Spanish speaking employees?????

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by turfmagazine, Oct 18, 2006.

  1. turfmagazine

    turfmagazine LawnSite Member
    from Vermont
    Posts: 95

    I certainly agree with that. We have an in-common language and people should use it. That's why -- in TURF -- we are now publishing at least one article a month in English and in Spanish. The idea is that Hispanic workers can compare the Spanish with the English and get better at the English.
  2. Waterscapes By Design

    Waterscapes By Design LawnSite Member
    Posts: 237

    Is that really the reason why you print an article in Spanish? Or are you guys just being business minded and broadening your horizons to the growing population of Spanish speaking owners?

    Not challenging you here, I just dont believe that many people are gonna compare the articles English or Spanish, maybe take a poll to see how many people do that.....And, that is a real problem I see, less and less Spanish speaking individuals want to learn English when they are comfortable in their own lil worlds here in the U.S. You cant deny that, why do you think they usually hang out in their own lil sections of town?? If they arent forced to pick up the language they are not gonna need/want to learn it...In my opinion your just perpetuating the problem by giving into them.....But hey its just business and thats more money to you guys and the people paying for ad space right....
  3. crawdad

    crawdad LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,939

    "Seasoned business operators." That's funny.
    I remember you, you're the guy who said "White people suck" and told me I was "not qualified" to call you a racist.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    I know you have good intentions BUT it is the proliferation of things in Spanish that keeps many of these guys from learning English. There's not much motivation to learn English for many of them if everything is offered to them in Spanish as well.

    You rarely run into someone of another nationality (at least around here) that doesn't have a decent command of English...that's because everything is not offered in Swahili, Arabic, Farsi, etc... They are forced to learn the language to get by here.
  5. turfmagazine

    turfmagazine LawnSite Member
    from Vermont
    Posts: 95

    I take your point and don't disagree. Thing is, we asked a bunch of folks about this approach and got a consensus. This is why the Spanish version is printed beside the English version.

    English has a lot of words specific to industries and tasks. They don't literally translate -- like if you had a Spanish/English dictionary. With the 2 versions of an article in the magazine, the hope is that the Spanish speaking person can get more used to the use of certian words in English to communicate ideas specifically in our industry.
  6. Waterscapes By Design

    Waterscapes By Design LawnSite Member
    Posts: 237


    IRRITECH LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 931

    Been in the business for over 15 years and have never!! had better employees. Reliable, hardworking, etc. Learn some of the language and your labor isues are no longer THE issue.
  8. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    Well I don't have any employees. I doubt I'll need any next season.

    I hope to get to the point in 2-3 years that I will need one or two.

    White or mexican, I don't care, as long as they are good workers.

    I will take every possible step to be sure they are legal citizens.

    And, they WILL speak english, and fluently. I'm not going to learn Spanish so I can communicate with my employee(s). They will speak MY language, or not be hired by me, period.

    As far as printing a two identical columns in TURF, well I just don't agree that it is helping spanish-speakers to learn english.

    We have enough coddling of illegals here with everyone trying to saturate our culture with the Spanish language.

    The REAL way to encourage them to learn english would be to NOT print any Spanish columns. That way, IF(big if) they wanted to be able to read the columns, they'd learn english.
  9. mountain man

    mountain man LawnSite Member
    Posts: 141

    Go to Cancun, Acapulco, Puerta Vallarta, and any other tourist spot. Many learn and speak English very well.
  10. mountain man

    mountain man LawnSite Member
    Posts: 141

    I think language barrier is a problem only if you make it a problem. Before I learned Spanish, I would use phrases such as "usas la maquina roja". Actually, I started by pointing and then learned the phrases.

    I have found the average attention span for training in this business (English or Spanish) is about five maybe ten minutes. Persistent and consistent message is the key. Each day I would train a little more and a little more. Now all our employees understand our basic systems and often when a new employee comes in the others will do much of the training in their native language for us.

    We do route sheets in English or Spanish depending on the crew. Our office manager does not speak or understand Spanish. She has a list of key words - cortar, limpiar, regar, derecha, izuqierda, etc - that she plugs in to the route sheets. This solves the communication barrier almost all of the time.

    I recently completed our H2B forms for next year. I look forward to the guys that will be coming in this spring. Some interesting items looking back over the years. The only ones to flunk a drug test - Americans. The only ones to try and steal customers - Americans. The only ones to try and illegaly file for unemployement benefits - Americans. The only ones to have wages garnished by the state - Americans. The ones to catch a truck on fire - Americans and Mexicans (separate incidents LOL). The ones to help win safety awards - Americans and Mexicans. The ones to pay lots of taxes - Americans and Mexicans. The ones responsible for our growth and profitability - Americans and Mexicans.

Share This Page