Foreign Language Signs- The Assasination of English In Your Face, and on Your Turf

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posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 03:40 PM
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PODcast: Foreign Language Signs- The Assasination of English In Your Face, and on Your Turf
Discussion and rant against the use of foreign language signs in American communities.

length: 09:28
file: atspodcast_145.mp3
size: 3329k
feed: ats
status: live (at time of posting)





posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 04:27 PM
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Interesting Podcast, TrueAmerican.

I'm in Canada, so we generally have plenty of signs and almost all labels in both French and English, so that's something I'm used to.

However, in different parts of my city (China Town) there are signs in both Chinese and English, and it's like that all across the city in the different sections (Little Italy, the Greek section, Russian section, Jewish section). So, I guess I'm quite used to seeing signs in multiple languages.

Perhaps it's a reflection of Canada's so-called policy of multiculturalism, where people are encouraged to hold onto their roots and languages while also learning English and contributing to society.

While I see your point about holding onto America's culture, and when in Rome, do as the Romans do, I think you're expecting a little bit too much. What I mean is that I don't think it's realistic to expect that culture won't change to encompass all of the new people coming to the country, and I would think that the presence of spanish signs and businesses is a reflection of this emergence of this cultural group. It's not the same as in Mexico, or China, or wherever, but you can't expect America to be what it was once with immigrants coming, either.

I can see what you mean about spanish-only signs, though. That could be very problematic, and I've witnessed these types of problems many times myself while travelling to Quebec. In Quebec many places are french-only, and it can be quite a struggle for those who don't speak it, but then again, it is a French province, with French as its primary language, and this is obviously not so in your town, where you're seeing purely spanish signs.

However, I don't think ordinances regarding signs will be changed due to economics, rather due to spanish speaking population, but at the same time, America is predominantly English and I do not see spanish only signs becoming acceptable regardless of the spanish speaking population because I don't see American's letting English be removed as primary language.



posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 04:38 PM
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While I understand your stance and outrage of what you define as an American culture I have to point out that American culture is not and has never been define as one racial or ethnic specific background.

English is the accepted language spoken in the US and also the business language accepted in the rest of the world.

But is by far the most spoken language in the world when it comes to population.

Because the diversity of our nation’s population is actually not a specific culture, but rather mix of everybody’s background.

You can not put a label to define the Cultural background of the US because it was a culture before in these lands under the native owners of this country.

English is still the predominantly language spoken in the US and the main language used in the school system..

You are having problems in your community and you have the right to do something about it..

If the majority of your community is against the Spanish signs in your area you and your community can take a stance and protest. Is ways to get the majority to have their voices heard and force your local government to listen.

But be warned if the majority in your community are Spanish and they pay most of the taxes then you just has become a minority in your own neighborhood.

Sadly that is the truth.
Good luck.





[edit on 12-9-2005 by marg6043]



posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 05:00 PM
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Well, you guys do have point. I mean the Europeans didn't exactly start speaking native American Indian languages the minute they arrived just because they landed on the North American continent. So that part I can understand.

But I failed to mention a few other things in my podcast there, a risk you run when you do an unscripted, spontaneous podcast. I'd like to direct your attention to a couple of articles:

www.uta.fi...

and here is one regarding that town in Texas:
www.uta.fi...

I suppose it all comes down to this question:
How far do we go here in allowing foreign nationals to inflict their language and culture on our own population and turf?

I mean do we just say, "Ok, sure, setup your own cities in America with all your customs and languages right here in my backyard?"

Or do we say "No, if you wanted that you should have stayed where you came from?"

I am of the opinion that you can't have your cake and eat it, too. You want to be in America, great. Then learn the customs, traditions, and language of the people that make this country the great country it is. Your country is great, too. It has it's own customs, traditions, and languages. So what are you doing here then?



posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 05:10 PM
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Wow... I find it hard to believe that there are Spanish-only signs in Atlanta Georgia. Can you give an example of this or a picture perhaps?

I live in a highly concentrated Hispanic area and even we don't have Spanish-only signs here, although we white people are the minority.

That would bother me, only in that I do not speak fluent Spanish and wouldn't be able to read the sign. I wouldn't feel threatened or sacrificial as you describe. I wouldn't feel as though I was giving up my heritage. I'd just be confused.

