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English Only?

Updated on February 11, 2011

English, Spanish, or Both?

In a recent study, it was found that only 23% of Latino immigrants spoke English well upon arrival, by the time their kids (2nd Gen) became adults, it was 88%, their kids (3rd Gen) were totally American in every way.

The Republican Party is introducing a bill, that if passed will make English only in all Federal and State offices mandatory. The theory is that English is a unifying force so all nationalities speak the same talk with the nuances of translations, plus, it would reduce costs. All ballots would be in English only, not multiple languages. Many immigrants feel that such a bill is oppressive and shows a cultural intolerance of others and portrays a dominance over all others.

How do you feel?

Being bi-lingual is a good thing. Most Europeans know some English because English is the world language in Business and IT. It just is. Period. But, all countries but the US conducts governmental business and elections in their native language and do expect those dealing with them to be fluent in the native language. Mexico, Spain, Germany etc., all do not cater to English speakers in the way America caters to its many immigrants.

But, like the poll shows, even the 2nd generation is almost totally English because of the schools. This creates many bilingual people and slowly, the 1st generation becomes better English speakers because of the demands from their children to speak English. It is very common in non-native households. So, time eventually creates English speakers.


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    • DTR0005 profile image

      Doug Robinson 

      7 years ago from Midwest

      I have changed my mind recently; English should be the "unifying" force in this country, the "national language." This is a very different opinion than I had just a couple of years ago. And I, myself, am bilingual.

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Exactly. well said.

    • FGual profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      Great topic that hits close to home. I arrived when I was 10, like the legions of immigrants before me, there was no bilingual anything, no political correctness. That is as it should be, when an immigrant lands here, they are well aware that the USA speaks english, that is how it is, just as those arriving in France know french is spoken there. Yes, being multilingual is a good thing, but you are now in the New Land, and your life has changed forever, wishing otherwise is futile.


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