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Old 04-30-2010, 03:19 AM
 
216 posts, read 599,466 times
Reputation: 178

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Here's my take on it. Adults who move to this country and don't learn English should be encouraged to. But assuming that they work and perhaps are raising families, it can be difficult to add school to their schedule.

So they have kids and their kids go to school here and they learn English. This is the case for all immigrant groups - not just Latinos.'

I'm a 2nd generation American. My parents were born here and when they started school, they didn't know any English. They learned it in school. My maternal grandparents managed to learn pretty good English from their jobs, listening to the radio, watching TV, etc. They didn't go to school to learn it.

If you're an English native speaker and you run across someone who doesn't speak English, you obviously can't converse with them, so just leave it alone. If they can find a job and work with the language skills that they have, leave them alone.

My grandfather lived in the U.S. for 50 years and never learned English. But he worked in a factory, bought an apartment building, sent his children to college, paid his taxes and celebrated our national holidays. His son, my father, fought in WWII for this country - he didn't know English when he went to school. English was not spoken at home. He actually knew 3 languages, one of which was English.

I am so tired of so many of my fellow American preaching how people should learn English, like it's really easy to just uproot yourself from your homeland and learn a new language. Most people can barely juggle work and family as it is.

Relax - the chlldren who are the children of immigrants will learn English and some of their parents will too. Until you move to a foreign land and master their language, you can't judge.

 
Old 04-30-2010, 03:21 AM
 
4,300 posts, read 7,907,642 times
Reputation: 1562
This thread should be moved to another forum subsection.

This forum needs to strictly only cover "illegal immigration."
 
Old 04-30-2010, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Aurora, Colorado
2,212 posts, read 4,501,168 times
Reputation: 2363
I taught English to Spanish-speakers in Arizona for almost 4 years. What's interesting is that the people I worked with were older and understood that even without making English the official language, in order to get out of low-paying jobs and to not get taken advantage of by employers, those who don't know English need to learn it.

The reality is that very few people who live in the US don't learn English after a few years. It was that way when the Irish, Italians and Germans were coming to America from the East Coast. While some are obviously more comfortable speaking in their native tongue, it's only a few generations before the language and the "connection" to the homeland is gone.

In the Denver Post a few weeks ago, there was an article about how the mom and pop Mexican grocery stores are starting to close down. They filled a need for a while for people who were recent immigrants (legal or illegal) to buy things that they were familiar with...certain labels, Spanish signs, etc. But those grocery stores don't hold the same value to people who have been here for a while...they will just go to Albertsons or Safeway because a soda brand from Mexico doesn't mean anything to them.

I think making English the "official" language is pointless. The US is a very hard place to navigate without a good command of English. Very few people speak another language, road signs are in English, we don't have the universal signage that so many other countries have. We have friends from the Netherlands who come to visit every few years and they always comment on how they are brushing up on English before getting on a plane because it's very hard to get around without it. Luckily, most people from The Netherlands speak English very well, but the same thing applies no matter which country you're from.

You have to make a more concerted effort to NOT learn English, I think. I lived in Italy and Germany for a few years each and both times, I left those countries speaking their language well enough to hold a conversation...that's without taking any language classes and only a basic knowledge of certain phrases when I arrived.
 
Old 04-30-2010, 10:38 AM
 
Location: San Diego
32,857 posts, read 30,126,734 times
Reputation: 17722
Quote:
Originally Posted by the3Ds View Post
I taught English to Spanish-speakers in Arizona for almost 4 years. What's interesting is that the people I worked with were older and understood that even without making English the official language, in order to get out of low-paying jobs and to not get taken advantage of by employers, those who don't know English need to learn it.

The reality is that very few people who live in the US don't learn English after a few years. It was that way when the Irish, Italians and Germans were coming to America from the East Coast. While some are obviously more comfortable speaking in their native tongue, it's only a few generations before the language and the "connection" to the homeland is gone.

In the Denver Post a few weeks ago, there was an article about how the mom and pop Mexican grocery stores are starting to close down. They filled a need for a while for people who were recent immigrants (legal or illegal) to buy things that they were familiar with...certain labels, Spanish signs, etc. But those grocery stores don't hold the same value to people who have been here for a while...they will just go to Albertsons or Safeway because a soda brand from Mexico doesn't mean anything to them.

I think making English the "official" language is pointless. The US is a very hard place to navigate without a good command of English. Very few people speak another language, road signs are in English, we don't have the universal signage that so many other countries have. We have friends from the Netherlands who come to visit every few years and they always comment on how they are brushing up on English before getting on a plane because it's very hard to get around without it. Luckily, most people from The Netherlands speak English very well, but the same thing applies no matter which country you're from.

