Sunday, August 25, 2019

Desafortunadamente (Unfortunately)

Speak into the Mic by Alan Levine

Yesterday, I was driving from Norman, OK to Dallas, TX to see a play at UNT Dallas College of Law (What is "Justice" in a Criminal Trial by Professor Peter Alexander - amazing!). I was still in Oklahoma but my Oklahoma City stations were fading. I scanned the FM dial to find something new. What I stumbled upon was a goldmine -- a call-in talk radio program about immigration, in Spanish.

Texas immigration lawyer Tessy Ortiz answered a range of immigration questions from callers and writers. So why am I telling you about this? I want you know what I got out of the program and how you can listen too.

For starters, it was a nice refresher on Spanish -- both common words and legal terms. Here are some examples:

  • Desafortunadamente (unfortunately). I think this was the most frequently used word on the program. I can only emoji my response. ;(
  • Depende (it depends). Ah! That staple of the classroom rearing its head in real life. What a thing to tell students!
  • No hay fórmulas mágicas (There's no magic formula). Another way of saying "it depends," with more color.
  • Si califica (If you qualify). Another "it depends" version.
  • Carga pública (public charge). As you might imagine, there were questions.
  • 10 años de castigo (10 year bar). I've never needed to translate this phrase before. It's interesting to think of a "bar" (exclusion) as "castigation"  (punishment), but of course it is.
  • Voten (Vote!). She urged all citizens to vote.
  • Cuidase mucho (Take care of yourself). A kind way to sign off with callers.

Perhaps of more interest to readers, the radio program was a great way to hear about common (and not so common) immigration problems. I heard a number of quick, 2-minute cases, each of which would make a compelling real-o-thetical to discuss in class.

As it turns out, this weekly program streams live on Facebook. So you don't need to be tuned into a Texas radio station to catch it. And you can always watch/listen to prior-recorded programming.

An interesting and new (to me) way to keep abreast of current immigration issues.


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Hello KitJ,
I heard that program too :)

Posted by: Timothy Tucker | Aug 25, 2019 2:35:16 PM

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