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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 09:28 AM
Original message
If Spanish became the dominant language in the US, so what?
Edited on Wed Oct-25-06 09:36 AM by raccoon
Spanish has the advantage over English in that it's spelled phonetically.

I believe in 30 years, Spanish will be the de facto dominant language in many states. In some, it probably is already.

Edited for spelling error!
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RB TexLa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 09:29 AM
Response to Original message
1. free human beings can speak whatever they want

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kiahzero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 09:31 AM
Response to Original message
2. It would be a major problem for the legal profession.
Look how long it's taken us to get away from using Latin (we still haven't). Words have connotations beyond their , so it wouldn't be a simple matter of just translating statutes into Spanish and calling it a day.
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Jed Dilligan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #2
38. And God forbid that lawyers
should have to deal with problems.

:eyes:
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kiahzero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 11:26 AM
Response to Reply #38
43. It's going to affect everyone
What I'm saying is that translating the law to any other language would have the potential to cause substantive changes in the law, as well as making it that much more incomprehensible to a layman.
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Jed Dilligan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #43
44. The likely scenario, then
would be the retention of English words, like the Latin you bemoan in your first post.

It's not sufficient reason for linguistic nativism.
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kiahzero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #44
52. I wasn't saying it was
The OP asked "So what?" I provided an example from my field of something that would be a problem.
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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 04:08 PM
Response to Reply #2
62. I thought Latin is used in legal circles for the same reason its used...
in science, because its a dead language with discrete meanings for most terms and words derived from it. That way, very little interpretation can take place. At least, this is why science uses such terms.
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Rosemary2205 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 09:31 AM
Response to Original message
3. I won't be learning spanish.
I'm told that makes me a bad person. I'm not sure why the spanish speakers who can't or won't learn english aren't bad people though. No one has ever explained that part to me.
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blogslut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 09:34 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. wtf?
bad people?
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Rosemary2205 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 09:43 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. All I know is
When that bar owner in Mason OH put a sign in his bar window telling people his staff doesn't speak anything but English and if they want service they will have to speak English then everyone and their momma called him bigot, racist, scumbag, asshole etc.

I'm being told constantly by other progressives that only scummy selfish assholes don't learn spanish to accomodate all the spanish speaking immigrants -- and local employers tell me that and I'm unworthy of even a minimum wage job because I am not bilingual.

I don't mind people speaking spanish. I don't even mind if my fellow progressives think I'm selfish and lazy because the spanish speakers can't communicate with me. I just wish they'd explain why I'm a failure of a human being for speaking only english but the spanish speakers are wonder assets that need protecting for only speaking spanish. I don't understand the double standard and wondered of someone can explain it to me.
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 09:51 AM
Response to Reply #7
11. Perhaps your linguistic deficiency is not the only reason....
You are currently jobless. Surely, you have talents that would qualify you for more than a minimum-wage job. Your attitude might be part of the problem.

Just trying to "explain" it to you. Is this simple enough?

By the way--the bar owner does qualify for all the names you mentioned.

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Rosemary2205 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 10:11 AM
Response to Reply #11
18. I am not "jobless"
I have a very nice job, thank you very much. It accomodates ALL my disabilties and allows me to contribute. Fortunately they did not rush to judgement as quickly as you did and took the time to find out more about me.
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 10:39 AM
Response to Reply #7
23. That bar owner was a bigot
He put up a sign saying that people wouldn't be served if they didn't speak English. That's as racist, bigoted, and vile as you can get. I don't speak Spanish, but I've worked several jobs where I've sold to or served Spanish-only speakers, and have worked with several. It's not overly difficult, usually it involves pointing at a menu or a tire or whatever you want, and writing down a number.

The bar owner wasn't trying to warn people that he didn't speak Spanish, he was trying to chase out anyone who didn't speak English. That's exactly the same as refusing service to African Americans for their skin color.

