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Immigrants who speak Native languages face difficulty in US

The Mexican Consulate in New York. Image from Google Maps

Native people make up a significant percentage of Mexican immigrants in New York City and many of them are running into language barriers.

But it's not because they have limited English skills. It's because they speak Native languages so they find it difficult to communicate with other Mexican nationals who otherwise speak Spanish.

“I feel bad because I can’t communicate with people," Laura told The New York Times in a mix of Mixtec, her Native language, and Spanish. “I can’t do anything.”

To find out more about the issue, the Mexican Consulate in New York conducted a survey of citizens who sought services there. As of 2013, some 17 percent spoke a Native language, with Mixtec and Nahuatl being the most popular, the Times reported.

Overall, respondents reported 16 different Native languages.

Get the Story:
Immigrants Who Speak Indigenous Languages Encounter Isolation (The New York Times 7/11)

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