How Can You Tell If a Mexican Worker Is an Illegal Immigrant?

[¡Ask a Mexican!] And is it Dia de los Muertos or Dia de Muertos?

DEAR MEXICAN: On a trip to Mexico earlier this month, I was surprised that I found the holiday only referred to as Dia de Muertos, whereas in the States, I've only ever heard it as Dia de los Muertos. I'm really curious as to WHY there's a difference north/south of the border. Do Chicanos include the "los" so that it better matches up with the English translation? Do Mexicans use the phrase so often that the "los" has just fallen by the wayside? Is "los muertos" actually more historically correct, grammatically, and that phrase has been preserved in the remote reaches of New Spain? In Spanish, do you actually NEED the "los," or does the word "muertos" effectively include the article? I've asked friends, but no one seems to know the reason for the difference; knowing your love of etymology and history, I was hoping you could give a definitive answer. Sorry for the long letter!

La Catrina

DEAR GABACHA: Now, let's not put any blame on those mongrelizing Chicanos, one of whom, Michael Orozco, just helped the U.S. soccer squad save Mexico's ass from World Cup elimination by scoring a goal in Uncle Sam's Army's epic 3-2 triumph over Panama. Both "Día de los Muertos" and "Día de Muertos" have been used in Mexico since the 16th century, although I'm noticing Chicano yaktivists and their fresa cousins are preferring the latter, most likely because they feel too many gabachos know about the holiday and prefer to use terms they won't understand—kind of like how Mexicans began using gabacho once gringos started calling themselves gringos, you know? Both are technically right: "Dia de Muertos" is the literal translation of All Souls' Day, the Catholic holiday from which Mexico's veneration of its faithful departed is partly derived (notice how it's not called "All of the Souls Day," even though that makes more sense). On the other hand, the day before Día de los Muertos, All Saints' Day, is almost universally known in Mexico as Día de Todos los Santos (which translates as "Day of All of the Saints") instead of Día de Todos Santos. Confused yet? Don't be: The Mexican propensity for elision is as notorious as our love for agave-based spirits and confusing the hell out of gabachos.

*     *     *

DEAR MEXICAN: The other day, I went to Taco Bell and hit the drive-through. At the window, I ordered something with jalapeños. When I spoke the sacred word "jalapeño" with my gawky gringo accent, the illegal Mexican at the cash register corrected my pronunciation by repeating the word slowly and condescendingly with his own accent—"hah-lah-pen-yo." Kind of annoying. True, I only suspect he's Mexican, and I suspect he's illegal as well. But I find his almost complete inability to speak English offers some kind of clue, wouldn't you say?

I wonder: Is this dude so ignorant he doesn't understand that people pronounce words differently depending on where they're from? Or was he intentionally getting rude 'cause he just hates gabachos? Or maybe he was kindly instructing me as to how words will be expected to be pronounced once the Reconquista fulfills its promise. I've seen the stats, and I have no illusions; if you Mexicans keep reproducing like bunnies, y'all will eventually rule the whole continent.

Home Fry

DEAR GABACHO: Let's just set aside por un poquito your preposterous assumption that the guy taking your order is undocumented—Taco Bell uses E-Verify to ensure only legal citizens and residents prepare its slop. Guy took your order, right? Which means he knows English. If anything, the Mexican was being charitable—you're obviously the last gabacho left that doesn't know how to pronounce jalapeño correctly, which means you're as clueless about Mexican affairs as Damien Cave, The New York Times' Mexico correspondent whose stories seem like press releases penned by the PRI.

 
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47 comments
cynthia.curran8
cynthia.curran8

Who knows, he is lucky to have a job. I read about Kiosks being put in pretty soon for payment  in fast food which will probably  reduced fast food workers. Many illegal Hispanics are in jobs which in 5 to 10 years robots can take their place or reduce the workforce. In San Diego they are developing a robot to handle more farm worker duties. In cleaning in Japan ahead of us in robotics, they can clean more. In fact the robots are scary since they wipe out  lots of jobs in manufacturing and clerical work. China even has reduce its manufacturing employment do to robots. The next industries it will hit will be the service jobs.

findingnemo10
findingnemo10

WOW to the guy assuming the guy taking his order is undocumented and HAW-HAW to his way of pronouncing Jalapeño. I pity thee, gringuito desafortunado. xx

chichi_von_b
chichi_von_b

I call BS:  my neighbor and three of my homegirls have told me stories about how they used the birth certificates of DEAD folks to get driver's licenses and social security numbers and ultimately all the other goodies that come with legal status...so whatever on e-file.  It's like piss tests without any one standing with you in the toilet - you can bring in ANYONE'S piss to pass! 

Ricardo Rodriguez
Ricardo Rodriguez

Charlie Wilson are you the miyate from the gap band? Do you understand this. Mas puto!!!!

