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Thread: English! English! When did America stop speaking English?

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    Tiamat
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    English! English! When did America stop speaking English?

    OMG!!! I'm not usually one to say anything about stuff like this but CRAP I HAVE HAD ENOUGH!

    I go through McDonalds and literally have to give my order to the person 5 times and finally I have to revert to speaking spanish to them just to get them to understand my order. Even with that they get it wrong so I call to let the manager know and guess what? You got it.......he not speaka the english to good either, spanish. To which I asked him why when I live in America where everyone is supposed to speak English was it necessary for me to speak spanish just to get my order taken? And what happens to the other people who don't know how to speak spanish?

    Two days later I'm at the Diamond Shamrock (gas station) I go in and in very plain English I say......... five dollars on three please. Response: Blank stare. Five dollars on three please. Response: Ughhhh ok three dollar. No I want to put five dollars of gasoline into my car and my car is on pump three. Response: ok. So I think ok pay and go to pump gas and can you guess? Of course you can, they didn't understand what I wanted. So I go back in and try to explain to Habeeebb behind the counter what I want. He still doesn't get it so I think I'll try her.....no luck. 4 count them 4 people behind the counter and none of them can decipher English becuase they are all from Napal. And when they count change back they count it back to you in their language.

    Go to the grocery store and every label now is in spanish and english. You call places and get the automated system and you are asked for English press one for spanish press two. When did English even become an option? When imigrants who came over from other countries and landed on Ellis island they knew that they would have to learn english because this was America and that's what we spoke.

    Why do we give in to this? So my thinking may be off on this but damn!!! If you come to this country we speak english here learn it. Why is it our responsibility to change our language? In Texas here it's worse because we are so close to the Mexican border and they are always crossing over. I understand this. I know they want a better way of life for themselves and their family and I don't begrudge anyone that opportunity. But if you come to America expect to speak and learn english or leave! Stop expecting us to provide extra teachers so that the students who only speak spanish can go to our American schools.
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    because you're pussies.

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    Dauphin
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    I have trouble making myself understood in America. I had to lurn 'Merican to get by. .
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    I don't know anyone who speaks Spanish here in Oregon. We speak English, even at McD's. Move to Oregon...
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    lord of the mark
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    if habeeb wants to order at McD's he'll do so in English, and if the Hispanics want to fill up at habeebs, they'll do so in English. So english isnt particularly endangered.

    Instead Id put this in the general category of poor service at low wage retailers. In the case of Mcd's the answer is obvious - go eat somewhere they pay more and can be more selective in who they hire - for gas I dont really have an answer.
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    Que?
    Can you translate into Spanish por favor?

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    Tiamat
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    Re: English! English! When did America stop speaking English?

    Originally posted by Tiamat
    To which I asked him why when I live in America where everyone is supposed to speak English
    Is that a law somewhere?

    The U.S. has no official language, so people aren't supposed to speak anything in particular.
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    Most government documents must be printed in whatever language the population speaks, and if a significant population of a place speaks something other than english, well, the government by law must print in that other language as well.

    As LoTM said, if you don;t want to deal with that, eat somewhere else than McDonalds.
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    Tiamat
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    Oh give me a break Boris Get real. While there may not be a law per say on the books that says we speak English here what kind of a freeking moron do you have to be to think that you wouldn't have to speak the one common language that we speak over here?
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    lord of the mark
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    Re: English! English! When did America stop speaking English?

    Originally posted by Tiamat
    . When did English even become an option? When imigrants who came over from other countries and landed on Ellis island they knew that they would have to learn english because this was America and that's what we spoke.

    In point of fact, when my ancestors came via Ellis and elsewhere, people who spoke only Italian or Yiddish generally went to work in sweatshops, till they or their children learned English. At that time sweatshops represented the bottom of the labor market, and the place where low wage labor was fed into the economy. Today there many less such jobs, and the low wage end of the retail economy is where the low wage labor comes in.

    At the time my ancestors came there was no Mcdonalds. Restaurants were more expensive in real terms, and cheap restaurants did NOT provide the assurances of cleanliness and hygiene that McD's does. Far fewer meals were eaten out. Middle class families had meals prepared at home. Families which were affluent enough that the woman of the house wasnt going to cook generally had servants. Most such servants were either African American or Irish, IIUC, and thus were English speaking.
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    Adagio
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    I've got the same problem here

    ALL pizzarias in town are owned by these people from some middle east country, and it's very tough to get an order correct...

