Keep speaking Spanish, Jeb Bush

I was previously the foreign editor of a bilingual magazine, and one of my duties was to translate articles from Chinese to English. But I do often choose to consume much of my reading material, from websites to books, in English just because it is faster and gives me a more complete understanding of the material.

Here’s where Trump is wrong: It is my choice who I make friends with and what language we speak together, as it is everyone else’s choice, and people shouldn’t be judged for it. Trump said Bush “should really set the example by speaking English while in the United States,” but he was communicating with some Spanish-speaking American citizens who might have a particular affinity for the language or even struggle with English.

My situation is different from that of a permanent resident or immigrant, to be sure. I am living and working in a foreign country, however, and knowing the language really helps for finding a job, communicating with locals, eating dinner, shopping, and most aspects of life. In that way, it’s not a question of people refusing to learn English for convenience. Life would be more convenient if all Americans spoke English. Whether politicians speak Spanish on the stump doesn’t change that.

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