Brace yourselves.  Rant forthcoming.

Why is it that on the streets of my village, there are as many signs in Spanish as there are in English? Obviously, there are a lot of people in my community who don’t speak my language. But why? Does the fact that we have a large Hispanic population somehow make it unnecessary for them to learn English? I realize that we (Americans as a whole) usually expect to find someone who speaks English when we visit other countries, but I’m not talking about tourists. I’m talking about people who live here. Nearly everything I buy in the grocery store is labeled in two languages. Why are we not using the money that goes into bilingual labeling to set up English classes for these people?

Don’t get me wrong—I think it is a very good thing for us to learn other languages, and I actually enjoy picking up a few words from product labels. BUT I think people living in our country should learn to speak English. It is, after all, the language of this country. If I speak Swahili and move to Italy, I need to learn Italian. No one says I need to forget my first language, but it is a good thing to learn a second.

Keeping one’s cultural identity is good.  I appreciate going to communities that are obviously Dutch or Norwegian or whatever, because their local color, customs and history are interesting to see. However, acculturation is also important to a certain degree. America’s greatness is based on the fact that it is the “great melting pot,” but we are beginning to lose that distinction. As more and more people groups identify only with themselves and not with society as a whole, we are splintering into many different groups rather than the wonderful amalgam that has made America unique in history. I think that we can celebrate our unique differences while still maintaining unity of spirit, but you can’t have unity of spirit when you’re all speaking different languages. Remember the tower at Babel?

I realize that with the current emphasis on multiculturalism, this is not a popular view, so I’d welcome comments and discussion. Maybe I’m just not seeing the whole picture?


About dayuntoday

I'm a wonderer. I spend a lot of time mulling, pondering, and cogitating. This is just a place to park some of those thoughts.
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48 Responses to

  1. gsmith03 says:

    Thank you for your comment.Perhaps I will get a visit from God some day, but it would have to be in a way that there was absolutely NO doubt. No doubts that it could be a hallucination, dream, or tripping on drugs. If God came down and showed himself in such a way, then I would believe. But even then, it wouldn’t mean I would believe in Christianity. Just because God is real doesn’t mean Christianity is real. But he won’t do that. Why? Because he’s God and he doesn’t “stoop” to our whim. Which is why I will probably never believe again.You know, I tend to believe there is a God. There are so many complexities in the universe that just seem impossible without a God. However, I have learned that you will see what you want to see. If you want to see God in something, then you will find a way to do that. If you want to see the absence of God in something, then you will find a way to do that. Humans made up the idea of God to explain the things that were unexplainable. As time progressed, more things were explained through science and other research, leaving fewer unexplained things for God. Is it possible that one day we will learn everything? Doubtful. However, I do believe the concept of God will never die out, as long as there are unexplainable things.

  2. joy4jesus424 says:

    I agree with the language thing…what we have in our area is Japanese, which is wonderful (they have a unique culture), but they can’t even correspond to the receptionist at the orthodontist! It seems it would be to there benefit to learn English as a second language. Besides, I wouldn’t have to wonder if they are talking about me.:lol:

  3. joy4jesus424 says:

    Oh criminetly!!!! Did you see what I did???? There instead of their…geesh!

  4. As someone who has taught English to speakers of other languages, this issue is very near & dear to me.  I have to say that I think that people who move here permanently should learn English.  But I also have to say that learning a second language is very very difficult, especially for adults, especially if they are working full time (often more than one job, as immigrants often have to do).  They may take an English class on a day off, or learn some from their children (who pick it up faster in school), but there is no time for them to become proficient.  If they work among others who speak their native language, it does not seem urgent for them to learn quickly.  And many immigrants come to the US for their children’s sake, with the idea of returning to their home country to care for their aging parents later on, so becoming fluent in English is not a priority.  I’m not saying this is how it should be, but this is how it is for many many immigrants.  So for those in the process of learning, or who don’t have the time to learn, having resources in their native language is important.  I hope this gives you a little different perspective on this issue.  Thanks!

  5. fwren says:

    Well, I think I kind of agree with you, but ya know, everyone doesn’t even speak the same language (nor are they on the same page  :rolleyes:) in a church body, so I tend to think expecting everyone to be able to understand the language of every other person in a whole country might be a bit unrealistic?  Just my opinion, of course.  Probably one doesn’t have anything to do with the other. 

  6. Thanks for the comment!  Regarding your post, we don’t speak English.  We speak American.  Otherwise I’d have to go get my shopping bags out of the boot.

  7. aj1965 says:

    I agree with you about the language thing, and I hear you! I’m not against other languages being used in this country or having cultural diversity, but I think putting every language that is spoken in the U.S. on every item of merchandise is going a bit too far. I think there should be a line.
    ryc: Thanks for all your sweet/cute comments! You made my day!