As far as a secondary sign in Spanish (Bienvenidos or Se Habla Espanol) that wouldn't and doesn't bother me at all. As regards those signs, I'm not at all sure why that bothers you. I'm not clear on the sacrifice by having to look at that secondary Spanish-speaking sign.

I agree with you that if people are to live and operate here, they should learn at least enough of the official language to fumble around. And I agree with Marg, if there's an ordinance, perhaps you should approach your local government to have English signs added. I cannot imagine why they would be against that.



posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 05:25 PM
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I live in GA and we do have a large migrant workers in the community.

Been Spanish myself I came to this country from PR even when is part of the US territories English is our second language.

Sad to point out that one of my children can understand and somewhat speak Spanish the other one completely has refused to even try and I don't force him.

While my parents tells me that I am robbing my children of their cultural background it kind of sounds funny when we have others talking about been rob of their cultural background as well.

But also I will like to bring the China town in NY and littler Havana in Florida they have been able to keep their identities for generations and have a piece of their own countries while in the US.

But as I mention earlier is up to the community to make a statement of the unfairness of the situation.

If we are in the US and English is the language of use then any other language should come second and not first.

I remember when I came to this country as a young wife that the first thing my husband told me was, that it was no polite and proper to speak Spanish while in a gathering if the majority was English speaking people.

I understood very well.







[edit on 12-9-2005 by marg6043]



posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 05:33 PM
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I hate to say it, but the more I read, the more it's starting to sound like your issue isn't just with the signs, but with what you perceive the signs to mean: Some sort of insult on America.

America is a diverse country, rich with the cultures of other countries. Should we also not have the culture of other countries? Chinese Food? Mexican Food? Import stores? African Design? Morrocan fabrics? Persian rugs? Italian food? America would be totally boring!



Supermercado Jalisco...

"The 'super' is English. But I don't know what 'mercado' means," he said. "If an American was out there driving by, he wouldn't know what that was."


Please... If an American can't figure out what 'mercado' means, then he should look it up.

EL CENIZO, Texas is a border town. Filled with Mexicans. Why is it a concern?

I understand your concern with Spanish-only signs, but all the other stuff, I'm having difficulty with.

Would you be ok if they added English sub-signs to these Spanish-only signs? For example a "Supermarket" sign below the "Supermercado Jalisco" sign?



posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 05:50 PM
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Nah, I am not taking it as an insult, really, but under your reasoning, BH, then if I don't know what 讀 means (some kind of chinese symbol), I should go and look it up too. Nuh uh, I am not going to friggin go and look it up, unless I was wandering down a chinese street, IN CHINA.



posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 05:55 PM
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Originally posted by TrueAmerican
Nuh uh, I am not going to friggin go and look it up, unless I was wandering down a chinese street, IN CHINA.


You don't have to go to china to get lost just step into China town and you will find yourself in anywhere but the US


Also in Miami,



posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 06:13 PM
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lol, I know that Marg. We have other areas where there are tons of korean, chinese, japanese and other signs. Why do you think I am asking the question:

How far do we go here in allowing foreign nationals to inflict their language and culture on our own population and turf?

The point is that if immigrants are so concerned about keeping their heritage, and are so proud of it, then why on earth would they want to be here? And the answer to that is that many are not so proud of their heritage, and would rather be Americans. That's fine, join us, but don't expect us to join you, on our turf. For that there is tourism. Not residency.



posted on Sep, 13 2005 @ 02:18 AM
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"Unfair"? "Unreasonable"? "Pisses you off"???

What do you think happens in all of the large American populations located in Iraq?, Europe?, Asia?

Let me tell you, as someone who has lived in many places in the world, this is true everywhere where there are large numbers of aggregated "foreigners" in a host nation. And where this is true of Americans, they can be particularly egregious!

Sorry, but this sounds way too parochial for my taste.

[edit on 13-9-2005 by loam]



posted on Sep, 13 2005 @ 03:52 AM
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I have to say that the use of foreign words doesn't worry me too much. I'm more concerned about the assassination of the English language.

All this talk of unwanted signs and phrases in other languages should be tempered with a good discussion about where American English is heading in the first place. And before this sets off another topic; this grave disrespect to our language has not been perpetuated en masse by those who speak foreign tongues, but rather by one's own advertising, media, pop icons, business types, politicians and sadly by the dummying down of grammar education in schools.

