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Should English Be Our National Language?

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posted on May, 21 2006 @ 12:09 PM
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Originally posted by TONE23
Voting demands that a person be a CITIZEN of this country and not just a
RESIDENT ALIEN and full citizenship should carry with it a base understanding
of english hence the ability to make at least, a moderately informed decision;
in regards to voting.


Exactly TONE. It is a requirement of citizenship that there be at the very
least a base understanding of English. It is also common sense that a person
would want to learn the common language in order to be able to make a
better living and to be able to make informed decisions. There is some
personal responsibility afterall.

As I posted, there are laws in different states mandating bilingual ballets.
They are available, however, they go widely unused. These are good to
be of help to new LEGAL immigrants and they are in place for them if needed.

However, considering that everyone who comes here legally is supposed
to have basic understandings of English ... and that the ballots go widely
unused by the public even when available ... looks like they are going
the way of the dinosaur.



On the technology front, there are numerous companies trying to develope a form of "Universal Translators"

www.wired.com...


Another good observation. Babblefish is used a bunch in this house!
Who knows .. sometime we all might just have language converters
with us like in star trek, eh??





[edit on 5/21/2006 by FlyersFan]




posted on May, 21 2006 @ 12:39 PM
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Originally posted by TONE23
to add to what flyer said.

It seems that MY posts have been completely ignored on this thread.

if you scroll back up on this very page youll notice that there is a host of companies trying to make "translators" that will render this whole point MOOT in but a couple years


You are correct. In my eyes, translation is a service, and should be in the hands of private companies. They can fill a need and make a profit, which is the American way. Those who need the services can pay for it if need be. The gov't doesn't need to be the only player in that business.

A competent multi-lingual person is a much sought after asset in business. I've always encouraged my kids to learn at least one other language so that they can reap the benefits.



posted on May, 21 2006 @ 12:43 PM
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Originally posted by jsobecky
I've always encouraged my kids to learn at least one other language


You betchya'

My husband took French and German.

I took Spanish and Japanese (I lived in Japan for 3 years and it was POLITE and
SMART to understand the language while I lived there.)

My Fatherinlaw came here LEGALLY from Switzerland. His original language
was German. He also spoke French and Italian. When they came here he,
and his whole family, learned English.

My daughter is taking Spanish and hopes to be able to learn it well enough
to travel back to her birthplace of Bolivia to tour around and to be able to
speak the language there because it's POLITE and SMART to do so.



posted on May, 21 2006 @ 01:09 PM
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Originally posted by 25cents
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.
I lived in Arizona and i'm ashamed to say some dont try. Ever get a Hamboorger? Is that with cheese? If i wanted it with cheese, it would be a cheeseboorger.
I think if we do away with "Press 1 for English and press 2 for Spanish, we would be helping these people LEARN English. If they find themselves helpless to call anywhere, they will learn forcibly. And quickly.



posted on May, 21 2006 @ 01:10 PM
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Wow what is up with this thread?!

I don't want to start anything up again but Ceci2006 is living in a fantasy world. In my high school you were REQUIRED to take a foreign language. I was brought up for 3 years as a kid to learn Spanish and took 2 years of German in high school. You know what I remember...the hispanic friends I had in those early classes, who had spanish speaking parents, never made much of themselves later when we got older. Tests, reading, and math were too hard for them, my other friends who were hispanic that weren't raised in the spanish classes but whose parents made them take the English only classes moved on and went to college (one graduated the head of our class!). The other funny thing was that I saw only 2 hispanic kids taking German in my class...the rest took Spanish, which (I'd guess) 70% of them already knew from home. Easy A, can't blame them.

Ceci's sounds like she is trying to please everyone...you can't afford or keep a culture together if you make Spanish, Chinese, German, French, and every other language an official language. No one is outlawing these languages, just that they should not be used as our day to day business language. Canada has enough problems with French and English, what would the US do if there were 100 languages they had to speak so that no one was "racist"? How much money would we throw away having to find translators for everyone? How would they know what the news was saying...how do you educate people when you have seven different languages in that class being spoken? I don't care if people want to speak Spanish or Swahili at home or in public, but when you want to have a nation that functions properly then you need to have one language.