  8. Amen!! In any other country, a foreigner seeking citizenship or a long-term living arrangement, would be EXPECTED to learn the language, not kowtowed to, however you spell that! 🙄 Can you imagine an American in Mexico who did not know Spanish? All the spanish speaking natives would be talking really fast about the poor gal, probably pointing and snickering. Oh? what’s that? I was in SoCal and not Mexico? hmmm…

  9. Anonymous says:

    I am in agreement with your post. In our area we have Americans losing their jobs if they don’t learn a second language (Spanish). This is because they “need” it to communicate with the Spanish speaking people working on the jobsites that they deliver to. This seems to me to be the wrong answer. But because the contractors hire the Spanish speaking people ( ie. – cheaper labor) English speaking Americans are losing their jobs. Many of these people (Americans) are in their late 40’s to early 60’s and they don’t want to learn another language. Nor should they have to, IMO. If you move here,   ” Please, do what it takes to learn our language“. This is how it used to be and should still be. Many nationalities have moved here, learned our langauge, and still maintained most of their old customs and traditions.
    I guess you can probably tell this is one of my pet peeves. Enough of the rant.
    Gods Blessings!!

  10. Yes, Wolves is the first in a series, but the series is not about Bonnie and Jane. It’s about Diccon and some girl named Dido. Nightbirds on Nantucket is the second, I believe.I hope you like Noel Streatfield’s other books. The Shoe books aren’t as good as the other two, I think.

  11. I shouldn’t even touch this discussion…but nobody ever accused me of having an overabundance of common sense.  So….w/out further ado, y’all….rant reply in progress.
    Get your heads out of the clouds, people!  Several good thoughts on here, a few just not thoroughly thought through, and a couple…never mind.  However, begging the forgiveness of anybody and with no ill will intended, I’m going to skim through all the comments and comment thereon. And Homefire, not sure what you consider to be the current emphasis on multiculturalism, so bear with me if I fall somewhat into the category you have in mind;) 
    Joy4jesus, “It seems it would be to there benefit to learn English as a second language. Besides, I wouldn’t have to wonder if they are talking about me.”  Tremendous benefit for them indeed, and as for whether wondering whether they are talking about you, how often do we talk about others when we see an different group?  Besides, so long as you’re (notice the you’re!) not doing anything to be ashamed, it can’t hurt.  Maybe their (notice the their!) curiousity will prompt them to approach you or others about these strange looking people, and somebody (perhaps even you) will refer them on to the One behind these strange people.  Sorry about the you’re/their thing, I couldn’t resist;)
    ColumbiaRockette, many kudos!  If I may requote you a bit, But I also have to say that learning a second language is very very difficult, especially for adults, especially if they are working full time (often more than one job, as immigrants often have to do). THIS is something many “Americans” who are concerned about this type of issue don’t even consider.  They may take an English class on a day off, or learn some from their children (who pick it up faster in school), but there is no time for them to become proficient.  If they work among others who speak their native language, it does not seem urgent for them to learn quickly. This is unfortunate, but true and in first (and sometimes second) generations, unavoidable.  Accept it.  And many immigrants come to the US for their children’s sake, (our ancestors were often no different, and why was it acceptable then, but not now?) with the idea of returning to their home country to care for their aging parents later on (this is not an excuse, I’ve seen it several times), so becoming fluent in English is not a priority.  I’m not saying this is how it should be, but this is how it is for many many immigrants.  So for those in the process of learning, or who don’t have the time to learn, having resources in their native language is important.  Sorry about the underlining, it was just so you could read my comments mid-text.  One last thing, many of these immigrants with whom we have trouble communicating are actively involved in classes to learn English.  Somehow people think its a quick process.  I’ve talked to several people about this who have learned 2 or more languages, and every last one has labeled English the most difficult language they have encountered, with the exception of one guy who gave 1st place to Mandarin Chinese.
    Fwren, this wasn’t really a church discussion, but your comment did bring to mind the fact that even among our group there is this culturaphobia (and often subconcious racism) because of A. the ethnicity of our membership (regardless of the fact we are mostly family) and B. the influence of those around us toward this issue.  We have badly fallen down on one of the greatest opportunities/missions/witnesses (call it what you will) presented to us in our generation when it comes to reaching out to immigrants and minorities.  And no, a few international adoptions doesn’t make up the gap.
    Sorry y’all, homefire got me on a roll here.  And homefire, this wasn’t even what I had in mind about the monoculturalism of the USA, but this is good too;)
    And we continue with…the coley person.  You are so right about speaking “American” instead of “English”, and yet we have no problem (in the various situations involving Brits and Americans that I’ve seen) with the way they communicate, other than making the occasional joke, perhaps.  Yet we so often refuse to offer at least part of that same forbearance to other immigrants and language speakers.
    Aj1965, if you will take a look at the various products you buy, 9 times out of 10 they will have English, Spanish, French, and occasionaly Chinese/Japenese/some Asian language on them.  This is primarily due to the locale where these things were produced.  Since Spanish does seem to be the language in question on this post, look on the tags to see how many things were made in Mexico (hecho en Mexico).  You might be surprised.  And yes, even I will admit that the 1 out of 10 times they list things in English and Spanish specifically (anybody been in Walmart or Lowe’s lately?).  Before we start howling about that, consider why.  It is not some activist groups attempting to let people keep their own language, or minimize the importance of English.  It is simply business- the recognition that a significant part of the population is Spanishspeaking and this will encourage economic gains.
    And on this thought of two languages, who here has been to Canada or Mexico? Nearly everthing I came across in Canada was in English AND French.  In Mexico, it was in Spanish AND English.  Let’s continue.  Same thing in Israel- Hebrew AND English, Arabic AND English, or ALL three.  Germany, not set in stone, but lots of German AND English and maybe Swiss or something from nearby.  Etc, etc, etc.  Not trying to hold up English here, my point is this- people recognize that there are more than one major linguistic group and they accomodate it for both practical and economic reasons, EXCEPT for here in the good ole USofA where English is what we speak, everybody ought to learn it, everybody needs to become American (whatever that is).  How many of your greatgrandparents spoke a language besides English, or at least their parents (that means you have to ask your own grandparents if you don’t know).
    GracebyDesign, I know Russians/Germans in Mexico, most of whom do not speak a word of Spanish, and they get along fine.   
    And BAFocus, could you clarify something here?  Who in your area is actually losing their jobs because they do not know spanish?  Are they actually being laid off because the companies are hiring bilingual people instead, or do you mean workers are not able to get the bids and jobs they are after because somebody else who is bilingual applied for the same thing and got it instead?  If thats the case, its no different than a heating/plumbing shop having two applicants, one who has worked only as a plumber and the other having worked in plumbing AND heating.  Anybody with common sense would hire # 2.  But maybe you refer to people actually being let go?  That gets a little stickier.  One other thing, you said This is how it used to be and should still be. Um, in our lifetime, yes, and if you really want to stretch it, maybe 150-200 years.
    One thing that thankfully hasn’t really come up on here, even in bafocus’ post, is the usual complaint we here – the illegals and immigrants are taking all the jobs.  That is a post in itself, but there are no shortage of jobs available if people will apply, and the majority of the fields in which the immigrants are providing cheap labor are NOT areas that white boys will usually touch.  Ask any farmer or produce supplier.  And while we are on this, if there is anybody on here that votes who would be dumb enough to vote to avoid immigrant/”illegal” labor and provide most of their jobs to “Americans”- IF, and that’s a big IF, you find enough “Americans” willing to fill in those gaps, save us the whining when your produce triples in price, along with many other things you already think are too expensive, because guess what…they will.
    Anyway, end of rant, my apologies to anybody whose (here’s another one, joy4jesus and homefire- whose vs who’s) toes I may have stepped on, I wasn’t meaning to hurt any feelings.  Would love to hear some response here, for those of you who actually read to the end of my comment.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Amen to heirbyadoption, although long :lol:.  I used to be of the same camp – however i have changed my thinking.  Can you imagine how it was before England took over in the early years of our country’s history?  There were French, Netherlanders, people from all types of Spanish-speaking countries – all living in the original 13 colonies.  My main argument is that we are all descendants of immigrants, so what makes English any better than Spanish?  The reason the majority of us speak English is because England was our mother country until after the Revolutionary War.  Here’s an interesting fact… Did you know that United States of America has NO official language?  I think that in itself should close this argument!

