Spanish speakers

Porfa please. Pero like. Janguear (to hang out).

These Spanglish phrases are all the results of contact between Spanish and English. In a Texas college classroom, students are learning that Spanglish — a version of Spanish that's influenced by English — is just as valid as any other Spanish dialect.

Wilfredo Lee / AP

Florida’s Department of Health is investigating a claim filed by seven workers who say they were told to stop speaking Spanish at work. The nurses say they were threatened with termination if they did not comply. It happened at a state health clinic in Polk County.

One nurse says being bilingual was a hiring requirement because many of the clinic’s patients speak Spanish and English. It’s illegal to require workers only speak English at work, except for what the Department of Labor calls “very limited circumstances.” 

Spanish-speaking voters aren’t getting the resources and assistance they need. That’s the charge made in a federal lawsuit against Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner and 32 local election supervisors, including four in Northeast Florida.

Esperanza Yanez can spot a sick cow just by looking at it.

"The head hangs down and they don't eat," says Yanez, who immigrated from Mexico two decades ago and has been caring for cattle ever since.

While learning to communicate with animals takes years of patience, Yanez says the true language barrier exists between the dairy workers and the veterinarians who rarely speak Spanish. Medical terminology can be confusing, and to avoid embarrassment, Yanez says she and other workers may feign comprehension.

John Power / WLRN

The rhythms of  the Spanish language have contributed a lot to the sound of South Florida, where more than two million people speak the language. Immigrants from Colombia to Cuba to Venezuela have made vale and dale part of the region’s everyday talk.