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English- a Right Or a Privilage? (Page 1)

My brother in law said something to me recently that threw me for a loop.. in response to a bulletin i posted on my Myspace, about some remarks Andy Rooney said, one of which was,

Andy Rooney wrote:
"...I believe that if you are selling me a milkshake, a pack of cigarettes, a newspaper or a hotel room, you must do it in English! As a matter of fact, if you want to be an American citizen, you should have to speak English!...I think the police should have every right to shoot your sorry ass if you threaten them after they tell you to stop. If you can't understand the word 'freeze' or 'stop' in English, see the above lines..."


my brother in law said this in response..

Brian wrote:
" the line about needing to speak english is a bunch of s*it. there's no official language in the US, so why should anyone have to learn to speak any particular language to become a citizen? what if they're deaf?"


Do you agree with him?

My response...

"In order to function appropriately in another country, lets say for instance, Seoul Korea.. you would have to know the native language in order to do so.. and i wouldnt move to any other country and expect them to adapt to my language just to make things easier for me.
English has been the predominant language here for centuries, and should still be so. This country was and IS STILL based on the English language.. Every docterine, every legal decree is written in English.. our President must be able to speak the language fluently and be born in this country in order to hold his office.
People come to this country to flee bad situations, i understand that. But they need to make some sort of effort to adapt to our ways of life and culture just like we would in thier country.
Im sick and tired of going to Wendys, or likewise, and having to repeat myself 3 or 4 times just because the person taking my order cannot understand my language. I shouldnt have to *press 1* to hear things in English.. they should have to *press 1* in order to hear things in Spanish.

This is America.. our Constitution is written in English.. Our Bill Of Rights is written in English.. and as soon as that changes to add our rights written in other languages i'll accept your point of view.. until then.. Not a chance."
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replied November 29th, 2007
Active User, very eHealthy
::saw the word Korea and comes out of cubby hole:: heh, haven't been posting lately. Umm, yes, you come to America, you should learn the language. It's just common sense, the language border causes so much misconceptions and it is a large part of why people are racist towards immigrant countries. If we can't understand each other, a lot of stuff could go wrong. I'm not expecting immigrants to be perfect in english, shoot, most of us here probably can't go off typing an essay without a few typos. I also don't expect elder immigrants too either, it would be difficult, but the young, and those of the working class age, I think there should be at least something to make sure they understand/speak basic english. Like a lot of professors in college right now, they could barely speak it, or have a huge accent, how the heck are we suppose to do good if we can't understand them!!
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replied November 29th, 2007
Especially eHealthy
exactly.
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replied November 29th, 2007
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I agree with you 100% Sandy. Smile
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replied November 30th, 2007
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Hahaha. Try living in Canada where we have English and French as our official languages, and an increasing push for a third (Inuktitut). It gets confusing and... downright nasty sometimes.
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replied November 30th, 2007
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futureshock wrote:
I agree with you 100% Sandy. Smile


thank you, ma'am. ^_^
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replied November 30th, 2007
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I guess I believe that the different languages people speak in my country add to its richness and beauty, just as it did when immigrants were first settling here. If you want to speak what should be the official language of America, how about taking up Blackfoot Indian? Or Cherokee? Or whatever indian tribe is native to your part of the country. When I hear people speaking foreign languages, I think "Oh that's neat! I love the accent!" It just makes me want to learn more about that language, ask them where they are from, spark up a conversation. It happened to me just the other day in a store. The people in front of me were speaking with a very thick Ukranian or Russian accent. The woman with them was very very old and when she spoke to the two adult men with her, they spoke in another labguage. We spent 20 minutes outside the store and I got to learn all sorts of neat things about their Ukranian heritage and ewhy they were here in America. That old woman probably would not have even ventured out if America adopted some obstinate stance on "official languages, blah blah blah". I love to hear the people speak in China Town. I speak in spanish with some of the ladies at my child's bus stop, because using spanish helps me to better my spanish. There isn't much sense in learning a foreign language unless you plan to use it. We have so so many hispanic people here that I am glad I have the ability to speak spanish-although it's not very good. I don't see anything wrong with trying to meet someone halfay across the language barrier. I don't think America has to be homogenized 2% white milk in order for us to get along and function as a cohesive society. I like mine with a little chocolate. But then, this is only my opinion.
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replied November 30th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
I agree with Sandy also.

I have no issue hearing people from other places speaking in their home language when they are in the presence of their families, but it really irks me to go into a store or business and have no idea what the person is saying. And for Gods sake DO NOT give me attitude when I ask you to repeat yourself a bit slower so I can catch what you just said. This happens a lot when you call AOL or it seems a lot of telemarketers need a brush up on their English. We have a store down the road owned by a family from the Middle East. They are the sweetest people, but I often avoid their store because I don't understand them.

