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Nashville voters reject 'English First' plan

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posted on Jan, 22 2009 @ 10:12 PM
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Nashville voters reject 'English First' plan


www.msnbc.msn.com

updated 27 minutes ago

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Voters in Nashville, Tenn., on Thursday rejected a measure that would have prohibited city government from using any language but English.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, the measure was defeated on a vote of 41,752 to 32,144.

The vote means the city of nearly 600,000 people refused to become the largest in the U.S. to prohibit translating written and spoken communications for residents who speak no or little English.
(visit the link for the full news article)



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posted on Jan, 22 2009 @ 10:12 PM
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I guess that this really surprises me.

If you want to live anywhere you have t be able to communicate for any number of reasons.
I for one am so tired of hearing and reading things in multiple languages. If I moved to, lets say Mexico, I would take it upon myself to learn the native language.

All of this is how government gets huge, like that article states.

Anyone out there have an opinion??



www.msnbc.msn.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Jan, 22 2009 @ 10:15 PM
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The voters have spoken.

Whether one agrees or not the decision should be respected.



posted on Jan, 22 2009 @ 10:23 PM
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Originally posted by wolf241e


I guess that this really surprises me.



Really why?




If you want to live anywhere you have t be able to communicate for any number of reasons.



Sure... that's why we have the official language of English.

That's a far cry from outright banning any other language... which is simply xenophobic.




I for one am so tired of hearing and reading things in multiple languages.



Why? Why does it offend you so? Are you that incredibly biased?




If I moved to, lets say Mexico, I would take it upon myself to learn the native language.



Good... it's easier to get a long that way. And if they were to outright BAN the English language at all, you'd have to learn the language BEFORE you went there. Good luck with that.




All of this is how government gets huge, like that article states.

Anyone out there have an opinion??



Ok... I saw, didn't agree with, but saw your argument right up to that last peice... so Gov gets big because Nashville wont ban the use of any other language than English?

Can you explain that one please?



posted on Jan, 22 2009 @ 10:24 PM
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Originally posted by jam321
The voters have spoken.

Whether one agrees or not the decision should be respected.



Yep Jam.. that is the beauty of democracy... you don't have to like the decision... you just have to abide by it.



posted on Jan, 22 2009 @ 10:28 PM
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I don't understand the "I'm so tired of hearing multiple languages.", "I'm so tired of having to push 2 for English on my telephone." complaints. Is it really that great of an exertion to press one more button? Is it really so troublesome to see (that's it, you aren't expected to read) other languages? This just smacks of the stereotypical American xenophobia. Foreigners frequently criticise us for being "uncultured" and intolerant, and measures like this only reinforce the notion. The idea that understanding important government publications would be made difficult for many constituents is insensitive at best. I just don't understand the reasoning.

I was discussing this with a friend earlier. We both travel frequently with work, and while I am conversationally fluent in a few languages, I don't think I would be able to understand the more technical terms that would appear on a government handout. I don't think supporters of this measure understand how complex the issue of language is--you aren't just shutting out people who "refuse to learn English".



posted on Jan, 22 2009 @ 10:30 PM
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Originally posted by HunkaHunka

Originally posted by jam321
The voters have spoken.

Whether one agrees or not the decision should be respected.



Yep Jam.. that is the beauty of democracy... you don't have to like the decision... you just have to abide by it.


tell that to california and the gay banning prop. we should respect that one too



posted on Jan, 22 2009 @ 10:40 PM
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reply to post by wolf241e
 


If you are offended by the Spanish language then you better not come to the Southwest because Spanish was spoken here long before English. Many of the place names, street signs, and street talk is in Spanish.
Most of the Anglos here speak a little Spanish and enjoy the beauty and expressiveness of the language.

Admit it Wolf241e, you're prejudiced against people different than you.



posted on Jan, 22 2009 @ 11:06 PM
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I'm in Nashville and originally I thought yeah, darn right, this is America of course it should be English. On phone menus I am kinda sick of having to press 2 for english.

Heres the ballot summary, quoted from the link below



SUMMARY
This amendment provides that:
• English is the official language of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee.
• Official actions which bind or commit the government are required to be taken only in the English language.
• All official government communications and publications are required to be made only in English.
• No person shall have a right to government services in any other language.
• All meetings of the Metro Council, Boards, and Commissions of the Metropolitan Government are required to be conducted only in English.
• The Metro Council may make specific exceptions to protect public health and safety.
• Nothing in the amendment shall be interpreted to conflict with federal or state law.


