Associated Press
May 29, 2008

MIAMI (AP) – Melissa Green’s mother spoke Spanish, but she never learned – her father forbid it. Today, that’s a frequent problem in this city where the English-speaking population is outnumbered.

The 49-year-old flower shop owner and Miami native said her inability to speak “espanol” makes it difficult to conduct business, seek help at stores and even ask directions. She finds it “frustrating.”

“It makes it hard for some people to find a job because they don’t speak Spanish, and I don’t think that it is right,” said Green, who sometimes calls a Spanish-speaking friend to translate for customers who don’t speak English.

“Sometimes I think they should learn it,” she said.

In many areas of Miami, Spanish has become the predominant language, replacing English in everyday life. Anyone from Latin America could feel at home on the streets, without having to pronounce a single word in English.

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