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Old 12-07-2006, 12:05 AM
 
Location: So. Dak.
13,495 posts, read 33,494,009 times
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PanAm, French is widely spoken in Canada because many Canadians are of French descent. If I were to move to Mexico, or was of Mexican descent, of course I would feel it's necessary to learn Spanish, BUT when someone moves to the U.S., they need to learn English.
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Old 12-07-2006, 03:13 AM
 
Location: western East Roman Empire
6,115 posts, read 10,190,002 times
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My great-grandparents came to the US as young adults in the 1910s from a European country and they never learned proper English, living the remainder of their lives in so-called ghettos where everyone spoke their native language. Their children learned English in grade school. Now I have a cousin who is a federal judge, for example.

Between ancient and modern languages, I know eight to varying degrees of fluency, and I have attempted several others, and as a professional linguist I can tell you that ENGLISH IS A DIFFICULT LANGUAGE, maybe not as difficult as Greek, Russian, Chinese, or Hungarian for example, but nonetheless difficult, especially for adult-age people with poor-to-mediocre education (most people on this planet, including US citizens).

Be patient, it takes a generation or two.

Apart from the legal/illegal aspect - which is a separate and, we can agree, serious issue -, what is happening socially/linguistically in the US right now in terms of immigration is quite normal, on a periodic basis, in its history.

Last edited by bale002; 12-07-2006 at 04:14 AM..
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Old 12-07-2006, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Tampa Bay
598 posts, read 1,998,160 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bale002 View Post
My great-grandparents came to the US as young adults in the 1910s from a European country and they never learned proper English, living the remainder of their lives in so-called ghettos where everyone spoke their native language. Their children learned English in grade school. Now I have a cousin who is a federal judge, for example.

Between ancient and modern languages, I know eight to varying degrees of fluency, and I have attempted several others, and as a professional linguist I can tell you that ENGLISH IS A DIFFICULT LANGUAGE, maybe not as difficult as Greek, Russian, Chinese, or Hungarian for example, but nonetheless difficult, especially for adult-age people with poor-to-mediocre education (most people on this planet, including US citizens).

Be patient, it takes a generation or two.

Apart from the legal/illegal aspect - which is a separate and, we can agree, serious issue -, what is happening socially/linguistically in the US right now in terms of immigration is quite normal, on a periodic basis, in its history.
It's not 1910...

No doubt English is difficult to learn, but today especially in this climate where there is a very large population of foreign people coming here without any intention of "melding into the pot", the simple act of carrying a $5.00 English/Spanish dictionary with you shows that you WANT to be accepted here and become part of our society. I can't tell you how many people I've met from slovic countries that do exactly this. It's the very simplest, easiest way to show respect for this country and it's people. Sorry, but that just another excuse of many. They choose to come here. It's their task to make the effort.
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Old 12-07-2006, 08:31 AM
 