That includes 911 phone calls.

I for one would rather be inconvenienced by the system occasionally than risk anyone, english speaking or not, being prevented access to get help when they really need it.

Nashville isn't quite as hick or country, as you might think.
It's actually quite multi-cultural and gets a lot of international tourists that bring in good money to the economy.
The majority of people here don't want to do anything to risk that image, as evidenced by the vote results.
However they didn't mind wasting a truckload of taxpayers money on the ballot...

If anyone is interested here's the sample ballot pdf
English First Language Ballot



posted on Jan, 22 2009 @ 11:37 PM
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reply to post by earthchild
 


Thank you so much EarthChild for a a wonderful contribution to this thread and a positive rebuke of xenophobic tendencies.



posted on Jan, 22 2009 @ 11:54 PM
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To set things straight, I am not a xenophobe, I’m bringing up a point of discussion.

Did anyone bother to actually read the article??

It is my opinion that you should speak the given language of the place that you reside in.

Period.

Most of you who have replied here are distorting the issue. Nashville is/was just a test balloon.

I don’t think that making manuals and taped phone messages in multiple languages helps anyone more than it confuses. Not to mention it’s a waste of time and money.

Government programs and private business need more money to make these multi-manuals. That’s how it gets bigger for those of you who don’t get it. There are studies, commissions, grants and who knows what else. That’s what I’m talking about.

I used Mexico as an example for this and most of you freaked. Why does this offend you so?? Baised…Get real.

If I used German or French to make my point, it would not have related to the article…so all of you who ripped me can kindly shut up and go back to being pissed off at someone else.



posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 12:18 AM
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Originally posted by wolf241e
To set things straight, I am not a xenophobe, I’m bringing up a point of discussion.



A point of discussion would have simply been... wow... whadaya think?

Your words were more along the lines of "I for one am so tired of hearing and reading things in multiple languages." Which sounds awfully xenophobic to a lot of us who have posted thus far.

Maybe you should look at how others are reacting to what you said in order to find out how, what you said, was received? Because it was received as Xenophobic.





Did anyone bother to actually read the article??



Yes I did... I also listened quite intently to EarthChild, who is actually in Nashville and pointed to the ballot. Did you notice that no services, including 911 would be in any other language besides English?

Do you really want new immigrants to this country to die because they can't speak english in a panic?

I mean I'm rather fluent in French, but put me in France in an emergency and I don't know I'd be able to say Je ne sais pas.




It is my opinion that you should speak the given language of the place that you reside in.

Period.



And I do believe that your opinion is quite different than saying that immigrants will not be able to receive medical care unless they can speak english.

Banning all other languages, is a far cry from simply making English official.




Most of you who have replied here are distorting the issue. Nashville is/was just a test balloon.



How are we distorting the issue? You don't like having to deal with other languages in your home town. That's pretty clear.

And according to the vote in Nashville, and the general tone of this thread, you are on the losing end of the democratic process here.




I don’t think that making manuals and taped phone messages in multiple languages helps anyone more than it confuses. Not to mention it’s a waste of time and money.



Are you kidding me? Yes.. it is a bother when I open up a network device I bought from best buy and I have to search to find English in the "how to", but you know what... I find it.

But imagine looking at that "how-to" and not being able to read any of them would be worse. And even worse than that would be trying to speak to a 911 operator who you can't understand and your child is dying.






Government programs and private business need more money to make these multi-manuals. That’s how it gets bigger for those of you who don’t get it.



So let me get this straight. You think that printing manuals makes "government bigger"? And private business bigger?... wow.. if thats the case, I'll just start printing multiple language docs just to make my own business bigger!






There are studies, commissions, grants and who knows what else. That’s what I’m talking about.


What you are talking about is simply trying to be more eco-friendly because of printing paper less.

But what you forget is that phone calls don't kill trees. So what about that? There is no printing of manuals when you call and get "ocho por espanol".

I really think you have a false argument.




I used Mexico as an example for this and most of you freaked. Why does this offend you so?? Baised…Get real.



It doesn't matter who it is you are using as an example... Xenophobic is Xenophobic




If I used German or French to make my point, it would not have related to the article…so all of you who ripped me can kindly shut up and go back to being pissed off at someone else.


Heh... to be honest... it really looks like you ripped yourself...



posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 09:02 AM
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reply to post by wolf241e
 


The politics on how we handle people coming to America who do not yet speak our language is difficult, its not just a cut and dry answer.

