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Bilingualization

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Dangit. I had a whole rant going here, and I lost it. Maybe that's for the best. I'm trying to figure out if I'm just hyper-sensitive to this, or if I actually have a leg to stand on in this arguement. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is the United States, and we do speak English here, right? I mean, they teach in English in the schools, English is the de facto business language, English is the de facto language of government. The US doesn't have an 'official' language, but many states have adopted English as such. So why does it irritate me that the menus in my local IHOP are printed in English with Spansih sub-titles. Why does it make me mad that Target has aisle signs in English and Spanish and does announcements in both languages? And the one that really blows me away is the idea that we come up with a mandate that principals speak Spanish. They don't have to be proficient mind you, just understand those with limited English skills. Teachers of ESL don't even have to speak Spanish. That makes no sense to me. I think that if someone comes to this country to live and work, then they should learn the language. Come here to better yourself, learn new skills, build a life, and make progress. But those that come here just to work and send money home and are here illegally? Well, why should we accommodate that?

11/29/2005 10:14:00 AM :: ::
15 Comments:
  • I haven't had the honor of sitting down to a meal and having Spanish subtitles on the menu. However, I did just notice the other day when I was in Lowe's that the aisles were labeled bi-lingually. I'm sitting here looking at my Evian bottle of water...it's all in English, not one iota of French on it. I would find it very difficult to live and work in a society where I couldn't speak the language. I would think it would be expected that I learn the language...seems only fair and logical.

    By Blogger Carnealian, at 11/29/2005 11:05:00 AM

     


  • Man, if I didn't know better I'd think Nick wrote this?! :)

    I totally agree, but I'll play devil's advocate here: wasn't Texas a Spanish-speaking area long before it was an English-speaking state?

    By Blogger JustCara, at 11/29/2005 11:30:00 AM

     


  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger SnotSucker, at 11/29/2005 11:44:00 AM

     


  • Amen IL. Because as Dorman and I have been saying all along, we continue to spoon feed those that think they are owed something, or are too lazy to do something for themselves. It is a priviledge to be in our Country, not a right, so learn the damn language or leave.

    11:44 AM

    By Blogger SnotSucker, at 11/29/2005 11:46:00 AM

     


  • It kinda irritates me too, although I haven't really analyzed why.

    The companies are obviously trying to make money. If they have Spanish and a competitor doesn't...

    By Blogger Bone, at 11/29/2005 12:04:00 PM

     


  • Amen.

    By Anonymous Brittany, at 11/29/2005 12:19:00 PM

     


  • Oh hell yeah!!

    By Blogger An Observer, at 11/29/2005 01:07:00 PM

     


  • since i grew up in mexico, i am TOTALLY FOR bilingual signage - but leave that up to advertisers to decide. in fact, i would go further and suggest that we should all consider it a duty to learn the language of the country nearest us! just as a courtesy if nothing else. if i lived near canada, i would make an attempt to learn french.

    having said that, i COMPLETELY agree that forcing any administrator to learn a foreign language is LUDICROUS!!! and unfair.

    kelpy

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/29/2005 01:09:00 PM

     


  • Que? No hablo ingles...

    It bugs me too. And I didn't know that school principals are required to speak Spanish. What?!

    While I certainly see the merits of U.S. citizens learning other languages, if one truly wants to assimilate into the United States from another country, learn English!

    By Anonymous abbynormal, at 11/29/2005 02:05:00 PM

     


  • I couldn't have said it better myself. I agree with you 110%!

    By Blogger Texas_Ivy10, at 11/29/2005 02:24:00 PM

     


  • I'm not sure where I stand on this issue. We have a huge Latino population around here, and most stores advertise that they have someone who speaks some spanish working there. I do agree that some effort should be made to learn the language. But do keep in mind how long it takes to learn a language. I spent 4 years in high school trying to learn spanish. I learned very little and remember less. Tried two years of German in college. Same result. It takes years to learn a language, and there has to be some patience. Besides, once a person is over the age of about 12, learning a new language is twice as hard. So don't let it bug you. Its not that big a deal.

    By Blogger Coyote Mike, at 11/29/2005 05:51:00 PM

     


  • Well, I have to say that while it seems extreme at times, I do think there is a purpose. The Hispanic population is on the rise in Texas. In my mind, the United States is first and foremost a product of so many different nationalities and ethnicities that there is no surprise to see signs of them, whether they are lingering or on the rise. My grandfather still speaks Polish. The hill country is full of old timers who still speak Czech or German...and not so long ago, Texas was part of Mexico. Many many Mexican traditions are practiced here and elsewhere in the U.S. To me, language is just a strong cultural tie and shouldn't be a barrier. I personally have no problem with requirements for principals and others to be bilingual. To me, its exciting to witness and be a part of reaching out to another person through linguistics in the hopes of better understanding them and their unique point of view.

    That said, its also funny to compare what is written in English to what is written in Spanish. Companies are so good at targeting their audiences that even advertisements say two different things to two different people.

    Crys

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/29/2005 06:53:00 PM

     


  • Yeah. I get tired of Spanish Spanish everywhere, too. It's a culture shock thing, I think. What annoys me is trying to find directions for something in English because they've spent so much time printing out directions in Spanish, it takes me too much exra time to find the English ones.

    By Blogger Suburban Turmoil, at 11/29/2005 10:39:00 PM

     


  • Hmmmmm....I'm living in Germany for 4 yrs because hubby is military..the U.S.A. pays his salary..not Germany but honey let me tell you something.

    If you come over here and don't even attempt to learn the language you are treated like pond scum....the germans will ignore you...they will throw attitude your way..they will absolutely treat you like shit.

    They don't make allowances for us like we do stateside for "foreigners"...Europe don't "roll" like that...

    By Blogger Sandy, at 11/30/2005 03:42:00 PM

     


  • I really don't have any problem with the Spanish subtitles on the menu's (or Russian, in my community here in the Sacramento area), or in the stores, or what have you. Helping newcomers access American culture is a good idea, in my book.

    What I don't like is driving to a community in, say, Southern California, or possibly even southern Texas, still well INSIDE the good ol' USA, and not being able to communicate in English to anyone! We have entire enclaves and small towns dedicated to whatever ethnic group have gravitated there, and English is often not spoken at all.

    That's just crazy. English IS the primary language here. There shouldn't be anyplace in the USA that an English speaker can't communicate to the local citizens.

    By Blogger Mike J., at 11/30/2005 09:18:00 PM

     


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