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Old 12-18-2008, 11:37 PM
 
47,576 posts, read 58,699,632 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmo980 View Post
Somehow it's worked in Canada, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, and sooooo many other countries... I know the French Canadians have some issues with the English-speaking Canadians, but their problems are fairly superficial (from what I've heard). I went to Belgium a few years ago, and they have three OFFICIAL languages, along with a bunch of unofficial ones - one local told me there's a different language for every block in Antwerp. Fact is, we have a huge Spanish-speaking population in the US now, and we'll have to adapt. Either learn to cope, or learn to work together with our diverse population.
The USA did not become the wealthiest, most powerful, most successful country in the world by having 100 languages and dialects and a population who could not speak to one another.

Belgium is just a little country, not very powerful at all. Canada has always risked a split over language -- that's not a superficial problem at all, that's a major problem.

India is smart country. India had 100 languages and dialects and is learning the value of a common language, and India is now the largest English speaking country in the world. We're stupid because we're doing the reverse, trying to make ourselves the Tower of Babel.

 
Old 12-18-2008, 11:44 PM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
28,166 posts, read 43,452,271 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malamute View Post
To live 20 years in some country and fail to learn to speak it's language takes a certain stupidity, a real lack of curiosity.
A woman who used to work for my family is from El Salvador, and came here without any knowledge of English... we paid for her to attend night school, which she happily accepted, and I even helped her with homework every night. It's now been over a decade, and she still has very limited comprehension. She isn't lacking in curiosity or stupid, so why hasn't she picked up English? Could be that she only completed (the equivalent of) a 3rd-grade education in El Salvador, since her mother died, and she had to help raise her siblings. She can barely read and write in her native language, so obviously learning a second language - especially one as random & confusing as English - is going to be extremely difficult.

Furthermore, I had a lot of Chinese friends in high school, and almost all of them had a grandparent who spoke zero English... my friend Ming's Grandma would answer the phone sometimes, and all she could say was "Ming no here" over and over. They asked her to stop answering the phone, but she was a stubborn old lady! I now live in a Chinese neighborhood, and I'd guess that nearly half of my neighbors don't speak English - but strangely, I never hear anyone complain about the Chinese on here. Anyway, my point in telling all this is that everyone has a unique situation... so don't judge them unless you actually know their story.
 
Old 12-18-2008, 11:49 PM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
28,166 posts, read 43,452,271 times
Reputation: 18557
Quote:
Originally Posted by malamute View Post
The USA did not become the wealthiest, most powerful, most successful country in the world by having 100 languages and dialects and a population who could not speak to one another.

Belgium is just a little country, not very powerful at all. Canada has always risked a split over language -- that's not a superficial problem at all, that's a major problem.

India is smart country. India had 100 languages and dialects and is learning the value of a common language, and India is now the largest English speaking country in the world. We're stupid because we're doing the reverse, trying to make ourselves the Tower of Babel.
We're only talking about two languages, and I believe all countries will become increasingly multilingual in the near future... our world is getting smaller & smaller with the global economy (and internet), not to mention overpopulation. Just sayin'.
 
Old 12-18-2008, 11:50 PM
 
47,576 posts, read 58,699,632 times
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There are more than enough people who would like to immigrate to the USA. We don't need to take the ones who have no ability to learn much. Preference should be given to those immigrants who have the ability and desire to adapt, and those who can already speak our language should be placed first in line.

Immigration should be about what's good for this country, not about getting you your ultra cheap servants who will require tax payer provided handouts because they cannot learn or adapt.

The USA simply should not have immigration policies that make it the flophouse of the world.
 
Old 12-18-2008, 11:52 PM
 
47,576 posts, read 58,699,632 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmo980 View Post
We're only talking about two languages, and I believe all countries will become increasingly multilingual in the near future... our world is getting smaller & smaller with the global economy (and internet), not to mention overpopulation. Just sayin'.
No we're not. We're talking about hundreds of languages as we get immigrants from all over the world. We have Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese immigrants. We have Russian, Algerian, Romanian immigrants. We have German, French, and Kenyan immigrants.

If all immigrants must be provided their own language and never expected to adapt and learn, it's going to be a disaster.
 
Old 12-18-2008, 11:55 PM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
28,166 posts, read 43,452,271 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malamute View Post
It's very bad for a country to become so divided along language lines. It's not a benefit financially to speak Spanish.
It is if you're BIlingual... as I mentioned earlier, I get extra pay for speaking Spanish, and it definitely helped me in the hiring process (for every job I've ever had). It's not beneficial to only speak Spanish, or to only speak English - which is why I think we need to stress bilingual skills, rather than competing over English vs. Spanish/etc. And maybe instead of complaining and fighting, we could do something to improve the situation? Try volunteering at a local adult ESL literacy program... not only will it benefit the immigrants, but you might learn something too.
 
Old 12-18-2008, 11:55 PM
 
47,576 posts, read 58,699,632 times
Reputation: 22158
The globalization of the world means it's all the more important for Americans to learn the global language which is English. Even today, many American students cannot compete with students from India who are proficient in English. I live in a city where the students learn very little English and cannot even be considered for medical transcription jobs which are being outsourced to India because the people there can actually speak English, can spell the words and use proper grammar.
 
Old 12-18-2008, 11:57 PM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
28,166 posts, read 43,452,271 times
Reputation: 18557
Quote:
Originally Posted by malamute View Post
No we're not. We're talking about hundreds of languages as we get immigrants from all over the world. We have Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese immigrants. We have Russian, Algerian, Romanian immigrants. We have German, French, and Kenyan immigrants.
This thread (and forum, for that matter) is complaining about Spanish... and obviously Spanish is what's on everyone's mind, since it's the most common. I agree we should be cohesive, but that doesn't come as easily - or as quickly - as you all seem to think. Read my post above for more on that.
 
Old 12-18-2008, 11:58 PM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
28,166 posts, read 43,452,271 times
Reputation: 18557
Quote:
Originally Posted by malamute View Post
The globalization of the world means it's all the more important for Americans to learn the global language which is English. Even today, many American students cannot compete with students from India who are proficient in English. I live in a city where the students learn very little English and cannot even be considered for medical transcription jobs which are being outsourced to India because the people there can actually speak English, can spell the words and use proper grammar.
So basically you just want everyone everywhere to learn English? English is already dominant in the world, and we already raise our children to speak it - so I think you're asking a bit much for 100% perfection. Would you feel as strongly about this issue if English didn't happen to be YOUR native language? I wonder...
 
Old 12-19-2008, 12:01 AM
 
47,576 posts, read 58,699,632 times
Reputation: 22158
Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmo980 View Post
This thread (and forum, for that matter) is complaining about Spanish... and obviously Spanish is what's on everyone's mind, since it's the most common. I agree we should be cohesive, but that doesn't come as easily - or as quickly - as you all seem to think. Read my post above for more on that.
Spanish is the one that's on people's minds because they aren't being told they had better learn Chinese because the immigrants from China are not going to be expected to learn English. Or the Nigerians don't tell us that we'd better learn their language or else.

The problem with Spanish is that's the language that everyone is being told to press one to hear, two if they want English. No one is angry at the Koreans who willingly and eagerly learn English and don't expect their welfare handouts be given to them in their own language.
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