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Old 06-06-2009, 10:14 PM
 
Location: 125 Years Too Late...
10,366 posts, read 9,999,217 times
Reputation: 9115

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Quote:
Originally Posted by annika08 View Post
People can speak whatever language they want-I speak a strange mix of three languages with my family; both parents are immigrants from different countries-but I think what most here are saying is that when people go out and deal with the public, in medical or police situations for instance, or just going out to order a burger-one should have a basic grasp and understanding of English and be able to use it appropriately in that setting since English is the language the majority uses here..
Absolutely. The key phrase is bolded.


Quote:
Originally Posted by annika08 View Post
Should burger flippers and Walmart cashiers be required to learn Spanish in order to accomodate the immigrants who don't want to learn Spanish? Should they be required to learn, say, Farsi in the areas around whereI live (we have a heavy influx of middle eastern immigrants in my area)?.
No. They should only be required to offer services in English. However, should they choose to speak in those other languages in whatever situation, that's fine, too. There should be no whining and caterwauling about that. It's like a cellist who can also play viola; so much the better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by annika08 View Post
I've probably stated that I work at a hotel, and we are required to know some Spanish in order to communicate with housekeeping and maintenance-but they're not required to know some English to communicate with us. I think these are the things that people are getting frusturated about.
They should be required to have the ability to speak English. There should be no requirement, however, to restrict them from speaking as they wish.

Again: know English, speak as you wish. I envision English as a common language known by all in the US while still granting freedom of language choice. If you don't like to hear another language, tough... as long as those speakers can communicate in English with you should the need arise. How many of you have thrown a fit at a Chinese restaurant when you heard Chinese cooks speaking Mandarin or Cantonese back in the kitchen? I'll bet none of you. Yet if you get up from your seat and go back to ask them a question, they speak to you in English. I see no problem at all with that whether its Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, French, Spanish, Russian, German, etc... Personally, I love to hear those tongues. Same thing at the local Mexican restaurant. They run the business in Spanish back in the kitchen. But when I go in there to eat, they speak to me in English unless I start speaking to them in Spanish. Honestly, I've met very few people who absolutely can't communicate in English in my area; and there is a pretty large Hispanic community here.

Again, yes, I do expect all of them to be able to speak English, and I don't see that that is asking too much.
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Old 06-06-2009, 10:50 PM
 
Location: 125 Years Too Late...
10,366 posts, read 9,999,217 times
Reputation: 9115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clevelander17 View Post
English should be made the sole official language of the United States.
Okay, I keep hearing this. But for the life of me I can't see that it would do a thing. Could somebody please tell me specifically why an 'official language' would be any more effectual than an 'official beer' at a ball game?

I just don't get it. Specifically, what are you going to do with that? Give me a bulleted list. Please be specific. Clue me in.

For instance:

1) All people would be required to speak English at all times.
2) Should they be found in violation, I propose giving them a ticket on the first offense. I propose a points system. If they go over 150 points, they serve jail time.

Give me the mechanics of such a system.

-------------------------------------------

Let me give you an example of 'official language.' French is the official language in France. From what I understand, they are quite adamant about it. This being the case, there is still a myriad of languages actually spoken in France. There is French; Breton; Alsatian; Basque; Catalan; Corsican; Flemish; Franco-Provençal; Lorraine Franconian, Occitan; Oïl... plus any immigrant languages. French is the official language, yet these others are still there. And they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.



We top France by a long shot. Here are some stats for you:

* Approximately 337 languages are spoken or signed by the population, of which 176 are indigenous to the area.

Here is a partial list:

English - 215 million
Spanish - 28 million
Chinese languages - 2.0 million + (mostly Cantonese speakers, with a growing group of Mandarin speakers)
French - 1.6 million
German - 1.4 million (High German) + German dialects like Hutterite German, Texas German, Pennsylvania Dutch, Plautdietsch
Tagalog - 1.2 million + (Most Filipinos may also know other Philippine languages, e.g. Ilokano, Pangasinan, Bikol languages, and Visayan languages)
Vietnamese - 1.01 million
Italian - 1.01 million
Korean - 890,000
Russian - 710,000
Polish - 670,000
Arabic - 610,000
Portuguese - 560,000
Japanese - 480,000
French Creole - 450,000 (mostly Louisiana Creole French - 334,500)
Greek - 370,000
Hindi - 320,000
Persian - 310,000
Urdu - 260,000
Gujarati - 240,000
Armenian - 200,000

Here’s more:

Navajo, Dakota, Central Alaskan Yup'ik, Cherokee, Western Apache, Piman, Choctaw, Keres, Zuni, Ojibwe

This just scratches the surface. You going to give all these people tickets, or what?