Ricardo Rodriguez
Ricardo Rodriguez

Tacos, burritos, tostados , enchiritos.!!! LMAO!!! Old taco bell commercial. Another one said to make a run for the border. No lloran gabachos.!!!!

Bushonya
Bushonya

The real shizzle is called "Noche de Muertos" on November the 2.  Screw the fey sugar skulls, storytelling and altares BS, lets hang out int he cementerio all night, getting faced on mezcal and charlando with the dead people.

Racewar
Racewar

White people go back to Israel you filthy fucks!!! Chicano power!!!!!

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

When I was in France, my French was corrected all the time...and I was grateful! What's wrong with being taught correct pronunciation by a person who is fluent in the particular language a word or phrase comes from? I'm tired of hearing people who grew up speaking English as their first language complain about bad pronunciation from folks just learning how to speak it...but when the shoe is on the other foot the native English-speaker gets all offended about being corrected on how to pronounce a non-English word!

amarina
amarina

Hey pdavid, what if they're from Canada or Sweden?  Do they still have to go to Mexico?  and Why?  btw, look in the mirror, are you Native American?.

Debi Teter
Debi Teter

Here in Manzanillo Colima it is Dia de los Muertos.

pdavidjontig
pdavidjontig

Go back to mexico damn ILLEGALS!!!!!!!!!

Charlie Wilson
Charlie Wilson

And No I'm not a republican either, infact the only reason why so many republicans are rainsing hell about what Snowden & Manning have revealed is because a loyal house negro democrat is in the white house, in 3 and hald years from now when Jeb Bush comes into the white house and conitnues with the samehting Obama has done, they will say nothing. And yes I'm taking bets, Jeb Bush WILL BE IN THE WHITE HOUSE come Janury 2017, one a very very successful pro-immigration, and pro-race-based-affirmative actions campaign. I'm taking bets!

Charlie Wilson
Charlie Wilson

It's also time to start calling Taco Bell, what it really is = Yum Foods! And TAcbo Bell is a subsidiary of Yum Foods! And E-Verify is a violation of the 4th amendment, but I guess since a lot of idiot blind democrats comments here, they could care less about the 4th amendment because none of them seem to get bothered by what Whisle Blower Edward Snowden revealed, let alone Bradley Manning.

Charlie Wilson
Charlie Wilson

The Day Of The Dead = El Día De Los Muertos, Duh! Dumb asses can't even undrstand and know the their own language correctly.

Vawlkee
Vawlkee

Thank you "Home Fry" and two BIG thumbs up for having the testículos to tell it like it is!


ExpertShot
ExpertShot topcommenter


•On Thursday October 24 at 8 pm in Ashurst
auditorium, Nicaraguan New Song vocalist Katia
Cardenal will perform a free concert!
This is an amazing opportunity to see and hear a
world-renowned Latin American artist perform for
free at NAU. Katia Cardenal has recorded with
Jackson Browne, with the great Cuban singer/
songwriter Silvio Rodríguez (and many others).
Cardenal has shared the stage with Jackson
Browne, Melissa Etheridge, Mercedes Sosa, Nancy
Griffith, Bruce Cockburn, Pablo Milanés, Miriam
Makeba, Inti-Illimani, Daniel Viglietti,
Holly Near, John McCutheon, Pete Seeger and many
more. Katia’s brother and musical partner from
Dúo Guardabarranco, Salvador Cardenal, passed
away in 2010. She is currently touring with her
daughter, Nina Cardenal, who will accompany her
on guitar. I have attached a press release and a poster.

This concert is sponsored by Latin American
Studies with the Center for Indigenous Music and
Culture, Center for International Education,
Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, NAU
School of Music, NAU Honors College and the Dept.
of Global Languages and Cultures.

•On Friday October 25 at 7 pm at the Coconino
Center for the Arts, Border Songs / No More
Deaths Benefit Concert, featuring Katia Cardenal!

Artists associated with Border Songs—a double CD
of music and spoken word, in English and
Spanish—will give a benefit concert for the
southern Arizona humanitarian group, No More
Deaths / No Más Muertes (a volunteer group that
provides humanitarian aid to migrants in the
Arizona desert and to recently deportedpeople on
the Mexican side of the border). Since the album
was released on October 12, 2012, the project has
raised nearly $40,000 through CD sales, concerts
and donations. Border Songs was honored as an
“Album of Merit” and “Humanitarian Album of 2012” by the Global Music Awards.

Flagstaff artists to perform in this concert
include m. henry (Matt Hall), who contributed the
animal fable “What Coyote Brought” to the album;
Pachuco & Classik, who donated a hip hop song in
Spanish entitled “Somos Mexicanos” (We are
Mexicans), a song that describes the experience
of living in the US without documents; and
co-producer, Robert Neustadt whose song
“Voluntary Return” tells the stories of people
who have been deported. Tucson-based banjo player
/ songwriter, Ted Warmbrand, will also
perform. Warmbrand’s song on the album, “Who’s
the Criminal Here?,” was inspired by the arrest
(later overturned) of two No More Deaths
volunteers in 2005. The song has become an anthem
in activist communities across the country.

