Prentiss Riddle: Language

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My 25-cent Spanish lesson

Now that I'm working downtown for the summer, I often buy a copy of Rumbo for a little news and vocabulary exercise over lunch.


Back when I was researching Mexican bus service I noticed the proliferation of Spanish-language newspapers in Austin, including well-funded ones like the daily Rumbo and the Austin American-Statesman's weekly ¡ahora sí!. I meant to blog about it but the Chronicle scooped me with a well-done article on the Spanish-language newspaper wars. It's interesting that this sector would be booming while so many people predict the imminent death of newspapers in general. Spanish speakers are a growing market sector, of course, but it's not yet clear whether there's going to be sustained growth in the number of people who are literate enough to be interested in reading their news but not so acculturated that they prefer to do so in English.

Rumbo offers serious, professionally written journalism about local, state, and international news, particularly from Mexico and Latin America, of course. Even if it does sometimes sport J Lo on the cover the paper opens with local news and emphasizes city council and legislative activities, not just crime and car wrecks. With the general trend in popular journalism being a race to the bottom, I'm impressed.

And my new vocabulary words this week were consejal (city councilmember) and aburguesamiento (gentrification).

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