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Thread: United States English Only ? Those with thick accents need not apply?

  1. #11
    Lord of Death jubeh's Avatar
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    In a lot of other countries english is taken extremely seriously and then you have another language you learn just like we do that everyone blows off just like we do. So we don't actually have to learn a language we just have to pass a language course.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylux View Post
    When I was in Europe, I was able to speak three languages and be understood: German, Spanish, and English. Now, many folks only understood two of the three, but the fact that many people in other cultures take the time to learn the language of another closeby (or even far away!) culture shows that we're only being arrogant as proclaiming a single official language. The predominant language can be English, yes, but to not be pompous assholes about our self-illusionary cultural superiority, we should at least include Spanish as our secondary language. 'Murica: Fuck Yeah is only funny if you're not serious about being culturally oblivious.
    I don't think making English the official language would be a sign of "superiority". It isn't as if we'd be making it the official language of the world. English is the main language of the United States and always has been. Even immigrants coming today strive to learn English. I know many immigrants and learning English is part of what they consider being American. You seem to have some unfair assumptions about people who support an official language as well.

  3. #13
    Moderator Psy's Avatar
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    If its the main language spoken here and everyone around the world knows that then what's the point of officially stating the obvious? It's not like we are jailing people for not speaking it. It comes with no negative or positive repercussions for anyone. It's redundant.
    I think people should speak what they like and learn what they like but know that not everyone will always be able to understand you.
    Speaking more than one language increases your chances of getting better paying jobs because its just a fact that not everyone can understand each other.

  4. #14
    1. Should there be an official language in the United States?

    Every time it has been attempted to establish English as the official language of the United States, the Spanish and Chinese speaking minorities get annoyed about it. I can understand this. The US is an immigrant nation, as are many others. Too have an official language seems as odd as it is pointless.

    2. Have you ever had trouble understanding someone foreign to you? As a student or otherwise?

    I have traveled a huge amount in my life and encountered many accents that I had difficulty understanding, yes.

    3. Do you speak another language? If so, is English your second? If so, have you ever dealt with language stigmatization?

    I speak French and have recently started learning Spanish. I'm toying with the idea learning Russian, but that will have to wait. I go to France often and I have been told that when I speak French I either mumble (worse than a Parisian, I was told), I speak too quickly or I sound very posh (I was once told by an otherwise very nice lady working at a hostel in Libreville, Gabon that I sounded like Louis XIV. How she knew what Louis XIV sounded like is anyones guess...) So, yes, as a native English speaker, conversing in my second language does have its problems. But usually people will take into account that you are not a native French speaker and slow down their pattern of speech for you or use simpler words. I do this also when I speak to people who are not native English speakers. But the more you keep going with the language the easier the pronouncation gets, the less you get stared at blankly when you ask for things in shops and the more filth and cursing you learn in that langauge...

    Je pense que la meilleure façon de gérer cela est de vous va te faire foutre...

    4. Other stuff related to this topic (Language, other countries and language, Bilignualism, multilingualism, etc)

    Its an interesting topic and one which I think relates closely to racism, as you rightly said. Someone who posted before mentioned that if a teacher is to lecture at a college then they have to be able to speak the native language FLUENTLY. Well, I don't think there is any doubt that they will be able to speak the language fluently, otherwise they would not have gotten the job in the first place. The problem is the accent. My Spanish teacher is from Mexico and her English is almost flawless. The trouble that some of my classmates have is that when she is explaining the meaning of a Spanish word in English, they can't understand her and thus, fail to learn Spanish. This just simply doesn't happen to me. Maybe I have a good ear for accents, but I simply don't have a hard time understanding people who speak with a different accent. And, without bragging, I've been to Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Belize and many other parts of the English speaking world and had no problem understanding any one there (apart from the drunks, but no one understands them).