If you don't want to learn Spanish, that's your business. If someone else doesn't want to learn English, that's their business. But when you tell someone they won't be served if they don't speak Spanish or English, you have a problem. Well, hopefully not you. The bar owner, in this case. It would be no different than if you weren't allowed in a public building because you are a woman.
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noahmijo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #23
66. All's I know is when I visit one of them europe countries they better know
what a real American french fry is and I better be able to order it in good ol English!!

: :sarcasm::


Serious Note: It's a Global Economy whether we like it or not. Everytime you step outside of your home you're contributing to it whether it's buying that Chinese made toy for your kid or staying at a hotel cleaned secretly by illegals.

Spanish was spoken long before English was in this country and it's not going away. People like this bar owner then wonder why the bar down the road is kicking his ass economically speaking.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #7
34. This is a right wing meme that is full of error.
Not too long ago, Proud2BLib posted an article that showed if you were a Spanish speaker looking for an English class, you had a long wait ahead of you to get a seat.

I see you managed to miss that.
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Rosemary2205 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #34
89. No I didn't miss anything.
I made no comment indicating spanish speakers as a group are not making the attempt to learn english. Of course they are. What I am talking about is the view I see on this very board, all too often, that condemns someone who refuses to or simply cannot learn spanish as a racist. I would like an explaination on how one can draw that conclusion from that one fact? Seems like a wild knee jerk to me. An unfair one at that. I never see any like condemnation of non English speakers who are just too old or perhaps too set in their ways to learn a new language. Why the double standard? Why isn't communications EVERYONE'S responsibility not just the English speakers?
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #89
91. I have yet to see a post that argues you should learn Spanish.
lol
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Jed Dilligan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #7
39. You learned to use a computer, didn't you?
Not having a newly important job skill doesn't make you a bad person (unless you're that kind of Republican who believes "planning makes us human"). It just means you're less relevant to the economy. The way you deal with this will show what kind of a person you are.
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Orsino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #7
50. Don't know where you're finding these "progressives"...
...but I'd call them wrong. Learning a new language is a nice thing to do, but it should only be mandatory for governments.
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Der Blaue Engel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #7
71. "I'm being told constantly by other progressives that only scummy selfish assholes don't learn...
...spanish to accomodate all the spanish speaking immigrants...."

Oh, the hell you are. Why do you have to exaggerate to make your point if your point is so innocuous? If people think you're a scummy, selfish asshole, maybe it isn't because you don't want to learn Spanish, but the way you talk about it.
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kiki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. Who "told" you that not learning Spanish makes you a bad person?
Edited on Wed Oct-25-06 09:47 AM by kiki
Maybe those people were idiots, and you should ignore them, rather than using them to characterize the attitudes of an entire group. Self-proclaimed "progressives" can be idiots too, y'know, but that doesn't mean all progressives are.

Not to worry though - I'm sure you won't have to look too hard to find some other idiots, who will be only too glad to "explain" to you why all those non-English-learning Latinos are "bad people".
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 09:46 AM
Response to Reply #3
9. How many Spanish speakers "can't or won't" learn English?
My cable system carries "Si!"--a channel directed to the younger Hispanics/Latinos/Chicanos. All the programming is in English. www.sitv.com/home/index.htm

If you'd rather learn another language than Spanish, that's fine. The European languages are classic. Chinese, Japanese & Arabic are more challenging but definitely valuable. If you are staunchly "English-only" I would not call you "bad." Just ignorant.

Hint: Many English words have more than two syllables. The 'net has many sites that can help you expand your vocabulary. Of course, there are also "books."







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Rosemary2205 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 10:02 AM
Response to Reply #9
14. You illustrate my point perfectly
Edited on Wed Oct-25-06 10:17 AM by Rosemary2205
I have brain damage from a car wreck. It's everything I can do to put a decent sentence together. My learning ability has been trashed and quite frankly I'm just too exhausted from trying to function in a wheelchair all day to learn a new language.

I know an elderly Japanese man who lives next door and a Vietnamese woman down the street who are pretty much in the same boat. They are too tired just trying to function to learn a new language. A few charades and smiles all around get the job done.