  13. homefire says:

    Hey, Crucified, is that true?  I was under the impression that English WAS our official language.  That fact would make a definite difference.  In fact, it would pretty much nullify most of what I said.  🙄
    Heir, you make a lot of good points, and I am really glad you posted your longwinded reply.    The one thing I question is your assumption that immigrants are generally trying to learn the language.  I don’t think that’s necessarily the case.  Hopefully, the children are learning English in school, but the adults really have little need to, at least in our area.  There is almost nothing they would need that isn’t available to them by using their native language.  Thanks, though, Rockette, for pointing out that they probably don’t have time to spend learning the language, since they mostly work with other immigrants–I honestly had never thought of that.  I wonder if could start an ESL class on the side?  And improve my Spanish at the same time?  hmmm.
    I suppose there were probably people like me who ranted about the Dutch around here when they first came, too.  If the world lasts long enough, we may even see successful Hispanic businessmen leading our community.  I think they could start by opening some decent restaurants!  Or even a Taco Truck!  
    Now the illegals….THAT is another post!  Which I suppose you will also have an opinion on, heir!  :laugh:

  14. dotmarie says:

    e-props to the post. If I move to a different country I will definitely make an effort to learn the language–like any good citizen would do………….
    ok I have lots of experience with people who live here and don’t speak english. Several of them pretend to not understand. Several refuse to learn. That’s ridiculous and I have no patience with them. If they’re really trying, ok, but I really haven’t actually met more than a handful who are and honestly don’t have time or whatever.
    And my friend who learned English as a second language said Spanish is harder, so I guess it just depends on the person.
    nope, the US doesn’t have an official language………

  15. fwren says:

    Heir, I knew it wasn’t a church discussion, and I think I said that one subject probably didn’t have anything to do with the other, but was just on a mini-off-subject-rant myself.  I think your observances are quite good, actually.  Thanks for taking the time to be so thorough.  :laugh:

  16. Well when Mexico, the US and Canada becomes one union as they are working at doing, we won’t have to worry about it….or, we’ll all have to know English, Spanish AND French!  It is very frusterating though then you’re trying to deal with someone, especially on the phone and you can’t understand them….I’m understandin’ ya Homefires.
    Heir, that was a good message you presented there….  🙂

  17. homefire says:

    I cannot imagine how Spanish could be harder–it seems to me that it makes a lot more sense–but I’m struggling to acquire any proficiency at it, so that’s encouraging to hear!! 

