Chileans Making Fun of the Gringo Accent on National TV

A fellow gringa blogger in Santiago posted about this today on her blog and I felt pretty similar, so instead of writing the same things as her, I’ll just post the video and you can go check out what she had to say over on her blog.

Pay attention to parts:

:30-:42
:54-:55
2:01-2:07

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCd2KncpQfY&feature=player_embedded]

Would this ever happen in the U.S.? Do you think it is completely culturally insensitive and inappropriate for Chileans to be making fun of gringo accents on national news?

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February 15, 2011 - 11:20 pm

Angie - maybe I can’t have an opinion yet because I’m not living there.. but I don’t get so upset about things like this. I figure everyone has made jokes like that from time to time.

I’m not even close to bilingual and know that I have a gringo accent, but in school, I’ve actually made fun of friends for speaking spanish with such a terrible gringo accent. As long as it’s not meant to put someone down, I think these sorts of jokes can be harmless. I mean, I’ve joked a little in my past about people with foreign accents trying to speak english, and meant nothing cruel by it at all. It’s sort of cute and funny.

Of course, I reserve the right to change my opinion.

February 15, 2011 - 11:35 pm

Eileen - Well, as you know (hey! that’s from my blog :) ), I am not offended personally, I just think it’s part of a larger cultural difference of it being more acceptable by Chileans to make fun of people in public (who knows what kinds of things anyone says behind closed doors) than it is where I’m from, or in the circles in which I run. I mean, this is a national news program! The worst part (which I wrote about in an earlier blog post) is when they don’t make fun of you to your face, but everyone starts speaking in a fake gringo accent right in front of you. Angie, you’ll have to report back on whether or not that gets your goat! And for what it’s worth, my accent is fairly mild, but that’s not the point!

February 15, 2011 - 11:35 pm

LanaRenee - I agree with you Angie, I’ve joked a ton about that too.. but would you do it on National Television or do you think it would happen in the U.S.?

February 15, 2011 - 11:40 pm

LanaRenee - Eileen.. your Spanish is PERFECT!! Pablo couldn’t even hear your accent! And yes.. a big thing in Chile, culturally, is not saying things to people’s faces but there is tons of behind the back gossip… a whole other issue. It also seems like it is more acceptable to make fun of people, but not offer constructive criticism straight forward.

February 16, 2011 - 1:06 am

Angie - Lana- it definitely wouldn’t happen in the US. Definitely not what Americans might call “PC” and the TV hosts would be labeled “racist” likely by the US media, which makes the role reversal all the more interesting for discussion.

February 16, 2011 - 2:14 am

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February 16, 2011 - 11:08 am

Paula - Hey? qué tal el acento de Apu en los Simpsons, o Kutrapali en The Big Bang Theory? no se usa como elemento humorístico el acento de latinos o indios hablando inglés en los shows gringos? y los humoristas que imitan el acento de los negros o de los tejanos y hacen mucho reir al público?

Una cosa es que suene gracioso, y otra es burlarse directamente de otras etnias, razas o países.

Me parece que la nota no es ofensiva, no habla mal de nadie, no deja en ridículo a nadie; viéndola en contexto, es un periodista en una nota callejera conduciendo un carrito y diciendo miren, puedo manejar sin manos! o sea, es un tono de juego.

En otros ámbitos los chilenos somos prejuiciosos, clasistas, racistas y muchas otras cosas que no me gustan ni comparto. Pero en este video, creo que nadie sale mal parado.

Saludos Lana! ya te extrañamos!

February 16, 2011 - 2:48 pm

spidersworkshop - I agree completely with Paula. Also, I believe the TV program this comes from is a morning chat program, which is meant to entertain and be “light”, not strictly news.

February 16, 2011 - 2:58 pm

spidersworkshop - Sorry, I forgot to add – I have never had anyone make fun of my accent. People are usually friendly and pleased that I have learned their language. Maybe it’s because I am in the “regiones”.

I used to get more jokes when I had a US accent in the UK, then an English accent going back to the US. Not to mention all the mixed up words.

February 16, 2011 - 4:49 pm

LanaRenee - So it does happen on National TV in the US.. with the examples Paula mentioned, but I doubt a newscaster would ever attempt something like that. I think it is the idea of what is politically correct and comedians and sitcoms are the outlet to break political correctness, where as real people (newscasters), not comedians putting on a show or actors, can not without ridicule.

Good points.. good points..

Also, I was not offended.. but I am thinking people could/would be that’s why I asked if it might be culturally insensitive if it offends people of that culture. I know the shows in the US are very culturally insensitive and I like it that way.

February 25, 2011 - 11:48 pm

Ralph - “Would this ever happen in the U.S.? Do you think it is completely culturally insensitive and inappropriate for Chileans to be making fun of gringo accents on national news?”

Are you kidding me? That happens every day in the US.

Ustedes incluso tienen humoristas que se dedican a eso como Russell Peters, programas de TV nacional, y un largo etc. Ustedes lo han hecho siempre con los demás, pero si algo les ofende a ustedes inmediatamente hacen escándalo.

February 26, 2011 - 1:36 pm

LanaRenee - Gracias por tu input!!

Estoy de acuero. No siento ofendida para nada.. yyy estoy de acuerdo que pasa en el EEUU.

February 26, 2011 - 10:32 pm

Sara - It actually offends me quite a lot. I’m not going to lie. I hate this stuff. I think making fun of people’s language, accent, culture, whatever is petty. It’s playground behavior and I thought we were beyond that. And I frankly don’t find it amusing on the Big Bang Theory either or That 70s Show because I’ve been in that place and it sucks. So, yeh, I thought it was stupid and insensitive.

March 8, 2011 - 6:21 pm

futurofreak - Por favooor, justo el otro día veía el show de Jimmy Kimmel y aparecía el personaje de “Gerardo” que se burla del acento mexicano, así que no nos pongamos graves por tonteras. Es parte de las cosas que surgen en el humor y nada más. Relax!

March 8, 2011 - 6:25 pm

futurofreak - “And yes.. a big thing in Chile, culturally, is not saying things to people’s faces but there is tons of behind the back gossip… a whole other issue.”
100% verdad. Es más, ya estoy pensando cosas desagradables sobre todos los que visitan este blog en este momento! jajjajajaXD

July 15, 2011 - 4:14 pm

Alfred - Well I feel like I need to throw my two cents, how many movies, TV shows, News and whatever you can think of in regards to Spanish communities, with humorist focus on accents and life styles specially on Mexicans, always showing them in a ¨lower¨ type of society class, or crossing the border, criminals, and much more…and you are annoyed by a silly TV show??? Come on…always look at both sides of the token…

July 15, 2011 - 4:16 pm

LanaRenee - Did I say I was annoyed? I never said I was “against” it

July 17, 2011 - 12:22 pm

spidersworkshop - No, you did not say you were annoyed, however you did say you felt “pretty similar” to the original blog. And she was annoyed.

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