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Jay_Dee Posted: 16:55 Mar01 2012 Post ID: 3098148
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Alright, here's a little back-story.
Today in my High School Spanish class, we were all asked if we think it should be a law that anyone who moves to the country (America, in this case) should be required to learn the English language.
Nearly the entire class said that it should be made into a law.
You wanna live in America - you gotta speak English.

I got in a slight argument with someone over it, me being one of the few people who said it shouldn't be a law.

And so I decided to ask it here.

No matter what country you're from, you can answer.
Do you think anybody who moves to your country should be required by law to learn the country's most common and/or official language? And why (not), of course.

-----

I, personally, don't think it should be a law.
It might be slightly different for America, considering we don't 'technically' have an official language - though English would obviously be the most common language in the country.
And the government is, in theory, entirely focused on human rights.

I feel as if it would be ruining some rights of humans if they were forced to learn another language. Sure, English is the most common language in the country, but if someone thinks they'll be fine living here without knowing English, that's their own choice.
They'll be less likely to get a job. Less likely to communicate with people as well.
But it's all their own choice - and they know what they'd be missing out on without learning English.

To me, it doesn't really make sense to force others to learn English.
It doesn't, for the most part, affect anyone in the country, other than the people who are choosing not to learn the language.

And the fact that we don't have an official language should be enough to let people choose whatever language they want to speak in.


What do you guys think?
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Pathosray Posted: 17:28 Mar01 2012 Post ID: 3098154
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If you don't speak the native language fluently or don't even try to learn the language, you don't belong there.

[/racism]

« Last edited by Pathosray on Mar 1st 2012 »
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steelersrock01 Posted: 17:36 Mar01 2012 Post ID: 3098157
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Jay_Dee said:
I, personally, don't think it should be a law.
It might be slightly different for America, considering we don't 'technically' have an official language - though English would obviously be the most common language in the country.
And the government is, in theory, entirely focused on human rights.

I feel as if it would be ruining some rights of humans if they were forced to learn another language. Sure, English is the most common language in the country, but if someone thinks they'll be fine living here without knowing English, that's their own choice.
They'll be less likely to get a job. Less likely to communicate with people as well.
But it's all their own choice - and they know what they'd be missing out on without learning English.

To me, it doesn't really make sense to force others to learn English.
It doesn't, for the most part, affect anyone in the country, other than the people who are choosing not to learn the language.

And the fact that we don't have an official language should be enough to let people choose whatever language they want to speak in.


What do you guys think?


I think that you as an immigrant should try to learn the common language of the nation you are in, and try to conform to that society's social standards. The bolded part is where I think you are wrong. A person not speaking my language in my native country certainly does affect me. If I cannot interact with you, or businesses cannot interact with you, and you cannot interact with the government, you are clearly affecting the that country's natives.

In short, I think that if you speaking another language that is not the country's official or common language, you should have to make an effort to learn. Now whether a law forcing you to do so would be, I think, difficult to enforce, I'm not sure if that is the right option.

Pathosray said:If you don't speak the native language fluently or don't even try to learn the language, you don't belong there.
Kind of this. If an immigrant comes to a country and doesn't even try to learn the customs or language, go back to where you came from.

We all have our opinions, though.

Edit - I realize America is somewhat different because there is no "official language", so this doesn't apply as much as it does in countries where every citizen besides immigrants speaks the same language.

« Last edited by steelersrock01 on Mar 1st 2012 »


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sphynxx Posted: 23:46 Mar01 2012 Post ID: 3098225
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I live in New Zealand. English is our first "official" language. With Maori being another "official" language.

If you come to New Zealand and you don't speak english, or at least don't make an effort and are choosing to make NZ your permanent residence, gtfout. I don't give two flying potato heads if English is a difficult language to learn, or your "accent" makes it hard for people to understand you.

Simple matter is; don't move to a country if being understood is next to impossible.


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Volke Posted: 03:57 Mar02 2012 Post ID: 3098262
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What the other guys said. If you move to a country that speaks a different language, then you should be required to learn the language. It is rude, inconsiderate, and even displays a air of arrogance if you choose not to do so.

I mean, if I moved to somewhere such as, say, Sweden, I would make it my goal to achieve conversational Swedish within my first few months there, even though virtually everyone in Sweden speaks English.

I don't understand why the US hasn't listed English as its official language. Its laws are all in English. The government speaks English. Almost all of its citizens speak English. Therefore all immigrants should also be required to speak English, or following a certain time period spent there.

EDIT - And don't give me any of this "human rights" crap. I have yet to be convinced that anyone speaking to me about human rights actually has half a clue as to what they're actually talking about.