  18. Anonymous says:

    Maybe I come on a little strong. I apologize. However there are Americans in our area who are indeed being told they will be let go if they do not learn Spanish. Many have worked for the same company(s) for years and are struggling with the fact of having no job tomorrow because they will not learn a second language. This is real and is happening here.  Secondly, I have had experince with hiring Spanish speaking (mostly Mexican) people, and maybe I have hired all the bad apples. But they all had the following problems in the end – No fixed address, two or more identities ( Green cards & Driver licenses ), paid little or no taxes, applied for and received all/more benefits than persons who could really use them, W-2’s and/or 1099 forms all returned no such person, etc., etc., etc. I will try to contain myself but when I see these things happen it gets my back up a little.

    Sorry again, I will refrain from more comment on this post.

    Gods Blessings!!

  19. homefire says:

    Yup.  Like I said, illegals are a whole ‘nother matter~!

  20. This debate reminds me of a great song from My Fair Lady….. 😆
    Why can’t the English teach their children how to speak? This verbal class distinction by now should be antique. If you spoke as she does, sir, Instead of the way you do, Why, you might be selling flowers, too. An Englishman’s way of speaking absolutely classifies him, The moment he talks he makes some other Englishman despise him. One common language I’m afraid we’ll never get. Oh, why can’t the English learn to set a good example to people whose English is painful to your ears? The Scotch and the Irish leave you close to tears. There even are places where English completely disappears. In America, they haven’t used it for years! Why can’t the English teach their children how to speak? Norwegians learn Norwegian; the Greeks are taught their Greek. In France, every Frenchman knows his language fro “A” to “Zed.” The French never care what they do, actually, as long as they pronounce it properly. Arabians learn Arabian with the speed of summer lightning. And Hebrews learn it backwards, which is absolutely frightening. But use proper English you’re regarded as a freak. Why can’t the English, Why can’t the English learn to speak?
    The point here is this-what IS English/American? Since the years of the texting/IM generation, ‘sup, tho, u, r, lol, ur, the substitution of numbers for words (2, 4, gr8, etc), removal of proper punctuation, and such like have become standard. They have considered adding some as official words because they are phonetically easier to spell! The use of proper English is nearly obsolete. Consider the your/you’re, there/their/they’re, whose/who’s, its/it’s, etc etc, ad nauseum debates. My high school English teacher would drop us a letter grade for every spelling, mechanics, usage, or grammar error we made! Thus, they now annoy me as well… :wha:
    Personally, the hispanic persons I have met who could not speak English were ashamed of it. It is humiliating to bring your 13 year old son along to your doctor’s appointment to translate for you. I would love to see all of them learn English, but Heir, you’ve got a point.
    PS- Aprendiendo el español es mucho más fácil que el inglés. (Learning Spanish is far more easy than English.) Bite the bullet, do the work, and get off your lazy American behind! 😆 Children in other countries almost always learn more than one language…..

  21. jcl1 says:

    There is no official language currently, although some politicians have been trying to rouse their voters by proposing to install one. Which, in my humble opinion, is a complete waste of politicking time. I really don’t have a ton of sympathy for American workers who are asked to learn Spanish or possibly lose their job. Most jobs worth having ask you to participate in some form of continuing education, mainly so you continue to keep current with your job’s demands, but also to increase their investment in you. The more you know how to do and do well, the more valuable you are. Why would anyone resist continued personal development? Even if it’s on their own dime, and I kinda doubt that a company would require a new skill from an established employee and not subsidize it to some extent, why wouldn’t somebody want to improve anyway? The benefits of study in general and acquiring a second language specifically are such that people should be willing to learn it regardless.I’m still changing my own ideas on this (slowly but surely), but I wonder if part of the problem is simply human resistance to changes in the status quo, especially when they’re on the advantageous end of that quo. If we had always had a strong multilingual factor in the U.S. among whites, would we have such a problem with it? Or, if we were on the disadvantaged end of this situation, would we be protesting it for reasons such as “that’s how it’s always been!”? Not so long ago, it had always been that people had slaves, too. That children worked like adults. That religious texts were restricted to the elect few among their respective religions and the rest were denied access. And any of these arguments presented could just as easily have been mustered for the perpetuation of those situations. “It’s always been this way.” “They should just get with the program.” “What if it takes away our advantage?”Which brings another thought to mind: why are people who happen to be Americans entitled to jobs, but people who happen to be Mexican, not? Are we about preserving those who already made it within our society, or modeling (to the best of our ability, which admittedly is pretty low sometimes) real justice and opportunity and equality and liberty to all? Do we believe that all humans have certain inalienable rights, or do we believe that some people have more rights than others?

