View Full Version : English proficiency
08-04-2003, 11:38 PM
I was at a restaurant the other day and the couple at the booth behind us (they also had a five or six year old girl and a baby) were rather interesting to listen to - they were speaking a mixture of English, German, Spanish, and maybe even a couple other languages I didn't understand that well. I'm not sure whether they were simply proficient in many languages, or had emigrated from a foreign country and didn't know much English yet, or what.
Anyway, the question is this: How much English should newcomers to the United States (or the UK, or Australia, or any English-speaking country) be required to learn? Do you think it is one's right to keep speaking their native language, and have others cater to it, or do they owe it to the people of a certain country to learn theirs?
I don't feel that they should be required, per se, to learn a certain amount of English to live here, but it is definitely to their advantage, and is just common sense. If they want to keep speaking their native language, fine.
We should not adapt to them, though. In California, and many other border states, schools are being required to offer all-Spanish classes, without bothering to teach the students English. Not only is this a burden upon our society, culture, and economy, it's a complete disservice to them. You can not succeed in a nation unless you learn the native tounge. By Democrats (and in rare cases, Republicans) trying to cater to non-english speaking minorities, they are actually trying to keep them as 2nd rate citizens, dambed to poverty because of a language barrier. Which is good for them, because they keep the minority vote. It's bad for the country as a whole, though, and it's bad for the immigrants who don't adapt. It's the same as if you move to Mexico and don't learn Spanish.
08-07-2003, 06:40 PM
I wouldn't be opposed to having a national language. I don't think you should have to print everything in multiple languages. It seems kind of silly.
08-07-2003, 10:02 PM
I agree. Eventually someday there's just going to be one language that everyone knows - English by the way it's heading. People can still learn others, but everybody will need some way to communicate with everyone else once the world grows smaller and smaller (ie technology). Just watch Star Trek. :)
08-08-2003, 12:08 AM
I hate to say it, but the other day I chose to work with one sprinkler repair company over another one because the crew largely speaks English on one crew while the other one speaks a little English and mostly Spanish. It is hard to communicate what needs to be repaired when you don't speak the same language. I'm sure the quality of work would have been identical, but I can't stand trying to communicate like that.
It would be nice to learn some Spanish.
08-08-2003, 12:38 PM
Yeah, I probably would've done the same thing.
The only Spanish I know is from taking 2 years of classes in school. Which isn't really all that much at all. I'd have a difficult time understanding anything in something other than present tense, for example. I'd keep taking that class but the teacher is a nutcase control freak...
I'd like to learn Latin so that i can see Mel Gibson's new movie and understand it.
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