This letter is in response to the letter regarding the issue of bilingualism (“No, I don’t speak Spanish,” Your Voice, Page 11, Feb. 7).
First of all, I am amazed it is now 2013 and people are still surprised a bilingual person would be preferred for a job in California, let alone Patterson, which by the last census, was more than half Latino.
This is America, and this country is based on capitalism and consumption. Businesses seek to get more people to consume their products and services. This means that businesses may have plans that would include catering to the larger population. So, if the population happens to include a large number of people who only speak Spanish, then it would be good practice to hire individuals who have bilingual skills in Spanish. This would allow for a more efficient and amicable environment, in hopes that people will spread the word about their positive experience, leading to more business.
As the previous letter’s author understood, we can see how this might lead some individuals not to do business there again. This may also help to illustrate why some businesses are seeking staff members who are bilingual in English and Spanish.
Just as someone would see the benefit of learning sign language to help facilitate conversation between people, who would not see the same value in learning another language besides English?
Amparo Bustos-Navarro, Patterson