View Poll Results: Should English be declared the official language of the United States?

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  • Yes

    61 54.46%
  • Yes, but with provisions to protect rights of non-English speakers

    17 15.18%
  • No

    31 27.68%
  • Unsure/Undecided

    3 2.68%
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Thread: Should English be declared the official language of the United States?

  1. #121
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    Re: Should English be declared the official language of the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Verthaine View Post
    While no one here is seems to be denying that atrocities were committed in the past, you saying that they are irrelevant to the present does not necessarily make it so.
    Those who forget about the past are doomed to repeat it.So are those who choose to ignore it.

    And again I ask,is there a guarantee that the atrocities committed in the past cannot and will not be committed in the future.
    I say while times my change, people are people, and people do will do really nasty things to one another if allowed to.

    And what's the uses of making English "official" if it is not "enforceable"' or the ultimately "mandatory"?
    There are many countries with official languages yet other languages are in use. Where I live, Mandarin is the official language, but many speak Taiwanese. I use English in addition to Mandarin and I converse with others regularly in Japanese and Indonesian. The fact that those are not official languages here does not prevent their use. In fact, in all three of those languages, I have a pretty thriving business in interpretation and translation. No one needs to fear that official English will mean it is illegal to speak Spanish, Mandarin, French or other languages in the U.S. That is simply preposterous...
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  2. #122
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    Re: Should English be declared the official language of the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by stelz View Post
    nHumanities: Half of Europeans Bilingual

    Half of Europe's Citizens Know 2 Languages

    BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) - Half of European citizens speak a second language, according to a European Union survey released Friday.
    The poll, conducted in June across Europe, found that tiny Luxembourg had the highest percentage of bilingual citizens, with 99 percent of those questioned saying they could master a conversation in a second language.

    Hungary had the lowest number with 29 percent of its citizens able to speak another language. Britain was second last with 30 percent.

    The survey also found that almost eight out of 10 students—ages 15- 24—can have a normal conversation in at least one foreign language.

    In the United States, by contrast, 9 percent of Americans speak both their native language and another language fluently, according to a U.S. Senate resolution designating 2005 the "Year of Foreign Language Study."
    So a very small country, where the citizenry will undoubtedly be in constant contact with foreigners, has a high concentration of bilingual citizens. This puts the high level of bilingual speakers into perspective for larger Europe, in general, where one can visit a foreign state by taking a short train ride. The same circumstances don't exist in the states, so it makes sense that not as many people adopt a second language. Though on border towns, and major cities, it's often more common.

    Another point this raises is that a country can still have an official language, and a large number of individuals who are bilingual; so the circumstances are not mutually exclusive. France would probably be a perfect example, where they are almost xenophobic of outside cultures, even going so far in legislating the language people can advertise in
    Last edited by ManofthPeephole; 06-19-11 at 05:28 AM.

  3. #123
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    Re: Should English be declared the official language of the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    How many languages can you speak?
    Why is that a relevant question?
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  4. #124
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    Re: Should English be declared the official language of the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Henrin View Post
    Americans weren't immigrants. You never even had a point, let alone that I made your point.
    Everyone in the United States is either an immigrant or the descedant of immigrants, PERIOD!
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  5. #125
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    Re: Should English be declared the official language of the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Canell View Post
    I'm just wondering when the Americans will switch to American instead of English.
    You know, in Taiwan, many people refer to 'English' as 'American language' 美語 - literal translation from Chinese...
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  6. #126
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    Re: Should English be declared the official language of the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by ludahai View Post
    Everyone in the United States is either an immigrant or the descedant of immigrants, PERIOD!
    What I'm saying is that the first settlers weren't moving to be part of the societies that were formed before they came. They were merely moving from one land to another and forming a new society in that region. Sorry for my term error, but my point was made before that. She was comparing the two and saying that its a double standard. When there is no double standard at all. The two situations are different.
    Last edited by Henrin; 06-19-11 at 05:43 AM.

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    Re: Should English be declared the official language of the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Henrin View Post
    What I'm saying is that the first settlers weren't moving to be part of the societies that were formed before they came. They were merely moving from one land to another and forming a new society in that region. Sorry for my term error, but my point was made before that.
    The first English immigrants were also bent on creating their own new society different from the one they left behind.
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  8. #128
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    Re: Should English be declared the official language of the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by ludahai View Post
    You know, in Taiwan, many people refer to 'English' as 'American language' 美語 - literal translation from Chinese...
    I resent that.