The above-mentioned Arizona-based artists will
perform one set, and will then turn the stage
over to the evening’s featured performer, Katia
Cardenal, formerly lead vocalist of the
world-renowned Nicaraguan New Song group,
Guardabarranco whose beautiful song, "Canción
pequeña" is also on the Border Songs album.

Admission: A suggested voluntary donation of $6,
or the purchase of a Border Songs CD ($20). No
one will be turned away for lack of funds. Each
Border Songs CD purchased will provide 29 gallons
of water for people in extreme need.

All proceeds from the concert, and album sales,
will be donated to No More Deaths / No Más Muertes.

I have attached a poster and press release with more information. [removed]

"Katia Cardinal is one of the most beautiful and
expressive singers I've ever heard. I could
happily listen to her voice all day long…and
often have! When my heart, our lives, our world
needs healing and hope it is to Katia's music I
most often turn." John McCutcheon, singer
songwriter instrumentalist extraordinaire, union
organizer, peace activist, Grammy-nominated record producer

Best,
--
Robert A. Neustadt
Professor of Spanish and Director of Latin American Studies
Dept. of Global Languages and Cultures
PO. Box 6004

Christine Ferreira
Christine Ferreira

Thanks for the Dia de los Muertos and answer. I have always wondered about the same thing. I spent a wonderful end of October/beginning of November in Guadalajara about 12 years ago, and there it was Dia de Muertos. I wondered if I had just heard it wrong all those years back here in the U.S.

Jerry Vazquez
Jerry Vazquez

F that gabacho tell that puto to go back to germany.

Maria Romero
Maria Romero

E-verify hahaha way to throw him off the trail. He seemed like a pompous ass anyway I would've corrected him too

Steve Brink
Steve Brink

Started by Glen Bell in San Bernardino, CA which is also the birthplace of McDonalds. Bell sounds like a Gringo surname to me. ;)

Giovanni Martinez
Giovanni Martinez

God's gift to the world was the Cheesy Gordita Crunch...none of you would understand. This was the food that kept me going during finals week since nothing else was open!

Gaston Olvera
Gaston Olvera

Nice responses to both questions this week... I particularly liked the 2nd one.

Ask a Mexican
Ask a Mexican

It's Mexican food—BAD Mexican food, but Mexican food nevertheless...

Steve Brink
Steve Brink

Taco Bell is pseudo Mexican Food anyways, made by Gringos for Gringos.

Triana Elan
Triana Elan

My big lament is that even after 6 years in Mexico I still can't remember the entire Posada!

Manny Gonzalez-Reyna
Manny Gonzalez-Reyna

Actually its both, it doesn't matter how you put it: it means the same November 1st and 2nd!

STOPTHERECONQUISTA
STOPTHERECONQUISTA

Why do American middle class kids graduate college with $50,000 in student loan debt, while 'dreamers' get $50,000 in Cal Grants? Doesn't seem right.

armandocdll81
armandocdll81

@Racewar Enjoy living in your over-populated, graffiti-ridden barrio. The view from the Palicades is much nicer!

STOPTHERECONQUISTA
STOPTHERECONQUISTA

@Racewar YOU'D BE LIKE ZOMBIES WALKING AROUND BUMPING INTO EACH OTHER WITHOUT US. YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO RUN A MODERN ECONOMY.

rame_gra
rame_gra

@pdavidjontig And where will you go?!  Natives and Mexicans had this country Y E A R S before your people landed. 

DonAlbertoDoyle
DonAlbertoDoyle

@STOPTHERECONQUISTA Hey, nice job, way to stay on topic!  And golly, why do those darn Mexicans and Brazilians and Venezuelans have all that oil, just like the Arabs?  It's so not fair to fat white racists!

STOPTHERECONQUISTA
STOPTHERECONQUISTA

@DonAlbertoDoyle stopping the RECONQUISTA is ALWAYS on topic. I'm just one guy trying to save my country from ingrates.

as far as oil/natural gas is concerned...where have you been? The US will soon lead the world in production. Too bad Mexico, Venezuela and Brazil need gringos to teach them how to get their reserves out of the ground.


STOPTHERECONQUISTA
STOPTHERECONQUISTA

@AC20850 awwwww you're so upset. Just another one of the 30 million peasants that believes we 'NEED' you. Go back to your cr@phole. We can get immigrants that appreciate this place....and use our tax money for OUR families.

AC20850
AC20850

@STOPTHERECONQUISTA @DonAlbertoDoyle


So who the FUCK is "Stopthere-"CUNT"QUISTA"? Another whiny P.O.S Blowhard loser white guy trying to kick out all the "ingrates" from HIS Country...Do the world a favor ASSHOLE and go kill yourself... OKAY??..Thank you.

 
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