It seem there are a lot of businesses (nail salons) that are owned by Asians. (I have no issue with this, actually I think it's great). It really bothers me when they are in a group talking in their language and laughing knowing full well I have no idea what they are saying. They could be saying something really hurtful or making jokes about me. I wonder how they would feel if that were to happen to them?

If I were going to a foreign country I would at least have the decency to try to learn some of the language or at least know the most important ones. (water, food, hotel, bathroom, and bar LOL)
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replied November 30th, 2007
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There was a program on NPR Not too long ago detailing how difficult it is for hispanics to fing ESL courses to take because most were either too expensive, or occurred when they were at work in the middle of the day. I wonder, how do we propose to teach these people english if we are going to insist that they speak it in order to come here? How many Americans, I wonder, can speak moretghan one language? OOh I just looked it up. Less than 10% of Americans speak a foreign language. There are a lot more than that traveling to other countries I would venture to guess.
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replied November 30th, 2007
Most Diplomatic Poster
sillyakchick wrote:
I guess I believe that the different languages people speak in my country add to its richness and beauty, just as it did when immigrants were first settling here. If you want to speak what should be the official language of America, how about taking up Blackfoot Indian? Or Cherokee? Or whatever indian tribe is native to your part of the country. When I hear people speaking foreign languages, I think "Oh that's neat! I love the accent!" It just makes me want to learn more about that language, ask them where they are from, spark up a conversation. It happened to me just the other day in a store. The people in front of me were speaking with a very thick Ukranian or Russian accent. The woman with them was very very old and when she spoke to the two adult men with her, they spoke in another labguage. We spent 20 minutes outside the store and I got to learn all sorts of neat things about their Ukranian heritage and ewhy they were here in America. That old woman probably would not have even ventured out if America adopted some obstinate stance on "official languages, blah blah blah". I love to hear the people speak in China Town. I speak in spanish with some of the ladies at my child's bus stop, because using spanish helps me to better my spanish. There isn't much sense in learning a foreign language unless you plan to use it. We have so so many hispanic people here that I am glad I have the ability to speak spanish-although it's not very good. I don't see anything wrong with trying to meet someone halfay across the language barrier. I don't think America has to be homogenized 2% white milk in order for us to get along and function as a cohesive society. I like mine with a little chocolate. But then, this is only my opinion.


i agree 100%

you can't demand that other people be educated and tolerant if you are unwilling to go the distance yourself. besides, half the people i know who are native english speakers can barely communicate in the language themselves. typos and speaking style aside, the spelling and grammar of a lot of english speakers is just plain awful. if we want others to learn our language in addition to their own we should at least learn it properly ourselves. myself, i take any opportunity i can to learn about new languages, so hearing them doesn't bother me.
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replied November 30th, 2007
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sillyakchick wrote:
I guess I believe that the different languages people speak in my country add to its richness and beauty, just as it did when immigrants were first settling here. ... I don't think America has to be homogenized 2% white milk in order for us to get along and function as a cohesive society. I like mine with a little chocolate. But then, this is only my opinion.


I agree as well.

Sandy_Pants wrote:
Im sick and tired of going to Wendys, or likewise, and having to repeat myself 3 or 4 times just because the person taking my order cannot understand my language. I shouldnt have to *press 1* to hear things in English.. they should have to *press 1* in order to hear things in Spanish.


Perhaps these individuals are in the process of learning English.

Everyone has a story to tell.

I think with all the people out there who are just harming everyone they can that for any kind of negative focus to surround those who have a job and are positively contributing to society is petty.
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replied November 30th, 2007
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kaerbear wrote:
you can't demand that other people be educated and tolerant if you are unwilling to go the distance yourself. besides, half the people i know who are native english speakers can barely communicate in the language themselves. typos and speaking style aside, the spelling and grammar of a lot of english speakers is just plain awful. if we want others to learn our language in addition to their own we should at least learn it properly ourselves. myself, i take any opportunity i can to learn about new languages, so hearing them doesn't bother me.


i sure can demand it. I live here, this is the language our country was based on.

In order to function in this society, English is a must.. I speak english perfectly fine.. i may not be a grammar queen, but i am quite fluent and have a large vocabulary.

That being said, I could never go over to another country without knowing how to speak their language.. isnt it selfish for one to assume that a country should readjust themselves to accomodate me and adapt my language into their culture just to make things easier for me? It would be nothing but irresponsible on my part to even ASSUME that. Same goes for people who come here.. aquaint yourself atleast SOME before coming here.. Exceptions can be made for the elderly and deaf.. they arent the ones taking my order at Wendys or calling and trying to sell me the latest phone package.
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replied November 30th, 2007
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Heh that is why I am too ashamed to visit Korea, I can't speak it so well. Well actually, it kind of depends, I speak it well sometimes (without NYC American accent), but when I'm around actual Koreans who just immigrated here and I don't know them, I get nervous and start stuttering and speak like I might as well have never been Korean. I intend to go there when I've mastered basics comfortably.
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replied November 30th, 2007
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Sandy_Pants wrote:

i sure can demand it. I live here, this is the language our country was based on.