I would be happy to listen to a POD cast on why people don't feel the need or interest to learn their own language properly. Which, by the way, impedes them from successfully learning other languages. Things like grammar and syntax and the joys of writing coherently, have all fallen by the wayside in favour of immediacy, laziness and sometimes - plain arrogant ignorance.

'I speak like I want, ain't no one gonna stop me.'

Is important to note that language is a fluid, elastic and constant evolving entity. Its ability to survive despite the abuse is what makes it so interesting. As a cultural interchange between youngsters or in the business world, written and verbal communication fluctuates and changes according to need, speed and audience.

I'm not advocating the crusty grammarian approach of clutching stubbornly to dusty 19th century tomes and proclaiming them as the true 'authentic' version of the English language.

I'm all for new words, phrases and slang terms to be added to the ever growing dictionary of American English - it keeps it fresh and alive. If one feels confident in their own ability to evolve with it, all the better. To the author of this thread - any idea how many words and names in our language have their roots in other languages? Most of my pet words have exotic backgrounds.

The point of my post is that the core of the English language is not being murdered by foreign words or signs, but by its own people. It needs to learned properly by its denizens FIRST.



posted on Sep, 13 2005 @ 05:13 AM
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Originally posted by TrueAmerican
The point is that if immigrants are so concerned about keeping their heritage, and are so proud of it, then why on earth would they want to be here? And the answer to that is that many are not so proud of their heritage, and would rather be Americans. That's fine, join us, but don't expect us to join you, on our turf. For that there is tourism. Not residency.


Didn't listen to your podcast sorry, but I do live 5 miles north of the mexican border-crossing in California and I feel your pain. I am white and have been a minority in my neighborhood my entire 35 years of life. We don't just have signs, but entire advertisement billboards soley in spanish.

To answer your question why they want to be here, it's really simple: money. They can make five times the wages here doing the same work they would do in Mexico. Most of the money they make here, they SEND BACK TO MEXICO! They really have no allegiance or love for the United States. When they say they love the U.S. they are really saying they love our wages.

In high-school back in the late 80's, our school had such a majority mexican population that they allowed a separate class to produce an all spanish school newspaper. I couldn't believe it. I opposed it with the stance that it wasn't condusive to learning. It seemed clear to me the fastest way to learn a new language was to be totally immersed in it. If they couldn't read the english paper, then they should've had an extra incentive to learn english. I saw the spanish paper as nothing but a crutch and hindrance to learning.

I have no ill feelings towards mexicans or any other race for that matter. Heck, my ex-wife was mexican and even though she used me, I still don't hate her or her race.

As a final note, while I agree that the U.S. is a multi-cultural nation, there are many immigrants from countries all over the world who come here just for the money. Not because they like it here. If they could make the same amount of money back in their hometown they would. They care nothing about our culture. Since they can't stay in their own village or hometown, they try to recreate it here to some extent, sticking together in various neighborhoods, trying to make it seem like they never left home. So you see I have no problem with immigrants, but rather for their reason for being here and sometimes I feel like the good o'le U.S. of A. is being taken advantage of by these people. Kind of like how my ex used me for a green card.
But no, I'm not bitter.


peace



posted on Sep, 13 2005 @ 08:50 AM
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Even if you are a bit bitter---or not---you still make some salient points that are worth considering.
---Ryan



posted on Sep, 13 2005 @ 09:51 AM
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Originally posted by StickyG
I feel like the good o'le U.S. of A. is being taken advantage of by these people. Kind of like how my ex used me for a green card.
But no, I'm not bitter.


peace


Did your family didn't advised you on that before you got married.

Back home in PR we have the same problem when girls and men from Cuba and Dominican republic comes to PR to find somebody to help them get a card with a marriage certificate.

I remember very clear that you could make money doing just that.

lessons learn.

I am going to bring a subject here, for your information historically the first people to ever walk in the now US territory were Spanish people.

Ponce De Leon was the first Spanish to come across from the Islands into was is now the US territory.

If it wasn't because he die in Florida looking for the Fountain of Youth the new found land of the US would have been claimed by the Spanish crown and the language here would have been Spanish.

How about that.

