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Controversial clicky poll

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Re: Controversial clicky poll

  • image smilelari:

    image maddie80:

    Isn't that how we ended up with English as our official language?  It wasn't because all Americans were originally English-speakers (far from it), but just because English-speakers happened to be the largest immigrant population.

    Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't believe the US has an official language

    You're right, we don't.  It would be more accurate to say English is the most commonly accepted language.

    A big old middle finger to you, stupid Nest.
  • What about immigrant children going to public schools?  Should they be segregated and be taught in Spanish only because that's their "native" language?
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  • image carrierrie:
    What about immigrant children going to public schools?  Should they be segregated and be taught in Spanish only because that's their "native" language?

    My sister actually volunteered in a pretty cool school program.  Half the day was taught in all English and half the day was taught in all Spanish.  The class was a mix of English and Spanish speakers and the goal was for both groups to become bilingual

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  • image carrierrie:
    What about immigrant children going to public schools?  Should they be segregated and be taught in Spanish only because that's their "native" language?

    In some school systems they are.  I know some CA schools were teaching half the year in Spanish, the other half in English.  I don't know if that is still the policy.  Would you rather they didn't learn at all because they can't follow along in English?  How are they to learn if they're not taught?

    The ladies who teach ESL on this board would be better able to answer your questions.

    A big old middle finger to you, stupid Nest.
  • Damn Nest ate my post.?

    But basically -- the things that people are talking about would still go on, even with an official language law. Those billboards? Unless they're put up by the federal or state government, they'll still be in Spanish. Having to press one for English when you call your bank/utility company/water company? Not going to end. Spanish channels and newspapers? Not going anywhere, even with a language law.

    No way is our government going to prevent companies from marketing to their chosen demographics. And businesses would put up signs in Klingon if they thought there was a big enough market to sell their goods/services.

    What would be affected are federal and state forms, educational programs, ESL programs in schools, outreach/health programs of various kinds, any federal or state funding that exists for translation services in law enforcement or hospitals, etc. ?It's not like suddenly all the signs in metro Chinatowns would be in English only.?

    To another point, I was under the impression that the reason English is used so much abroad is because it's the closest thing the world has to a common language. If people know more than one language, English is most likely one of them -- giving them a higher chance of understanding what's on a sign instead of translating it into the 15 most common languages or whatnot, which is usually impractical.?

    And that's probably due more to the colonizing history of the English than Americans being "too stubborn" to learn other languages. Pixy, I find it really ironic that you're attacking negative stereotypes of non-English speakers while handing out stereotypes of Americans. Double-standard much?

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  • image pixy_stix:
    image LittleMissGreenEyes:

    I could keep going, this makes my blood boil. I'm all for diversity etc, but laziness just gets me.

    See, its the perception that people don't learn english because they're "lazy" that makes MY blood boil.  It has to be one of the most ignorant things you can say.  Ever.  From an educational stand-point it has been proven that some people just can't learn another language once their language patterns are set.  Or they may plain just have a learning disability.

    Oh, but wait.  People with learning disabilities must be lazy too.  Or those that never had the opportunity to advance with school.  Lazy!

     Sorry, I should have clarified. In my world, when cw refuses to speak English because it takes a little extra effort and they know they can get away with crap work because of a communication barrior, THAT IS LAZY.

    I completely agree and acknowledge that some people cannot learn another language, I personally know how hard it is to learn. On that note, I would not move to another country expecting everyone to cater to my needs. I think we, the USA, has set precident in that we have every thing in Spanish, when do we draw the line. Shouldn't the French, Sudanese and Morrocan's have a form in their native language too? If I was French and had the option of English or Spanish I would wonder what language I should learn when I moved to the US.

    I'm done now. In no way did I want to offend anyone, this is all based on my personal opinions and experiences.

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  • I'm an immigrant and I voted "yes".  This is a HUGE soapbox issue for me.  I don't have time to read through all the responces, but I will say that yes, a LOT of the people who are immigrants are lazy.  They CHOOSE to listen to the news, watch TV, read books, socialize, etc in their native tongue. 