You have to make a more concerted effort to NOT learn English, I think. I lived in Italy and Germany for a few years each and both times, I left those countries speaking their language well enough to hold a conversation...that's without taking any language classes and only a basic knowledge of certain phrases when I arrived.
There are a HUGE number of older Illegals that don't know but maybe a couple words of English here. The larger Cities like mine have a startling number of people that don't speak English. The part I find discriminating is that they only hire Spanish speakers as interpreters. Why don't other Cultures get the same treatment? What's so special about the Spanish speakers?
 
Old 04-30-2010, 11:18 AM
 
Location: DF
757 posts, read 1,906,158 times
Reputation: 595
Quote:
Originally Posted by arpayaso View Post
I'm Hispanic, and English is my first language.
Another thread loaded with a biggoted undertone. IF it had said, "Illegal immigrants" instead of Hispanics, I wouldn't be whining.

But I'm sure somehow someway someone will twist it around to make ME look like a bigot and/or complain that I am trynig to be too politically correct.
 
Old 04-30-2010, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Deep in the heart of Texas
1,917 posts, read 6,313,296 times
Reputation: 1958
Quote:
Originally Posted by whosez View Post
Here's my take on it. Adults who move to this country and don't learn English should be encouraged to. But assuming that they work and perhaps are raising families, it can be difficult to add school to their schedule.

So they have kids and their kids go to school here and they learn English. This is the case for all immigrant groups - not just Latinos.'

I'm a 2nd generation American. My parents were born here and when they started school, they didn't know any English. They learned it in school. My maternal grandparents managed to learn pretty good English from their jobs, listening to the radio, watching TV, etc. They didn't go to school to learn it.

If you're an English native speaker and you run across someone who doesn't speak English, you obviously can't converse with them, so just leave it alone. If they can find a job and work with the language skills that they have, leave them alone.

My grandfather lived in the U.S. for 50 years and never learned English. But he worked in a factory, bought an apartment building, sent his children to college, paid his taxes and celebrated our national holidays. His son, my father, fought in WWII for this country - he didn't know English when he went to school. English was not spoken at home. He actually knew 3 languages, one of which was English.

I am so tired of so many of my fellow American preaching how people should learn English, like it's really easy to just uproot yourself from your homeland and learn a new language. Most people can barely juggle work and family as it is.

Relax - the chlldren who are the children of immigrants will learn English and some of their parents will too. Until you move to a foreign land and master their language, you can't judge.
Well said and rep points for you
I am an immigrant from Mexico. Been here since 1978. I was 7 years old when we came to America. I learned to speak English in school, put myself through college and now make a very nice living in Texas working for guess who....the government I know how to speak 4 languages but my mother, who is a US citizen raised in MEXICO cannot speak English very well. She has tried and took classes at a local community college when I was little ( I remember her proudly announcing she was going to school to learn English) but she has never mastered the language. Face it, English is hard. If you come here as an adult learning English or any other language is a huge feat. I have friends, immigrants, from Portugal, Albania, The Phillippines, Laos, Indonesia, who are severely discriminated against by Americans because they have a heavy accent or can't speak English very well. These are all well educated people who are here legally but for whatever reason they haven't been able to master the English language. As a native Spanish speaker, English was very easy for me to learn. But as I learned other languages, I can see how English is A LOT harder than French, Italian, Portuguese, etc.
My grandmother married an American and came to the US around the same time I did. She has never learned how to speak English. She understands some, but can't speak it to save her life. Some people just aren't good at languages.
So like the quoted poster above says: Relax people. We do learn to speak English eventually and :gasp: become responsible, contributors to American society.
BTW, I married a US citizen of Mexican descent. Our three children are Americans and only one can speak Spanish We are working hard for the other, younger two, to learn their Mother's native tongue. I guess we have it backwards
 
Old 04-30-2010, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Lufkin, TX
55 posts, read 171,530 times
Reputation: 57
I live in Texas and in my experience, a lot of people who have come here from Mexico seem angry when you can't speak to them in their language. I'm not saying they're all that way, but a lot of them are. Some have been here for years and still can barely converse in English. I know if I moved to another country, I'd try to learn that country's native language first. I went to Ecuador for a week and tried to learn as much Quechua as possible before going there. Why can't they learn English before or shortly after moving here?
 
Old 04-30-2010, 12:39 PM
 
Location: Spokane, WA
12,845 posts, read 23,261,350 times
Reputation: 12233
Per the 2008 American Community Survey (most recent):

12.2% of US residents speak Spanish at home.

46.7% of those Spanish speakers speak English less than "very well", which translates into 5.7% of the total population.

5.7% doesn't seem like that big of a "problem", and most definitely not one that would require a mandate.
 
Old 04-30-2010, 12:41 PM
 
3,029 posts, read 6,925,558 times
Reputation: 3190
There should NOT be a law forcing hispanics to learn English. But there SHOULD be a law forbidding anyone from posting signs, telephone messages, instructions, and anything else in the U.S. in any language except English.
 
Old 04-30-2010, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Here
10,833 posts, read 11,583,609 times
Reputation: 5928
Why would they need to learn English? This country caters to their every need and provides just about everything written/spoken in Spanish.
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