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Should English Be Our National Language?

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posted on May, 18 2006 @ 02:29 PM
Hey, I had heard today that C-SPAN is debating the "Inhofe Amendment"--to state that English would be the "national language" of the United States.

Should English be the only national language in a multicultural country such as America?

Do you guys think that this is a good thing or not? For myself, I would like to think about this issue a little before answering. I would like to hear about your thoughts regarding this question.

[edit on 18-5-2006 by ceci2006]

posted on May, 18 2006 @ 07:18 PM
I think it is a bit naive to think that just because you declare English as the national, official language, speakers of other languages will stop using their native tongue. What are they going to do; force all signs to be written in English and fine those that print Spanish signs? Stop all bilingual education? Institute a new Department of Language oversite enforcement?

Everytime I buy a piece of gear the instruction manual is in English, Spanish and French. WTF French?

This is just a very transparent attempt for the neo-cons to keep their conservative base energised with any strawman available.

your turn CC

posted on May, 18 2006 @ 07:55 PM
@ whaaa

What kind of gear are you refering to? If its gear thats also sold in Canada, then that explains the french. Ive purchased things in the past that have spanish instructions included and there are not very many mexicans here at all. I cant tell you the last time I saw one to be honest.

Everything here has french on it unless of course your in Vancouver. There your campbells soup has english on one side and chinese characters on the other lol....

posted on May, 18 2006 @ 08:01 PM
I think the national language should be southern. Real slow southern. That way I don't have to keep asking people to repeat themselves.

posted on May, 18 2006 @ 08:44 PM
I really don't see making it mandatory for citizenship as something that is needed, but it would be quite helpful.

English is the second language of the world. Most people learn their native tongue and if they decide to learn a second the most popular is english. To be an international pilot you have to speak it. English is the dominate first world language.

I still don't see how making it mandatory will help things though.

Just my thoughts,


posted on May, 18 2006 @ 09:13 PM
One wonders why the US never got an official language. I thought I read somewhere that the FF didn't want to limit our freedoms by proclaiming one, but hey, I may have that wrong.

What effect would an official language have at this point? Would it inflame the whole immigration thing even further? And, is this immigration thing being constantly in the headlines to further divide this country?

One man's opinion:

Here's what ask yahoo has to say:

posted on May, 19 2006 @ 01:00 AM
Thanks guys, for all your comments. I was able to catch just a little bit of the debate on C-SPAN. I think they still haven't decided to make the "Inhofe Amendment" mandatory as of yet.

I feel that it is misguided to make English our official language mainly because America is just too diverse a place to allow all government documents and services to be done in English. To me it doesn't make any sense. And yes, whaaa, I do think that Inhofe's attempt at making this manditory is racist--because it plays into the rampant nationalism that is happening right now. To me, it just puts another piece in the puzzle of fascism.

The reason why it doesn't make any sense is that if we do make everything English-centric--it will jeopardize voting, health care, education as well as public policy in our nation. What if we have an epidemic and people--who are not very well versed in the English language--do not understand what's going on without a translation?

Furthermore, language is a part of culture. If you take an ethnicity's language away, that is saying that their culture is not to be validated. Language is probably the most expressive and fascinating things about culture. And without that, people would be more the same. It is like the "seasoning" process of the slaves when they were brought over from Africa.

Slaves were forced--through corporal punishment, if not death--to give up their language, their customs and their religion. They were forced to take on the customs, language and religion of their oppressors. And because of that, they were robbed of their identity.

And this is what I see here. This is an attempt to rob people of their identity.

People--whether they are newcomers or not--have already attempted to learn English on their own. Why should it be manditory?

And lastly, I think that in America, our education system does not actively encourage students to learn another language. If you wanted to speak French or Spanish, you would have to do that on your own, for example. Not until college--if your major required it--were you supposed to take another language. Overseas, most students--even in primary grades--learn different languages. It is only recently in some regions (like in magnet schools in California) that foreign language has been more of a factor--and that's because it has to do with business (i.e., Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, etc.).

[edit on 19-5-2006 by ceci2006]

posted on May, 19 2006 @ 01:06 AM
hell yes. make it mandatory for citizenship, that way i don't have to deal with any more illegals at farkin' whataburger screwing up my order coz they can't speak anything but mexican (i know, it's technically called spanish, but it's about as spanish as the way americans speak is english, if you catch my meaning)

there is absolutely no reason for someone who is willing to live here to no be able to communicate with the majority of the rest of the country.

sorry, i live in AZ, so i feel pretty strongly about this.

posted on May, 19 2006 @ 01:16 AM
It signifies the transition of the US from covert to overt imperialism. The UK during its imperial phase did that kind of thing and in places like Ireland, Scotland and Wales, did its best to stamp out the subject languages. Now it's entering its post-imperial phase it's become more polite and the emphasis is on making people feel comfortable, so official forms are in a variety of languages reflecting the immigrant population.

posted on May, 19 2006 @ 02:02 AM
I think though that English has to be learned anyway, the undocumented workers who come here have to learn it anyway to get around--or if they have to deal with business. Why should it have to be manditory?

