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Old 05-28-2009, 04:03 PM
 
Location: California
143 posts, read 382,173 times
Reputation: 61

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
Yeah, I notice this same attitude over and over. Any intellectual pursuit must involve some economic incentive in this country. If you tell someone you are learning a language only because you want to, people think you are insane.

Not just languages either. Any thinking activity. You can tell someone that you are going to vegetate in front of the TV all weekend long and that’s cool. But try telling someone you plan to study physics or chemistry for kicks over the weekend. You'll probably be institutionalized. This country is all about money. I'd doubt anyone would see any benefit in learning to read and write any language, including their own, if it weren't needed for employment.
Again, you apparently haven't been following the thread as I stated that I learned a language as an adult and it had zero economic benefit to me. I was responding to what I interpreted as the original poster's argument that learning Spanish would benefit us in that way.

But please, continue being ignorant and thinking my statement represents some sort of anti-intellectual thought process in spite of the fact I am a self-taught bilingual and am citing a philosophy professor from Stanford.
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Old 05-28-2009, 04:21 PM
 
Location: In a house
5,230 posts, read 7,324,123 times
Reputation: 2558
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Corinthians127 View Post
As an American I often ponder why we cringe at the idea of a second language, specifically Spanish. Why do we aboslutely refuse to learn a second language? Pride? Patriotism? Xenophobia? Lazy? What?

Lets take a look at Canada shall we? Canada has two official languages; English and French. I'm not 100% sure about this, but a majority of Canadians do not complain about it do they? It is only logical America should have another language and that language is the language of our neighbors, Spanish.

There are many countries that have multiple languages, official languages, and work together.

It is said it is not difficult to learn Spanish, according to the U.S.. English is said to be the most difficult.

The United States does not have an official language. Should a bill be passed claiming English and Spanish the official languages?

The benifits of Americans learning a second language are huge, not only will America catch up with the modern world but we could communicate with millions of other people (350 million).

With Spanish growing at a fast rate and Spanish already being the ?third? most spoken language in the world, it only makes sense. The amount of immigrants from Mexico and other Spanish speaking countries only speeds up the Spanish speaking population in America while leaving Americans that were born here unable to speak the second most common language. Infact most Immigrants that speak Spanish also speak English.

So what do you think? Should Americans learn Spanish or be like most 3rd world countries and only speak one language?
Of course Americans SHOULD learn a second language if they want. They already can & do. But the language that SHOULD be required is English.
You make a good point about the growing Spanish speaking population.
But I feel that the growing Spanish speaking population is the number one reason we should immediately make English the only official language.

Theres already to many silly incidences of prejudice against everyone NOT Spanish speaking. My kids bring home a spanish copy of everything.
But my Grandmother needed to learn English. Nobody sent home Italian copies of notices & they would not today. Since we cannot do it for everybodywe shouldn't do it to anybody.
The favoritism we express for our southern neighbors is nothing short of disgusting if we acknowledge the millions of non Spanish speaking immigrants who get no help & actually pass thru customs to get here.

If you want to learn Spanish you can. If you want everybody to be REQUIRED to learn it then you should move to a Spanish speaking country.
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Old 05-28-2009, 04:47 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,603,351 times
Reputation: 35875
Quote:
Originally Posted by iamman View Post
Okay idiots that didn't bother to read what I said, I learned a language and it had zero economic benefit to me. I said that in response to the implied meaning of the original post that we should learn Spanish because our neighbors speak it and:

Should Americans learn Spanish or be like most 3rd world countries and only speak one language?


I took that quote as the poster's reasoning that knowing only one language makes us stupid/poor like a 3rd world country and responded with a question emphasizing the economic argument to her point. Make sense, geniuses?
Here is exactly what you said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by iamman View Post
Why would we learn Spanish? What is the economic benefit in that? You're incorrect in saying that most Spanish speaking immigrants speak English, they may LEARN English, but they don't know it. You're talking to someone who lives in a Hispanic majority county in California. They learn it (or not) but they definitely don't know English when they get here like an Australian or the Swiss.

We don't need to learn Spanish. This was written by a Standford professor, and shows that much of the criticism of Americans' linguistic abilities is exaggerated.
Absolutely nothing that you said qualified in any way whatsoever your "economic benefit" statement. It was responded to with full knowledge of your entire post. The OP said nothing at all about economic benefits of becoming bilingual.

Why do you think the person you quoted is a "professor at Stanford?? You reproduced a blog from a person named John Perry who reveals nothing about his credentials. It is clear from his blog that he is a fairly complete moron. It only shows that if one cherry-picks his criteria to X people within Y miles, his statement may be true, but still has zero material relevance.
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Old 05-28-2009, 06:10 PM
 
3,566 posts, read 4,493,151 times
Reputation: 1846
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Corinthians127 View Post
As an American I often ponder why we cringe at the idea of a second language, specifically Spanish. Why do we aboslutely refuse to learn a second language? Pride? Patriotism? Xenophobia? Lazy? What?