But as you said, since I can't learn another language I am just "ignorant". -- Hardly a word chosen to note value in a person.... and illustrating my point.
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blogslut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 10:17 AM
Response to Reply #14
20. Hey.
I can dig it. I wasn't aware of your trouble. Such is the nature of talking behind a monitor.

I am sorry that you are having hard times. I hope that things turn around for you. I hope you realize that most employers are mostly just looking for employees willing to take the time to LISTEN to Spanish-speaking customers - much like they take the time to listen to you.

I worked in the service industry for many years. I am not fluent in Spanish or Chinese or any other language. Yet, I have rarely had trouble communicating with folks that don't speak English. There is so much that can be said without even speaking. It takes longer but it can be done and you would be amazed at how grateful people are when you just take the time to listen.

Please don't despair.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 04:30 PM
Response to Reply #20
74. It's like when I've worked in retail and had to communicate with deaf
customers who don't read lips. I don't know ASL, so I've gotten by with a combination of gestures and writing.

If you're in business, especially when you're selling stuff over a counter, everyone's money is as good as everyone else's.

If you go to Japan, you will find that a surprising number of places accommodate English speakers. There are three English-language newspapers, all the signs in the subway and commuter trains are bilingual (tri-lingual or quadri-lingual in areas that have a lot of Korean and/or Chinese residents), and most restaurants have either bilingual menus or picture menus or plastic models of the food in the window.

If an obvious non-Japanese walks into a McDonald's in Japan (which I do when it's the only place around that serves breakfast), the counter staff will pull out an English menu, just as McDonald's in the U.S. keeps a Braille menu on hand.
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Orsino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #14
51. I think you witheld key data.
There's a big difference between "staunchly anti-English" and "unable for medical reasons to learn a new language." "Ignorant" isn't necessarily a value judgment, either; willfully ignorant is.

I don't think it's necessarily incumbent on individuals to learn other languages. That's typically the work of generations.
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #14
53. Well, you didn't explain your disabilities.
But your problems should NOT make you feel hostile towards Spanish speakers. They are trying to learn English but classes are rare, especially scheduled for working people. Their children will do fine.


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Rosemary2205 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #53
87. I am not hostile to spanish speakers.
My disability has absolutely nothing to do with it. I only tossed it in there because there are going to be people, of all sorts, who for whatever reason cannot learn another language. Whether it is a disability, or basic lack of ability to learn language. Telling English speakers they are responsible for attempting to learn Spanish but not putting a responsibly on Spanish speakers to likewise learn English is just silly IMHO. It's a 2 way street.
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TlalocW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #9
17. Agreed
The Mexican immigration "crisis" that so many people see, which fuels their worries about English being replaced with Spanish is bogus. I'm sure that in other periods of our history, it was felt that way too about other groups that were immigrating: Germans, Italians, Chinese, etc. And just like now, the immigrants back then didn't know English when they came here. They took crappy jobs and learned what they could to survive while trying to provide a better future for their kids, who (like the kids of Mexican immigrants today) were able to pick up English faster and easier than their parents. They integrated more easily into American society, and then their kids even more easily, etc. until we arrived at today with you and me. I'm German-Polish. My ancestors didn't speak English when they came here. I know next to nothing about my culture. It's the same for an ex-girlfriend/friend of mine who's Mexican-American. We met in college when we both signed up for a summer study program in Mexico - she had to rely on me to speak Spanish for her because she never learned it in her family.

That's what's going to continue to happen with immigrants today. Those Mexican kids who can speak both languages will eventually have kids of their own, but not all of them will learn Spanish or a lot of Spanish, and with each generation, that will happen more.