In my state, English IS the official language. It does absolutely nothing. I hear all sorts of foreign languages all the time. So tell me, what will this official language idea in the US do besides waste official money?
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Old 06-06-2009, 11:21 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,613,725 times
Reputation: 35875
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clevelander17 View Post
For pragmatic reasons alone, English should be made the sole official language of the United States. One only need look to other countries around the world to see what how countries can become divided along linguistic lines. We are in danger of heading down that same path if we don't act very soon.

I don't know of any country that has ever "become divided" along linguistic lines. The divisions between the languages existed long before anybody had the idea of forcing the people at gunpoint into a single country.

Language is a dynamic living organism. People speak languages, and people change, and their language changes along with them. And not because you tell them to. .

I've referenced the Philippines before. A century ago, Spanish was the official language. The people exercised their freedom to reject Spanish and speak the native language, which varied from island to island, and then to assume English as their second language to tie them all together.

The Soviets occupied countries where dozens of different languages were spoken, and made them all learn Russian at school. After 40 years, the Russians left, and their language left with them. The people have all gone back to Latvian and Kazakh and Romanian, just as if the Russians had never been there.

You cannot declare a language to be official and them force people to speak it. The language will out-live you, and when you are dead, they will go back to their own language.

The dynamics and the endurance of language is a fascinating study.
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Old 06-07-2009, 07:30 AM
 
1,986 posts, read 3,468,180 times
Reputation: 1289
jtur88, you continue to argue against anyone who believes we should not have to learn Mexicanish to accommodate Mexicans in our own country (primarily stemming from our disgust over illegals raping us for all we're worth), exactly what is your position or opposition to us speaking English and expecting Mexicans to speak English to communicate with us? I'm not understanding why that is so objectionable to some.

I think many people think English as an official language are referring to English being kept our primary language. It's a threat to our identy as Americans to accept citizens and not expect them to acclimate themselves to our language and our country.
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Old 06-07-2009, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,613,725 times
Reputation: 35875
In general, I continue to argue against people who do one of two things:

1. Present as facts, material that they cannot back up with any data.

2. Present as opinions, approval of behavior that interferes with people undertaking ordinary pursuit of happiness.

Determine which of those applies to my argument in this case, and you will have your answer.
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Old 06-07-2009, 03:38 PM
 
1,986 posts, read 3,468,180 times
Reputation: 1289
That is not at all what I asked. Undertaking ordinary pursuit of happiness is for legal American citizens. I believe the angst is with the illegals who refuse to conform to the norm in OUR country by speaking OUR language.
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Old 06-07-2009, 04:36 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,613,725 times
Reputation: 35875
Quote:
Originally Posted by stormy night View Post
Undertaking ordinary pursuit of happiness is for legal American citizens. .
No its not. It's for human beings. Remember, the Founders said it is self-evident, endowed by the Creator. It's not to be granted or withheld by you, nor more importantly, by the government. None of the founders, by the way, were legal American citizens. Which is why the Bill of Rights does not mention citizens, but ensures the rights of people who fall under the jurisdiction of the US government.
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Old 06-08-2009, 08:04 PM
 
3,283 posts, read 5,246,198 times
Reputation: 2370
Canada, Spain, and Belgium are examples of three Western countries that are strongly divided along linguistic battlelines. I'm sure there are much deeper issues at play in each of those countries, but language is as big as any.

In regards to an official language, the only time it would be applicable would be in regards to all official government business. Traffic signs, ballots, public hearings, etc. would all be in English. If you don't speak that language, you lose out. Plain and simple. Further, when people insist that the government does business in languages other than English, it costs the taxpayers a lot of money. I've seen some pretty gaudy figures of the costs of multilingualism in other countries. Why should I have to pay for the language service for millions of invaders from south of the border who are too lazy to learn the language of the locals?
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,613,725 times
Reputation: 35875
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clevelander17 View Post
Further, when people insist that the government does business in languages other than English, it costs the taxpayers a lot of money.
It costs the taxpayers a lot more to have to have a staffer sit down with a person who doesn't know English very well, and go over the form, and explain everything to the person in English, over and over until they understand, and help them fill out the form. Or to go through form after form that are all filled out wrong, and have to send them back and have the applicants keep doing it over again. When the form in another language could have been filled out quickly and easily by the applicant.
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:25 AM
 
3,283 posts, read 5,246,198 times
Reputation: 2370
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
It costs the taxpayers a lot more to have to have a staffer sit down with a person who doesn't know English very well, and go over the form, and explain everything to the person in English, over and over until they understand, and help them fill out the form. Or to go through form after form that are all filled out wrong, and have to send them back and have the applicants keep doing it over again. When the form in another language could have been filled out quickly and easily by the applicant.
Does it really? Additionally, would you support language services for the hundreds of languages spoken in homes across the United States? Or do you just want it for Spanish?

The funny thing here is that over the past two hundred years, every immigrant group that has come to the United States has assimilated and learned English...except for one that has refused to do so. English is the medium of communication in this country, the thing that has united us as many as anything else. I think people underestimate this.
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