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Old 05-27-2009, 03:19 PM
 
Location: United States
142 posts, read 192,621 times
Reputation: 42

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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?
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Old 05-27-2009, 03:23 PM
 
6,764 posts, read 19,295,840 times
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No Spanish. It is not fair to all the other immigrant groups who HAD to learn English.

If we want to be fair, let's go trilingual or have multilingual options for the biggest ethnic groups but no, not JUST Spanish.

I tutor ESL to help others learn English....I do it for free. I think learning English is a big part of belonging (really belonging) to the USA.
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Old 05-27-2009, 03:36 PM
 
Location: United States
142 posts, read 192,621 times
Reputation: 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by GypsySoul22 View Post
No Spanish. It is not fair to all the other immigrant groups who HAD to learn English.

If we want to be fair, let's go trilingual or have multilingual options for the biggest ethnic groups but no, not JUST Spanish.

I tutor ESL to help others learn English....I do it for free. I think learning English is a big part of belonging (really belonging) to the USA.
Well I don't really think it has much to do with Immigration but the simple fact we have a neighboring country that speaks Spanish.

Do you think we should learn Mandarin? (Chinese money will overtake the Dollar I think, or is it the Yen?)
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Old 05-27-2009, 03:43 PM
 
Location: vagabond
2,631 posts, read 4,834,119 times
Reputation: 1300
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?
that kind of spits in the face of all of us americans that are fluent in a second language. not only that, but it seems a pretty large presumption to me. i have never seen stats though as to how the usa ranks as far as multilingual citizens. i would imagine european countries to boast the largest amount of multilingual citizens per capita, but that is just a guess.

Quote:
It is only logical America should have another language and that language is the language of our neighbors, Spanish.
i don't think that this is necessarily "only logical." i am all for learning foreign languages, though i'm not very good at it. but i think that it is more logical for a country to have a single official language.

Quote:
It is said it is not difficult to learn Spanish, according to the U.S.. English is said to be the most difficult.
english is hard, but far from the most difficult. try finnish or icelandic or something, and then get back to me on english.

Quote:
The United States does not have an official language. Should a bill be passed claiming English and Spanish the official languages?
not in my opinion. i like spanish, and next to cantonese, it might be the most profitable foreign language for american businessmen to learn, but i don't think that this requires it becoming an official language.

The benifits of Americans learning a second language are huge,[/quote]

yep. same with any other language though. i don't think that making a pair of official languages is going to encourage any more english-speaking americans to learn spanish than it is spanish-speaking americans to learn english.

Quote:
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?[/quote]

i'd like to see links on all of these claims that you are making. "most immigrants that speak spanish also speak english;" "most 3rd-world countries only speak one language;" etc.

i am not saying that they are wrong. i am saying that i'd need to see some collaborating evidence before i decide that you are not just making assumptions.

and finally, as i already said, i don't think that making a pair of languages official is going to have any real effect on how many people within the country learn a second language. i don't see the spanish speakers that so far have held out on learning english suddenly changing their mind because it is now "official," and i don't see the english speakers doing it for spanish either.

quite a few of us know a foreign language. the usa is a large country with a lot of land, and a lot of neighbors that speak english. thus, english has become the unofficial official language.

smaller countries that have neighbors that all speak a different language (germany, greece, etc), tend to have higher levels of multilingual citizens. if they started playing musical chairs with their official languages, i don't even think that it would have any effect on the amounts or kinds of languages spoken there; it would all still be determined by interaction and interrelation, both of which are pretty much out of the hands of government regulation.

aaron out.
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Old 05-27-2009, 03:51 PM
 
Location: United States
142 posts, read 192,621 times
Reputation: 42
Quote:
not only that, but it seems a pretty large presumption to me. i have never seen stats though as to how the usa ranks as far as multilingual citizens. i would imagine european countries to boast the largest amount of multilingual citizens per capita, but that is just a guess.
Actually, I think it is a fact. America has one of the lowest bi-langual speaking population than any other country.



Quote:
i don't think that this is necessarily "only logical." i am all for learning foreign languages, though i'm not very good at it. but i think that it is more logical for a country to have a single official language.
That depends, if the country is small sure, but larger countries should know multiple languages.



