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Interview with Alexandra Veronica Nevado

Nevado, Alexandra Veronica
Valladares, Evelyn
Date of Interview: 
Cultural identification; Relationships with people and places
Alexandra Nevado talks about the differences between Mexico and the US and food.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Evelyn Valladares interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
EV (Evelyn Valladares): This is Evelyn Valladares, today I am with Alexandra. Today is the twenty second of April of 2004 and it's six o-five in the afternoon. Hello, Alexandra. How are you?
AN (Alexandra Veronica Nevado): Hello. How are you?
EV: Fine, thank you. Um, Alexandra, I will ask you some questions. Uh, what is your full name?
AN: Alexandra Veronica Nevado.
EV: Uh-huh. And how old are you?
AN: I am 11 years old.
EV: Where were you born?
AN: Here in Charlotte, North Carolina.
EV: OK. Do you speak other languages besides English?
AN: Yes, I speak Spanish.
EV: And where did you learn Spanish?
AN: Well, my mother and my father taught me because they are from Venezuela, they taught me English and Spanish.
EV: Uh-huh. And do they speak to you in Spanish at home?
AN: Yes, especially with my father and I also take a Spanish class at school, it helps me with the pronunciation of the words.
EV: Uh-huh. And in your Spanish class, do they also teach you to write, uh, better, right?
AN: Uh-huh.
EV: They teach you grammar and all that. OK, well. What grade are you now, Alexandra?
AN: I am in sixth grade.
EV: Uh-huh. And, of course, you are a student, right? Your profession? Student. Well, you had told me that you had travelled to other countries. Which are those Spanish-speaking countries that you have travelled to?
AN: Well, I have travelled to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Spain and Venezuela.
EV: Uh-huh. OK. Well, let's talk about those countries that you have been to. Um, you have done, you have been there on vacations. For example, about food. What Mexican food do you like?
AN: I like rice with beans and I also like tacos and things like that.
EV: OK. And from Spain. What food do you like from Spain?
AN: I love paella.
EV: OK. What about food from Puerto Rico?
AN: I like fried yuccas, which are similar to potatoes, but it is a plant, which is like a potato, you fry it the same way you do french fries, but I think it tastes better.
EV: OK. And what type of Venezuelan food do you like?
AN: I like arepas.
EV: OK. What is an arepa?
AN: Well, an arepa is like a corn cake and it's like, you prepare it with flour and salt and water.
EV: OK. Do you know if the flour used is corn flour or wheat flour?
AN: I believe it's corn flour.
EV: OK. Well, and how do you prepare it? You put water-?
AN: Salt and flour-.
AN: And you, you make a dug and then you make little balls and then you press them-.
EV: Uh-huh.
AN: -And then you can, you put them in oil, in a frying pan, and you can either fry them or grill them.
EV: Uh-huh. And do you prepare arepas in your house here in Charlotte?
AN: Sometimes, uh, perhaps for Christmas or for breakfast and things like that, but not that much. I usually eat more out, than what I eat at home.
EV: Uh, OK, OK. Well, and for example, what differences do you see among people who are from Mexico and people from Puerto Rico, the ones from Spain and the ones from Venezuela. For example, in the way they talk, do you see any differences?
AN: Yes, in Mexico, they talk like "He-", "Hello," I mean, it's very, they have a high pitch-.
EV: As if they were singing.
AN: -Yes, and in Spain, people talk, instead of saying, "So," they say, they say it like, instead of "Corason" ("s" sound) they way we say it in Venezuela, or here in Charlotte when we are talking in class, they say "corazon" ("z" sound), like the "th" sound, and in Venezuela, people don't pronounce the "s" that much, instead of saying "pescado" ("s" sound), they say "pejcado" ("j" sound) ("h" sound in English), because, you know, it's easy that way, and in Puerto Rico, it's somewhat the same thing, but they have, instead of saying "orange juice," they say "china juice," and things like that.
EV: Oh. They have different words.
AN: Yes.
EV: OK. And regarding the way people pronounce some letters in Puerto Rico, have you also noticed any difference?
AN: Well, it's almost the same thing, but, you know, some people were born from parents who are from Venezuela, and they were taught to speak their way, but I think that in Puerto Rico there is like a big mix of different forms of Spanish, my stepmother, she speaks the way I do-.
EV: Uh-huh.
AN: -But the way she talks, instead of saying orange juice, she says china juice-.
AN: -And sometimes she says "pejcado" ("j" sound) ("h" sound in English), instead of saying "pescaco" ("s" sound)-.
EV: Uh-huh.
AN: -Sometimes she pronounces some words the right way.
EV: Uh-huh. OK. Well. Which of those countries have you liked the most?
AN: Well, I like Puerto Rico the most, because it's a little bit cleaner and people, almost all of them work and, I mean, they have very beautiful beaches and, I mean, it's cool, and almost everybody who speaks Spanish-.
EV: \\ Uh-huh. \\
AN: \\ -Were born \\ over there, or they live there-.
EV: \\ Uh-huh. \\
AN: \\ -Or because \\ they moved, and I also like Venezuela, but since Chavez is there, I don't like it that much, I mean, you know, there are not too many jobs and there are many poor people-.
EV: Uh-huh.
AN: -And, in Mexico, because everyone moved to this country, Mexicans, now there are not too many people over there, and I didn't like the fact that you had to take a taxi to go anywhere-.
EV: \\ Oh. \\
AN: \\ -( ) In Puerto Rico, and Spain was very hot.
EV: Oh, OK, that's because you probably went there during the summer time, right, to Spain? OK. Well, and if you had the chance to live in one of those countries, once you get older, in which one of them would you live?
AN: It would probably be Puerto Rico, or perhaps Mexico or Spain, but I prefer Puerto Rico because it's like Charlotte and the beaches are like the ones we have here, but it's more, I mean, everybody, I mean, the ones who speak Spanish who live there, they like it over there and people like to go there on vacations and I think it's, I mean, like Charlotte, almost, so I like their people, too.
EV: Well, and you had told me that Puerto Rico has beautiful beaches, right?
AN: Uh-huh.
EV: They are near from where you stayed, right?, for exam-, if you stayed in a hotel in the center of the island, the beach would \\ be near. \\
AN: \\ It's very-. \\ Yes.
EV: OK, OK. Well, Alexandra, I want to thank you for giving us your \\ time-. \\
AN: \\ Thanks. \\
EV: -And I wish you good luck with your studies, you are in sixth grade, well, I wish you pass to seventh grade and make good grades.
AN: Thank you for having me.
EV: OK. Bye, Alexandra.
AN: Bye.