"Hmmm...Can't decide if I want to watch "Four Houses" or give myself an Icy Hot pee hole enema..." - Blake Shelton
Nonetheless: 1) The man states in the video that he felt more comfortable speaking Spanish since it's his first language and he could communicate better with it. 2) He also likely was using it as a symbol of the idea that Spanish speaking immigrants are a part of the country as well and have the same right to speak in their first language as English speaking Americans. It's not that hard to piece together.
"It ain't what they call you, it's what you answer to." - W. C. Fields
As to his English being weak, that goes back to my first statement. But even then, if you are going up before an English-speaking government, you should bring an interpreter in the least. He would have made a better impression trying to speak English and showing that immigrants have a desire in learning the ways and customs of our country.
I gotta disagree, playdrive.
I won't even go to foreign countries as a TOURIST if I don't speak at least a little of their language. It's rude. I don't go to other people's countries and tell them to speak my language. And if I did, the people of that country would be justified in calling me rude - in their native tongue, at that.
Belgium has 3 official languages, and I learned a bit of all of them before I went just to be safe. I didn't learn a ton, but enough that I could get around, ask for food, help, directions, etc, and at least show them I was trying. And I wasn't even living there - I was just passing through. It's courtesy.
And just to be clear, I am not a language guru. I'm actually terrible at learning new languages, and I've forgotten everything I learned except a bit of German, since it's the most similar to English. But I made the effort, because I try to be polite.
To me, it's even the same of different versions of English. When I was working in New Zealand, I wrote my CV using THEIR spellings and replacement words ("flat" instead of "apartment" and the like). Because I'm in THEIR country. And while it may be spelled "color" where I'm from, it's "colour" in New Zealand and the American spelling is wrong. If I'm going to live in their country and ask their employers to hire me, I am not going to expect them to make exceptions for me. They were nice enough to let me live in their country.
And while it may be true we don't legally have an "official" language, everyone knows we speak English. Japan doesn't have an "official" language either, but don't try to tell me you'd go to Japan and expect them to speak English, or Spanish for that matter. My grandmother moved to this country as an adult, and while her English may not be great, she did learn it, because she is living in an English-speaking country.
Speak whatever language you want to your friends and family. But if you want to function in our society, yeah, you have to speak English. What's so terrible about that?
Last edited by SmokeAndMirrors; 06-17-11 at 09:42 AM.
The Official Language of the United States and its Impact on the Translation IndustrySince the US has no Nationally accepted language why should people have to speak English? The English language is the official language in 27 states and that's all.Spanish is actually catching up.Do you know what is the official language of the United States? If you answered English, guess again. But don’t feel bad, the vast majority of people would answer that English is the official language of the United States of America. English is the de facto language since, at this point, it is the most widely spoken language in the nation. But Spanish is catching up with over forty million Hispanics speaking their native language at home, at work, and on their daily lives. This brings another point: Why is the U.S., an English-speaking country (or so you think), catering not only to the Spanish language, but to many others that you don’t even know about? Because the U.S. as a nation has never declared an official language. Many people have tried it with no success. In 1780, John Adams proposed to the Continental Congress that English should be declared the official language of the United States. His proposal was deemed "undemocratic and a threat to individual liberty.” This type of debate has been going on for years, with people on both sides of the fence. And yet, the issue isn't any closer to a resolution than it was 200 years ago. This doesn’t mean that the individual states have not declared an official language because many already have. Twenty-seven states, to be exact, have officially declared English as their language.
The flame that is between us could set every soul on fire. I would love to take that heat and let's fill the whole world with desire.
Sophie B. Hawkins