U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Great Debates
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
Old 11-28-2008, 05:04 AM
Location: Eastern Kentucky
1,237 posts, read 2,640,207 times
Reputation: 1262


Why should I be forced to learn a Spanish if I do not intend to travel to a Spanish speaking country?
There are immigrants here who do not speak Spanish. Do I have to learn THEIR language also? By the time we finish learning every known launguage on the planet we won't have time to do anything else. If someone moves to this country it is not my responsibility to learn their language. If they can make it without speaking English, that is fine. However, there are situations where communication is essential.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Old 11-28-2008, 05:27 AM
Location: USA
13,295 posts, read 7,277,975 times
Reputation: 9639
English IS the official language of international commerce. Not learning English outs immigrants at a distinct economic disadvantage. English is also the official language of Air Traffic Control. Go ANYWHERE in the world and pilots and ATC are speaking English.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-28-2008, 06:24 AM
Location: Dutchess County NY
43 posts, read 76,327 times
Reputation: 67
Default Literacy

I find it interesting to see so much packaging that has the instructions in both English and Spanish. The majority of the Spanish speakers I have encountered, can not read Spanish at all. They are from the lower income levels and are illiterate in their native language. So why do we have the dual langauges on everything?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-28-2008, 07:16 AM
Location: Exit 14C
1,555 posts, read 3,636,941 times
Reputation: 390
Originally Posted by WHITEWOLF508 View Post
The majority of the Spanish speakers I have encountered, can not read Spanish at all.
In what way are you encountering them that you would know whether they can read Spanish or not?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-28-2008, 02:53 PM
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,523,609 times
Reputation: 35864
Originally Posted by Rathagos View Post
I would be all for English being the official language. It wouldn't "outlaw" other languages, but make definitely make it easier so I don't have to spin a box 3 or 4 times to find the English writing on it in America!!
Many products are labeled in English, French and Spanish, because YOU benefit from the cost-effectiveness of marketing products in the US, Canada and Mexico, without having to produce separate packaging for each market destination. That saves you money.

With regard to your convenience, when you phone a state office and you are put on hold, the length of your wait depends on how long it takes a staffer to explain something to the people ahead of you in line. If you want to wait twice as long while an explanation is made in English to someone who does not undersand English, that's your call.

As I recall the original premise of America, this as a united collective of states, who are supposed to have a great deal of discretion about how things are done in their state. There are no national holidays, exactly to enable the individial states to mark ovservances as they deem appropriate for their residents. Language should be the same. In Michigan, Arabic appears on official state documenets, and in Florida, Creole, and in California, Japanese. Just as there are no national holidays in the USA, there should also be no mandated national language. States get to do that.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-03-2009, 06:46 PM
1 posts, read 1,182 times
Reputation: 10
learning a language from another country would benefit this country because American businesses make transactions with people from other countries. With this said it would make the world more diverse and connected. With understanding comes knoweledge so if people learned the different cultures starting with the language other than english, the world as a whole would come together and stop wars, unnesscessary fighting and debates over unnessecessary things that would separate either the foreign country with ours and our country within our own borders.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-03-2009, 07:26 PM
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,523,609 times
Reputation: 35864
Why can't people just communicate with each other on a friendly cooperative basis, however they can? For an adult a new language is excruciatingly difficult to learn. The state of Michigan provides official state business in Arabic, because it a language that is widely known there. The state has two choices: They can train a few Arabic-speaking people to handle communications with people who don't know English well, or they can spend an inordinate amount of time trying to understand people who are not yet fluent, and face the task of doing things over and over again with people who don't understand instructions in English..

Similarly, my cable company allows me to press 2 and buy cable service in Spanish. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that you can make a lot of money by NOT hanging up on potential customers who cannot conduct business in English.

Sooner or later, the US is going to be dragged kicking and screaming into the global culture. It is not in our best interest to keep on pretending that there is only one real language and everybody else is a bunch of wild-eyed heathens babbling in gibberish.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-03-2009, 07:33 PM
Location: Bayou City
2,991 posts, read 4,468,299 times
Reputation: 2496
English as our official language only makes sense. How else would a Spanish-speaking and an Arabic-speaking person do business together here?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-05-2009, 03:49 PM
Location: Anchorage, Alaska (most of the time)
1,222 posts, read 3,285,738 times
Reputation: 1881
I support official majority languages of all countries, but the US is not alone in not having one. Sweden doesn't either - we do have two official minority languages (English is not one of them), though no official majority language.
But it still works out. And having an official majority language wouldn't make any difference - because minorities will still need translation and have the right to translators in legal contexts, etc. An official majority language will not make everyone speak the majority language. Immigrants will still have difficulties learning the language, or simply not live lives that require learning the language. An official majority language does not equal assimilation by everyone or even most.
And all the things that an official majority language would do, is already done. Official websites et al are already in the majority language (in both the US and in Sweden). It's just that you can ALSO find translations in other languages.
And education in other languages than the majority language will still continue, because both in the US and in Sweden, children have the right to learn - and if they can't learn it through the majority language, they will need their mother tounge. (I don't say I support it, but I didn't write the laws of either country).
Shops, products, people on the street... An official language would not change the languages used in the every day life.
An official language can only be implemented in the official aspects of life - and that is already done in both the US and in Sweden.

Many people might complain about having Spanish on the packages, besides from English - but look at it like this:
At least there is text in English. Many, many, many packages in Sweden don't have Swedish on them.
English, French, Spanish, Russian, German, Taglog, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Korean - there can be 20 languages, the product is made in Sweden, but there is no Swedish text on it.
THAT sucks

Otherwise, the product may be made in Sweden, sold only in the Nordic countries, and still there's only text in English. Or the product may only be sold in Sweden, made in Sweden, and still there's only English on it. Or, it can be Swedish produced and only sold here, yet the product's name is in English and the rest in Swedish and Finnish (what's the point of that?).
Many might dislike Spanish, but many over here dislike English. That language must go down!

No, seriously, what I mean is that yes, every country should have an official majority language, though unfortunately, most in the Western world don't, but that we cannot think that having one would solve all the problems of many languages in one country.
The multi-languages are a product of globalizm, migration and human behaviour.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-05-2009, 06:17 PM
Location: Brooklyn
40,057 posts, read 29,709,520 times
Reputation: 10450
When my grandparents came to this country, the first thing they did (even before applying for citizenship!) was take classes in English. They had the crazy idea that if you wanted to be a part of American society, you ought to be able to speak the language. Apparently, this has become some severely outmoded thinking.

English has always been the de facto language of the United States. I'm all for making it official.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Great Debates
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top