lot of money in this economy, and that the bottom line with companies, and their advertising, is not so much courtesy as it is money.

However, what Gaspar failed to mention is that people who have traveled to rural areas in foreign countries, including Mexico, do not always enjoy the luxury of signs printed in their native tongue.

If I was going to live in another country, would that country print things in my language, or would I have to learn that language to make life more palatable? The money is nice, and I'm sure retailers don't mind spending a little extra (or a lot) to increase revenue. But having a better understanding of the language of the country in which you live makes life easier.

Consider the story of the woman who lived in the United States and was injured in an automobile accident. None of those with her spoke English, and none of the paramedics spoke Spanish, so she was unable to tell them what was wrong with her. She eventually succumbed to her injuries. So, sorry to say, Gaspar was half right, again.

Jim Thomas

Tehachapi

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