Bilingualism In the United States

I believe that a non-English speaking foreigner who moves to live in The United States should learn English.

That being said, I am appalled at the attitude many Americans have towards bilingualism.

It feels like they want to remain ignorant on purpose.

Learning another language is having another opportunity to see and experience this world. With the American Economy collapsing before our very eyes, I can not understand not wanting to learn another language, if that would allow a person to be more easily employed, and have more and better job opportunities in the future.
Raising a child in a monolingual environment  is virtually limiting his/her chances of adapting to this ever changing and very global multi-cultural society.


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10 Responses Feb 17, 2009

I totally agree, with new technology the world is becoming more accessible to everyone,speaking only one language is something of the past,being able to read a book in its original language is greatly rewarding,because a lot is lost in translation.I have read some books in two different languages,Emile Zola in French and in English,although the English version was well translated,something was lost ,some expressions are typical and cannot be translated.

I would like to learn spanish . Only because i want to know what the three women in the elevator were saying about me yesterday as they nodded their heads toward me and talked a mile a minute.
I keep seeing the comercials for Rosetta Stone on TV. Checked into it and decided i could hire and interpreter for less money.

I never had the opportunity to study another language until 7th grade. And I chose German, which is nearly useless living in North America. I studied Spanish later and wish I had the opportunity to start at age 6 or 7. If I had kids I would definitely start them learning a second language very early.

Right on!

I also like the European idea to require 3 languages, 1) their language of origin 2) English the "universal" language 3) an additional European language.

Yes, but this 'universal ' idea shouldn't mean the culture it conveys is universal. It will necessarily leave out some experiences from other cultures.

I live in Canada, where both English and French are the official national languages. That being said, there's not a lot of people in Western Canada who speak French regularly, and the same can be said for English in the Ontario-Quebec areas. <br />
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I took French in middle school up to grade 8, after which it stopped being mandatory. In grade 10, I took Japanese, and finished the 4th and final semester in my second half of grade 11. I went overseas to Japan for 2.5 weeks on a high school exchange trip, and got to use the little Japanese I remembered from my courses. <br />
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I do with more people would learn another language besides English, but more than that I want people to just be openminded and to not treat intelligence and education like stigmas deserving of ridicule. We should be setting our standards higher, not lower.

I took French in both high-school and after... I sort of wish I had taken Spanish. It is more commonly spoken. I am glad that each language you learn has similar words and so helps you with the next one.

Well said, mi amiga :-) Who would not want to read Neruda in his native voice? Cultural differences, finding and having new experiences, growth, JOURNEY. Why limit yourself?

LOVE this comment Scoobs, exactly how I feel.

There are MANY people WHO were born here, and speak English, that doesn't always make them better than others who don't. In cali. the mexicans work in the fields, many no english. White people would never do that type of work. What about the white trash people w/ their confederate flags. Ya, I'm white. Would rather live by non english speaking people than them. But, yes. It is easier if you speak english, especially if you have children!!!!

i especially dont like the bigots tho they breed hate!

I couldn't agree more. <br />
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I grew up in a bilingual environment, but unfortunately did not learn to speak a second language.