TlalocW
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calico1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 11:07 AM
Response to Reply #17
36. True. And it also depends on what area
of the country you live in. I grew up in NYC (both parents came here from Puerto Rico in the late 40's). My dad settled in Ohio with a brother, my mom in NYC. My mom never learned to speak very good English because she didn't have to in NY. My dad and his brother on the other hand had to learn it because there were not many Hispanics in their area at that time. My Dad always spoke much better English than my mom. She would always speak Spanish to us, he would speak English for the most part, unless he was in her presence. We were lucky because we learned both languages well. My cousins on the other hand are a different story. Most of them speak very poor Spanish, if at all. In fact, I have non Hispanic friends who speak and understand much better Spanish than them. It just kind of got lost with that generation whereas in my family both languages were kept up.
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TlalocW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 11:26 AM
Response to Reply #36
42. It's pretty interesting in Tulsa
I do magic and balloon twisting on the side - corporate events, fairs, and private parties, and the majority of my birthday parties for kids are for the kids of Mexican immigrants. The parents talk to me in Spanish to arrange my coming to the party, and when I get there, almost all the kids speak English, and if they don't, I can at least talk to them in Spanish when it comes time to twist balloons for them, and whenever that happens, the moms who are also at the party (the menfolk have normally retired to the garage by this time to have beers and talk), stop chatting and look at me all surprised and then ask for my card. I also make a special balloon before the party for the boy and girl and normally ask the parents if the child has any favorite character, and it's always Spongebob or Scooby Doo or Dora. Once, it was Strawberry Shortcake. So those kids are definitely integrating.

TlalocW
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #3
55. That's not the subject. The point was, suppose it happens that
Spanish became the dominant language? And that it would not be a disaster?

For you, it would be a problem not unlike the problem of those who speak only Spanish now. They need to learn English. You'd need to learn Spanish, or accept the limitations of not knowing the dominant language.

No one cares if you don't learn it now. But if it were to become the dominant language, you might care.

That's really all there is to it.

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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 10:38 AM
Response to Reply #55
85. Well, if Irish became the dominant language, we'd all be in trouble!
But that's not likely, either.

Children of Spanish-speaking immigrants learn English in school. Just as every preceding generation.

Here in Texas, however, Spanish will not disappear. It hasn't been a problem for the last few centuries, so I'm not worried.
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demnan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 09:36 AM
Response to Original message
5. I don't think so
I lived in one of the most diverse zip codes in the country 22204 for 7 years. This was a majority Hispanic community. The majority of the children in my complex growing up in this area were speaking excellent English by their elementary school years.
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Speck Tater Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 09:36 AM
Response to Original message
6. Of course that would make the US less competitive globally...
...since English is the de facto standard language of global commerce.
But that hardly matters since the US is already going down the crapper economically anyway. What's one more economically disadvantageous trend?
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RB TexLa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #6
28. I guess the Japanese are the best proof of a country where English is not
the dominant language of the people not being able to compete in global commerce.

It's such a shame that that holds them back so much in the global economy.


:rofl:
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noahmijo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 09:46 AM
Response to Original message
10. I remember reading that Thomas Jefferson wanted Italian
to be the official language due to his hatred of the british and his love of the language.

As a native Spanish speaker I can say that would've been alot easier to learn! :) can you just imagine how badly the "America First" rubes would butcher the Italian language??
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #10
57. They would have trouble talking with their hands.
Reminds me of the joke where the Italian guy is walking down the street carrying a pizza, and when someone asks him directions, he has to stop and put the pizza box down so his hands are free so he can talk.
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TlalocW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 09:55 AM
Response to Original message
12. I don't think this will happen
It's rare that one language completely replaces another. Languages evolve and are influenced, and many people get scared over that - thinking that it is replacing the language. The French, so in love with their language, have tried to outlaw the use of words like "internet" etc. because they want to keep it pure. Language comes and goes - nobody who's not in a barbershop quartet says, "23-Skidoo," anymore. It's pointless to get worked up over something like this that can't be controlled.