Yes, but we stole this country from the people who were here first. Shouldn't they demand that we learn their language?
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replied November 30th, 2007
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Sandy_Pants wrote:
kaerbear wrote:
you can't demand that other people be educated and tolerant if you are unwilling to go the distance yourself. besides, half the people i know who are native english speakers can barely communicate in the language themselves. typos and speaking style aside, the spelling and grammar of a lot of english speakers is just plain awful. if we want others to learn our language in addition to their own we should at least learn it properly ourselves. myself, i take any opportunity i can to learn about new languages, so hearing them doesn't bother me.


i sure can demand it. I live here, this is the language our country was based on.

In order to function in this society, English is a must.. I speak english perfectly fine.. i may not be a grammar queen, but i am quite fluent and have a large vocabulary.

That being said, I could never go over to another country without knowing how to speak their language.. isnt it selfish for one to assume that a country should readjust themselves to accomodate me and adapt my language into their culture just to make things easier for me? It would be nothing but irresponsible on my part to even ASSUME that. Same goes for people who come here.. aquaint yourself atleast SOME before coming here.. Exceptions can be made for the elderly and deaf.. they arent the ones taking my order at Wendys or calling and trying to sell me the latest phone package.


Here's the easiest solution for you...don't go to Wendy's. wave

Americans... :eyeroll:
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replied November 30th, 2007
Especially eHealthy
Birch wrote:
Sandy_Pants wrote:
kaerbear wrote:
you can't demand that other people be educated and tolerant if you are unwilling to go the distance yourself. besides, half the people i know who are native english speakers can barely communicate in the language themselves. typos and speaking style aside, the spelling and grammar of a lot of english speakers is just plain awful. if we want others to learn our language in addition to their own we should at least learn it properly ourselves. myself, i take any opportunity i can to learn about new languages, so hearing them doesn't bother me.


i sure can demand it. I live here, this is the language our country was based on.

In order to function in this society, English is a must.. I speak english perfectly fine.. i may not be a grammar queen, but i am quite fluent and have a large vocabulary.

That being said, I could never go over to another country without knowing how to speak their language.. isnt it selfish for one to assume that a country should readjust themselves to accomodate me and adapt my language into their culture just to make things easier for me? It would be nothing but irresponsible on my part to even ASSUME that. Same goes for people who come here.. aquaint yourself atleast SOME before coming here.. Exceptions can be made for the elderly and deaf.. they arent the ones taking my order at Wendys or calling and trying to sell me the latest phone package.


Here's the easiest solution for you...don't go to Wendy's. wave

Americans... :eyeroll:


lol
we no longer have a Wendys in this city. .the closest one is roughly 20 miles from here, so we dont go there. Ever lol.

I was using it as an example.

Im sure u understand my point.
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replied November 30th, 2007
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lol Yes, Everyone in the US should speak English. Why? I'm not really sure. I don't buy into the "it's always been like that" logic for anything.

Melting pot no more.
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replied November 30th, 2007
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Birch wrote:
lol Yes, Everyone in the US should speak English. Why? I'm not really sure. I don't buy into the "it's always been like that" logic for anything.

Melting pot no more.


this is a great quote i found, said by Kaye Groagan:

Quote:
Hey! . . .you're either for the American culture or you're against it. You're either an American in every true sense of the word or somewhere in-between — which translates into troublemakers. And if you're going to be a United States Senator, House Representative or President of the United States — you should put the needs of the American citizens first. You can't straddle the fence on these issues, and expect the majority to keep electing you to serve them.
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replied November 30th, 2007
Most Diplomatic Poster
i'll never understand the whole american thing. if you are a citizen of the united states you are an american ...period. why is it the greatest insult americans can think of to call someone unamerican? if being intolerant and narrow minded makes you a great american, then what does that say for your "culture"? here is another great quote: "nationalism is an infantile disease"
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replied November 30th, 2007
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kaerbear wrote:
i'll never understand the whole american thing. if you are a citizen of the united states you are an american ...period. why is it the greatest insult americans can think of to call someone unamerican? if being intolerant and narrow minded makes you a great american, then what does that say for your "culture"? here is another great quote: "nationalism is an infantile disease"


i read the article. did she say '"can be showed"? lol

i just keep thinking that it's kinda like manifest destiny coming back to bite america in the ass. countries change. there was a time when no one spoke english in america.
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