Listen up. I have a little personal and professional understanding of all of this matter. Immigrants DO NOT maintain their original languages past the
3rd generation, which is usually the generation that has a passive knowlegde of the language, but does not speak it (well) themselves.
"Oh, but the Mexicans are different..." you might be saying, "Back when my [insert relative] came from [insert European country] s/he learned
English and started his own business."
Yes, that's right! Back when immigrants were accepted to sustain an expanding territory and fill the sea to shining sea with population - especially
the white faces (see Chinese Exclusion Act).
Now, keep in mind that as the population and territory both stabilized, the myriad European immigrants eventually started intermarrying (Irish with
Italians, Hungarians with English, Polish with Germans and so forth). Of course, in bigger cities, ethnic enclaves naturally developed, such as Little
Italy, Irish part of Boston, Chinatown(s), Japantown(s) - the Asian enclaves being more prevalent due to ethnic and cultural differences from the
Europeans, which were more uniform in their cultures, religions and even languages. As a result, our ancestors learned to speak English roughly from
their youthful arrival, though adults may have struggled more, if not never learned the language.
If you learn a language before puberty - the so called "critical period" - you can learn to speak without an accent. If you learn it in your teens,
you can become fluent, but with some trace issues from your original language; fluency level depends totally on each person's individual
circumstances (educational background, literacy, parents, and so on).
Also, with intermarrying, any single language of the family becomes less common. For example, a second generation bilingual German-American father and
a second generation bilingual Sicilian-American mother, in the 1920s (probably when many of your grandparents were born), there would have been no
common language other than English, and of course, if all the little 3rd-gen (my grandparents) spoke English, wouldn't it make sense that they would
all go out in the street and play baseball, or tag, or run around and muck things up in English, as opposed to random foreign languages?
But America is unique with this "immigrant" issue, so other people don't know how this happens
Wrong...Every nation in the Americas has experienced immigration during their post-colonial period, from Japanese Brazilians in the early 1900s to
Eastern Europeans in Mexico in the late 1800s, not to mention Chinese Cubans, German Argentinians, Japanese Peruvians, Lebanese Venezuelans and Indian
Trinidadians. If you go to any of these countries, you will find that the children of these turn-of-the-century immigrants have not only assimilated
into the population, but often know little more than a few catch phrases of their grandparents' languages - otherwise speaking the national languages
of where they come from.
You will also notice that these countries are not Industrial and Financial Empires. As such, the current immigrant populations that come are few and
only in extreme circumstances, such as current influxes of Koreans and Bolivians to Brazil working in sweat shops. Why would it be that there is no
current large scale immigration to American nations? Why, because the population already there does the menial labor. So, for example, while your
house keeper, gardener, bean-pickers speak Spanish, taxi drivers speak Hindi/Urdu and your dishwashers speak Haitian Creole, in, say Mexico or Brazil,
all your menial labor speaks YOUR language.
As a result, the large immigrant waves we've had of Mexicans and El Salvadorans and Guatemalans who, having fled the American Semi-Mechanized,
Industrially- and Mass-produced Agricultural products as exports to their countries - which, incidentally helped to destroy anything but subsistance
farming in Central America - now do the work that we no longer due with our shrinking native population. Of course, it need not shrink or grow, but
should just be stable for sustainability, but that would be heading too far off topic.
Since these new-comers are not coming during a boon time for population expansion,
but rather as low-wage slaves in grueling industries and
jobs that require back-breaking activity by companies and employers that domand a no-whining, no-organizing, brass tax below minimum wage employee, is
it any wonder they don't assimilate?
The government tries to provide for bilingual education (providing for them to go home once the jobs have dried up if need be), but this has been an
epic fail and waste of tax payer money. If they're gonna bother to do it, do it right! Instead, we half-ass it, giving the Mexican and other HIspanic
children of low-income, immigrant families, with parents of little to no educational background very inadequate English instruction, mostly forcing
them into complex subjects in a language they don't understand. Many are stigmatized, many teachers assume they can't learn (which becomes a
self-fulfilling prophecy as the teacher spends less time helping them with such an assumption). Some Spanish speaking children end up in ESE (Special
Ed for those of you not in the know) which of course does nothing to help a non-English speaking child of average IQ). As a result, 2/3rds of
Hispanics do not graduate from High School, feeding a vicious cycle that will not fix itself and won't go away on its own.
Supreme Court Decision Lau vs. Nichols (1974) provides for quality education to be provided, piggy-backing on the Civil Rights Act, that no
discrimination based on national origin shall be tolerated. However, years of funding cuts has destroyed both ESL, bilingual education and general
education for the English speaking students (but again, off topic).
So, you have low-income, uneducated immigrants with little knowledge of the national language, who all speak a similar dialect of the same language.
They are marginalized, work basal jobs with most likely illegal conditions and for below-minimum wage, realizing that if the major factory they work
at is caught in a sting, or if their construction employer no longer needs them, they can just be deported back.
SO NOW ASK YOURSELF, WHY DO THEY COME HERE AND NOT LEARN ENGLISH?
I think you'll find that your (not necessarily directed at any one person) own lazy, American, credit-based false sense of First World Security is to
blame. Everytime you shop at Walmart or buy a Monsanto Product or elect politicians that believe in "Free Trade" or supporting the "Drug War"
you'll find that what you are really doing is making it worse for the majority of those in the lowest rungs of Latin American countries, only for
them to seek the new low-wage jobs Americans don't take (not just because they're hard jobs, but also the below-minimum wage...hello?!?!?!).
America, as a whole, has fully accepted the consequences of this situation by initiating it in the first place.
So, attacking the Mexican immigrant laborer does nothing to fix the problem...what y'all on here call the Powers that be have created the framework,
and you continue on with your non-protesting American lives, just buying the products and contributing to the system and so on, cyclically.
reply to post by buni11687
That's a private company. Surely you don't suggest the government to tell a private company what clientele it wishes to serve?
Besides, when was the last time you pressed 1 for English. Last time I remember doing it recently was for a phonecard that was specifically geared
toward Latin America.
Every other company/credit card/bank/government office I've dealt with in the last few years either has a separate 1-800 number for Spanish (or other
language) or a voice quickly says "Oprima uno para espanyol" as you wait to talk to a nice man or woman in Mumbai who will help you understand your
new interest rate. (by the way, where to the Spanish call centers outsource to????? India also???)
At any rate, you are not pressing 1 for English anymore. Don't like having to hear Spanish momentarily...boohoo. You know how much English foreigners
are subjected to in their national advertising? Not just the American music they use in the ads, but also the English words used to enhance the
"International" or "technological" flare of a product.