How important is a unilingual nation to you?

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Captain_Steel, Jun 14, 2004.

  1. Captain_Steel
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    Captain_Steel Member

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    I live in southern California, where Spanish has been in use for many years. Here is a list of all the places you can see spanish writing:
    store fronts, billboards, posters, public schools, spanish magazines and newspapers (printed in the U.S.), spanish TV channels adverisements
    Here is a list of where spanish is spoken:
    public schools (k-12), restaruants, hotels, anywhere mexicans work, mexican radio stations (based in the U.S.A.), mexican TV channels (based in the U.S.A.), and entire cities throughout the southwest United States such as East Los Angeles CA, Santa Ana CA, and many smaller towns in central CA and rural southwest U.S.A.
    This REALLY erks me....To say the least. How can a nation stand united when there are immigrants refusing to use our language? And the state of CA is encouraging this by allowing public schools to be taught bi-lingualy (not a spanish class like most of us had, I'm talking about full instruction given in spanish on all subjects, for the mexican kids), not to mention printing voting ballots in 9 LANGUAGES!! Let's say you were an english speaking American family living in one of these Spanish language cities like Santa Ana, and you wanted to raise a family....Your kids would have to learn half of everything in school in spanish. And their peers would only speak spanish on the yard, in conversation, etc.
    I mean this is getting out of control here. We need some serious legislation to address this issue or we're going to turn out like Canada; one nation divided in two by seperate languages!!!!!
     
  2. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    I agree, we should make English the official language of America. But that would just mean that the government only used English; it would not prohibit Spanish from being spoken in homes, TVs, businesses, etc.
     
  3. freeandfun1
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    freeandfun1 VIP Member

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    Maybe it is because I was raised in the SW but I don't have that big of a problem with Spanish. I agree that we have gone crazy with all the language crap though, so I guess we should have one "official" language that is used for business, voting, etc. It has gotten crazy. But frankly, the Mexicans have always been a part of the SW. Mexicans have always had a place in the SW from Texas to California and they are part of the culture of those states. It is not like they are "new" immigrants. I have the most issues with the immigrants that don't want to assimilate at all or that maintain homes overseas. They are not true immigrants in my opinion. The SW has almost always had a larger Mexican than white, black or Asian population. It is just that they have always been more "off the books". There was mass deportations after the depression that removed a lot of NATIVE Texicans, New Mexicans, California Mexicans, etc. So really, the Mexicans are just coming back into the states at multiples about equal to those that were illegally deported in the 30's.

    I am a hard core GOP man so don't blast me for pointing out the truth even though many view it as being too liberal minded. A fact is a fact.
     
  4. nycflasher
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    nycflasher Active Member

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    I'm going to give a short answer to this question because I'm tired. In general, I don't have a problem with Spanish being spoken more in our country. Very soon, there will be more people in our country that speak Spanish rather than English as a first language.

    So from a practical standpoint, increased bilingualism just seems to make sense.

    However, as Americans--ones that grew up speaking English, anyway-- there is a certain amount of pride and nationalism associated with our language. So I can understand that you're a bit erked, Captain. Why you might even feel displaced or disserviced(yes that's a noun, I'm making it a verb).

    Ultimately, I think bilingualism serves us all while I would also like to see English kept as the first language. I'll leave it at that for now.
     
  5. Captain_Steel
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    Captain_Steel Member

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    Sure, there are ALOT of them living here, legally even. And they have every right to BE here. But they need to speak english. Would you feel right about doing what they do? Living in a country and refusing to use their language and refusing to assimilate into their society, instead just segregating yourself and pretending like you are in another country (wherever your people are from originally).
    I don't believe that the government should have a right to legislate languages spoken in the home, NO WAY!! But officially, everything done with tax payers money should be in english, this would mean no Public Service Announcements in spanish, no bi-lingual education, and no multilingual voting ballots, etc.
    As far as bussinesses are concerned, I think it's a damn shame that they would just jump on the band wagon and start printing newspaper in spanish, making spanish radio stations, etc. But they are just after a buck. The government shouldn't be able to stop them from that.
    Most definately though, schools, ballots, and billboards, should never be in anything but english. Oh yeah, and applications for welfare!! That's a big one!!
     
  6. nycflasher
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    nycflasher Active Member

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    When you say they NEED to speak english, what do you mean exactly? Obviously, they don't need to speak it at home. They don't need to speak it at a restaurant, as long as they can communicate their order. They don't need to speak it at the beach.

    As for "refusing to assimilate into their society," that isn't their responsibility under the Constitution. Look at any lunchroom today. At my school, Connecticut College, there was always a "black" section in the cafeteria. Not that they weren't friends with anyone else... that's just how it was.

    So I would need more info on your opinion to address those issues further.

    What specificaly is the problem, their speaking Spanish or their not seeming to assimilate?
     
  7. Captain_Steel
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    Captain_Steel Member

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    Why don't you just answer my question first?
    Would you feel right about moving to a country and refusing to speak their language, embrace their culture, and assimilate into thier neighborhoods?
     
  8. nycflasher
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    nycflasher Active Member

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    Okay.

    The last time I moved to a country I not only spoke the language pretty well, but studied it while I was there so I could become fluent. That language happened to be spanish, as I was in Spain.
    I also embraced their culture, as it was a rich one and there was much to do and see of interest. I even, I suppose, tried to assimilate into a neighborhood. I was staying with a Spanish friend who I had met here in the states. We spent much of our time with his cousins and neighbors, many of whom spoke little or no english.

    So it is a bit of stretch for me to think about moving to a country and "refusing to speak their language, embrace their culture, and assimilate into thier neighborhoods?"

    But I can think of reasons one might not want or be able to. If I was a poor and recent immigrant I would spend most of my time either at work or with my family. It might take a while to learn english, when all i really care about is putting food on our plates. As for embracing the culture, this really has little relevance to the topic of bilingualism and our rights as citizens, but I suppose it would depend on how my new country embraced me! In my case, while living in Spain, I couldn't have been more welcomed.

    As for assimilating into a neighborhood, many Americans have trouble doing this. Like, say I transplanted you from wherever you are in SoCal to Compton...

    Or for a less extreme example, just think of that guy or that girl or that family in your neighborhood that really just doesn't fit in.
     
  9. mattskramer
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    mattskramer Senior Member

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    I think that the US federal, state, and local governments should adopt English as an official language in the sense of requiring that people use proper English when communicating with government employees.

    As a side note: I take 80-100 calls each day from medical staff employees who have questions about complex medical benefits and questions about claims that did not pay as expected. Many to the callers have very thick accents. It is very difficult for me to understand them. I would not require that private businesses require employees to speak English, but it would certainly help me do my job if everyone in America were to communicate in English clearly.
     
  10. Merlin1047
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    Merlin1047 Senior Member

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    I don't particularly care what language a person speaks. I believe that if you're going to live in this country, you SHOULD learn the language.

    That being said, we desperately need to stipulate that English is the official language of the U.S. Foreign nationals have no right to immigrate to this country and then demand that governmental services be provided in their native language and that is what is happening. We are spending more and more taxpayer money so that government can provide social, welfare and other services in the recipient's native language. So we print forms in six different languages, we pay extra for multi-lingual teachers, and on it goes. Some of this effort is directed at helping illegals cope with our society.

    If a person immigrates (legally) to America it should be with the goal of becoming an American. That includes learning the language. If they are not willing to assimilate into society, then show them where they can purchase a ticket to get back to their native country.
     

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