View Poll Results: Is it important to be considerate to those who can't speak English well?

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  • No, they should not be here if they can't already communicate well in English.

    1 2.22%
  • Yes, of course. As long as the person is trying, we should cut him some slack.

    39 86.67%
  • Not sure

    0 0%
  • Other (explain)

    5 11.11%
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Thread: Is it important to be considerate to those who can't speak English well?

  1. #11
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    Re: Is it important to be considerate to those who can't speak English well?

    Quote Originally Posted by Helix View Post
    i've never met a second generation immigrant who didn't speak perfect English, but i'll take your word that you have. it doesn't matter. they'll become part of America just like every other immigrant group has.
    Really? I''m not sure what part of the United States you live in, but here in the urban centers of the Northeast I can easily find you second and third generation Americans who not only don't speak reasonable English, but do not consider themselves Americans, in terms of loyalties. They are Irish-Americans or Italian-Americans or Mexican-Americans, etc..... Note which of those nationalities is SECONDARY in every case.

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    Re: Is it important to be considerate to those who can't speak English well?

    Quote Originally Posted by Luna Tick View Post
    I speak three languages: English (my native language), German (fluently as a 2nd language), and French (on a rudimentary level). I can tell you that it's hard to learn another language. It's not something that you accomplish in easily in 30 days, despite what some marketers of language courses may tell you. I feel for people new to the country who are struggling to get up and running with English, but are not always treated respectfully.

    Hence, my question on whether it's important to be considerate toward people who aren't good at speaking English yet. Note: The poll is not about people who come to the US and never bother to learn English. It's about people who come here and commit to learning the language, but who have not yet reached proficiency. They may speak with a heavy accent, use bad grammar, use poor word choices, or lack the vocabulary to say what they mean. But they're trying.

    By being considerate to them, I mean speaking slowly to help them understand or sticking to basic vocabulary, or defining a word for them if they say they don't understand it. It could mean speaking in their language if you happen to know it.
    I think it's (almost) always important to be considerate to others, so yes, I think we should be considerate to people who are learning English as a second language. However, I think that being considerate only goes so far. We shouldn't have to bend over backwards for people who came to this country without being able to speak the language fluently. For example, I'm all in favor of having interpreters available for use at doctors' offices, or government offices or the like, but the person who can't speak English should pay for them, not the government or the doctor or whatever.
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  3. #13
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    Re: Is it important to be considerate to those who can't speak English well?

    Untill someone is inconsiderate to you you should always strive to be considerate to them. If you want t be the bigger person you should still strive to be considerate to them, though it is much harder.
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    Re: Is it important to be considerate to those who can't speak English well?

    Slang and contractions and regional dialects probably make learning American English a pain in the butt.....As long as they are trying it is fine with me. It ain't like I don't speak no perfect English myself.

  5. #15
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    Re: Is it important to be considerate to those who can't speak English well?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisher View Post
    Slang and contractions and regional dialects probably make learning American English a pain in the butt.....As long as they are trying it is fine with me. It ain't like I don't speak no perfect English myself.
    If they stay out of the South they should be fine then.

  6. #16
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    Re: Is it important to be considerate to those who can't speak English well?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tigger View Post
    Really? I''m not sure what part of the United States you live in, but here in the urban centers of the Northeast I can easily find you second and third generation Americans who not only don't speak reasonable English, but do not consider themselves Americans, in terms of loyalties. They are Irish-Americans or Italian-Americans or Mexican-Americans, etc..... Note which of those nationalities is SECONDARY in every case.
    like i said, that hasn't been my experience. i live in a town that has a large tomato processing plant nearby, and this company brings in a lot of migrant workers from Mexico. some stay, some migrate. when they arrive, their English isn't the best, but their kids attend the schools and learn English just fine.

    anecdotal evidence vs anecdotal evidence, so i guess this discussion is a bit of a wash unless someone has done a study showing that it's common for third generation Americans to not speak English. i truly doubt this is the norm, though.

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    Re: Is it important to be considerate to those who can't speak English well?

    Quote Originally Posted by Luna Tick View Post
    I speak three languages: English (my native language), German (fluently as a 2nd language), and French (on a rudimentary level). I can tell you that it's hard to learn another language. It's not something that you accomplish in easily in 30 days, despite what some marketers of language courses may tell you. I feel for people new to the country who are struggling to get up and running with English, but are not always treated respectfully.

    Hence, my question on whether it's important to be considerate toward people who aren't good at speaking English yet. Note: The poll is not about people who come to the US and never bother to learn English. It's about people who come here and commit to learning the language, but who have not yet reached proficiency. They may speak with a heavy accent, use bad grammar, use poor word choices, or lack the vocabulary to say what they mean. But they're trying.

    By being considerate to them, I mean speaking slowly to help them understand or sticking to basic vocabulary, or defining a word for them if they say they don't understand it. It could mean speaking in their language if you happen to know it.
    Of course it is important. It is part of being curteous to others. Whether or not it is important we adapt and our legal system so others may understand is a different story. (I am not supporting the 'this is 'MERCA! We speak english, and so should you!')
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    Re: Is it important to be considerate to those who can't speak English well?

    Depends, to be honest. On how long they've been here and their age among other things. I don't expect a Venezuelan lady who came here with her family at nearly 50 to speak nearly perfect English.
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    Re: Is it important to be considerate to those who can't speak English well?

    Quote Originally Posted by 0bserver92 View Post
    If they stay out of the South they should be fine then.
    Sure because nobody really cares what the busboys and dishwashers have to say up north anyway.

  10. #20
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    Re: Is it important to be considerate to those who can't speak English well?

    Yes, it is important.
    I came to this country in 1985, unable to speak a word of English. I am very grateful to many people who were patient and considerate with me.

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