Are There English-Language Captions for Spanish-Language TV?

[¡Ask a Mexican!] And why would a Mexican ever call a gabacha a mexicana?

DEAR MEXICAN: I live in Philadelphia, where there are three Spanish-language stations on regular broadcast television. None of them offer English subtitles. I bet plenty of people of all heritages would like to check them out—for the news from Central America or whatever. I called one of the stations, Univisión, about it, but I was told there are no plans to offer subtitles. Channel 35 here in Philly has Chinese, Korean, German, Russian, Polish and Italian programming, all with subtitles. Your thoughts?

Broad Street Broad

 

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DEAR GABACHA: Your letter has been in my ¡Ask a Mexican! archives for so long that your question is no longer needed—but I'll todavia answer it because it allows me to raise a great point. Last year, Univisión announced it was going to offer English-language captions for most of its telenovelas and even some news programs, although it didn't necessarily have gabachos in mind. Rather, the move was prompted by Univisión's realization that assimilation is inevitable in this country, and if it didn't acknowledge that English is the ultimate destiny for every Mexican in el Norte, it would become as relevant to the Mexican experience as canned tortillas. It's not a new tale—the ethnic press has long had a vibrant place in American letters (the first Spanish-language newspaper published in los Estados Unidos goes back to the early 19th century), but the only ones that survive more than a couple of generations are those that understand they're only temporary phenomena, that their days are numbered. That's why this infernal column also has a shelf life: When the Reconquista is finally complete, I will turn the burro over to my gabacho intern so he can explain America's largest and whiniest minority to the ruling Mexi class.

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DEAR MEXICAN: I'm a gringa from Iowa, and I've been dating my Mexican boyfriend for about three months now. He knows I'm from a background that's as white as they come, since I'm a German-Norwegian mix. But he fell in love with me because, I think, I shocked him. See, I speak Spanish, I listen to Spanish music, and we even met at a club for cumbia and bachata dancing. And he is puro mexicano with no English. He always calls me his "sexi gringa/guera," pero lately, he's been calling me his mexicana también when we've gone out dancing or for drinks. Why is that?

Melodia Confusa

 

DEAR CONFUSED MELODY GABACHA: Because he loves you—you're no longer just a gabacha to screw, but a mujer ready to meet the familia. Better make sure you incorporate chorizo into your hotdish—and I'm not talking about your hoo-hah.

 
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