  22. gsmith03 says:

    If it was in such a way that there was no doubt to you, fine. I can accept that. I personally don’t believe things like that happen, but if that was the basis for your belief, fine. How can I argue with your experience? The feeling I have been feeling for the last two years can best be described by one word: Hell. I don’t know the answers to anything anymore, and even worse I am beginning to think more and more that those answers cannot be known. It is tearing me apart. I want to know – I NEED to know – what the answers are so I know how to spend my life. Otherwise it is just a guessing game where the people who happen to guess right go to Heaven and the people who guessed wrong go to Hell. You can call it faith if you want, but what it really is is a guess.And about the suicide thing, yeah, I thought about the mess that would be left behind for people to deal with. It was this factor that often kept me from going through with it, but it was also this factor that made me feel all the more trapped by life. I couldn’t even kill myself because of what would happen to others, yet I desperately wanted life to end. I eventually came to the notion that there are times when we have to be selfish, doing what is right for ourselves regardless of what is right for others. I was scared to death of living, not wanting to have to deal with any more pain, and therefore I wanted to end it all. But I could never go through with it because I was also scared of death. Eventually I grew out of even trying anymore (because I couldn’t go through with it), and started begging God every night to just not let me wake up. Heaven and Hell didn’t matter…I just wanted to be done with it.

  23. lifesaver247 says:

    WOW, there is too much to read here and still maintain my mental integrity with my force fed schooling but I do agree with you on your original post and have thought about it allot since I have to take care of pt’s that can’t speak a word of English and it really does affect their level of care bc nothing is clear! Anyway…many props for the post!

  24. homefire says:

    Que sera–:lol:  “Why cawn’t the English…”  I love it!  (And I have always wondered why they couldn’t teach him how to sing.  ) 
    And yes, children in many other countries learn more than one language.  BINGO!!!  It’s a lot easier when you’re young, which is why I am trying to teach my children at least one other language (and unfortunately, having little success. 😦 )
    Jen, I’m surprised at your lack of compassion.  I think sympathy on the side of those adults who are struggling to learn another language to keep their job is just as important as sympathy for those who can’t talk to their doctor.
    And I must say that if gr8 and lol show up in the dictionary, I will consider it a great blot on the language!  🙄  sheesh!

  25. homefire says:

    “why are people who happen to be Americans entitled to jobs, but people who happen to be Mexican, not?”
    Not sure what you’re trying to say here, Jen.  You think that illegal immigrants should be allowed to work without paying the taxes we do?  Just curious.

  26. May I heartily amen Jcl1- but I wonder if part of the problem is simply human resistance to changes in the status quo, especially when they’re on the advantageous end of that quo.  And no, I don’t think those of us who might be willing to admit this have actually realized or put any thought into this fact:(
    Lifesaver’s comment reminds me what got me started on the late although-not-necessarily-so-great and longwinded post.  We went in to see a couple of friends and their new baby in the hospital two days ago.  At the entrance to the birthing center is the security checkpoint where you either have a longterm family wristband, or you pick up a temporary visitor card, then get allowed through the doors.  A young hispanic guy and his son came in and were in line just ahead of us, but they didn’t speak any english.  Guess what, the security guard couldn’t even say good morning.  So…long story short, he just sat there loudly complaining that he couldn’t let them in because he didn’t know their names and couldn’t let them in (in spite of the fact that the dad was wearing his parent-wristband), and the poor dad was sitting there totally confused and embarrassed.  Why do people raise their voices and talk retarded when somebody doesn’t speak their language- it just sounds even more idiotic.  And therefore (no pats on the back, seriously, I was just thoroughly annoyed that the guard couldn’t at least page one of the 100+ staffmembers inhouse that spoke spanish and have them translate) yours truly finally got fed up and told the dad what the guard wanted to know.  Otherwise the baby we were going to see would have gone home before we ever got in.  And last week (twice!) I was in the checkout line at a couple stores and spanish speaking women were in line in front of me.  The one time the clerk was beyond rude and telling her she shouldn’t be moving up here if she couldn’t speak spanish cuz this is America and that’s how thing work, and the other time it was took like 15 minutes or more.  I could have gone to another line, I guess, but the teenage girl running the cashier the second time had just got done with one of those loud, annoying and constantly complaining white people and the hispanic lady had a screaming baby and a like 6 or 7 year old trying to translate.  Long story short again, you’d be amazed at how insensitive and downright rude body language can be, and I won’t repeat what the girl said when I got to the cash register.  It’s very simple to swipe grocery items, point out the $ amount, take the money, give the change and smile, or so I thought.  I helped the lady to her car (she had like groceries for 6 months!) and turns out they’d just moved up 4 months before to live with her husband who is a citizen.  Just to make this clear, this has nothing to do with my feeble good samaritanism.  It’s the fact that we haven’t a clue about people (regardless what they speak or how they look) and we ought to be willing to go out of our way to make life just a little easier for each other.  Just for the record, I’ve seen the exact opposite of girl number without anybody using each others language, and things go just fine.
    Dotmarie, about that little handful you’ve met that actually make the effort, come back out and we’ll introduce you to a few people;)  We just have to be careful not to generalize everybody in a group (GBs especially ought to know that :O ), as evidenced by what Bafocus rightly had to say, because there are bad apples in every group that can ruin it for the rest (kinda like 1/4 of the yfolks girls wearing skin tight and fancy sweaters and getting everybody else smacked on the hand as well).  Sorry, couldn’t resist, that was from another discussion yesterday.
    Anyway, good thoughts from everybody, imho.  Homefire, let’s not do the illegals post shall we?  I’m too busy to write a book just now.  But, if you decided to for some reason, Jcl1’s last paragraph deserves a good bit of consideration, not just about status quos, but this idea of rights as well.  Ah, smell the worms in that can!!!!