I always like to point out to my conservative English-only friends several English words that come from Spanish - and not only are they English words, but they're words associated with what is commonly their ideal of a great American - the cowboy. Canyon, coyote, buckeroo (from vaquero), hoosegow (from juzgao/juzgado, judgement), 10 gallon hat (Spanish galon means braid), etc. I've pissed off a few John Wayne fans (whose 3 wives were all of Mexican descent - another thing they don't like to hear).

TlalocW
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 09:59 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. No it's not rare - it used to happen all the time....
... back when people were in the language-replacement (i.e. colonization) business.

There's nothing at all uncommon about it.

It's not likely in the least to happen in the US, of course, since despite the racist lies in this thread, the fact remains that hispanics are/have always been more than happy to learn English.
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Marrah_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. Which racist lies?
Which posts are you talking about specifically?
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. That hispanics don't/don't want to learn English....
That's the overall topic of this thread. If it weren't there would be no issue with Spanish "taking us over".
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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #12
64. Actually, you bring up a good point...
Spanglish will probably be the dominant language, given time.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 10:15 AM
Response to Original message
19. in which states do you think Spanish already is the "dominant" language?
Just curious.
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 10:49 AM
Response to Reply #19
31. Miami came to mind first (yeah, I know it's not a state). LOL.
Edited on Wed Oct-25-06 10:50 AM by raccoon
Probably parts of Texas, Arizona, NM, and California.

Here I'm thinking of there being more Spanish speakers in these places than English speakers.

Edited to add California.
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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #31
59. That's a rather different claim.

There are certainly *parts* of states where Spanish is the dominant language - any spanish-speaking household, for example.

But *whole* states is a much stronger claim, and so far as I know it's not true.

FWIW, I don't think there's any likelihood of Spanish becoming the most-spoken language in America in the forseeable future.
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genie_weenie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 10:21 AM
Response to Original message
21. Well, the problem would be you would have a bunch of ignorant
americans who would only learn Spanish as their one langauge of choice.

But, American English will be around for many years because many of the nations in the world conduct their business in english.
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One_Life_To_Give Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 10:22 AM
Response to Original message
22. International Trade and High Tech issues
Problem is the International Language of Commerce and Technology is English. So if you want to be competetive in a global marketplace you will need to either learn English or higher people to translate for you.
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The2ndWheel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 10:43 AM
Response to Reply #22
26. That's globalization in a nutshell
Killing diversity, one letter at a time.
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Jed Dilligan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #22
40. How long will that be the case
with Mandarin speakers holding all our notes?
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One_Life_To_Give Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 04:21 PM
Response to Reply #40
69. What percentage already speak English
And IIRC the word for Transistor in Mandarin is Transistor.
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #22
56. This is true, that is why it seems so insane when people worry
about the language IN the US. Even if within the US Spanish became a dominant language, the English speakers would still have an advantage in the marketplace. Some of the fearmongers seem to think they will be forced to learn Spanish or be poor. That they will be left out because they don't know the dominant language, so they respond by trying to legislate the dominant language.

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One_Life_To_Give Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #56
73. To be fair we occasionally hear of discrimination
against people who are not bilingual.

Changing someones job description to require the position be filled by a bilingual individual will cause some distress for those who only speak english.
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RebelOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 10:40 AM
Response to Original message
24. Well, it is in South Florida.
That's why I moved to North Georgia. I was sick of no one speaking my native English language.
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Marie26 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 10:40 AM
Response to Original message
25. Americans learning a second language?
I don't think so.
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 10:44 AM
Response to Original message
27. Naw. Esperanto will be the language of choice.
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 10:46 AM
Response to Original message
29. When I visited DC a while back I deliberately stood on the steps
of the Lincoln Memorial remembering MLK's speech and marveled at the number different languages I could hear as people walked by me on those steps. I am too old to learn another language but I do watch children's programs with my great grandchildren. So I have picked up a few phrases. I do not think we need one language. I think we should look at Europe. They all seem to learn most of the languages from the various countries so that they can get along wherever they travel. The only problem I see is written materials - are we going to translate all the books in the library to Spanish?
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Matariki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 10:48 AM
Response to Original message
30. sure - now that the EU has adopted English as their official language
we might as well change ours. :evilgrin:

seriously though - we would benefit more from being less xenophobic and more bilingual.
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hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 10:54 AM
Response to Original message
32. Many of my kids' friends are entirely bilingual.
Some of them speak Spanish at home because their parents or grandparents speak only Spanish, but I don't see Spanish becoming the "dominant language" around here even though the population is mostly "Hispanic."