    But as to the OP, I don't see the point, it just disadvantages recent immigrants without any particular benefit.
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  9. #129
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    Re: Should English be declared the official language of the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by spud_meister View Post
    I resent that.

    But as to the OP, I don't see the point, it just disadvantages recent immigrants without any particular benefit.
    Why resent it? Actually, it is largely because Taiwanese are generally very pro-American and the American dialect of English is what is typically taught here. And the word for U.S. literally means 'beautiful country'. What is there to be resentful about?

    However, once again, to counter what some people have said, the country where I live has an official language, but many other languages are in use and are not under threat from the fact that Mandarin is official.
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  10. #130
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    Re: Should English be declared the official language of the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by MistressNomad View Post
    Oh, and I guess Native Americans never went to war with EACH OTHER? Right.
    Of course they did.

    OTOH, tribal wars were nothing like the large scale pogroms. massacres of women, children and old people, forced removal of children to "Indian schools" where they were beaten for speaking their own language and taught such lucrative career skills as mopping floors, gifts of smallpox-infested blankets, outlawing of religious practices, forced sterilization, enforced starvation by the slaughter of the buffalo and confinement on reservations, genocidal practices etc. etc. ad nauseum that were done TO the Native Peoples for, oh, 500+ years.

    This is real life. There's no "original sin." Everyone has someone in their family tree with blood on their hands, if you go back far enough. It's just DNA - it says nothing about who that individual is as a person. I bet my ancestors had slaves. Does that make me pro-slavery? I bet your ancestors killed some people from other Native American tribes. Should I blame you?
    I don't think he's asking you to wear a hair shirt and flagellate yourself for something some ancestor whose name you don't even know did in the 1800's. He's saying that we have to be vigilant that these things aren't repeated.

    Those white people back then actually believed they were doing what God wanted, stealing land and killing Indians. They called it "Manifest Destiny". Google it. Large scale delusion that rationalizes genocide is a horrible thing.

    Trying to guilt people who have nothing to do with whatever historical thing you won't let go of is completely pointless to the conversation. Nothing you've said has anything to do with having a national language. You're not even participating in the debate. Just flinging about emotionally-laden but argumentatively fallacious side-tracks from the conversation the rest of us are trying to have.
    They're not fallacious. Everything he brings up is well-documented. And while some reparations are in order (nothing can make up for the things that happened, but I'd like to at least see some good intent - the Lakota were promised the Black Hills, for instance, in the Treaty of 1868 for "as long as grass grows and water flows" but it wasn't them who broke it. I'd much rather for them to have the Paha Sapa back than to have the current Flintstones Bedrock City and Sturgis Sausage Suck contest there.) he's not asking you to do anything but THINK. Who cares what language another person chooses to speak? What right does anybody have to make somebody else "unofficial"?

    It's horrifyingly easy to fall into the behaviors he's talking about. Look at Germany - one day everybody's told that the economy's bad because the Jews are taking everything, so they're going to "relocate" them. Sounds harmless enough, doesn't it? Next thing you know they're going along with the story that Auschwitz smells the way it does because it's a "sausage factory". They know what it is, but they have to go along with that story if they want to live. My area was settled by Germans in the 1800's, most of the white people here are of German descent and they're not inherently sick or vicious at all, a lot of them are wonderful. It's just that the ones over in Germany in the 1930's allowed themselves to be sucked in by xenophobic propaganda. Then it was too late.

    Most developed countries, with the best standard of living and the lowest crime, have a national language. The implementation of declaring an official language is well-known, well-practiced, and has nothing to do with ethnic, cultural, or territorial war. It is obvious to everyone but you that what you're saying has no bearing on the concept at hand.
    I would say that the standard of living and the low crime rate is due to something other than having an "official language". My dog has fangs and he's a good pet. Does this mean that he's a good pet BECAUSE he has fangs, or that all animals with fangs are good pets?

    There shouldn't be an "official language" anywhere. As you mentioned, people clash. Suppose the Chinese took over someday and declared Mandarin the "official language" here? Would you be ok with that?
    Last edited by stelz; 06-19-11 at 06:30 AM.

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