    Usually we (me and my friends) orders 3 pizzas, so the call goes like this:

    We'd like to order 3 pizzas... on the first pizza the following ingridients should be on blah blah bla... on the second pizza blah blah blah... and the last pizza blah blah blah
    The response: Ok, and what would you like on the second pizza, thereby indicating that everything should be put on the first pizza (not even wondering why we would have 3 times pepperoni on the first pizza )


    If I was in control of the laws, I would defently require all immigrants to take a test after a few years (once after x years, again after x+2 years, and at last after x+4 years)... the first test is just to see if they can communicate on basic level (in danish of course), and then it gets more advanced later... of course it should be possible to take a test earlier than usual...
    If you fail any of these tests, you should be kicked out of this country (unless you have a REALLY good reason why not)
    You need to have passed the 3rd test to be able to have a service job (as taking orders etc)


    And this rule should be applied to ALL immigrants... I've seen too many families where the man can communicate on basis level, while the wife don't know any danish words
    This space is empty... or is it?

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    lord of the mark
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    Originally posted by GePap
    Most government documents must be printed in whatever language the population speaks, and if a significant population of a place speaks something other than english, well, the government by law must print in that other language as well.

    As LoTM said, if you don;t want to deal with that, eat somewhere else than McDonalds.


    OTOH, arent govt documents required to ALSO be in English, even in a place where where EVERYONE speaks the second language the documents are in? Arent all INTERNAL govt documents in English? Isnt knowledge of English a universal requirement for government employment? I would think in this sense English IS the official language (im replying to BG as well here)
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    lord of the mark
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    if i was king, wed have a dept of immigrant absorption, which would monitor and where necessary subsidize english language courses for adults, as well as encouraging cultural assimilation, and perhaps attempting to direct immigrants to different areas of the country, to avoid excessive concentrations of settlement of immigrants from particular countries in particular regions (of course a local neighborhood of one origin can be an assistance to new immigrants, but a regional concentration like Mexicans in parts of the Southwest goes well beyond that)
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    As a well-assimilated immigrant, I must say that the demands by Tiamat, and ADG are certainly fair, in the sense that people should try and assimilate, however, the locals should make assimilation easier, and giving **** to them over not succeeding.

    The important thing is that they try.

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    lord of the mark
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    Originally posted by Azazel
    As a well-assimilated immigrant, I must say that the demands by Tiamat, and ADG are certainly fair, in the sense that people should try and assimilate, however, the locals should make assimilation easier, and giving **** to them over not succeeding.

    The important thing is that they try.

    How about if all (legal) immigrants to the US who dont speak English were provided with the equivalent of an Ulpan - a period when the govt pays their upkeep while they learn English intensively full time?? I think in that case the aversion to social programs and "handouts" would overcome the cultural nationalism. Unfortunately, IMHO.

    ALterntively how about if English language knowledge were part of a set of criteria in determining admission of (legal) immigrants. Though this would have the effect of favoring West Indians, and some East Indians, over Hispanics and others, and would likely be very controversial.
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    Re: English! English! When did America stop speaking English?

    [QUOTE] Originally posted by Tiamat


    Go to the grocery store and every label now is in spanish and english. You call places and get the automated system and you are asked for English press one for spanish press two. When did English even become an option?
    [QUOTE]

    What's horrendous about this? As long as both languages are displayed I don't see what the fuss is.


    But yes, I understand what you're saying when it comes to people who carry out services who do not know ANY English.
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    Adagio
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    Originally posted by Azazel
    The important thing is that they try.
    Yep... I know one from school... he's not good at english, but at least he tries... but his wife doesn't

    And as I said, the rule should apply to all immigrants... if the wife can't, the wife is forced to leave... I don't see why only one member of the family should speak the local language...
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    Re: English! English! When did America stop speaking English?

