Do you speak American?

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Do you speak American?

Post by C on Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:52 am

A geographically diverse group of lawmakers introduced legislation on February 11th to make English the official language of the United States. Sponsored by Rep. Steve King and 58 other members of the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. 997 would reduce government multilingualism and return the focus of government agencies to promoting English acquisition. With numerous polls revealing that more than four-fifths of Americans support the bill, making English the official language is expected to be a hotly debated topic in any Congressional consideration of immigration and assimilation issues. source

The number of Americans who do speak English "not at all" jumped from
1.22 million in 1980 to 3.37 million in 2000, a 176 percent increase
over 20 years (Source: U.S. Census)


The United States of America has no "official" language although 30 US states have adopted English as their official language. Maine is one of the states who has not yet adopted an official language. Many feel that adopting an official language offends the diversity of our country and infringes upon civil rights.
I personally feel it is reasonable that anyone who immigrates to the US should adopt our language. It makes them more employable, safer and makes everyone's life easier. I find it so frustrating dealing with clerks, technicians and salespeople who cannot properly speak our language. I feel it would promote unity and help in the battle against poverty and discrimination. I don't know how much is spent by our government bridging all these language barriers within our country but I would imagine it is a hefty sum especially if you consider that the total cost for the California DMV to provide language services is more than $2.2 million per year.

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Re: Do you speak American?

Post by C on Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:52 am

¿Nadie tiene una opinión con respecto a esto?

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Re: Do you speak American?

Post by Z on Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:01 am

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh!

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Re: Do you speak American?

Post by C on Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:38 pm

Go raibh maith aga! (táim leathÉireannach)

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Re: Do you speak American?

Post by Z on Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:37 pm

tá fáilte romhat

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Re: Do you speak American?

Post by Z on Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:40 pm

Just to qualify a bit, I do not know the language. I was researching something a while ago and came across a few resources. It just seems timely right now.

A St. Parick's Day blessing upon you.

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Re: Do you speak American?

Post by xmashen on Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:00 pm

xinh loi, nhung ma, toi khong biet tieng anh hai lam!

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Re: Do you speak American?

Post by C on Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:18 pm

C wrote:Go raibh maith aga! (táim leathÉireannach)

To your blessing I said "Thank you! (I'm half-Irish)", I don't speak the language either, though it would be fun to learn. I can't imagine finding too many other people here in Maine to converse with in Gaelic though.


xmashen- Lol, the nearest I could decipher yours was: loi pretty, but, I do not speak English as his second!


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Re: Do you speak American?

Post by 911Dispatcher on Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:10 pm

слепая вера является все, что я могу и у вас есть все, что я держу


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Re: Do you speak American?

Post by dr on Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:50 pm

I'm just really thankful that I don't have to learn another language. I'd be one of "those" people others complain about.

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Re: Do you speak American?

Post by Z on Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:57 pm

911, what happened to the rest of it? Not that I even had a clue what you said.

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Re: Do you speak American?

Post by xmashen on Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:57 pm

well, you could always learn TRRese... it truly IS another language.

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Re: Do you speak American?

Post by Z on Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:59 pm

Aww, gee xmashen. I was really enjoying this one. I'm going to pretend you didn't say "T**". LA LA LA LA LA. lol!

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Re: Do you speak American?

Post by xmashen on Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:11 pm

But seriously, to address the first question, having spent a lifetime working with immigrants (for better or for worse), I do believe that English is key. Immigrant kids suffer a disadvantage upon entering American schools, of course. They do need some intense initial ESL instruction in order to join their peers (and also continued instruction). Bilingual ed is not the answer, since it only advances students through the system without any ability to speak the language that they will need. Most states have done away with that.

Although immigrants are required to pass an basic English test for naturalization, the test is very basic and does not require any real fluency. There are waivers for older/disabled persons, as there should be, but I do believe that to fully participate in life in your new country, you should embrace the language, which happens to be English. We needn't be embarrassed about or apologetic for our language. That said, it wouldn't hurt if Americans were a bit more multilingual, like so many Europeans and Asians.

There and old (and , ok, it's not all that funny) joke

"What do you call a person who speaks three languages?"
"TRILINGUAL"

"What do you call a person who speakes two languages? "
"Bilingual"

"What do you call a person who speaks ONE language?"
"duh... American"

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Re: Do you speak American?

Post by Timeout on Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:15 pm

Beagán agus a rá go maith.
Be (e as in echo) gawn og us uh rah go (as in going) mah.
Say little but say it well.
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Re: Do you speak American?

Post by Timeout on Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:18 pm

Or one from my mother - Cead mille failte - One hundred thousand welcomes!
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Re: Do you speak American?

Post by dr on Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:19 pm

Haiku

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Re: Do you speak American?

Post by C on Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:22 pm

Gesundheit!

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Re: Do you speak American?

Post by C on Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:28 pm

Ahm tellin' you I speak Mainah. I stahtid learnin it frahm bumpah stickahs. Ayah.

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Re: Do you speak American?

Post by Timeout on Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:30 pm

blah Is "emoticon" considered a language?
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Re: Do you speak American?

Post by 911Dispatcher on Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:52 pm

Z the translation was messed up on the first one....so I changed it.

чтобы слепая вера, является величайшей веры всех
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Re: Do you speak American?

Post by Z on Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:54 pm

Slainte.

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Re: Do you speak American?

Post by Z on Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:55 pm

It looks better with all the proper fadas.

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Re: Do you speak American?

Post by xmashen on Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:02 pm

hmmm.i love fadas... with cheese

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Re: Do you speak American?

Post by dr on Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:12 pm

xmashen wrote:hmmm.i love fadas... with cheese

Sounds like something JT would have written!!! Razz

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Re: Do you speak American?

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