We can still have English be the common language, along with having certain things offered to the people in a bilingual way. Do we want to not help these new comers adjust?

Children that come here not speaking any English are usually brought here in a poverty situation, they dont have the capability to go out and buy high tech programs to teach them English in a few months. Schools are learning that its best to offer bilingual lessons for these students, and teach them English as a second language until they are able to master English. If we dont do things like this, we have children failing schools when its not their brains that are fault, it is their comfort zone of their common language being disruptive. This isnt an opinion, this is a fact.

Some might not like the fact that this is a county built on immigration. English can remain the common language, but it is our job as a highly developed nation to help these children and adults adapt here in a healthy way, instead of allowing them to fall behind.

English will remain the common language, but we do need to make sure there are ways for the new comers to not fall behind.

We are a land of many colors and cultures, that is what makes our land beautiful. Just my opinion, of course.

LV



posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 09:10 AM
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reply to post by HunkaHunka
 


Its in respect that the immigrants here want us to learn their language because they hate ameriacans and don't respect us... but want the respect given to them.

Dude you are delusional, lay off the kool-aid.



posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 09:13 AM
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reply to post by HunkaHunka
 


its 'Je n'ais pas'



posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 09:22 AM
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Just wanted to say that America does not have an "official language".

www.usconstitution.net...

"Many people are surprised to learn that the United States has no official language. As one of the major centers of commerce and trade, and a major English-speaking country, many assume that English is the country's official language. But despite efforts over the years, the United States has no official language.

Almost every session of Congress, an amendment to the Constitution is proposed in Congress to adopt English as the official language of the United States. Other efforts have attempted to take the easier route of changing the U.S. Code to make English the official language. As of this writing, the efforts have not been successful."

However, another website claims 30 states have declared English an official language. Official does not mean only. Hmm, my state is on the list!

www.englishfirst.org...



posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 09:32 AM
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reply to post by Cio88
 


Where do you get the idea that immigrants want us to learn their language because they hate America.


I think you are stereotyping a entire group of people based on a small group that may want this. Even if there are a few that want Spanish to become the language in America, there is nothing to worry about here....its not like this would ever happen.

But there is no reason we should try to ban other languages. If we ban other languages, then we have a mass of children that will fail in their continuation of learning.



posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 09:32 AM
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Originally posted by Cio88
reply to post by HunkaHunka
 


Its in respect that the immigrants here want us to learn their language because they hate ameriacans and don't respect us... but want the respect given to them.

Dude you are delusional, lay off the kool-aid.


Yeah...they hate Americans...And why should they respect people like you? You think they are just here to steal your jobs and make you speak a different language. You are the stereotypical American, get over yourself.

I guess it is hard to expect people who cannot read in English to follow laws that are only printed in English.



posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 09:36 AM
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Originally posted by Cio88
reply to post by HunkaHunka
 


Its in respect that the immigrants here want us to learn their language because they hate ameriacans and don't respect us... but want the respect given to them.

Dude you are delusional, lay off the kool-aid.



First off, immigrants don't hate Americans.

I mean, maybe some do, but most every immigrant I have ever ran into loves America and Americans.

Either way.. it seems like a rather xenophobic generalization if you ask me.






its 'Je n'ais pas'




Actually it's not. Although sometimes pronounced in that way,

You see, the phrase is built like so...

The Infinitive for "to know" in this case is savoir.

The personal form of that is sais.. so that I know would be

Je sais

Now to get the negative of the verb, you surround it with a ne ... pas
which gives you

Je ne sais pas

or I don't know.

You see, the more you learn about other cultures and other languages, the easier it is to understand how difficult it can be for new comers to also understand the language.

But you would know that if you were not a xenophobe.



posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 09:50 AM
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reply to post by wolf241e
 


I learned that there were two ways the government was trying to help the children in schools who come here not speaking English.

One was called the 'English First' and the other was 'Bilingual Education'.

Neither one of these is a plan that keeps non English speaking people to not learn English. The difference in them is this.....do we try to make them learn English first....before continuing in their education level where they left off learning in their common language OR do we immediately continue teaching them in their own language, not allowing them to fall behind in their education level of skills....and the same time doing this, teach them English as a second language to their other learning subjects.

Neither one of them encourages these children or adults for that matter to not learn English. The Bilingual Education though, helps these children not fall behind, and slowly adapt to their new country.

They have observed these ways and it seems that the bilingual education is the one that helps the children the most, in adapting and coping here.

LV



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