The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Interpreter stresses value of bilingualism

John Koenig

A teacher, interpreter and artist started her presentation to the Spanish Business Club in the President’s Room Monday afternoon with a poem in Spanish by Antonio Machado.

“Wanderer, there is no road; you make your path as you walk,” the second line of the poem reads when translated.

Amparo Rodriguez Asi n, who moved to the United States from Spain in 1981, told the club about her work and about the importance of becoming “bilingual and bicultural.”

Rodriguez Asi n said she moved to Milwaukee 25 years ago with Richard Bachleitner, a U.S. Marine stationed in her hometown of Seville. They were married for nine years and had two daughters.

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Rodriguez Asi n earned her General Educational Development Certificate in the United States, she said, and worked as a translator in a day care center. She later went on to translate for the Milwaukee County Department of Welfare and, later, to serve as the director of a nursing home.

She now works as a paraprofessional in the Milwaukee public school system and teaches Spanish. She also works as a medical translator, she said.

Rodriguez Asi n said one of her passions is art. She displayed 35 of her paintings at the presentation and said Georgia O’Keefe is her biggest influence.

Whether a student plans to go into education, medicine, business or any other field, she said, becoming “bilingual and bicultural” is more important than ever.

With increasing technology, people from around the world find themselves interacting with each other more frequently, Rodriguez Asi n said, adding that students who don’t speak another language will find themselves at a disadvantage.

Spanish Business Club President Andy Reigel agreed.

“As you’re having more people from the U.S. moving around … it’s increasingly important to learn a different language and different cultures,” he said.

Rodriguez Asi n said adjusting to American culture was difficult – every little thing a person does, even how they think, she said, is influenced by culture.

The biggest difference between the American and Spanish cultures, she said, is that Americans are more focused on individualism and “getting ahead.” She said this creates a kind of “coldness”and makes Americans seem more distant.

Rodriguez Asi n’s daughter, junior Spanish major Sara Bachleitner, said she has picked up typical Spanish behaviors from her mother, such as touching people when she talks to them, and that her heritage had a big influence on her while growing up.

Spanish business club adviser Juan Chaves said the club tries to bring in a Spanish-speaking professional each month. The presentations, given in Spanish, are open to all students. Chaves said he does not yet know who they will feature next month.

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Interpreter stresses value of bilingualism