Speak English!

FRIDAY 9-05-08…One reason that immigrants (legal and illegal) fail to assimilate into American culture is simply they can’t speak or understand English. But then again, why should they learn? Even our voting pamphlets are written in several languages. On the phone, we hear “press 1 for English, press 2 for Spanish….etc.”

I get advertisements in the mail touting cell phones and they’re written entirely in some sort of Asian language. Could be Japanese, Korean, Chinese….I have no clue. But then again, this is the United States of America, so I shouldn’t have to learn some other country’s language as long as I’m living in this country.

During my twenty years in the Navy, I visited many foreign countries and tried to learn enough of the language to get by. I learned how to order a cup o’ coffee in a café, learned how to ask a pretty girl for a date…and like I say…just enough to get by; In Italy, France, Greece, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Iceland, I could ask a vendor “how much” in the native language.

No, I wasn’t fluent in any of the languages, but I learned enough to show that I cared, and had an interest in learning. But, we don’t see that “care’ and “interest” in many of the immigrants of today. But why should they care when we have signs in stores written in Spanish, telephone answerers who’re willing to answer in any language the person wants. There’s no incentive to learn English.

If we’re going to make it so convenient for immigrants (legal and illegal) NOT TO LEARN ENGLISH, where’s the incentive? We should take a page out of the LPGA (Women’s golf) new rules. The LPGA will require all players to speak English starting in 2009. Players who’ve been members for two years face suspension if they can’t pass an oral evaluation of English skills. Now THAT’S what I call incentive.


8 Responses

  1. A few weeks ago I had to make some changes to my Google adsense account. I had to call a toll-free number to get a four-digit code, which I would then enter under my account & the changes would be implemented.

    Sounded simple enough. So I called.

    But the automated system was in Spanish. I didn’t even have a choice to choose my language. Talk about sad.

    Even sadder than that, though…. I took a stab at translating the code and got it right on my first attempt. I owe that to the two most annoying cartoon characters ever created — Dora and Diego.

    Sign of the times, I suppose.

    Along the lines of an incentive though, there’s not much of one. You need only walk into your local Lowe’s to understand why. However, I did notice something interesting when the wife & I had a garage sale last year & all of Mexico City showed up at the house. The parents would want to buy something, and their kids acted as a translator between myself and their parents.

    I’d bet the far majority of those folks were here illegally. And you, I & everyone else are probably paying for their education. Now whether that’s a positive that these kids could speak English, I don’t know.

    All I do know is that I have no desire to take on a 2nd language in the name of appeasing others. If I hold another garage sale, I’m not hiring a translator. And Dora & Diego aren’t allowed on my TV anymore. My kids aren’t going to be force-fed this stuff.

  2. This particular rant is one that tires me out. What a waste of energy and good will.

    And it is so hypocritical.

    What you mean is “Don’t speak Spanish.”

    Why don’t you grow a spine and say so?

    There are places near here where, if you don’t speak Danish, you don’t get to talk much.

    There are places near here where, if you don’t speak German, you don’t get to talk much.

    There are places near here where, if you don’t speak Lakota, you don’t get to talk much.

    I can take you to homes in a number of places where, if you don’t “speak” AMESLAN, you don’t get to talk very much.

    (I’ll leave out the places where for a hundred years or more the residents speak only Chinese, or any of a number of other languages that are to make the racist blood boil.)

    There are places a little farther from here (but not so far that a passport is required, yet) where, if you don’t speak English the way they do, you don’t get to talk much. (And. curiously enough, the people from one of those places (speaking English) have the same difficulty in another of those places.

    And Television and the print media are full of people, allegedly speaking or writing English make no sense at all.

    And for the record, I speak only English–the flavors spoken on the west cost, for the most part and (with some difficulty at times) the ones spoken out here in the middle. Even though I grew up in a barrio in Los Angeles I am ashamed to confess that I speak no useful Spanish or anything else.

    I am proud to say that my daughters speak several different languages including Spanish and AMESLAN.

  3. No! What I mean is SPEAK ENGLISH!! Just as the title states. If you’re going to live here (even if you snuck across the border, or stowed away on a cruise ship, learn our language! That way, you will assimilate much easier, and my tax money won’t have to be used to make signs so you’ll know which aisle at K-Mart has the product you want.

    To the immigrants….legal and illegal…I continue to say you came to this country at your own behest, so dammit, learn English!

  4. How about if they were here before you were?

  5. That would be more than 73 years ago, and I would presume they would be proficient in English by now.
    Immigrants that came via Ellis Island were more than happy to learn English and adopt the culture of their new country. Today’s immigrants simply want a free pass, and free handouts at the expense of taxpayers. You know it, and I know it.

  6. Bruce, I think Larry was referring to “native Americans” when he said, “…before you were?”
    Larry, The winning side chooses language. We won. Speak English, please.

  7. Oh Bruce, what’s this “L”pga, you have so much time on your hands you read the ladies rules?

  8. Of course! I’m retired, so I have plenty of time to read the “lady” rules (LPGA). By the way, the officials of LPGA backed down….caved in. They were accused of “discrimination”….when all they were really trying to do was increase the popularity of the lady’s golf tour. A lot of the best female golfers are from Korea, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, etc….but because they can’t speak conversational English, they aren’t selected to sign big sponsor contracts in this country.

    Best example? Michael Phelps. A hundred million bucks in product endorsements.

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