I don't think the pattern has ever changed. Immigrants come to the United States and have trouble speaking English, but their grandchildren are fluent in English.

My wife's grandparents spoke Spanish, but we speak English at home. My wife speaks English and Spanish at work. Our kids are trying to be bilingual, they get "A"s in school Spanish, but I probably should have made a greater effort to learn Spanish when they were babies, when it was easier for them to learn languages. They are still awkward and tentative speaking with people who are fluent.

But then again, maybe we should all just speak Esperanto. Some of us would undoubtedly become elitists who think less of anyone who doesn't speak Esperanto, especially all those "English Only" U.S. Americans.



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sakabatou Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 10:55 AM
Response to Original message
33. That's why I like nihon-go
It's phonetic as well.
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Coexist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 11:00 AM
Response to Original message
35. OH PLEASE! We couldn't even manage a serious shot at the Metric System
and we're all supposed to become bi-lingual in 30 years?!

Doubt it.

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calico1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 11:07 AM
Original message
We can't even speak English well in this country.
:-(
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OllieLotte Donating Member (495 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 11:07 AM
Response to Original message
37. Great idea. Let China know about it as well.
I'm sure they would appreciate the opportunity to change over to an "easier" language.
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Cessna Invesco Palin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 11:21 AM
Response to Original message
41. Only thing that would change...
...is that the Freppers would start yelling "Hillary Clinton es una puta!" instead of their usual 'Murikan gibberish.
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 11:46 AM
Response to Reply #41
46. And we could respond with "Jorge Dos es un pendejo." nt
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novalib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 11:32 AM
Response to Original message
45. "DOMINANT" Language!!!!
NO language should be the DOMINANT LANGUAGE!!

English is currently the language that is used by the DOMINANT CLASS to DOMINATE those who don't speak or read or understand English.

Or more exactly -- "standard" English is the dominant language that is used to dominate those that don't speak it.

Why do you think so many people who don't speak "standard" English are maginalized??

It is because the DOMINANT class wants to keep some people "in their place"!!

NO LANGUAGE -- INCLUDING Spanish -- should ever be a DOMINANT language.

In my perfect society, everyone would be FREE to speak, read, learn, and understand ANY language!!
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hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #45
49. Klingon would be a good dominant language.
Hab SoSlI' Quch! (Your Mother has a smooth forehead!)

But they said the Botox would make her look younger!

petaQ !!!





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Jed Dilligan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 11:58 AM
Response to Original message
47. Since we barely teach kids English at this point,
who really cares?

I'd like there to be at least one language in which I can communicate with my fellow citizens.

Mexicans, in my experience, speak and write Spanish better than Americans speak and write English. I've taught both.
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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 12:08 PM
Response to Original message
48. "Spanish is the loving tongue, soft as music, light as spray.."
I think Portuguese is the most beautiful language, but I'll take Spanish as a nice substitute.
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #48
54. "She said if you're from Texas, son, where's your badge...
And where's your gun.
I smiled & said I've got guns no one can see.
Saints & Sinners all agree, Spanish is a loving tongue.
But she never spoke Spanish to me."

--Joe Ely

(I agree about Portuguese. Especially the Brazilian version.)
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benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 08:08 AM
Response to Reply #48
78. "Speech half asleep, or song half awake"...
as Robert Browning referred to it. Spanish definitely has a musical quality that English lacks.
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Freddie Stubbs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 02:57 PM
Response to Original message
58. No me importa
Vivo en Miami, y muchas personas hablan espaol aqui ahora.
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 03:40 PM
Response to Original message
60. Quien sabe?
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CJCRANE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 03:42 PM
Response to Original message
61. On a more general note:
this highlights the scare stories that we're fed by the right.

