Sunday, March 20, 2011

No hablo

The other day I heard someone say "I tired of people around here not speakin' American."  Huh??  I didn't realize that  American was a language.  I have heard of American English.  Nevertheless, I thought about it a while and this is my thought on that subject.

English is not an easy language to learn.  Most of the people who speak English as a first language do not speak it correctly.   I think the value of teaching proper English as diminished to the point where Americans just don't care.  Even though there was a movement to make English the United States' official language, I don't think that would have helped anyone.  Thanks to country, pop and rap music and texting, I don't ever see it getting any better.

People like to complain about Spanish being spoken in this country.  My thoughts are that a bilingual country would be rather confusing.  However, take a look a map from the 1800's. Spanish settlements were all over the south and the west.  England settled in the East, where our government started.  Where Spain and England settled were based on sailing routes and the wind, not what language was spoken.

Back to the topic.  Now the people that the aforementioned "someone" was referring to were Southeast Asian.  Many to these people that I have met, have their kids do their translating.  I don't have a problem with this unless the topic is complicated.  People get so mad over having to commincate with these people.  I don't get it.  When immigrants came from all over in the late 1800's they couldn't speak the langauge either.  Everyone stayed within their own communities with people who spoke their native language.  What has made America great, is people leaving those communites and becoming one people of this nation. 

130 plus years later, we have become intolerant of immigrants even though all most all of our heritage have come from other places.  It just proves the fact that we are a spoiled, selfish nation.  When have you or I tried to learn a different langauge.  I tried to learn Spanish in high school.  That was a joke.  I don't think they tought it the right way or maybe I was just to lazy to try to learn.  ( I am American after all.)

Yes, I get frustrated when I call customer service and can't understand what the agent is saying.  Maybe some people feel those jobs are beneath them and won't do that work. Maybe companies feel they can save money  by paying immigrants less.  Whatever it is, if I push "1" for English, I should be able to
understand the person.  If I can't understand the person, it's not their fault.  The company they work for put them in that position.  Your frustrations should be voiced to the company not that person. ( That is if you can get of hold of someone you can understand.)

The world we live in gets smaller everyday.  Immigrants are still coming to this country legally or illegally.  One language for this country would be great and for the world even better.  But, that's never going to happen.  So, if I have to press "1" for English, it's fine.  Just have someone I can understand.

This blog went way off from what I had intended.  So be it. I can cover it again another day.

This was what was on my mind today.  Thanks for reading.


  1. Wow I just posted a long comment and it did not go through! GRRRR

  2. No one has the right to say that English is an easy language to learn. That is a generalization which is really one of the topics you covered above. There are so many diverse learners that it is ridiculous to say this or that is easy and it is disturbing to hear someone say/imply it. Our economy (in So. Il.) is so bad if someone feels beneath answering phones then let them be hungry. Tolerance is such a beautiful Christian behavior I can't believe more people do not participate in that activity. I am embarrassed because I only know English and after I get my degree the first thing on the list is learning Spanish. It is compassionate to know someones language and ridiculous and spoiled to feel like only certain people deserve to enjoy the freedom and absolute awesomeness America has to offer. - Kelly Ellis

  3. I lived in Puerto Rico for a year and at the top of my list of priorities was learn Spanish. It only seemed fair since I lived there. But, I wasn't doing it for them. I was doing it for myself. In order for me to function better there, I needed to learn their language. I never expected them to change their way of doing things to accommodate me.

    If someone wants to live here and not learn English, that is their choice. It is of no concern to me. It just makes things more difficult for them.