Oprime uno para español… or, ” O wad some Power the giftie gie us”
I feel kinda weird translating this into English, given the topic, but its one I have seldom seen openly discussed by Mexicans themselves.
Rodolfo Higareda, in today’s La Razón:
With the dollar going through the roof and Donald Trump infesting our social networks, Mexicans have opted to travel within the country. In fact, it has always been like this: 85% of the tourism we have is Mexican.
That is why it is extremely annoying to stroll through our resorts and see that 8 out of 10 commercials are in English: Restaurant menus and nightclub drink promotions, ads for water parks and coupons for discounts at the shoe stores, as well as the posted rates for auto rental and even the marquee on a Mexico City newstand — “Visit Mexico” — are in the other language.
It is shameful, humiliating, and discriminatory. It is also short-sighted, considering that most tourists only speak Spanish. This is nothing more than the reflection of a trauma, an inferiority complex deeply rooted in our society.
In my father, and grandfather’s time, when the whiff of Porfirismo still could be detected, anything French had status. Publicists and merchants of the time decided tto call clothing store “botiques”; panaderias became “pâtisseries”; and a cocinaro became a “chef”. And, if you were going on vacation, it showed elegance and glamour to call it a “tour”.
With the decline of French influence over our land, and the rise of North American influence, we reached ridiculous levels not seen in any any other corner of the planet, nor even Puerto Rico! To the degree that, if one walks today through Cancún or Los Cabos, it seems like you’re in a foreign protectorate; the prices, even in pharmacies, are in dollars.
The Secretariat of Tourism and Profeco MUST intervene now, without delay or excuses. I have heard absurd explanations from tourist service providers claiming that English-language advertising benefits them financially, that otherwise they would lose customers. That is more false than a 3 peso bill.
In other countries where foreign tourism is important, like Spain, one never sees an advertisment putting another language in place of their own. This is true in any country which receives foreign tourists… not in France, not in the United States.
Being friendly with English speakers is good, and taking care of foreign tourism is good, too. This is not up for discussion. But we are in Mexico and the Mexicans and their language should go first.
Time to shake off the old complexes! Let’s impose severe fines on those who see us as second-rate tourists. Well we can start with a call to the advertising iand tourism industries, explaining to them its in their own best interest to change their approach, the “hook” being that the sector they really want to reach are the clients to explain that they have to change their approach, and appeal to the by far largest sector of their clients. Us.