  27. It would appear that homefire and I posted simultaneously;)  One other thing I did not touch on is the aforementioned fact (and homefire, this is kinda the area I was leaning toward when we ever first approached the monocultural idea) that children in most other countries are required to learn 2 languages.  (Lots of our kids are just plain dumb, and only half of it is circumstances, the other half is the lack of motivation.  Hence some of us go into teaching English.)  It’s going to kill us economically and perhaps eventually nationally, people. Who’s ready to help with the mass migration, and where are we going?

  28. ShineOn1983 says:

    I agree with anyone who said that people who live here in America should have to learn “American”. Not much makes me madder than hearing Spanish spoken around me when I am out shopping. If they are living here, learn the language, and stop trying to have their own little world here. I think not learning the language shows a rebellion and unsensitivity.

  29. D~ might I strongly encourage you to read through the entire 28 comments and think about them again?  And just a thought here, you mentioned their own little worldWhen did this become our world?  Before nationality or ethnicity, we ought to see everybody as individuals, and above all, as souls.  How caught up (and this is for every Christian on here, not just shineon) do we get in our identity of being “American?”  Since the spanish thing is still going, allow me to repost a couple sentences out of my first comment- We have badly fallen down on one of the greatest opportunities/missions/witnesses (call it what you will) presented to us in our generation when it comes to reaching out to immigrants and minorities.  And no, a few international adoptions doesn’t make up the gap.  You don’t need to go to Africa or Nicaragua or Haiti (and no, I have no problem with anyone going to those places), D, you can just go shopping and reach out to people there;)  You can see them as souls to be reached out to, whereas the cashier or next person in line just finds them an annoying Spanish speaker who needs to turn into an normal American (whatever that looks like). I’d recommend you read the whole comment to get the context, but we have to get past this idea that America is somehow ours, and everybody needs to conform.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but you (shineon) have a strong dislike for that mentality in ER and surrounding areas, yes?  Why not allow some of that individuality that you wish you saw more of on Sunday into your opinions on immigrants and other language speakers?  Just a thought.

  30. homefire says:

    Chris, I have to admit that I’ve never seen anything quite so blatantly rude as the cashiers, etc. you described, and that’s really quite inexcusable.  On the other hand, I do think that it only makes sense for a non-English-speaking person to take a translator with them if at all possible.  They really can’t expect that every place of business they step into will have one.  I think it’s a happy occurrence when someone like you is around to help them communicate, but the fact is that they have entered an English-speaking world.  Yes, we’re a self-centered society, and perhaps it shouldn’t be that way, but it is the reality at this point in time, and we (and they) have to work with it.  Don’t put people on a guilt trip for not knowing another language–most of us never even had any opportunity until we were teenagers, and many were not encouraged to learn one in my generation.  Compassion for both sides is a good thing here!
    And yes, the illegals rant is definitely shelved for the moment.  😉 

  31. jcl1 says:

    Fear not, I’m not as heartless as I may sound. I just have an overdeveloped ability to analyze impersonally. If you tell me a story about a specific breadwinner whose employer told them “learn Spanish in 3 months or you’re fired,” I would … probably….
    Well, no, maybe not. I mean, that’s very overbearing for an employer, but they have the right to require whatever skills they want from their employees.  If they feel the gain of a new employee that can speak Spanish is worth the cost of losing a faithful employee that didn’t speak Spanish, then they can do that. Yes, that would be problematic for a person who then can’t provide for their family, but on the other hand, that’s what we have unemployment for, to cover the interlude while they’re looking for a new job….
    at any rate, there’s so many variables in that kind of hypothetical situation, I can’t say any more than that. But I do hold to employer’s rights. The employer has the right to require certain skills and the right to terminate unskilled employees who are not an asset to his business.
    But do let me clarify that I wasn’t being completely unsympathetic for those who are trying to learn; I was refusing to see the requirement as unfair, and I was refusing to sympathize with people who refuse to learn a language even if their job is on the line.
    Now, are we discussing the heartlessness of an employer whose employee is trying to learn Spanish and isn’t learning it as fast as the employer wants? Well, that may be difficult, but still, if the employer needs a Spanish-speaker and employee “C” can’t do it, there’s nothing wrong with supplementing or replacing employee “C” with employee “Ch.”
    For your second response, my point with the employment opportunity priority is that I notice people complaining regularly that “these people are taking our jobs.” And I wanted to know why they are our jobs. Why should Americans get first dibs at a job? What ever guaranteed us first pick of work? Are English speakers more important than Spanish speakers?
    And I said English vs. Spanish speakers instead of saying Americans vs. Mexicans because I’ve never seen the specification of “illegal” added to such a complaint. The prejudice presents itself as being against people who can’t speak English, and relatively unconcerned about anything else to do with that person, unless of course the handy fact that they are illegal helps incite otherwise-apathetic people to similar protest.

