The second language of America

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Mid, Sep 18, 2015.

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  1. Spanish.

    Apparently the new thing is, "This is America, speak English!" And there are quite a few who agree that Spanish should not be spoken and anyone who comes into America MUST learn and communicate in English. There was recently an incident in a restaurant where a woman was speaking to her son, in spanish, and an older woman told her to speak English in America. Anyone remember when Coca-Cola did the star spangled banner in different languages for the superbowl and America LOST ITS DAMN MIND?!

    Please, feel free to share your thoughts whether you agree or not. It's a great learning experience for us all.
  2. Considering the US doesn't technically have an official language, and since Spanish is spoken by a massive percentage of Americans, nobody can do much more about it than bitch. The government won't be enforcing anything.
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  3. Our national language is English and if you LIVE HERE, yes you SHOULD learn to speak English so you can work and do your thang without confusion. You would do this in ANY country you move to.

    Telling people they are not allowed to speak their native language on their own time is a load of crap, and a person should feel ashamed for that kind of bullshit. How dare they try to strip someone of their native culture. >:[ It's ridiculous.
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  4. It makes sense to learn the language spoken by the majority population simply for the ease of communication.
    For example, In Canada it's highly advisable you learn English unless if you happen to be in Quebec.
    Though Quebec is a unique case of they're split almost 50/50, so in a sense you could get by (painfully) with only one, but learning both is advisable.

    But there's a huge difference between that, and giving shit to someone for daring speak anything in a language that isn't the Majority.
    Especially in cases where it's among family like your mother-son incident.
  5. People who refuse to assimilate into the culture of their new home country are ridiculous. Learning at least the basics to communicate and get by in the local language is a key part of assimilation. There may not be a legalized official language of the United States, but there is no doubt that English is the primary national language, so those who live here should strive to acquire some familiarity with it over time. It's simply common sense. Why move to a country if you're not going to do the requisite work to actually fit in there and get along in life without unnecessary barriers?

    On the other hand, people who say that English should be the only language allowed for use in this country are also ridiculous (but they are by no means a new thing, the sentiment waxes and wanes in popularity over the years). People should be allowed to speak other languages or maintain their own cultural identity, because it does literally no harm to anyone so it's not something other people should be trying to police. Also, despite the above comments about assimilation, the government should indeed provide forms and services in a variety of languages. Some people have a hard time learning a new language, especially older folks, so it's a necessary thing.

    The current situation is fine, no need to try to declare Spanish as being more official than it already is, AKA not at all. Given the fact that the government and most companies already strive to have Spanish text and speakers available, it's not as if someone who only speaks Spanish is totally fucked living in the United States. The one area which likely sucks for someone who doesn't speak any English is trying to communicate with people who only speak English, and there's really nothing to be done about that other than learning English, because trying to demand that the majority population learn and speak your minority language is foolish. The language situation is just fine, ignore the silly bastards on either end of the spectrum and it'll stay that way.
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  6. Amen to this. The government hasn't decided on America's official language and until they do, nobody can do anything but bitch.

    I understand that people must learn to speak English and assimilate into the culture of their new homeland. But, it is hard to do that. We shouldn't force them to assimilate them to a brand new culture if they speak English well enough. America is a melting pot of cultures and it should be kept like that. But, many Americans are racist and close-minded that it isn't a culture center as it was back in the early 1900s.

    I also don't get people who say that English is America's national language. Such it's everywhere, but the government hasn't state that it is the language. So, don't say that English is the national language until the government says otherwise (and with Donald Trump as President, he might try to do that and then you all will be happy enough to say it for days).
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  7. Yeah, basically this. Of course it's wise to learn the most commonly-spoken language in the country you're living in. But demanding that people only speak said dominant language is a totally different thing.

    Not to mention, learning a new language is hard. Even if someone really wants to learn to speak English, they just might not have the time and/or resources to do so.

    Plus, like Jorick said, lots of companies already accommodate for Spanish-speakers, so... I really don't see what the issue is, since these people can certainly still get by, especially in states where Spanish is particularly commonly-spoken.