Quote:
english is hard, but far from the most difficult. try finnish or icelandic or something, and then get back to me on english.
Actually linguists have said many times English is the hardest due to so many rules. Most English speakers can not even speak it correctly.

Quote:
it might be the most profitable foreign language for american businessmen to learn, but i don't think that this requires it becoming an official language.
There are over 34 Million spanish speakers in the US. That number will quickly rise with immigration.

Quote:
yep. same with any other language though. i don't think that making a pair of official languages is going to encourage any more english-speaking americans to learn spanish than it is spanish-speaking americans to learn english.
If it is an official language, it would be taught in schools.

Quote:
i'd like to see links on all of these claims that you are making. "most immigrants that speak spanish also speak english;" "most 3rd-world countries only speak one language;" etc.

i am not saying that they are wrong. i am saying that i'd need to see some collaborating evidence before i decide that you are not just making assumptions.
The test to become an American citizen requires the understand of English.
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Old 05-27-2009, 03:57 PM
 
2,790 posts, read 5,578,169 times
Reputation: 1913
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Corinthians127 View Post
It is only logical America should have another language and that language is the language of our neighbors, Spanish.
We have two international neighbors. I vote we all learn to speak Canadian, eh?
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Old 05-27-2009, 04:01 PM
 
341 posts, read 343,229 times
Reputation: 113
My question is : Why do some foreigners and immigrants refuse to learn our language? Why do we need to cater? It's nice to know more than one language...but I don't feel it needs to be a requirement...at all. There needs to be some common solidarity.
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Old 05-27-2009, 04:01 PM
 
Location: El Paso, TX
3,302 posts, read 3,758,039 times
Reputation: 2524
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 was born in Chicago but was raised part of my life in Mexico. I speak Spanish and I am glad I do.
However, some of the points you brought up why we should learn Spanish do not have much validity.
Canada happen to have tow languages because of their historical background. That just happened that way.
In the US our history took us to mainly speak English regardless of whether that was right, wrong, fair or unfair that is just how it happened.
Language evolution in nations had to do with necesity. Europeans tend to speak more than one language because their countries are smaller the the proximity with each other.
Americans? We do not need Spanish. It is nice if you want to learn it for whatever reason but I do not agree you trying to expect other people to learn it. We spoke Spanish to our three daugthers because we felt they had the chance to learn another language free with both parents being able to speak it.

If you want to make a case for us to learn another language I would rather learn any language that may have to do with a business. If your business deals with Chineese and it is to your advantage to learn it, by all means it is smart to do so, the same with Japanese or Korean or some other language. However, just because you seem it is nice to know another language I do not share your view.
Do you want to us to change to the metric system also? I would like to know that. Would you?

The millions of other people you say we can communicate with can learn to speak English, don't you think so? They are the ones that came to this country so I do think it is not much to ask them to learn the language of their new home, is it?

You have a great day.
El Amigo
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Old 05-27-2009, 04:11 PM
 
Location: United States
142 posts, read 192,621 times
Reputation: 42
I actually do not know why America hasn't caught up with the rest of the world by implementing the metric system. I mean we are still using a system that was developed during the medieval ages. A superior system, metric, succeded our system in really every country, including England.

In fact, the United States is the ONLY industrialized nation that does not use the metric system .
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Old 05-27-2009, 04:26 PM
 
8,938 posts, read 15,865,392 times
Reputation: 6659
people in the US don't learn a 2nd language because they don't need to - it's that simple

we have a very large nation, english is broadly spoken in business communities and most people really only come into contact with others who speak english

also do not get it confused with canada - just because they have two official languages does not make them a bilingual nation - there are many people there who speak just english or just french

if you want to travel to or do business in MX you can usually do it in english - same deal with canada ....... so it's possible for an american to move around this entire continent with just english

in europe you get more bilingual people as there is more exposure, more need and more languages in a smaller territory

if AZ/NM both spoke language A, CA spoke language B and TX language C you can bet that people in AZ/NM would want to learn some of B & C to communicate with their neighbors and CA and TX would learn some A so they can help provide services and commerce with their neighbors
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