Location: Lots of sun and palm trees with occasional hurricane :)
8,292 posts, read 14,599,425 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogercobb View Post
It must be brutal living down there in South Fla. I live in Orlando and am looking to get back to Tampa/St.Pete area where people still speak English AND the folks tend to be nicer (more Midwest transplants). The Spanish I took a few years in high school hasn't helped me with the loud chatter I hear in Orlando which is murder to the ears. Its SO fast and loud. Like a continuous stream of thought. "Baklakatakamamamayoiyoiyoi....blah..blah"
HaHaHa. Funny. That's exactly what I think about the music my son listens to (and vice versa btw)
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Old 12-07-2006, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Lots of sun and palm trees with occasional hurricane :)
8,292 posts, read 14,599,425 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Panam View Post
Greetings,
I am a professional male from Toronto, Canada who 10 yrs ago moved to Miami. I've since left Miami but not running away from it. When I moved to Miami, i spoke just English and French but was armed with a bit of Spanish from a class i took at university in Canada. My parents are from Russia. No doubt my ethnic background helped me navigate through Miami. Naturally, my Spanish improved during my time there. I was quickly able to find professional work amongst Latin Professionals at a very decent (by usa standards) salary. I lived very well during my time there. My work even took me to Latin America where i got a wider appreciation of the Latin cultures and traditions. I can tell you that Miami is in NO WAY like some of of the impoverished countries of Latin America. Miami's selfishness comes from Charles Darwin - survival of the fittest. When you come from the poorer nations of Latin America and are now thrown into USA "waters" to swim for yourself, people's survival skills really come out. These people come from countries with social policies for the poor to help them and are now thrust into raw capitalism for the first time. For the first time, (as an example) there is NO free health care, etc for them. It's quite an adjustment! I've traveled to many countries, and its the same everywhere... every man for himself, sink or swim, etc. It is the same way in cold Canada. I'm dismayed at why US citizens dont try to embrace Spanish like Canada embraces and recognizes French as being distinct and accomodates bilingualism instead of opposing it. Remeber that there more Hispanics in the USA, then the ENTIRE population of Canada. Americans can't afford to ignore this reality anymore and should learn Spanish whenever they get a chance. More languages can only help, not hurt you in life. Does Miami function differently than NYC, Toronto, Chicago, Washington DC? Yes of course! There is corruption and incompetance at the highest levels but heck, this even happens in Canada! Just look at the HUD scandal out of Washington. Want to see 3rd world? Goto Morocco, Libya, Albania, Zimbabwe. Miami is 3rd world by North American standards but definately not by WORLD standards.

My 2 cents

BTW, anyone making even $50,000/yr there has enough to pay for rent, food and savings. I'll let noone tell me othewise. If a house in the Florida tropics is what you want and are angry that you cant afford it, let me recommend Panama for you at 1/3 of the cost! Yes Americans! Thankfully, there are choices
Great comments. I think the more one travels and expands their horizons, the more you get to appreciate what you have and what others have and quit finding only the negatives in life. I wish I would have learned more than 3 languages (and my 3rd is not so hot anymore due to non-use). But hispanics are a major minority and growing. I don't think it's such a bad idea to learn another language. It makes you more desirable in terms of employment opportunities to say the least. Look at Fedex, AOL, every major company you call has a "press #2 for Spanish" and IT says it in Spanish.

Now if you want to ignore that hispanics contribute a huge amount to the economy, well then I think you are not a good business person and would not survive in the business world. The fact that hispanics should learn English is a different part of the story and it would be great if you could play a subliminal message during your sleep and wake up the next morning - VOILA - speaking a different language but many don't have the need to, many don't have the capacity, many don't have the power of "youth" to pick up ANYTHING new.

There's enough new customs and gadgets to deal with when you go to unfamiliar surroundings. Just look at other forums for states that people may be interested in relocating to....the idea of just moving from one state to another, one house to another, it's overwhelming to most - fear of the unknown and I'd say it happens to 99.9% of us. These people speak English, have money, have jobs, have families. Imagine those who didn't want to come to another country where there is NOTHING familiar? You know, it AIN'T easy!
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Old 12-07-2006, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Miami
566 posts, read 1,842,059 times
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I really don't think we'd have any problems w/lesser illegals, we have millions of unemployed U.S. citizens in the U.S. that need jobs & legal immigrants that will take any job, too- why not give them the chance? I had a gardner, last yr., that was from El Salvador - illegal I found out so we fired him. Never had given a thought about what we were doing to our unemployed, or poor until all this attention has been brought about. Plus an aquaintance of mine had done that too with a Honduran maid, so it got me thinking. I felt somewhat guilty when my husband gave him the boot, but got said to myself, " hmmm....why not give this job to one of our legal immigrants or better yet, a black American if they are willing to take the job?" So we hired a neighbors black american yard man. Though, I told him that at times it was going to be easy or no need cause this woman here needed to move her fat from time to time... Anyhow, he's a blessing and doing a wonderful job just like any capable human out there with 2 hands, and....a U.S. citizen.
Ohh...and I got a blessing in return, little did I know he'd be even cheaper...charges $10 less than the illegal (sent practically every penny back to his home country, nonetheless). Unbelievable...