« Last edited by Volke on Mar 2nd 2012 »


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Shadowcheater Posted: 05:27 Mar02 2012 Post ID: 3098280
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I don't understand those who don't want to learn English, it's international and wouldn't burden you one little bit.

Stop thinking about yourself, think about others. Human rights? Are you bringing human rights for everyone or just to remove yourself from the necessities to learn it?

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super craig Posted: 10:25 Mar02 2012 Post ID: 3098316
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Jay_Dee said:Alright, here's a little back-story.
Today in my High School Spanish class, we were all asked if we think it should be a law that anyone who moves to the country (America, in this case) should be required to learn the English language.
Nearly the entire class said that it should be made into a law.
You wanna live in America - you gotta speak English.

I got in a slight argument with someone over it, me being one of the few people who said it shouldn't be a law.

And so I decided to ask it here.

No matter what country you're from, you can answer.
Do you think anybody who moves to your country should be required by law to learn the country's most common and/or official language? And why (not), of course.

-----

I, personally, don't think it should be a law.
It might be slightly different for America, considering we don't 'technically' have an official language - though English would obviously be the most common language in the country.
And the government is, in theory, entirely focused on human rights.

I feel as if it would be ruining some rights of humans if they were forced to learn another language. Sure, English is the most common language in the country, but if someone thinks they'll be fine living here without knowing English, that's their own choice.
They'll be less likely to get a job. Less likely to communicate with people as well.
But it's all their own choice - and they know what they'd be missing out on without learning English.

To me, it doesn't really make sense to force others to learn English.
It doesn't, for the most part, affect anyone in the country, other than the people who are choosing not to learn the language.

And the fact that we don't have an official language should be enough to let people choose whatever language they want to speak in.


What do you guys think?


Not really much more I can add that has already being said by some (well all really) of the other posters.

It just makes sense to learn the language of the country you are living in, it makes life easier not just for other people but for yourself as well. If you don't learn the language you can't get a job which means (here in England at least) you will more than likely end up on some form of benefits. I don't have a problem with the welfare system when its not being abused and indeed I have no problems paying for a short while someone is learning the language and can't get a job, afterall you don't master a language overnight, but to be paying for people that are not even making a remote attempt or indeed refuse to learn the language just drains money that could be used elsewhere to benefit the wider society.

Equally if you don't learn the language you can't intergrate into society. Obviously I don't mean in a sort of 'they come here, they should be exactly like us' way, it is the differences that make life interesting, but if you can't communicate you risk being isolated from the rest of the community, which eventually gives rise to 'ghetto' areas and only further adds to the 'them and us' mentality that those that are less emmmm culturally aware feed off.

Furthermore (again at least in the UK) such language barriers certainly impact on the health of the immigrants. How can you effectively relate your problems to the doctor, particularly in an emergency, if the doctor can't understand what you are saying and vica versa. This not only affects the immigrants themselves but also has a detrimental effect on the other users of our health service, translators are bloody expensive take vast amounts of time to set up and more importantly are incredibly annoying to arrange (well thats important to me Smile) This time and money can quite nicely be used to help other patients and such an expense is entirely avoidable. So I agree wholeheartdly with steelersrock01, not bothering to learn the native language certainly impacts upon me and other people besides the immigrants themselves.

You mentioned human rights, the favoured punching bag of many a person, but do you have a specific human rights article that you believe forcing someone to learn the language would breach? Feel free to ignore this as I am ignorant as to whether America has a similar human rights act to that used in Europe but you can only factor in a human right if it is enshrined in law, just thinking that something is against your idea of a human right (however valid) carries no weight if that human right is not recognised in law.

sphynxx said: I don't give two flying potato heads if English is a difficult language to learn, or your "accent" makes it hard for people to understand you.


The accent thing is an interesting point, if you fully understand the language and can, technically, speak it perfectly but no-one understands your accent is that as bad as not being able to speak the language? There are people from other parts of England who speak English with accents that have been around for generations longer that I have and yet I struggle to understand them. I can no sooner understand a fast speaking Irishman as I can an Indian speaking Chinese with an Australian twang. Indeed my own faint Yorkshire accent is appearently incomprehensible to anyone who works as a waitress in America, I'd have had better luck communicating my order through the medium of dance than telling them, and they are speaking the language we invented! Smile
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Jay_Dee Posted: 12:57 Mar04 2012 Post ID: 3098719
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I am alone in the world.
xD

steelersrock01 said:A person not speaking my language in my native country certainly does affect me. If I cannot interact with you, or businesses cannot interact with you, and you cannot interact with the government, you are clearly affecting the that country's natives.