You know the type:

"in a hundred years at current rates of expansion everyone will be hispanic/gay/muslim/chinese/crazy golfers..etc".

The reality is that if in a hundred years time everyone IS a crazy golfer then it'll be normal and no one will notice the difference.
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OPERATIONMINDCRIME Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 04:10 PM
Response to Original message
63. English Is The Standard Language. No Complaints From Me For It To Stay
Edited on Wed Oct-25-06 04:10 PM by OPERATIONMINDCRIME
that way.

Personally, I'm all for immigrants doing what they can to learn English and encourage them to do so.
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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 04:14 PM
Response to Reply #63
67. Encouraging people to take ESL classes...
and fully funding them properly, so all that want to learn can is a good thing. However, this is far different than just legislating in "English Only" roadblocks that HINDER people from learning a language and being accepted into the larger culture.
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talk hard Donating Member (549 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 04:13 PM
Response to Original message
65. its just racism
cult racism
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kineneb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 04:18 PM
Response to Original message
68. just means I will be trilingual
Already speak American-English, fluent German and a smattering of Farsi. Spanish should be easy to learn.
Big deal.
I live in California, where Spanish was the "native" tongue for several centuries.
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KansDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 04:22 PM
Response to Original message
70. C'mon, do you REALLY want a language where nouns are male or female?
Say what you will about the British, but you have to thank them for de-gendering English before sending it over here!

And, yes, I've studied a foreign language: German, which has three forms: masculine, feminine, and neuter! I will say with Spanish, you have a 50/50 chance of getting the gender correct...
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 04:25 PM
Response to Original message
72. Everyone should speak the same language.
That way nobody gets paranoid if you're in the room with some folks of a different language and they start talking about something... :7
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ecstatic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 04:38 PM
Response to Original message
75. Do we have a culture worth preserving and protecting?
I think that's what this issue boils down to. Lou Dobbs & Co. would say yes, but at this point I'd say no. While America eventually got it right on certain issues like slavery, civil rights, gender equality, etc., this American culture is still very f*cked up. The country started off hypocritically and has only gotten worse over time. So you're right, it really doesn't matter what language we speak here. Until Americans learn to live side by side with one another, loving each other and working towards a common goal without letting corporations control the agenda, we do not have a culture worth protecting.
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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #75
76. Cultures neither need, nor should, be either protected or preserved...
the LACK of change in cultures lead to their downfall, period. A classic example of this is China's withdrawal from all "foriegn" influence for hundreds of years, this lead to stagnation, and eventually, ruin and domination by foriegn powers. Cultures change, cultures adapt, and cultures absorb other cultures, and all are the stronger for it.
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 08:19 AM
Response to Reply #76
81. isn't that what Rummy said, upon being told of the Baghdad looting?
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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #81
86. I don't know where you are going with this question....
There is a difference between saving historical and cultural artifacts and actually trying to regulate the current culture through regulation or legislation. Cultures have changed and adapted since they first began, even before civilization came into being. While government has an influence on culture, it cannot completely control it.
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benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 04:51 PM
Response to Original message
77. Then Shakira will be even more popular here than she already is...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shakira

:loveya: :yourock:

FWIW, I think that the USA might someday become as bilingual as Canada, but I don't think Spanish will become the dominant language in the United States. English is too entrenched to be replaced, though it may be displaced a bit.
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 08:16 AM
Response to Original message
79. no se
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 08:18 AM
Response to Original message
80. Spanish is limited in its vocabulary, that's what. English has the
advantage of being an amalgamation of many influences.