    But surely I'm not unique? Surely my DNA didn't replicate itself in such a way as to give me an advantage in the area of understanding accents above the average person. I don't think that's very likely. My theory on this is related to racism, in a sense. I think a lot of people hear a foreign accent and their brain just doesn't want to process the information being told to them. Even if a Chinese woman is speaking perfect English, using a wide vernacular, but speaks like 'I am yor Engrish teacher.' then a lot of folks, it seems to me, just switch off and bother trying. I think their missing a trick. Or they just must try harder to listen to people and bypass something as minor as a fucking accent.

    5. If there would be one language you'd like everyone to speak throughout the world, what would it be?

    There are less languages spoken now throughout the world than there has ever been. Some countries are trying to bring back their native languages, Gallic in Ireland, Malagasy in Madagascar, Tajik in Tajikistan etc but it seems fairly fruitless on a world scale. Even in Galway, western Ireland, which is known throughout Ireland as being the forefront of the Irish language, they will speak to their friends, their teachers, their parents, the pub landlord, everyone in Irish, but they will watch TV in English, text in English, Facebook in English and so on. It seems no matter how hard they try, English will seemingly never lose its power in Ireland and the same goes for French in Madagascar and Russian in Tajikistan.

    Is this a good thing? I don't know. As a keen traveler, it makes life easier for me as there is less language barrier to overcome (memorizing 6 or 7 Russian phrases will get you by sufficiently in the cities of Tajikistan, for example) but you can't help but feel that something has been lost along the way. These diverse and amazing cultures all with their own customs, traditions, mythology, legacies, diets, folklore all wrapped up in their own native language are slowly but surely being overtaken by other languages.

    I suppose the common answer to that question would be English. Well, it is happening. It is estimated that by the year 2050, 50% of the worlds population will be able to speak English. That's a lot of people. But I for one do not want to see a global lingua franca. The world would be a much more boring place. It would be like Tamriel, where you have so many different races; high elves, orcs, nords, redguards etc but they all speak perfect English. That always annoyed me about those games.

    6. If you're not a United States resident, and are in a different country, tell us about how language is seen there in comparison!

    About the same way as the US, I would think. People here in the UK feel that if you come here, you need to learn English, which is fair enough. Its related a lot to immigration. 'They come here off the boat and can't even speak the language.' but of course they can speak the language. How the hell do you think they found work? Do you think they conducted his job interview using glove puppets? Idiots. But again this relates to accents. A lot of 'True Brits' or racists as they are more commonly known, will say that any one who doesn't talk like Prince Charles has no right to live here. I don't understand this mentality at all.

    This reminds me of a time I was talking to a Canadian about immigration and he said 'Well, I don't mind if people want to move here ('here' meaning Canada), but they have to adapt to our society and our culture.'

    To which I replied 'Oh, so I take it you sleep with a Dreamcatcher above your bed, don't believe in the right to own land and you build Totem Poles to commemorate your ancestors? You know, like what the Hidatsa and Iroquois tribes did? I think what you really mean is that anybody who comes to 'your' country should act just like you.'

    I think this story can be related to language.

  5. #15
    One Thousand Member AlmanacnamedTime's Avatar
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    1. Should there be an official language in the United States?

    No. There should be multiple and we should be required to know them. I mean be fluent.

    2. Have you ever had trouble understanding someone foreign to you? As a student or otherwise?

    Nah but I also pick up accents and don't notice.

    3. Do you speak another language? If so, is English your second? If so, have you ever dealt with language stigmatization?

    I only know English.
    I can get around in(speaking/reading/hearing);
    -Japanese
    -Spanish
    Can make myself understood in;
    -ASL
    -JSL
    I know a few words in;
    -NM i don't want to list them

    4. Other stuff related to this topic (Language, other countries and language, Bilignualism, multilingualism, etc)

    I was raised spoken to in three languages and expected to respond correctly. I am not fluent in those languages, but I will be.

    5. If there would be one language you'd like everyone to speak throughout the world, what would it be?
    No that's no fun. Then I can't insult people in other languages.
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