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Old 06-04-2009, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Washington DC
5,915 posts, read 7,090,991 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by west_end_don View Post

So what’s the problem with a State in the Southwest with large Spanish speaking population (and history) becoming de facto bi-lingual, and states without a large Spanish population maintaining the English-only status quo?
Most are. There are xenophobic people in the country that want to purge the Hispanic culture, but it isn't going to happen. I don't know whether its still true, but when I was growing up street signs in South Texas were in English and Spanish.
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Old 06-04-2009, 10:13 AM
Status: "Bountiful pine needle harvest" (set 29 days ago)
 
Location: Near Manito
19,290 posts, read 20,180,205 times
Reputation: 13384
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
I agree with this too.

Devil's advocate question: Is there any similarity to this treatment of anglophones in Québec and the treatment of a traditional culture/langauge in the soutwestern US? (grab those heart pills! )
There would be, were Spanish-speakers in California, New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona, denied free bilingual access to public services, and not supplied with Spanish-language state, local, and federal ballots, school curricula, translators in courtrooms and at social service offices, and mandated dual-language products, instructions, and warranties in nearly all categories of retail and wholesale goods. Fortunately, this is not the case.
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Old 06-04-2009, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,653,762 times
Reputation: 35881
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeledaf View Post
and mandated dual-language products, instructions, and warranties in nearly all categories of retail and wholesale goods..
Should English language instruction manuals be "mandated" in the US? I have an alarm clock with a manual that is in, among others, Danish and Malaysian. Who mandated that?

One really wonders about arguments from people who think Danish and Malaysian are being "shoved down our throats" because manufacturers of $5 products don't publish a hundred different product manuals, depending on the destination of each article. It's time Americans lightened up and got over this "shoved down our trhoat" mentality about the rest of the world. It is destructive to the fabric of humanity in general, and your blood pressure in particular.

Public safety warnings exist to protect YOU, and you are at risk if you insist that that people who don't know your language can't read them.

(Yaledaf, this is not directed at you.)

Last edited by jtur88; 06-04-2009 at 10:29 AM..
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Old 06-04-2009, 11:00 AM
 
Location: 125 Years Too Late...
10,394 posts, read 10,009,260 times
Reputation: 9138
I guess one part of my point with the Québec reference is that if you have a large region speaking predominantly a given language, you are going to get a bit of a backlash if something different is ‘intruding’ (thus the ‘rebellion’ in Québec against English). I don’t see it as whiney or childish.

On the other hand, if it gets to the point that some other language becomes dominant (that has not happened in Québec) in a given region, then yes, it becomes a bit whiney to try to deny the obvious.

As for the US, we are still predominantly English overall. Because I live in a ‘region’ that speaks English in general, I will continue to be of the opinion that one should know English. But, having said that, if another language became predominant, I wouldn’t really have a problem with that. Language is a communication tool. If ‘obtaining a new tool’ is going to help me function in society, then fine.

At this point, although I think one should know English and that government business should be conducted in English (primarily), I have no problem at all with seeing instructions in other languages, or pressing 1 for English (how long does that take ), or seeing a sign in two languages, or hearing another language in the grocery store. Big deal. I guess I just see language differently than a lot of people. It’s simply communication. For others, it’s much more than that. It’s an identity or cultural statement.
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Old 06-04-2009, 11:41 AM
 
28,906 posts, read 45,263,909 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
I guess one part of my point with the Québec reference is that if you have a large region speaking predominantly a given language, you are going to get a bit of a backlash if something different is ‘intruding’ (thus the ‘rebellion’ in Québec against English). I don’t see it as whiney or childish.

On the other hand, if it gets to the point that some other language becomes dominant (that has not happened in Québec) in a given region, then yes, it becomes a bit whiney to try to deny the obvious.

As for the US, we are still predominantly English overall. Because I live in a ‘region’ that speaks English in general, I will continue to be of the opinion that one should know English. But, having said that, if another language became predominant, I wouldn’t really have a problem with that. Language is a communication tool. If ‘obtaining a new tool’ is going to help me function in society, then fine.

At this point, although I think one should know English and that government business should be conducted in English (primarily), I have no problem at all with seeing instructions in other languages, or pressing 1 for English (how long does that take ), or seeing a sign in two languages, or hearing another language in the grocery store. Big deal. I guess I just see language differently than a lot of people. It’s simply communication. For others, it’s much more than that. It’s an identity or cultural statement.
See, I think you're being naive. Because the dominant language in government, business, and culture is English. And if somebody who moves to this country does not bother to learn it, or if somebody born into this country is not taught it, then that person is at a severe handicap in their life and their work. And in the natural course of things, that person will then have to become a ward of the welfare state, all because the fundamental language of the country has not been mastered. Because unless you're working as a janitor or a ditchdigger, you have to know the language.