I heard on the news that ESL (English as a Second Language) courses are always filled with people. And always has been.

Why should the government care now?

However, I agree with rich23, America is trying to exercise their "imperialism". You see, a lot of people don't think about America as a "colonizing country". But we have been in history. And this is no exception.

[edit on 19-5-2006 by ceci2006]

posted on May, 19 2006 @ 02:19 AM
not in AZ, it's not necessary. there are whole areas of town that you can get by speaking only 'spanish'.

and how is this imperialistic? we're only imposing the law upon our own soil.

ans btw - ESL courses are filled with people who don't really care to learn english. the kids can pick the language up easily by just assosciating with their classmates. it's the adults that are the problem.

posted on May, 19 2006 @ 02:45 AM
Which is exactly the point. America is made up of different races and cultures--people who have come from somewhere else and have had a mother tongue from a different country.

One of the most unique things about our nation is the fact that we do have plethora of different cultures here.

It is rather short sighted to pass a law that takes that uniqueness away.

Btw, if it is enforced, how would people go about calling their hometown of San Francisco? Saint Francis? How about Los Gatos, California? The "Cats" California?

San Mateo. Saint Matthew? Yerba Buena. "Good Herb"?

(folks, my Spanish is a bit faulty, so please correct me with a proper translation

Do you see how insane it might be?

[edit on 19-5-2006 by ceci2006]

posted on May, 19 2006 @ 03:07 AM
obviously place names would not be changed. dur.

but a language is not a culture. a language is a method of communication, and if we can't all communicate with one another effectively, things get clogged up. i've had to wait an extra hour in courtrooms because there were no interpreters and the lady at the podium couldn't speak and freakin' english. it's ridiculous.

posted on May, 19 2006 @ 03:14 AM
Would it solve your frustration if English is made the official language of the United States? How would you try to enforce this if it were pass? (And it might, knowing the sentiment in the country)

[edit on 19-5-2006 by ceci2006]

posted on May, 19 2006 @ 03:25 AM
simple. all official documents and signage would be printed in english only. private contractrors would have to print signs in other languages (other languages wouldn't be illegal, just not supported), and anyone desiring citizenship would be required to pass a basic english proficiency exam.

and yes, a little of my immense amount of frustration with the world would be alleviated. 1 thing down, about 2 billion to go.

posted on May, 19 2006 @ 04:01 AM
And if people are not able to pass the English exam the first time, would they get another chance to take it again? Or would you just deport them the first time around?

Imho, English is one of the hardest languages to learn. Spanish, French and German (imho again) were easier because they had similar sounding verbs and meanings. English has too many tenses and verbs. Plus, in the romance languages all you had to do in conjugate a verb. You can't do it in English.

Even native English speakers have a hard time with the language.

How and where would the undocumented workers learn English? Would this be funded by government? How would we get the money?

posted on May, 19 2006 @ 04:11 AM
anyone who's here legally already could remain here - i'm not saying to deport someone if they don't know the language (unless they're illegals already). i'm saying that if someone wants to become a new citizen, they have to know at least enough english to get around. this would require only a change to the test for citizenship - not a massive recollection of all the immigrants in america to test them on their language skills.

and oriental languages are the most difficult ones to learn, i do believe.

there's no reason someone who doesn't know english can't visit the states, we americans pull that crap all the time. what i'm saying is that if you want to be treated as a citizen, it shouldn't be incumbent upon us to translate everything for you.

posted on May, 19 2006 @ 05:06 AM
What you said is fair. However, people are trying to learn English now. What makes you think that this law would compel them to learn it any better--since English is a difficult language?

(Btw, I'm not putting you on the spot. But, I would like to know the other side of the arguement.)

posted on May, 19 2006 @ 05:20 AM
no, that's is 100% untrue. there are THOUSANDS of immigrants here who refuse to learn english. in all honesty, the pervading attitude is exactly that of 'this was mexico once, and we will take it back'. They feel that they belong here more than you or i do, because their country owned the land at one point in history.

i don't give a damn about compelling anyone to do anything. if someone refuses to learn english, they can do without the rights of a US citizen.

posted on May, 19 2006 @ 09:03 AM
So 25, who and how is the standard determined? I sometimes hear folks speak what appears to be English and I can't understand a damn thing they say.
All this Slanglish has little resemblance to "real" English.

Therefore I purpose that people that can't speak "proper" English have their citizenship taken from them until they change enough so that "I" can understand them. Even people with heavy accents should be striped of their citizenship until they they can communicate with "ME"

I now declare myself the Minister of Language Enforcement. Absolutely no more of dis, or dat or any conjunctions or euphemisms will be allowed.

In fact I now declare myself Minister of American Culture. All those that don't display proper "Merican" traits will be striped of all privileges that living in "Merica"

It's about time we set some damn standards in this country. I will be hard work but If we don't start now we will just end up a melting pot. Deviations from the norm will be considered a crime against the state and will be subject to 1 year in prison or a 50k fine or deportation back to where ever you came from. No Exceptions!!

[edit on 19-5-2006 by whaaa]

[edit on 19-5-2006 by whaaa]

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