Lets take a look at Canada shall we? Canada has two official languages; English and French. I'm not 100% sure about this, but a majority of Canadians do not complain about it do they? It is only logical America should have another language and that language is the language of our neighbors, Spanish.

There are many countries that have multiple languages, official languages, and work together.

It is said it is not difficult to learn Spanish, according to the U.S.. English is said to be the most difficult.

The United States does not have an official language. Should a bill be passed claiming English and Spanish the official languages?

The benifits of Americans learning a second language are huge, not only will America catch up with the modern world but we could communicate with millions of other people (350 million).

With Spanish growing at a fast rate and Spanish already being the ?third? most spoken language in the world, it only makes sense. The amount of immigrants from Mexico and other Spanish speaking countries only speeds up the Spanish speaking population in America while leaving Americans that were born here unable to speak the second most common language. Infact most Immigrants that speak Spanish also speak English.

So what do you think? Should Americans learn Spanish or be like most 3rd world countries and only speak one language?
I think having an official language is a really bad idea. I'm thinking, Turkey is a great example.

I would also like to point out that just because someone can speak a language does not mean that they can read or write the language. I think that you will find that, often, in places like Europe. Many people can speak 5 languages but can only read one or two.

I lived 90 miles from Cuba. The older generations could both read and write in both languages. The younger generations could read/write/speak in English but could only speak Spanish. Magazines were fine but getting into something like newspapers or the actual written structure of the language was difficult.

It takes approximately 7 years to learn the English language. That is if you are literate in your first language to begin with. We are talking full comprehension here.

I think that schools should have other languages taught earlier and not rely primarily on Spanish and French. I also think that this stems from people not being able to see past their own neighborhoods. They may live in one area their entire lives and not be able to get a good grasp on the world around them. When people rely on the Epcott Center to show them the world around them, we have issues.
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Old 05-28-2009, 06:40 PM
 
Location: 125 Years Too Late...
10,366 posts, read 9,999,217 times
Reputation: 9115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pandamonium View Post
I think having an official language is a really bad idea. I'm thinking, Turkey is a great example.
I agree that having an official language is rather pointless--it would be about as useful as declaring oatmeal our official breakfast food, except that it would waste much more money.

But what's up with Turkey? Their official language is Turkish. Lot's of countries have official languages; why the Turkey reference?
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Old 05-28-2009, 06:45 PM
NCN
 
Location: NC/SC Border Patrol
21,136 posts, read 21,140,673 times
Reputation: 23168
I think English is a much more efficient language than Spanish. Think of all the ink that could be saved if the manufacturers would print in English only. Any time you look on a package, it takes just a few words in English and then a whole chapter in Spanish.
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Old 05-28-2009, 07:22 PM
 
3,566 posts, read 4,493,151 times
Reputation: 1846
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
I agree that having an official language is rather pointless--it would be about as useful as declaring oatmeal our official breakfast food, except that it would waste much more money.

But what's up with Turkey? Their official language is Turkish. Lot's of countries have official languages; why the Turkey reference?
When most people think of Atatürk they applaud him on his policies, specifically, education and language. He modernized Turkey and Turkish becomes the national language. Unfortunately, the name of the game was to eradicate any other identity except Turkey.

The Kurds were no longer allowed to have a culture. They were not allowed to speak their language or wear their clothing and would be taken off the street and imprisoned. That nationalization process has led to the death of lots of Kurds and continues to this day.
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Old 05-28-2009, 07:26 PM
 
Location: 125 Years Too Late...
10,366 posts, read 9,999,217 times
Reputation: 9115
Quote:
Originally Posted by NCN View Post
I think English is a much more efficient language than Spanish.
I can think of a lot of things that English is... but efficient is not one of them.
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Old 05-28-2009, 07:33 PM
 
Location: 125 Years Too Late...
10,366 posts, read 9,999,217 times
Reputation: 9115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pandamonium View Post
When most people think of Atatürk they applaud him on his policies, specifically, education and language. He modernized Turkey and Turkish becomes the national language. Unfortunately, the name of the game was to eradicate any other identity except Turkey.

The Kurds were no longer allowed to have a culture. They were not allowed to speak their language or wear their clothing and would be taken off the street and imprisoned. That nationalization process has led to the death of lots of Kurds and continues to this day.
Ah yes. He did wonders for the Turkish language itself too (well, he didn't, but he backed the reforms)... unfortunately there was the 'other side of the coin' as well.
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Old 05-28-2009, 07:42 PM
 
3,566 posts, read 4,493,151 times
Reputation: 1846
I think that whenever that we have talks about an official language in the US we talk about unity and belonging and "our country". However, that is riding way to close to attempting to eradicate other cultures starting with language.

We have seen nationalism rise to this level time and again. It is like picking up a book and knowing the ending.
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