    But, yeah, often times the "this is America! Learn to speak English" attitude doesn't sound like it's coming from the stance of wanting the person to learn English for their own sake as much as... well, I really don't know. Honestly, those types often just sound as if they feel threatened by the very presence of a non-English-speaker, as if hearing something other than English somehow impacts them in a negative way -- or as if it's some threat to their own culture, which is... really pathetic-sounding, honestly. XD
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  8. Learn English so you can have a common language with others.

    Speak your native language whenever you are not speaking to someone who only understands English.

    Embrace that wonderful diversity!
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  9. I disagree with the general notion of the whole "this is America" thing, that has been repeated ad nauseum for a very long time now. However, you must recognize that the vast majority of people in the US know English as a first language. While some of us took Spanish in high school, we don't know it as a first language, and most of us have forgotten it (I can barely ask for directions to the bathroom).

    If you expect to communicate well with the general public, you'll pick up English. There is no guarantee the person you're communicating with knows what you're saying otherwise. Speak English with the people outside your family or peers, and Spanish with your family and peers. If I went to live in another country, I would at least try to learn that country's language. There's a reason why I've been self-studying Norwegian, after all.
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  10. "New thing" lol

    I think it would be extremely beneficial to learn English if they plan to live here. Though, I don't think it's required to speak English if you're out eating with your family. Sure, order your food in English, but your conversations are your conversations.

    I think one of the main problems is that there is this strange stigma that revolves around a second language. Especially in my hometown (not sure about anywhere else). If a person is speaking Spanish or another language, clearly they are talking about you. I mean, why would they feel the need to speak in something besides English unless they were hiding something. Not my opinion, but I have heard it countless times.

    As for stories, I have worked retail since I could have a job and there was a Hispanic woman who would come in with her three children on a weekly basis. She was a sweetheart and we would make conversations all the time. I was studying Spanish in highschool at the time, and we developed a friendship through me (badly) attempting to talk to her in her native tongue. I was awful, but it was practice. She, on the other hand, could speak English well so that was what we resorted to when my brain was fried. One evening, she comes in without her children and you could tell she was in a bad mood. Someone called her and she started speaking on the phone in Spanish. The man heard her, goes up to her, taps her on the shoulder and says loudly "Ma'am, I don't know where you think you are, but this is America and if you can't speak our language, you should leave." The woman is speechless for a second, stares at him, and then says into the phone, "Hold on, Dear. This fuckface wants to remind me of my place."

    He turned so red. I never saw him again.
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  11. People say English is the national language because, despite the lack of official legal status, it is the de facto language of the land. A large majority (~80% if I recall correctly) of people in the country speak English as their primary or only language, and most of the others also know English as a non-primary language. There is a long history of English being the main or only language used by the government, all the way back to the founding documents of the United States and through to the modern day in little things like words on road signs being in English. All of the pieces are in place for English being the official language of the country except for a piece of legislation stating such, which is why people call it the national language rather than the official language.

    Also, there have been many attempts by people in Congress to try to make English the official language of the United States, usually in the form of riders attached to immigration bills, but none have made it through intact. There's no reason why Trump becoming president would change the status quo there, because most congresspeople are savvy to demographics and know that pissing off the Hispanic voters in their constituency by voting for an unnecessary official language bill could screw them over in the long run.
  12. I don't think its a new thing at all or maybe I live that far in the ethnocentric backwater. I don't see why it'd be anyone's business what they spoke on the own time. I mean please speak English at work or have a translator who can, but other than that it shouldn't be other people's business.
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  13. When I say new thing, I mean it's currently trending in the media along with immigration/illegal issues.

    Personally, I do not mind people speaking other languages around me. As a Hispanic who does not know or understand Spanish, it can be very limiting, especially in the work field. Plus, you get extra money if you're bilingual in some places!

    But mainly, I am interested in knowing things about other people and cultures. I feel it is smart to be open minded in that aspect as the world has different dialects with English not exactly being a forerunner. I just take it as there is a reason Spanish is taught in schools for all of our benefits (unfortunately, I didn't do well because I learn differently and school lessons aren't exactly flexible depending on the teacher's style).
  14. This is not a new thing... like, at all.
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