Last edited by lulu; 12-07-2006 at 09:14 AM..
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Old 12-07-2006, 09:09 AM
 
Location: western East Roman Empire
6,115 posts, read 10,190,002 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summergal View Post
It's not 1910...

No doubt English is difficult to learn, but today especially in this climate where there is a very large population of foreign people coming here without any intention of "melding into the pot"...
They said that in the 1840s, they said that in the 1910s, they said that in the 1960s, they say that in the 2000s, and they'll say that in the 2050s.

The mean-spiritedness and at times downright racism in this country, after so many years and experiences, evokes feelings that range from appalling to wry amusement.

One way (agreed there are many) to avoid falling to the bottom in the globalization race is to know at least two languages.

Much more than that, the presence of so many non-English speaking people in so many regions of this slice of the people's earth called North America is a WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL opportunity to, at the very least, expand one's cultural horizons (assuming respect for the governing authority's LAWS, which is a separate, serious issue from the cultural one).

How ignorant and sad not to see the positive side and take advantage of it, for everyone's benefit.

Why not abstain from television, for example, and make the effort to meet them half way, take the first step, do one's part to spread some goodwill?

Yes, it's a risk. But no risk, no reward.

One never knows, history can take wicked turns - two hundred fifty some-odd years is a short time, the blink of an eye - and one day you or your descendants may need to go to their country of origin.

The smile you give returns to you.
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Old 12-07-2006, 09:26 AM
 
Location: Lots of sun and palm trees with occasional hurricane :)
8,292 posts, read 14,599,425 times
Reputation: 6980
By the way, I forgot to mention previously...the MSN homepage has a link about jobs in Antartica. Pay is anywhere from $300 to $1500/wk. The jobs are not usually long-term. More like seasonal. There are ups and downs regarding some "benefits" but the greatest need is in the kitchen and janitorial categories. And guess what? Most of these employees are Ph.D.'s who are taking the positions to make extra money to send home. So, illegals are not the only ones who will do anything to help out their families.
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Old 12-07-2006, 12:09 PM
 
22 posts, read 80,608 times
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Cherokee County in Georgia recently pass a law making it ILLEGAL to rent to Illegals and making English the official lanugage. More and more state and county governmentS are doing this to stem the tide that take advantage of our system and run down our neighborhoods. It seems that we need more of this type of approach to deal with the Illegals who are bleeding the American dry of social services from school, hospital, and the economy. My mom came here 10 years ago at the age of 57 and did not know any English; but now, she's perfectly fine everywhere she goes speaking English. She works hard, pay taxes and recently became a citizen. I tend to cringe when people can pull off any excuses to learn the lanugage. GIVE ME A BREAK!
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Old 12-07-2006, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Lots of sun and palm trees with occasional hurricane :)
8,292 posts, read 14,599,425 times
Reputation: 6980
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcao111 View Post
Cherokee County in Georgia recently pass a law making it ILLEGAL to rent to Illegals and making English the official lanugage. More and more state and county governmentS are doing this to stem the tide that take advantage of our system and run down our neighborhoods. It seems that we need more of this type of approach to deal with the Illegals who are bleeding the American dry of social services from school, hospital, and the economy. My mom came here 10 years ago at the age of 57 and did not know any English; but now, she's perfectly fine everywhere she goes speaking English. She works hard, pay taxes and recently became a citizen. I tend to cringe when people can pull off any excuses to learn the lanugage. GIVE ME A BREAK!
I would say your mom is the exception and to be commended for being able to learn a foreign language fluently at that age. May I ask if she speaks several other languages also that she learned at an early age?
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