Also by the time the colonies spread to the western the western was in the hands of the Spanish and Mexico Remember the Alamo and Santa Ana.

We also had French influences in Louisiana.

Learn history is fun.








[edit on 13-9-2005 by marg6043]



posted on Sep, 13 2005 @ 10:57 AM
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Living in Toronto, I see signs with multiple languages on it not just two. English is usually included.

I grew up here I guess I'm just used to it. It would be really confusing though if all 150+ languagaes spoken in Toronto all had signage for them lol.

There is no such thing as Foreigners in my book, just loosely related cousins. Who knows they might actually add something to American "culture." Allot of so-called foreingers are not exactly sure it exist's in current day America.

No offense intended but a little advice, treat others as you yourself would want to be treated. The foreigners may not "assimilate" into american "culture" immediately, but down the line they will or they will forge their own unique US Sub-Culture.



posted on Sep, 13 2005 @ 01:21 PM
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My wife and I had the pleasure to travel to many Islands in the Caribbean. I remember this cab driver we met in Bridgetown Barbados, he was a very outgoing and intelligent young black man. He spoke six languages fluently,(English, Spanish, French, German, Portaguese and an island dialect). I remember thinking how impressive that was and here I am barely able to speak english. I personally admire anyone that is bilingual and sometimes I envy that sense of culture that they so dearly hold on to. Someone wrote in an earlier post of how we Americans slaughter English and it is very true, just asked a Brit! Someone also mentioned how many English words, slang and otherwise are derived from other languages. Perhaps we all would be less supicious of each other if we knew and understood the others culture. No, I do not want to see multible lingual signs on offical governement buildings nor on offical documentation, but in the same frame of mind I have nothing against a people holding on to thier culture. I do however have a problem with those that live here and refuse to learn the English language or to take part in American culture. It is our cultural differences that make us such a rich country. But it is our ability to put aside all our cultural differences and come together as one that makes us Americans.

[edit on 13-9-2005 by Yorga]



posted on Sep, 13 2005 @ 05:54 PM
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Whoa, whoa, whoa. Now thanks all for your insightful responses, but please, let us not stray from the point at hand. This is not about the roots of english words, or how well you or I speak the english language. This is not about the American communities that have sprung up in other countries, and the resulting english signs that may have been put up. That's their problem. This is MY problem. YOUR problem. In OUR country.

Let me restate clearly that as an english speaking american, residing in an American city, I disagree with foreign language signs right in my own neighborhood. This is about these people imposing that on me right in my face, and in a place that I am invested in a house. Downtown near tourist attractions, fine. No problem. I understand the need to assist TOURISTS. Read that again. TOURISTS.

The way some of you are talking here, it sounds like if you woke up tomorrow, and every sign in America was in Chinese, or any language that you did not understand, then that would be fine. You'll just go "look it up?"

Come on people. Wake up. This is not ok. You wanna speak another language in daily life, then just go move to their country! You'll get plenty of whatever language that country speaks.

And Marg, you know I luv ya but jeez, is it that hard to understand that when you move to a foreign country, that there are going to be sacrifices. And one in particular. That is that you must learn to speak their language if you are going to live there. Because you can't expect the rest of the country to learn your language, just because you are there.



posted on Sep, 13 2005 @ 06:03 PM
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Originally posted by TrueAmerican

And Marg, you know I luv ya but jeez, is it that hard to understand that when you move to a foreign country, that there are going to be sacrifices. And one in particular. That is that you must learn to speak their language if you are going to live there. Because you can't expect the rest of the country to learn your language, just because you are there.


Remember I came from a territory of the US so we are very well absorbed by the "American culture" after all we use "Dollars" no "pesos"


And the Island can speak very well the English language.

Don't misunderstand my post


Remember Spanish is part of the culture of this country too along with many others.

Like I said if the signs are there to cater to the Spanish community then does it really bother?

And if it really bother then do something about it and force the local government to made mandatory to have English signs too.



posted on Sep, 13 2005 @ 06:24 PM
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PODcast: Foreign Language Signs- The Assasination of English In Your Face, and on Your Turf (reply 1)
Majic responds to TrueAmerican's concerns regarding foreign language signs and related issues.

length: 07:11
file: atspodcast_158.mp3
size: 1264k
feed:
status: live (at time of posting)






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