  32. WHOA-this touched a nerve! LOL

  33. jcl1 says:

    Nerves touched?  Whose nerve?  I’m not nervous.  You know what touched a nerve though?  Me, whapping my head into the side of the car I was getting into today.  I was very touched.  My ear burned for 20 minutes!  Sympathize with me.  POOR JEN!!!  😉

  34. Waaa…    :sleepy:

  35. I found this in my email archives and found it relative to the current discussion:
    Pretty boring day today.  We stayed home and did school work, played, did laundry and some dishes.  Woohoo!  So, I’m gonna dig up some funny from my archive.
    > > > If you ever feel stupid, then just read on. If you’ve learned to
    > > > speak fluent English, you must be a genius! This little treatise
    > > > on the lovely language we share is only for the brave. Peruse at
    > > > your leisure, English lovers. Reasons why the English language is
    > > > so hard to learn:
    > > >
    > > > 1) The bandage was wound around the wound.
    > > >
    > > > 2) The farm was used to produce produce.
    > > >
    > > > 3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
    > > >
    > > > 4) We must polish the Polish furniture.
    > > >
    > > > 5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.
    > > >
    > > > 6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
    > > >
    > > > 7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time
    > > > to present the present.
    > > >
    > > > 8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
    > > >
    > > > 9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
    > > >
    > > > 10) I did not object to the object.
    > > >
    > > > 11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
    > > >
    > > > 12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
    > > >
    > > > 13) They were too close to the door to close it.
    > > >
    > > > 14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.
    > > >
    > > > 15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
    > > >
    > > > 16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
    > > >
    > > > 17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
    > > >
    > > > 18) After a number of injections my jaw got number.
    > > >
    > > > 19) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
    > > >
    > > > 20) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
    > > >
    > > > 21) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
    > > >
    > > > There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple
    > > > nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England
    > > > nor French fries in France (Surprise!). Sweetmeats are candies
    > > > while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat.
    > > >
    > > > Quicksand works slowly, boxing rings are square, and a guinea pig
    > > > is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. And why is it that
    > > > writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham?
    > > >
    > > > If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth beeth?
    > > > One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? Doesn’t it seem crazy
    > > > that you can make amends but not one amend. If you have a bunch
    > > > of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you
    > > > call it? Is it an odd, or an end?
    > > >
    > > > If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian
    > > > eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? In what language do
    > > > people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and
    > > > send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?
    > > >
    > > > How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise
    > > > man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the
    > > > unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it
    > > > burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out, and in
    > > > which, an alarm goes off by going on.
    > > >
    > > > English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the
    > > > creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all.
    > > > That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when
    > > > the lights are out, they are invisible.
    > > >
    > > > P.S. – Why doesn’t “Buick” rhyme with “quick”?

  36. Anonymous says:

    Methinks this is worthy of one more post ( I know, I know, I said I wouldn’t I post any more but I feel the need to add/clarify some things) but it will have to be tomorrow as I am tired and going to bed now.
    Gods Blessings!!

  37. Anonymous says:

    Okay, so let me in the discussion about illegals… I have a very strong opinion. =) For them. Or rather, against the way our government is treating them. I have my reasons though… I have heard their story firsthand, from them themselves. Do not ever judge without using caution, and never condemn without all the facts!! ~Beth =) Thanks for your long post, Chris, I enjoyed skimming through it a bit.