The other thing to realize is that this is a country which has successfully assimilated people of all kinds of cultural backgrounds, whether African, German, Russian, Jewish, French, Latino, Slavic, Italian, Arabic, Chinese, Vietnamese, etc. etc., making our national culture incredibly rich. If one group refuses to assimilate, instead choosing over generations to segregate themselves from the rest of American society (Which really isn't the case), why should we as a nation reward them for it?
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Old 06-04-2009, 11:44 AM
Status: "Bountiful pine needle harvest" (set 29 days ago)
 
Location: Near Manito
19,290 posts, read 20,180,205 times
Reputation: 13384
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Should English language instruction manuals be "mandated" in the US? I have an alarm clock with a manual that is in, among others, Danish and Malaysian. Who mandated that?

One really wonders about arguments from people who think Danish and Malaysian are being "shoved down our throats" because manufacturers of $5 products don't publish a hundred different product manuals, depending on the destination of each article. It's time Americans lightened up and got over this "shoved down our trhoat" mentality about the rest of the world. It is destructive to the fabric of humanity in general, and your blood pressure in particular.

Public safety warnings exist to protect YOU, and you are at risk if you insist that that people who don't know your language can't read them.

(Yaledaf, this is not directed at you.)
Hey, I'm with you on this one, jtur88!

If I made alarm clocks or milkshake-makers, and wanted to market them internationally, it would be simple common sense to provide instructions, etc., in the languages of my customers.

Frankly, I enjoyed looking at the English-French-Spanish manual that came with my new battery-powered lawnmower. I'm a big fan of linguistic diversity.

Of course, I then cut out the French and Spanish sections and threw them away. I would hate to make a mistake because I forgot that perno meant bolt or palouse meant lawn.
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Old 06-04-2009, 12:03 PM
 
Location: 125 Years Too Late...
10,394 posts, read 10,009,260 times
Reputation: 9138
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
See, I think you're being naive. Because the dominant language in government, business, and culture is English. And if somebody who moves to this country does not bother to learn it, or if somebody born into this country is not taught it, then that person is at a severe handicap in their life and their work. And in the natural course of things, that person will then have to become a ward of the welfare state, all because the fundamental language of the country has not been mastered. Because unless you're working as a janitor or a ditchdigger, you have to know the language.

The other thing to realize is that this is a country which has successfully assimilated people of all kinds of cultural backgrounds, whether African, German, Russian, Jewish, French, Latino, Slavic, Italian, Arabic, Chinese, Vietnamese, etc. etc., making our national culture incredibly rich. If one group refuses to assimilate, instead choosing over generations to segregate themselves from the rest of American society (Which really isn't the case), why should we as a nation reward them for it?
Ummm, did you notice this line in my post:

<<As for the US, we are still predominantly English overall. Because I live in a ‘region’ that speaks English in general, I will continue to be of the opinion that one should know English.>>

I with you. I'm just not so strongly opposed to linguistic shifts over time. It has been happening for thousands of years.
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Old 06-04-2009, 10:37 PM
 
6,307 posts, read 7,144,585 times
Reputation: 8048
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Should English language instruction manuals be "mandated" in the US? I have an alarm clock with a manual that is in, among others, Danish and Malaysian. Who mandated that?
Nah, the legal system will work better than the political one in determining which language these manuals should be in.

In my time around the legal profession, I've found that the "Cover Your A**" principle works a lot more effectively to include minority groups than any political system does.

I would wager that the only "mandate" for multi-lingual manual was the hit (or potential hit) in a company's bottom line. (Or the fact that they make the same product for numerous countries and making the manual in various languages was the most effective way to produce it.)
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Old 06-05-2009, 01:22 AM
 
48,519 posts, read 81,130,238 times
Reputation: 17979
Why just mandate spanish and not very toher language. the rpoblem with not knowing engilish is you wil always be handicapped in thsi country> We al know about the disadvanatges taken of those who ony speak spanish in south texas where its often said that elected officals don't leave office;they are indicted.
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Old 06-11-2009, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
20,620 posts, read 25,694,204 times
Reputation: 8114
I think there is a difference between most of the southwestern U.S. and Quebec in that there is four-century old continuum of French as the main language in Quebec that does not exist for Spanish in most of the southwest (outside of a few small areas in NM and south Texas).

French was the language of the first schools, the first universities... pretty much of the first "everything" that was organized at a societal level in Quebec.

In the U.S. southwest, though it was at some point Spanish/Mexican territory, most of the societal set-up and organization took place in English once it became part of the United States. As someone else has pointed out, few of the tens of millions of Spanish speakers living there today are descendants of people who would have been around in the pre-U.S. era. Most California families with Hispanic names whose roots in the state go back a few centuries would be almost exclusively English-speaking today.

This is not the case in Quebec (or even most French-speaking areas in Canada), where today’s French-speaking population is for the most part directly descended from people who came from France in the 1600s, and also from successive generations of descendants born here in Canada that have all spoken French without interruption since the 17th century.
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