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Utah, The Languages State

Updated on November 19, 2016

Languages

My wife speaks some eight.

I only speak five plus.

I speak to more folks.

A "Languages State"?

There are several advantages for a state and a work force that is multi-lingual. Utah sits atop the list of multi-lingual states, and some of its neighboring states aren't far below.

Some Utah Photos

Utahns come from around the wold
Utahns come from around the wold | Source
Their missionaries and Tabernacle Choir are famous around the world.
Their missionaries and Tabernacle Choir are famous around the world. | Source
Utah is located in the Rocky Mountains.
Utah is located in the Rocky Mountains. | Source
Utahns are a very religious people.
Utahns are a very religious people. | Source
Scouting is popular in Utah.
Scouting is popular in Utah. | Source
This is the Mount Timpanogos Temple.
This is the Mount Timpanogos Temple. | Source
Utah has desert sand dunes and salt flats, but it also has fertile valleys, rivers, lakes, and streams.
Utah has desert sand dunes and salt flats, but it also has fertile valleys, rivers, lakes, and streams. | Source
Utah is a family-oriented state and accepting of minorities.
Utah is a family-oriented state and accepting of minorities. | Source
Utahns have a long history of public service.
Utahns have a long history of public service. | Source
Utah has many of America's most visited national parks.
Utah has many of America's most visited national parks. | Source
Utah claims "The Greatest Snow On Earth"!
Utah claims "The Greatest Snow On Earth"! | Source
The site of the Winter Olympics has been made into a recreation site.
The site of the Winter Olympics has been made into a recreation site. | Source
This is a site for practicing ski aerials.
This is a site for practicing ski aerials. | Source
This is Utah's State Capitol Building.
This is Utah's State Capitol Building. | Source
This is a church's headquarters building in Salt Lake City.
This is a church's headquarters building in Salt Lake City. | Source
Public schools, colleges, and universities are very successful in Utah.
Public schools, colleges, and universities are very successful in Utah. | Source
Sundays in Utah are for worship, rest, and reflection.
Sundays in Utah are for worship, rest, and reflection. | Source

Comments on these photos:

Utah has LDS and Buddhist temples and a high percentage of its people attend regular weekly religious services. Located in the Rocky Mountains it is home to many of America's national parks. The Boy Scouts' programs are popular and well-supported in Utah. As the site of one of the Winter Olympics, Utah features practice sites and winter recreation. Currently largely Republican, their Senator Hatch is third in the line of presidential succession. Utahns believe that traditional families are an important part of God's plan for mankind. The State Capitol Building is located in Salt Lake City as is the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which occupies all of one of the city's large skyscrapers. Education is important to Utahns whose people have the youngest average age of any state in America.

Quo Vadis?

You know, if you live where you don't hear people speaking Spanish today, or at least occasionally this week, you are either retired and living without a radio or TV in the Maine woods, or a Native American living similarly in an ethnic community in Alaska.

In the State of Utah, population 3,047,340, the state also has the youngest population of any state, and while very large areas of the state are uninhabited, the Salt Lake City metropolitan area has over 1,300,000 people. Utah's population is growing at a 1.6% rate, in part because its people enjoy one of America's highest birth rates.

Three other Utah statistics are important to our discussion. (1) Utah has 80,000 undocumented people, (2) 63% of its people are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) which has its world headquarters in Salt Lake City, and (3) for many years, ever since shortly after the LDS church's founding on April 6, 1830, and today, young men and women, as well as senior adults, serve as the church's 72,632 current missionaries, all drawn from the church's 15,634,200 members (as of the end of 2015.)

As many of those missionaries are taught and use foreign languages and American Sign Language in their U. S. and foreign missions, their experiences with the cultures, economies, and languages of those nations is invaluable to America, Utah, their home states, and their native countries.

