My Linguistic Background (Karina)

When it comes to communication I feel like I’m a mess. I don’t know how people understand me sometimes. My first language is English and I grew up in a Dominican home so we spoke Spanish most of the time. I wasn’t aware of  an accent when I spoke Spanish until my early twenties when I was told I sound Puerto Rican. I would put a face and say,” Na, I’m Dominican.” Give me a drink and throw on some bachata,you wouldn’t mistake it. I didn’t even realize I spoke really fast (Dominican stereotype) until high school.Guess I would get nervous or something. Sometimes I get kind of eager or excited and my voice even changes a bit; been told I sound like a cartoon character. I grew up in Bushwick before it was gentrified, so sometimes I’d speak with, let’s call it a little sass . My Spanish speaking has gotten better and I’m still learning new words so I can translate when needed to. Like at work, I can use my formal Spanish/English dialect and then that mumbling that’s my normal dialect where people just smile and pretend they know what I said.

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