I wonder how Spain might like speaking Arabic? Oh, wait.....
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #80
82. Yes, Spain was ruled my Muslims for several centuries.
Edited on Thu Oct-26-06 09:07 AM by Bridget Burke
But Spanish endured with certain influences from Arabic. The Visigoths didn't have much effect on Spanish either. The Latin foundation of the language remains damn sturdy, with some remnants from the older Basque & Celtiberian. When JPII was preaching in Havana, he used a Spanish phrase & then added that it was identical in Latin. (Just a joke for the multilingual.)

The Spanish vocabulary is not "limited" in that it lacks necessary words. But it does not have as many excessive & confusing duplications as English. Anglo-Saxon, Danish, Norman French, real French & Latin have all contributed to our beloved bastard tongue. We lack a Real Academia to regulate the language. Then, there's our spelling: thought, enough, through, cough, bough?

Both languages are important throughout the world. Great literature may be found in English & Spanish. (But I sometimes think the Spanish speakers are prouder. On the book rack in my neighborhood grocery, about half the publications are in Spanish. Pop magazines, garish comics & Spanish-English dictionaries abound. But I purchased a copy of El Cid there; in the original version with a Modern Spanish translation. The older Spanish was quite readable. How much Chaucer do you see at Kroger?)

In short (after this lengthy discourse!), English is in no danger. It will probably remain the #1 language in the USA. Immigrant children will learn it, as always. But Spanish will not disappear. It's been here in Texas for several centuries.



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Ezlivin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 09:27 AM
Response to Original message
83. All the computer languages would still be in English
If you're curious, just go to any "foreign" website, then use your browser to "View source". Regardless of whether it's in Russian, Chinese, Laotian or other language the underlying code is nice English. (The code will wrap around the foreign language content, so there still will be lots of non-English words displayed.)

And that won't change for a very, very long time.

Basic, Fortran IV, Fortran 77, Pascal, Turbo Pascal, various assembler, Hypertext, Perl, XHTML, Javascript, PHP.

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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 10:16 AM
Response to Original message
84. Linguistically, it makes no difference.
Just as it makes no difference if Central Americans all learned English, or if all the Navajo learned Swahili. (At best, Whorf was only slightly right, even though he used bad data; at worst, he used bad data to form invalid and false conclusions.) Spanish has been improving its lexicon over the last decade or two, making it functional for well-nigh every purpose, so it certainly has an edge over most languages.

Financially, it makes a difference. Somebody would either have to make sure everybody had English as an L2, or translate everything deemed important enough to translate.

Culturally, it can make a difference. Pop culture is not necessarily affected, although it usually is; one *can* maintain one's family and ethnic traditions just fine by taking the necessary few dozen words and slightly adjusting existing words (if there's not a larger community of speakers making that difficult), but it's fairly rare. And if 'high culture' makes any difference, it's more of a problem. "Artistic" works have trouble making language transitions, and a lot in them is typically lost; what I get from Cervantes in Spanish, Mallarme in French, Hrabal in Czech, and Pushkin in Russian is not what I get from them in English. (That's not always bad; a lot of Poe is better in French, and some Russian translations of English poetry are quite good ... different, but good.)

But I note there's a great outcry if an indigenous ethnos undergoes language shift; there are even Latino advocates saying it's horrible if the Latino community in the US shifts to English, they'd be abandoning their (apparently genetically determined) culture. Anti-assimilationist views seem to dominate much progressive thought. As long as the assimilatees have the right skin color, SES, or politics.

Look for asymmetries. They show underlying structure.
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mdmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 11:37 AM
Response to Original message
88. I'd have to point to menus
the way I do at real Mexican restaurants now.
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Irreverend IX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 11:45 AM
Response to Original message
90. Impossible.
All official business in this country is conducted in English. The major media outlets are all English. The second- and third-generation children of Spanish-speaking immigrants speak English. Spanish overtaking English is about as likely as it was for Italian or Polish or the languages of other immigrant ethnicities to become the de facto US language during the 19th century immigration boom.
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 02:55 PM
Response to Original message
92. If there was any possibility of Spanish becoming the language of world commerce
Or science, then I might agree with you.

But there isn't. English rules.
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