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3 Comments

  • Making the workings of government available only in English won’t encourage most non-native speakers to learn English, it will simply make them feel more excluded than they already do. The only ones who will be encouraged are those who were already interested enough in language to want to be learning English anyway. Those who have no interest or don’t feel able to learn easily will simply withdraw. (And I say this as someone who has lived in a foreign country where government communications weren’t available in English – there was a distinct divide in interest and involvement levels between English speakers who were willing and able to learn the local tongue, and those who weren’t.)

    It’s hard enough getting people to participate in the political process and ensuring that they have the information they need to function well (and legally!) in a foreign country, without linguistically excluding them as well. Given the large Hispanic population in the US (particularly somewhere like Texas), it seems to me a thoroughly ridiculous idea.

  • I am a lover of languages and speak several. I believe the more languages one learns, the more versatile and open one’s approach to communication, awareness and tolerance can be. I also feel very strongly that the United States should adopt American English as its official language to ensure a nationwide ability of communication. The adoption of a national language does not at all, and should not, mean the elimination of the languages spoken in homes and communities enriched by muliticultural ancestry and heritage.