I see people all over the world of different races speaking English and maintaining their culture. English doesn't destroy them. Since I took Spanish and German I don't remember suddenly wishing to eat burritos every day, samba at night, and drive only BMWs and Volkswagens. There's a lot I like and dislike in both cultures but speaking English as my primary language doesn't make me hate those people.



posted on May, 21 2006 @ 01:51 PM
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thanks for the responses flyer...(I didnt mean to sound like a whiner or anything)


Just wanted to make a point of reference there are over 6000 languages 6912 according to this sitewww.ethnologue.com......



Would it not be discrimination to make spanish OR chinese OR any other ONE language(besides english) an "OFFICIAL" language? My point is this: If you make one language "official".. you must(too be fair and non discriminate)make all 6912 languages official... same needs to be said about the religious groups of this nation trying to insert themselves into our laws, but thats another thread.



Politics...like a good marraige.... only work with constant compromise. With over 300 million people in this nation with cultures that span the planet; You have to have ONE base unifying languageand in america it IS english. In france, french;in germany;german.

you must understand that I am NOT saying not to give classes in foreign languages in schools k-12 and then more in college. And, I believe that the govt SHOULD provide a nationalized service using phone and/or internet to help those acclamating themselves within our society. At the same time the private sector needs to continue R&D and devise a "universal translator." Then be made mandatory for all public officials to possess at least a two pair of them(paid for by the govt). police, fire, military personel, politicians, libraries, post offices,court houses... etc. This way it wont really matter what language you speak.

This may sound like star trek; as mentioned earlier by flyerfan(go flyers!!!);
but it really is only a couple years away from this capability, This way, both sides of this arguement can put all thier trivial fears to rest. Be who and what you are without fear of judgement- tone2006. Always striving to Deny Ignorance!



posted on May, 21 2006 @ 02:30 PM
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Originally posted by whaaa
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"


Uh oh! It's, "people who can't speak 'proper' English," not, "people that can't speak..." And that is just one of several things wrong with your paragraph.

Whaaa, I guess you'll just have to resign your position and be "striped" of all privileges that you have.

In the meantime, I think a lot of folks have missed a basic point here (some on purpose). There is a difference between reading and speaking. Literacy has nothing to do with functionality in reading and writing. There are plenty of illiterate folks who can speak just fine. They may not win any awards for public speaking, but they can convey their meanings without resorting to sign language.

This idea of rounding up illiterate people is a deliberate obfuscation of the actual issue. I am not surprised. Since the first post I’ve seen from ceci, he/she has deliberately avoided facts, argued based on conjecture, and advanced a faux-P.C., subtly racist, agenda. It’s not a shocker that he/she is doing it here. It is clear that he/she supports criminal border crossing, it is clear that he/she thinks whites are devils and are all secretly racist, and it is clear that he/she will use nothing but a straight pathetic appeal to argue those points.

Any suggestion on any topic to the contrary will be met by this poster with a deliberately obtuse ignorance of said topic. I suppose if one just ignores what is presented, it is easier to make an erroneous point (see Brer Rabbit). Of course, that also severely limits the chance that anything of substance will come from said poster.

So, it is not really a shock that this thread will be full of his/her pathetic appeals. I’m just surprised to see so many others being led down that road.

Anyhow, if for no other reason than to save money, I am certainly behind ensuring that all official, government forms and such are created solely in English. Nonsensical diatribes about “good” English versus “poor” English, illiteracy, and revocation of citizenship aside, how would it hurt to have an official language?

I suspect it would help much more. Of course, that probably means I’m just a racist, right ceci?



posted on May, 21 2006 @ 03:53 PM
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No, Hamburgular, I'm not insinuating a thing. After all, I told FlyersFan she doesn't have to worry about this. And neither do you. It doesn't affect you. And probably it never will. After all you have your preconceived notions about English and its supremacy over the country. And you won't gravitate from that position. To you, English is the mother tongue of the country. And it always will be.

Besides, I'm a she.

FlyersFan: No need to give me your credentials. After all, I'm sure the entire board knows them by now. Au Revoir, ma ennemie affreuse. Vous regardez FOX, s'il vous plait? Les personnes de couleur n'existent pas. Mais, vous ne savez pas la sociologie.

However for the others, I am still trying to research these things out. And I will have some new posts to shore up my position.