    I went to an international HS.  Our requirements were that you had to be in the country less than 4 years in order to be accepted.  MOST of the school was broken up into language cliques.  Even now, 11 years out of HS, a lot of the people I saw at the reunion had terrible English skills.  The reason for that?....they still primarily communicate in their native language and it drives me NUTS.

     :::off the soapbox for now:::

  • Not quite done, the billboards just irritate me, that's all. I understand the value of marketing to all cultures, I work in it everyday. Now, I'm done :)

    Great post Pixy!! Love that we have such passionate nesties!

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  • I guess I just don't understand how you can move your life to another country and not learn the language- or the basics or a broken version of it. I have gone to foreign countries for a WEEKEND and gone knowing and picking up what I needed to get by. I am not saying it's lazy, but living in a country for years and not picking up ANY of the main language seems crazy to me... unless you are NEVER exposed to it.

    I went to traffic court a few years ago and there was a man there who needed an translator. The case was that he didn't have a SSN (was here illegally) and had 3 driving violations and no drivers license. He said he needed to drive to his job, even though he had no license and was illegally working. The judge made it a point to say WHAT a danger that was because he couldn't read any of the traffic signs. It does become a liability.?


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  • FWIW, my friend teaches 8 grade in Spanish Harlem and teaches only in spanish because her students, most of whom were born in the United States, do not know any English.

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  • I think it's impossible to "require" everyone to learn English in order to reside in the United States. But, I think that what we're forgetting is the fact that if we went to live in another country, we'd be expected to learn the national language of that country. Sure, we'd be likely to find some people that spoke English, but that's not really the point. English and Spanish are two of the most widely used languages in this world, which is why most people are able to speak one or the other.?

    As for the ability to learn languages, I don't believe that there is a "learning disability" with language. We are all taught to speak as babies by using picture and word association, and there's no reason an adult couldn't use the same approach to learn English as a second language.

    I have worked with many students in the classroom who are English language learners and while they may not be totally perfect with their grammar and usage, they are learning a lot about the language. I think that their parents should learn English to not only help their sons and daughters get the best education, but also so that they are able to communicate on the behalf of their children.

    There will always be a learning curve and America will always be a melting pot, but the reality of it is that English is the language we use here and my opinion is that if someone wants to be a citizen of this country, they need to work towards language assimilation. ?

  • I voted no but I"m more in the middle.  I think it's time for our country to quit spoonfeeding  the immigrant population. It's their responsibility to learn the language in the country they move to.  It's all of ours.  Especially if you expect to be employed there.

    But unltimately a law to that effect goes too far in dictating how people celbrate their heritage.  It's a slippery slope towards intolerance.  Keep in mind that I was in a bi-cultural marriage and my child is growing up bi-lingual. I very much appreciate that first generations are commited to preserving heritage.  I loved going the Balkan shops where everything in was in a different language before our divorce.  I like driving through the Chinese strip on federal when I go to drop off my rent check.  I see nothing wrong with preserving their culture while living in another country so long as they make the effort to adapt.  American populations congregate and do it in other countries.  Why can't they do it here?

    ETA:  As for teaching in schools, it should be in English.  We aren't doing the kids any favors by teaching them in their native languages. When my step brother came here from Russia at 9, he went straight into an English speaking classroom, one grade level below what he would have been in Russia.  He was English fluent in less than two months.

    So yes, time to stop all the duplicate forms and pandering, but no to a law dictating that.

  • image Sunflower22:

    I don't care what you speak at home - you can speak Pig Latin for all I care - but I think that if you choose to reside in this country that you should do your best to learn the language.  If I were to move to a foreign country, I wouldn't expect people there to bend over backwards for me if I didn't know the native language.

    Exactly. My grandparents came over to America as teenagers and learned the language. We still spoke German in their house, but no one ever expected to be catered to. In fact, my mom said that my grandpa would reprimand them if he found out they weren't using English in public.

     I 100% wish that foreign languages were pushed more in school. Knowing more than one language is something that so few Americans can claim. However, if in America everyone was expected to know at least English in the long run wouldn't that streamline everything. Yes, there are certain situations that a translator is needed, but there are certain times that it is taken advantage of.

