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Old 12-29-2008, 12:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mimimomx3 View Post
Give them time! It took the first wave of immigrants from Eastern Europe a couple of generations to completely assimilate- and they didn't have the internet, satellite TV and telephones to keep their first language going strong as today's immigrants do. Not only that, but they have companies who market to them in their language, and governments who want to keep them poor and uneducated by teaching their kids in their native language!
Yao Ming learned English in about two years

 
Old 12-29-2008, 12:46 PM
 
8,240 posts, read 14,940,322 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kele View Post
My experience with legal immigrants from my grandparents generation--who legally emigrated to this country proves differently. My grandmother told me that a basic understanding of English was required before she and my grandfather were ever allowed to come through Ellis Island--and they learned enough to get by and to ensure that English was the language spoken in their home so that their children would always know that THEY were Americans.

Why did they try so hard? Why was it so important to them that their children become Americans? Because they understood that language assimilation was the key to their children's as well as their own success in America.

Now, rather than requiring immigrants to have a basic concept of the language, we pander to their inequities, encouraging them to remain unilingual rather than assimilating into American culture and language.

Although there are many murkier parts of America’s past, there has been a general sense of shared experience which has brought her citizens, even with all of their differences, together during times of crisis. I believe that this has had to do in part with the government’s earliest immigration requirements—that is, that those wishing to become a part of this country learn the language shared by the vast majority of its citizens. While early immigrants to this country added the distinctions of their various cultures into the American melting pot, the fact that citizens shared the same language, gave them common ground by which they could relate to each other.

Shared language is a part of shared experience. No matter where a person’s ancestry originates from, sharing language with his or her neighbors gives that person a sense of community, a sense of belonging. When entire cultural enclaves are created, in which a person neither learns the unofficial language of their host country, nor do they encourage their children to do so, then it no longer becomes important to integrate into American society. At this point, for many within American society, diversity becomes divisive, many times breeding intolerance and distrust.

If America was to become, with the blessings of its elected government, multilingual, would the necessary support for its citizens be obtainable? Who would bear the burden of cost in order to ensure that no one language group is left behind? Would that burden of cost fall to those who already speak the unofficial language of the country? After all, it is likely that those who do not speak English, which has become the de-facto lingua franca of commerce worldwide, are not the biggest contributors to the American tax base. Seemingly, the cost of transformation from a (semi) single lingual country to one of multiple languages would be prohibitive.

Multilingualism (as promoted by governmental acceptance) in this country would likely have a devastating effect on our educational system. While a certain amount of bilingual education already exists, if the government were to embark on a path which recognizes a wide variety of languages as “official” languages of the country—education’s course could become dodgy. Would we then be forced into “separate, but equal” classes for each individual language group? “Separate, but equal” institutions? How would that generation’s children adjust to the variety of linguistic enclaves kept separate by the educational system, let alone each other once their dependency upon those institutions has ended? Will there also be “separate, but equal” employment opportunities and environments as well? How would America, as a world superpower, deal with an entire country which is separated not only by the issues it’s citizens now routinely encounter, but by it’s citizen’s inability to even carry on a simple conversation with their own neighbors?

People are so quick to look at and judge the need for a homogeneous language as somehow biased and exclusive. Yet I believe that the opposite is true. People are united by commonality. Diversity is a wonderful thing up to a point. Language diversity in a nation supposedly united by common goals is impractical and unworkable.

As a nation, we already face many points of contention which divide us all. Language segregation should not be added to the list of concerns.
Interesting post.

We have several Italian American friends whose grandparents and greatgrandparents came to the US in the 1900s. They spoke no English at all. One lady, quite old, still has a hard time with English and speaks in dialect. They spoke just enough to answer some basic questions on entry, she has said to me. The interesting thing about these older immigrants is that they HAD to learn to speak English. They moved to Houston, where there were few Italians, and no TV, radio, newpapers or internet. Today's immigrants have no need to learn English. You can survive very well in the Spanish/Chinese/Vietnamese/Korean ghettos in most larger cities. You can pick up a phone or log on to your computer and talk to your family back home anytime. All these things keep people from fully integrating into the 'American' culture.

We should be careful to seperate the 'pandering' of multilingualism from government and business. In my opinion, there should be one official language in the US- English. All official business in the US should be in English. Businesses should be free to market (or press 1 for...) to any culture or language. You have to wonder WHY there isn't one official language. I doubt that it's because of LULAC, MALDEF or other splinter group- they simply don't have the true political power. I suspect that it is the shadow government- the real power in the US- that works hard to keep people poor and stupid, in whose interest it is to keep people uneducated and in menial jobs and from fully integrating into the mainstream: keeping cheap labor cheap.
 
Old 12-29-2008, 12:47 PM
 
8,240 posts, read 14,940,322 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Houston3 View Post
Yao Ming learned English in about two years
I can't believe it took him that long! I mean, playing basketball is his 'job'? I imagine he had some free time and some extra cash to hire a tutor....
 
Old 12-29-2008, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Mesa, Az
21,148 posts, read 36,725,996 times
Reputation: 3785
Quote:
Originally Posted by mimimomx3 View Post
Interesting post.

We have several Italian American friends whose grandparents and greatgrandparents came to the US in the 1900s. They spoke no English at all. One lady, quite old, still has a hard time with English and speaks in dialect. They spoke just enough to answer some basic questions on entry, she has said to me. The interesting thing about these older immigrants is that they HAD to learn to speak English. They moved to Houston, where there were few Italians, and no TV, radio, newpapers or internet. Today's immigrants have no need to learn English. You can survive very well in the Spanish/Chinese/Vietnamese/Korean ghettos in most larger cities. You can pick up a phone or log on to your computer and talk to your family back home anytime. All these things keep people from fully integrating into the 'American' culture.