For years now Utah has had an unemployment rate lower than the national average. Today it is 3.4%, having just dropped another .1% while the national rate was increasing. Part of the reason for that is Utah's educational results. Utah's high school graduation rates are high, and the percentage of high school graduates going on to colleges and universities, as well as into skilled trades is high. That is another factor making Utah attractive to businesses considering relocating to Utah.

With businesses looking increasingly at global markets, having worldwide language skills locally available is certainly a factor they will consider, just as the Pentagon did in building and staffing a major defense intelligence facility just south of Salt Lake City.

Certainly Utah has other attractions for businesses and tourists as home to a large number of America's national parks, outstanding outdoor activities, and cultural events from sports to museums, symphony concerts, opera, and ballet, as well as similar events at Utah's major universities and colleges.

Perhaps one event epitomizes Utah's unique role as America's "Languages State." That was seen when Utah was host to the Winter Olympics. Visitors and athletes from around the world were greeted and hosted by officials and volunteers who spoke their languages with fluency and had a first hand knowledge of their countries. That was a key to making those Winter Olympics see some of the best competitions ever held.

Labeled "The Beehive State" it appears that Utahns are busy, multilingual workers, happiest when they are at home.


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© 2016 Demas W. Jasper

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    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      20 months ago from The Caribbean

      I enjoy the textual and pictorial view of Utah, obviously illustrated by a proud Utahn. Beautiful architecture, inspiring nature scenes, family oriented community, good education system--all blessings!

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      20 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      This is a great article and it reminds me of my four visits to Utah with the most recent being in July of 2002. While in Utah I stayed and worked with the Utah National Guard in Ogden. Many of its members are multilingual and Mormon as I learned. I had a wonderful time and am anxious to visit Utah again. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      Paul Kuehn 

      20 months ago

      I have visited Utah four times with my most recent visit in 2002. While in Utah I worked with the Utah National Guard in Ogdcn and found that their members who are overwhelming Mormon can speak many languages. I enjoyed my visits in Utah and was able to use it as a springboard for visiting Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, and Las Vegas. Thanks for sharing this hub.

    • Perspycacious profile imageAUTHOR

      Demas W Jasper 

      20 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      MizB. - The streets are arranged North to South, East to West and when first laid out they were wide enough for ox carts to turn around. Usually finding 895 East 1405 South is easier than in some cities finding 637 Apaloosa Drive would be.

      I'm glad my photos brought back some good memories.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      20 months ago

      Demas, I traveled through Utah a couple of times a few years ago and was fascinated by the beautiful scenery. I'm not LDS but my husband joined and was active for about a year before he decided that wasn't his cup of tea. So I made it a point to visit the beautiful LDS Tabernacle in Salt Lake City (I hope I have the right title for it.) Anyway it was a lovely experience. I was on my way to a retreat in Baker, NV, so my friend and I drove through the state to NV. I feel privileged to have visited this state. Your photos are beautiful and many are exactly as I remembered. The only thing I didn't enjoy was the funky street arrangement in Salt Lake City because we stayed overnight and had a little trouble finding our way around. We also stopped in Provo. Thanks for allowing me to revisit this wonderful state.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      20 months ago from sunny Florida

      Utah is diverse and a spot I hope to visit...I have visited most of our states but have not been to this fair state.

      Florida is shares the language diversity as well having many of differing ethnic origins with whom we come in contact daily...and I ask often to have a new word taught to me.

      Thank you for sharing these...Angels are on the way ps

    • Perspycacious profile imageAUTHOR

      Demas W Jasper 

      20 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      kbdressman - Congratulations. I think the last I knew of, you were just hoping to be accepted into medical school. Thanks.

    • kbdressman profile image

      kbdressman 

      20 months ago from Harlem, New York

      I've lived in Utah for 23 of my 25 years . I'm convinced that one of the things that helped me get into medical school was being bilingual. (I have a degree in Spanish.) Lots of beautiful pictures in your hub! And kudos to you for remembering that the LDS church isn't the only religious community in Utah!

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