[edit on 21-5-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on May, 21 2006 @ 04:04 PM
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Les personnes de coleur existe. but Ceci, why do you bring that up in every single thread???
Do you have a thing? Seems to me your need to constantly speak of race is a reflection on some suppressed thing you have subconsciously against anyone who isnt white?
I dont remember so much talk about color since you joined. At ATS that subject rarely comes up. Now its on every thread.

I dont want to be mean, but it would be nice to have discussions without color coming into play.

I was born green. Je suis verde, et trois jolie, merci s'il vous plait.



posted on May, 21 2006 @ 04:34 PM
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dgtempe,

Color is not brought up on every thread, even though people think that I do it. In politics, I hardly bring up anything about race. American issues are more my concern. I think, in this case, language does have to do with ethnicity, race and culture. Not to mention a neo-colonialism that is happening right under our eyes. But some people on the board don't see this concept--or want to. It doesn't make them racist. It just an issue that they don't have to deal with in their lives on a constant basis. I just see things differently.

I agreed with Benevolent Heretic that yes, English--in a ceremonial fashion--should perhaps be proclaimed as the "official language". That means, English is commonly spoken in the United States. But it doesn't affect the day-to-day innerworkings of the United States infrastructure.

That is different from passing an Amendment to force others to learn English. This Amendment is mainly a mean-spirited attempt in politics brought about at a time when there are deeper concerns in government. I just think it is xenophobic--another part of the residue from 9/11. But, you can't explain xenophobia when some people honestly believe that there's nothing wrong with what they are saying or doing.

However, when you have people on the board proclaim that illegal aliens are "trash" and "vermin", or when you have others on the board equate Black people's politics with "democratic values and social giveaways", I think that color has been brought up on the board more than I could have done. But people, in their lingual expression, do not think about other people when they say certain negative things regarding culture, language or race. They just don't have those sensitivities. And I will just have to accept that.

It's just that I wanted to demonstrate that language is more important than what people perceive it. And of course, language is especially important to ethnicity, race and nationality. And language is even more relevant when you belong to a people in which another "mother tongue" had superceded their original language because of forced assimilation. But to others--as been demonstrated, this simple fact really does not affect them as much.

So, like others have presumed, I must be living in a fantasy world in which bias does exist. Because bias, especially when expressed in language, has always been spoken on this board without anyone to answer it back. I have. And now, I am "screaming about race" all of a sudden. It attacks their perceptions of how language, politics and cultures have been viewed.

Some people can't understand what they can't see. I've tried to explain it three different ways. That's why I've said to people that they shouldn't worry about it. The Amendment has been passed. And now, it will be enforced on illegal immigrants who want to be Americans without any planning about how this will be implemented.

So, I extremely apologize if it seems as if I am being overly emotional about this issue. In the scheme of things, we have bigger fish to fry.

En outre, ma amie merveilleuse, dans la politique, nous avons un ennemi commun.









[edit on 21-5-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on May, 21 2006 @ 05:05 PM
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So, like others have presumed, I must be living in a fantasy world in which bias does exist. Because bias, especially when expressed in language, has always been spoken on this board without anyone to answer it back. I have. And now, I am "screaming about race" all of a sudden. It attacks their perceptions of how language, politics and cultures have been viewed.


Bias is a good thing. It helps your car stay on the road when rounding a curve. It allows your electronics to function, and your teeth to tear and chew your food. The world could not function without bias.

You are equating bias to racism. Not the same thing at all. And racism has never been allowed to prosper on this board. You are not the first to "answer it back", by any means.

Instead of bemoaning others failings around the importance of language, try looking at yourself and see where you may have gone wrong.



posted on May, 21 2006 @ 05:20 PM
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Perhaps, you are right, jsobecky. Besides, I'm not in the mood to argue today.


I'll look over my points and see what I can do to work on my side. But it'll probably be like Sisyphus rolling that boulder up the hill. That giant blasted rock has already tumbled down one too many times.


apc

posted on May, 21 2006 @ 06:04 PM
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While you look over your points, try to avoid that 'edit' button. You seem to be strongly attracted to it. Makes things interesting to repond to an argument only to discover the content changed afterwards. Perhaps it would be wise to consider what you post prior to posting it, and to do your "research" before making statements based on anticipation of something to back them up.



posted on May, 21 2006 @ 06:08 PM
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Down here, students are taught a foreign language in school beginning in kindergarten, are forced to continue through elementary and highschool, and then just over half of the universities in the state require you to complete two levels of a foreign language WITH foreign language labs at above 75% to graduate (for ALL of the degrees they offer.) And English is the official language of Florida! Having been born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, and having been through the educational system in Florida from pre-school through graduate school, I can feel comfortable claiming to know something about it.