We should be careful to seperate the 'pandering' of multilingualism from government and business. In my opinion, there should be one official language in the US- English. All official business in the US should be in English. Businesses should be free to market (or press 1 for...) to any culture or language. You have to wonder WHY there isn't one official language. I doubt that it's because of LULAC, MALDEF or other splinter group- they simply don't have the true political power. I suspect that it is the shadow government- the real power in the US- that works hard to keep people poor and stupid, in whose interest it is to keep people uneducated and in menial jobs and from fully integrating into the mainstream: keeping cheap labor cheap.
And as the recession/depression keeps tightening harder--------that may wind up forcing most employers to start divesting themselves of hired help who do not speak passible English.

Here in Arizona the Spanish speakers are dwindling in numbers as we speak.

There is a Wal-Mart (I rarely set foot on one) near me that really drove that point home. Late 2007 many of their customers were Mestizo Hispanics speaking Spanish--------fast forward to this time 2008 and most of the 'brown' people still shopping there are American Indians speaking standard unaccented Anglo English.
 
Old 12-29-2008, 02:30 PM
 
72 posts, read 98,605 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArizonaBear View Post
Be careful there:

Modern Spanish culture as in Spain is closer to Scandinavian culture (respect for human rights, social-capitalism, rule of law, etc.).

The above stated: Mexican culture is an archaic version of Spanish culture with many of its associated drawbacks----------machismo, lack of respect of authority (in both Mx as well as the USA), etc.
ArizonaBear,

I regret to inform you that Spain is NOT by any means closer to Scandinavian culture. I am Spanish from SPAIN, and left in the late 90's to come back few years ago... and yeap! SPAIN has not changed much since the 70's.

In Barcelona city, for example, there is more rascism than in any major US city, lack of respect for human rights, the law and are generally more capitalist-consumerism oriented than most Americans. Sorry, but please check your sources.
 
Old 12-29-2008, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Mesa, Az
21,148 posts, read 36,725,996 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiluv View Post
ArizonaBear,

I regret to inform you that Spain is NOT by any means closer to Scandinavian culture. I am Spanish from SPAIN, and left in the late 90's to come back few years ago... and yeap! SPAIN has not changed much since the 70's.

In Barcelona city, for example, there is more rascism than in any major US city, lack of respect for human rights, the law and are generally more capitalist-consumerism oriented than most Americans. Sorry, but please check your sources.
I was referring in part to how Spain treats its citizens; apparently, today's Spanish people are quite well off.

Now: I have been told by several 'brown' Latinos who actually visited Spain that if you are not White---------you are nothing.
 
Old 12-29-2008, 03:56 PM
 
3,712 posts, read 5,725,501 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kele View Post
See, here's the thing.

None of us are against anyone learning another language. I myself, am continuing Spanish and beginning Lakota for my graduate degree.

Our problem is with those who come to this country and refuse to learn the de-facto lingua franca of the United States--English. It really doesn't matter if they are Spanish speakers, Mandrin Chinese speakers, or speakers of Abaga, from the Eastern Highlands Province of Papua, New Guinea. If you emigrate to another country, then it is your responsibility to assimilate into your host country.

Period.
The bottom line is if you come to the US and refuse to learn English for whatever reason, your employment opportunities are going to be very limited. They are going to be limited to unskilled manual labor. You cannot train to work as a plumber, electrician, accountant or brain surgeon if you have decided that you do not need to speak the English language while living in the US. You will not even be able to handle working at the drive-in window at McDonalds. As an unskilled laborer, you will not be earning very much money. If you have a familia, you will no doubt rely on some form of financial assistance from the government. These programs are funded by taxpayer dollars. Every time you need a government provided interpreter for the ER, parent teacher conferences, traffic court, etc., it costs taxpayers money and this is ridiculous. There is a place for individuals who are determined to cling to their native tongue. It is back in their home countries.
 
Old 12-29-2008, 04:04 PM
 
72 posts, read 98,605 times
Reputation: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArizonaBear View Post
I was referring in part to how Spain treats its citizens; apparently, today's Spanish people are quite well off.

Now: I have been told by several 'brown' Latinos who actually visited Spain that if you are not White---------you are nothing.
We are well off indeed, but don't mistake wealth with respect for citizen's rights. Most people who have amassed wealth in the last 20 years have done so abusing workers' rights, be them immigrant "brown" latino, african, white americans, or just our own counterpart spaniards. But then, in Spain, that has been the issue for hundreds of years.

So, no. I still don't agree with your statements, which by the way, still your comparison makes no sense.

Yes! our country treat us well in that we have Free Medical Care, but even that has its deficiencies, regarding other issues such as taxes, well NO! we actually pay MORE taxes than in USA.

Again, just please check your sources. And visitors' views are always just that, a visitors' or tourists' views, not of citizens residing in Spain. As a society we are more for equal human rights than you Americans, but as far as racism, its true. There is a lot of namecalling going on here (ie: when Obama won the elections, some in public TV were referring to him as the n*gro who won the elections without any regard for the derogative tone).
 
Old 12-29-2008, 04:13 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
1,636 posts, read 2,907,273 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mimimomx3 View Post
I can't believe it took him that long! I mean, playing basketball is his 'job'? I imagine he had some free time and some extra cash to hire a tutor....
Not to mention the Chinese Government on his back
 
Old 12-29-2008, 04:23 PM
 
8,649 posts, read 14,928,557 times
Reputation: 4563
Quote:
Originally Posted by mimimomx3 View Post
I can't believe it took him that long! I mean, playing basketball is his 'job'? I imagine he had some free time and some extra cash to hire a tutor....
It was around his second year in the NBA that he started speaking for himself. And here in Houston there are plenty of places that teach English to those that only speak Spanish for free.
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