  38. Anonymous says:

    I tend to believe this issue is but a micro-ism of the world around us. It would appear that there are almost as many opinions and/or differences as there are people commenting. I have thought about this issue quite a bit since my first post on the issue and have come to the following semi-conclusions.
    There are three things which probably shape most of our views on this issue – There are certainly more but I think these are the main ones.
    1. How we were raised – Many who have commented (i.e. – OGBB, possibly others as well) were raised with a certain amount of prejudices towards others. These are most often based upon differences between the way we look and the things we do, and the way someone else looks and does. It can be within our church, our families, our acquaintances, the people who live around us, etc. You may deny this, and it may not be true in your case, but I think we all can recognize the fact that there are many of us to whom this applies. (IMHO- I think all people have some prejudices whether they admit it or not.)
    2. Where we were raised– Some who have commented have lived for many years around large numbers of *NES peoples, while others of us are just entering this realm. I expect that the differences in the way we view this issue can in some part be due to the length of time that we have been exposed to this situation. For many years here, the only *NES people we had any contact with were seasonal workers and they did not stay here for more than 3-4 months at a time. In the last 4-5 years we have seen this change dramatically. Now there are 1,000’s of NES persons that live here fulltime. Many of them are solid people who take pride in holding down jobs. There are Mexican stores (that is how they advertise them), there are certain parts of towns where they live, and many other changes. There are, as homefire said, signs in two languages, and many businesses have to work with the changes in their everyday dealings. It is a learning process and I am afraid there is a fairly steep curve at this point.
    3. Our experiences with people who don’t speak our language– Again, this is a large part of the shaping of our viewpoint on this issue. Heirbyadoption works around many of these people, or at least so I assume, and his opinion I think reflects his comfort level with this issue. Others have expressed similar viewpoints. My experiences to date have been have been somewhat different, and I have formed a viewpoint, probably causing many here to form an opinion about me in the process.
    Conclusions after writing all this –
                If we have good experiences with people we tend to think good of them individually, but when we have bad experiences with people we tend to lump them all together with similar people, and to view them all with suspicion, disdain, etc. This is human nature and we need to work on it in our life. (I think this can be true not only in our dealings with *NES peoples, but with many other situations that come upon us in life) – That is probably fodder for a post someday.
                I still feel that it should be incumbent upon those who move here to learn our language. I don’t feel that they have to change their customs but feel it would be good to be able to communicate to be solid citizens. I know many who are trying and commend them for their effort. I also believe they should make the effort to become citizens. They would then be more encouraged to become a part of the society around them. This would definitely be easier if the communications were better.
                I believe they should pay taxes, pay for health care, pay for college education, and several other things which some seem to think should be provided at our expense. I do not agree with persons losing their jobs because they can not speak two languges. I know this is probably a lightning rod for discussion, but this is the way that I feel.
                I probably need to change the way I look at and react to things. I tend to read something, formulate an opinion, and respond. There have been many thoughts expressed in these posts that have caused me to think about this issue in far greater detail than I first thought necessary. I realize that I need to re-examine how I think about these things in light of my Christian walk. I think the thing that I need to work on the most is how I react to these things in my life. My opinions of what I think they (*NES people) need to do are probably not going to change much, but my capacity to reach out in love and compassion needs to change. If nothing else this post has caused me to think more deeply about that aspect. My first reaction is obviously what I wrote down the other day. I need to change that into a more Christ-like response. May God help us as we move forward into the future.
    (I want it understood that this is all just my opinion and I am putting it out there for your consideration. I certainly hope I don’t offend anyone and would welcome comments as I think this is how we come to understand each other and the issues of life better.)
    *NES – Non-English Speaking
    Trusting that I haven’t offended anyone too badly – May God richly bless you as you continue to strive for the Eternal Glories.
    Gods Blessings!!

  39. jcl1 says:

    You should write a post on that first conclusion – it’s superb.No offense taken. It was a very clear, well-stated comment. I, for one, am pleased you came back to comment again and didn’t avoid the conversation because there were so many opinions. There’s a lot of character demonstrated both in coming back, in speaking again, in speaking fairly, and in coming to the conclusions you did, which effectively re-focused from “reaction” to “direction.” 🙂

  40. homefire says:

    Oh, boy.  I have a new gripe.  Why are there so many people whose jobs involve dealing with the public on the telephone who are NES?  (Thanks bafocus, for giving me an abbreviation for non-English speaking! 🙂 )  Okay, so maybe they’re not technically NES, but their accents and phrasing are still so non-English as to make them extremely difficult to understand.  
    This weekend (which I will have to post a complete report on, it was so unbelievable 😮 ) was made even more difficult by a serious communication barrier in my dh’s dealings with two different companies.  These weren’t Hispanic, just to chage the focus a little, and we can’t learn the language of ALL the different nationalities who are assimilating into our melting pot, can we?  Phone dealings can be really a hassle when you don’t understand what the other is saying.

  41. Here is an answer to your question on the post before my last. lol Sorry I didn’t sooner. The girl with tape on her mouth was Harmony, not Melody. She put it on so she would not have to testify before the Church as her and Merry, (her sister) were having struggles. See you laterTyler

  42. My friend is gonna have her birthday on 10 December, would u mind saying happy birthday to her?Just a sentence is ok~ Thank you very much! I really appreciate it!^^

  43. fwren says:

    Bafocus:  Well written, well said.  Amen. 

  44. SpazzyMommy says:

    RYC: your DH’s family sounds as crazy as ours!!! :fun:

  45. Angieprays says:

    For legal educated immigrants coming to America meant learning english so you’d fit into their culture. My german dad speaks english even though his parents barely speak it and only tried to learn it because of their american grand,great grand children not speaking their language. I have a problem with people moving here especially illegally and expecting our culture to change to adjust to them and my tax money to pay for it.that is my small rant. :nono:

  46. I read none of this, and I am proud of it.

  47. Imajomomma says:

    Wow, there are to many comments here.  I was just dropping by to say thanks for the encouraging comment you left me.  I do have a good joke for you that was told to me by one of my Romanian friends.
    “What language will be spoken in Heaven?”

    “Hungarian, because it will take an eternity to learn it”

  48. Landon, there is no need to take pride in your apathy-induced ignorance.  And pride is a sin anyway.  Humble thyself, read, and be enlightened, my son.

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