    Originally posted by Tiamat
    To which I asked him why when I live in America where everyone is supposed to speak English
    Here's the problem. You think everyone's supposed to speak English. Nope, not the case. In the U.S., we have this thing called the 1st Amendment. I know they don't teach y'all much about the Bill of Rights in the South, but it says that people have the right to free speech.

    Also, you might consider the fact that you live in occupied Mexico, which is a Spanish speaking country.
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    Originally posted by Adagio

    Usually we (me and my friends) orders 3 pizzas, so the call goes like this:

    We'd like to order 3 pizzas... on the first pizza the following ingridients should be on blah blah bla... on the second pizza blah blah blah... and the last pizza blah blah blah
    The response: Ok, and what would you like on the second pizza, thereby indicating that everything should be put on the first pizza (not even wondering why we would have 3 times pepperoni on the first pizza )
    That's why you order pizza like this; "one Hawaii, one Quattro Staggioni, one Margherita".

    (I sure I misspelt them, but no non-danophone mid-easterner can hear that on the phone. )
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    I live in Tennessee and I never learned to speak Cherokee...
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    Re: Re: English! English! When did America stop speaking English?

    Originally posted by chegitz guevara


    Here's the problem. You think everyone's supposed to speak English. Nope, not the case. In the U.S., we have this thing called the 1st Amendment. I know they don't teach y'all much about the Bill of Rights in the South, but it says that people have the right to free speech.

    Also, you might consider the fact that you live in occupied Mexico, which is a Spanish speaking country.
    I dont think shes saying people should only be allowed to speak english in private conversations, but that there should be standards relative to commercially provided services. Do you consider labor legislation, or laws against the segregation of public accomodations like restaurants, a violation of your right to freely associate?
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    its funny, because i live in socal about 30 - 33 weeks a year, and i have no problem being understood in english wherever i go. i wonder why mexicans speak english there, but dont seem to do it in texas.
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    Originally posted by Last Conformist
    That's why you order pizza like this; "one Hawaii, one Quattro Staggioni, one Margherita".
    Easier said than done... they don't have any good standard pizzas, so it always ends up like one pepperoni with chili

    I even order online, so they have it in writing like this:

    one pepperoni include: chili
    one hawaii include somethingElse

    But even that they fail
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    Some years ago I read an article about some Mexican immigrants in USA (who have lived there a long time), who complained about these new Mexican immigrants...
    This space is empty... or is it?

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    lord of the mark
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    Re: Re: English! English! When did America stop speaking English?

    [QUOTE] Originally posted by MrFun
    [QUOTE] Originally posted by Tiamat


    Go to the grocery store and every label now is in spanish and english.

    What's horrendous about this? As long as both languages are displayed I don't see what the fuss is.

    well first of all, theyd better not ship this stuff to Canada, cause its not properly labeled
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    Originally posted by Lawrence of Arabia
    its funny, because i live in socal about 30 - 33 weeks a year, and i have no problem being understood in english wherever i go. i wonder why mexicans speak english there, but dont seem to do it in texas.

    they need to talk to the Asians?
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    Yep... I know one from school... he's not good at english, but at least he tries... but his wife doesn't

    And as I said, the rule should apply to all immigrants... if the wife can't, the wife is forced to leave... I don't see why only one member of the family should speak the local language...


    This is a different issue, the social structure of the immigrants. That is indeed a very severe problem. Sometimes, though, immigrants can benefit a society as well. However, in such clearcut cases as the case of ME immigrants into europe, I think that concrete measures must be put inplace.

    ( btw, when I say concrete, I don't necessarily mean a wall. )

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    If enough customers complain (or cease using a service provider) due lack of service in English then employers will take note. Its not a government issue particularly*, its economics.

    * Although, if it leads to economic and social segregation of communities it is.
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    Re: Re: Re: English! English! When did America stop speaking English?

    Originally posted by lord of the mark
    Do you consider labor legislation, or laws against the segregation of public accomodations like restaurants, a violation of your right to freely associate?
    Are you advocating a law requiring the ability to speak English as a term of employment?

    Anyway, Texas has always had large areas of Spanish speaking people. There are many villages there that are Spanish only, from before the time the Texans stole the land from Mexico. I don't think it's unreasonable to think that the Texan natives be allowed to speak their own lanugage, just because they're overwhelmed by Anglo-immigrants.
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