Like FF said, the Spanish culture and heritage in Florida (a state with English as its official language) is very vibrant and alive - hey, even the fast-food chain called "Chicken Grill" in central Florida and the rest of the US is called "Pollo Tropical" here down south lol!

English should be our official language if for nothing more than convenience and efficiency. This doesn't mean we need to ban other languages. I mean, when my old office building installed pepsi machines I was kind of miffed, but the building managers didn't kick me out if I brought a coke. That's kinda like what the whole "official" language discussion reminds me of.



posted on May, 21 2006 @ 06:16 PM
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apc, I didn't. But thank you for the helpful information. I will remember it.



posted on May, 21 2006 @ 07:22 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
That is different from passing an Amendment to force others to learn English.
This Amendment is mainly a mean-spirited attempt in politics brought about
at a time when there are deeper concerns in government.


Wrong. It is, and has been for a very long time, the law of the land that
LEGAL immigrants have to know the basics of the common English language
in order to obtain citizenship.

There is nothing mean-spirited about this law. To NOT require them to
understand the basics would be mean-spirited. To just dump them into
a country and not have them prepared ahead of time would be cruel.

And you STILL haven't answered this question from apc-
(and yet you have plenty of time to post on other threads, eh?)


Originally posted by apc
describe exactly how this will negatively impact culture and heritage.


How will having an English as an official language negatively impact
culture and heritage? That was your whole arguement from page 1.
27 states have 'English as the Official Language' - California and
Florida being two. Show us all how having this 'official language'
has been negative for the heritage of latinos in those states.

(hows that back-fill research going? hmmm ?? )

Oh look ... Ceci discovered babblefish!

En outre, ma amie merveilleuse, dans la politique,
nous avons un ennemi commun.



[edit on 5/21/2006 by FlyersFan]



posted on May, 21 2006 @ 07:41 PM
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Flyersfan, today’s gone too well even to deal with your mean spiritedness. You proved your point. You should be satisfied. You’ve won. You’ve demonstrated your superior intellect that so many posters on other threads have lauded you over. Rest on your laurels. And be rest assured, the Inhofe Amendment will do its little handiwork by giving immigrants a “hand up” like you believe.

Read Linda Chavez and feel proud that you’ve inserted yourself in a conversation about culture.

Sayonara. Tomodachi ga nai.



[edit on 21-5-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on May, 21 2006 @ 08:08 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
Flyersfan, today’s gone too well even to deal with your mean spiritedness.


What the hell? So she's mean spirited to say that to obtain citizenship you have to learn language of the mass population? Are you saying that we should all have to learn the other persons language, when we have our citizenship, we were born here, this is where we came from, and we have to adjust to their language because they came here?

What does ethnic backgrounds and morals have to do with this? Your topic is on THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE BEING THE DEFAULT LANGUAGE OF AMERICA or did you forget that?

This has to do with language, and to get along with language, you have to do the same rules here, as you would anywhere else. That means you have to speak the language, that majority favors, or what can you do? You can't exactly communicate with someone who doesn't speak your language in a trade session, stock markets, or anything like that.

Here's my 10 cents on the author of this thread...baka yaro figure it out.

[edit on 5-21-2006 by Shugo]



posted on May, 21 2006 @ 08:15 PM
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Well, Shugo, you called me a stupid bastard in Japanese. Yes, I do know the language.

But that's okay. I see that civility is not one of your strong points. So, I'll cut the niceties and get to the point. Let's agree to disagree. As I told Flyersfan, the Amendment has passed. There's nothing to fight against now. Sadly enough, I just wonder how they are going to implement this system within the United States.

Any suggestions? You've got the floor to teach this baku yaro no furui some new tricks.


[edit on 21-5-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on May, 21 2006 @ 08:20 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
Well, Shugo, you called me a stupid bastard in Japanese. Yes, I do know the language.

But that's okay. I see that civility is not one of your strong points.


Good, so I won't have to go into overtime to just explain it to you.

As far as civility goes, where do you get off on this?
Are you calling me not civil in comparison to you?!...Take me home please!



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