    My mom and I were talking about this a couple days ago. They have a new girl working at the pharmacy who speaks Spanish. Before now, they didn't have anyone. Now, their customers who they've dealt with for years and years that had no problem communicating with them, refuse to try to speak English and only go to the Spanish speaker. When you can, and just won't, that is an issue. IMO, that is taking advantage of a service that is provided for those that NEED it, when you simply WANT it.

    We've always celebrated our German (and Irish on the other side) culture. My aunts and uncles will still speak it when we're all together. Never would they or my grandparents have expected anyone to supply them with forms or a translator when they were perfectly capable of learning. Yes, there might be a minuscule portion of the population  that couldn't learn, but the majority of those that don't learn English and live in America choose not to. There are services provided for them to learn it, but they still choose not to, that is lazy.

  • I would have to see the specifics of the law to really weigh in on this one. I don't want to promote a law saying people will be arrested if they are heard speaking Italian on the street. I am with Cyndi though... the spoonfeeding immigrants is getting out of control and I think we are slowly losing unity as a country.

    My example: Providing illegal immigrants in-state tuition rates, as well as college scholarships. Knowing that an ILLEGAL can have better educational opportunities over my English-speaking, legal child?? Forget about a f*in billboard sign, this is what makes my blood boil.

  • image carrierrie:
    What about immigrant children going to public schools?  Should they be segregated and be taught in Spanish only because that's their "native" language?

    This is the subject that gets me the most angry. I don't think teaching kids in their native language is helping them or preparing them for the future. Yes, I do think there should be programs (ESL, ELL, etc.) to help these kids, but to teach them all day or half the day in their native language is doing them more harm then good. Kids learn languages so fast, that it doesn't take long for them to be fluent in English. 

    There are some programs out there that do work; their just aren't too many.

    I voted that people should be able to speak any language they want.  Although, I do think that if you move to the US or if I were to move to another country, it important to learn that language.

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  • Immigration laws are a quagmire that I'm guessing most of us don't really fully understand as I'm not aware of any immigration attorneys on the board.  I've studied some history on US immigration laws and it has been downright ugly and discriminatory.

    I voted 'no' mainly because I don't think this is something that should be legislated on the federal level.  I think this is something that fits under the 'states rights' category.  I also think that if anything it should be a 'law' and not a consitutional amendment even at the state level.  (Colorado seems to pass so many 'amendments' that really should be laws instead.)

     

  • image lite-bright:

    Pixy, I find it really ironic that you're attacking negative stereotypes of non-English speakers while handing out stereotypes of Americans. Double-standard much?

    There was 1 stereotype - expecting English to be spoken in foreign countries.  Which from my experience is true.  Just like there are other personal experiences in this thread.

    So no, I don't see a double-standard.  Just pitting one ridiculous stereotype against another.

    A big old middle finger to you, stupid Nest.
  • I don't have too much to offer besides what's already been put out on the table, but I will say that I think if you come to this country you should be prepared to try and learn the language. It is the people who don't try to learn it at all that bother me the most. I also think it is great for English speakers to learn other languages, but if you are here in the US it shouldn't be a necessity or a job requirement.

    A couple years ago I traveled with DH and his parents to Japan (It was freakin AMAZING!). I am one of those people who have a terrible time learning languages. It doesn't stick well in my brain. However, I studied and tried to learn some basic Japanese to help get me by on my trip (NOT an easy language to learn and nearly impossible to read), plus I always carried a phrase book and dictionary with me at all times. I know the English is taught there and I was glad to find that many people knew some basic English to help, but I did NOT expect to go without learning some Japanese. My IL's made no attempt to learn Japanese and would walk up to people and just start speaking English. It REALLY annoyed me. **off my soapbox**

  • My DH served a mission in Spain and no one spoke to him in English.  He had to learn spanish before he moved and became fluent while living there since that is all he spoke.  He had no problem with that, it was Spain after all and he felt that he should know the language.  I'm kind of on the fence on this issue...I can see both sides.  But, I also think it's very interesting how much it has changed since my great grandparents came over here from Germany, Austria, Sweden, etc.  They were so quick to learn English, in fact they didn't even want to have an accent because they wanted to assimilate and to become more American.  It's just interesting how it has changed so much, you know?

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