I guess, personally, I'm not affected if someone doesn't speak a language I do. If I can't communicate with them, I ignore them. And that's it. Completely unaffected.
Foreigners know that, by not learning the main language of whatever country, they'll be less likely to meet/understand new people, get a job, and basically live in the country. But that's their own choice.

sphynxx said:Simple matter is; don't move to a country if being understood is next to impossible.

Here too. They know they're making it harder for themselves to live in a country in which they can't communicate with many people. But, in my opinion, it doesn't make it harder on anyone else. Nobody is going to hire someone who can't even speak the country's main language. Nobody is going to be worried about what some random idiot is saying if it isn't in a language they don't understand. So it's easy to ignore them. And again, be unaffected.

Volke said:What the other guys said. If you move to a country that speaks a different language, then you should be required to learn the language. It is rude, inconsiderate, and even displays a air of arrogance if you choose not to do so.

I mean, if I moved to somewhere such as, say, Sweden, I would make it my goal to achieve conversational Swedish within my first few months there, even though virtually everyone in Sweden speaks English.

I don't understand why the US hasn't listed English as its official language. Its laws are all in English. The government speaks English. Almost all of its citizens speak English. Therefore all immigrants should also be required to speak English, or following a certain time period spent there.

I can easily see what you mean. I think it's rude and annoying when someone literally -can't- speak English. But I just ignore them. I feel like people -should- learn the country's main language, but I don't believe it should be by law.
Others can choose to be morons and not understood if they want. They just better not b**** and moan about not 'belonging' or whatever bullshit.
I far from understand the lack of an official language in the US, too. It makes absolutely no sense to me, but I don't have much power to change it, and I don't know if I could be assed to try, anyway.

super craig said:...If you don't learn the language you can't get a job which means (here in England at least) you will more than likely end up on some form of benefits...
...Equally if you don't learn the language you can't intergrate into society...
...How can you effectively relate your problems to the doctor, particularly in an emergency, if the doctor can't understand what you are saying and vica versa. This not only affects the immigrants themselves but also has a detrimental effect on the other users of our health service, translators are bloody expensive take vast amounts of time to set up and more importantly are incredibly annoying to arrange...

I honestly didn't even think of the welfare/benefits thing. Even though I knew non-whateverlanguage speakers wouldn't be very likely to get a job in the country, I didn't even think about the aftereffects of that.
The integration into society and relating problems to a doctor thing... I feel like that's their own choice. If they want to be isolated, fine. Just don't complain about it. And if they don't want an easy time to get medical help, fine. It's their choice - though now that I'm thinking about it, I'd feel insanely bad for the doctor. So I can see why that'd be annoying...
----------
To everyone who complained about me using 'human rights' as an argument:
I don't give a damn about what 'legal' human rights are - it's complete bull, in my opinion. The law, at least in America, doesn't seem to know what human rights are (in my opinion).

When I mentioned human rights, I was only talking about my own beliefs. I probably should have clarified that, but I didn't. Oh well.
I believe it should be everyone's choice to learn a language or not, no matter where they live. If they want to screw over their own lives by being lazy, it's their own choice and it's them who have to deal with the consequences.
But some of you did bring up good points - such as the ways I didn't even think of, in how people would be affected by it - such as welfare, translation problems where it would -have- to happen (like with doctors), and other things.

I guess... I feel like there should be laws to... hold back people who don't speak whatever country's main language... but not law that force people to learn a language.
Give them more incentive to learn a language, but still don't force them to do it.

I know that in Denmark, you're basically not even considered a citizen if you don't know Danish, even if you're 'by law' a citizen. Nobody else will look at you as one.
Apologies to any Danish people who think differently - that's just what I've learned from the little experience I have in that case. :p

But I think that's kind of... in a way... a good idea. Like... single the non-whateverlanguage speakers out, so they'll be more likely to learn the language.
But I just don't feel like it's "right" to force people to learn a language...

Again, I'm only thinking in 'American terms.' We don't have an official language.
I could easily understand why it'd be a law in countries that -do- have an official language...

« Last edited by Jay_Dee on Mar 4th 2012 »
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nightmare2 Posted: 17:24 Apr06 2012 Post ID: 3105596
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Love how you don't have much more to say but make a massive post, super craig.

As far as a law goes I think that is overboard but yes I think if you go to a nation you should learn, or put effort into, their language as well as other customs. It is just rude and inconsiderate not to. I think it is pretty simple to make an effort, if your not gonna make the effort then why should we have to learn your language just to communicate with you? Not practical or reasonable to go to another nation and NOT learn their language.
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Jay_Dee Posted: 17:13 Apr07 2012 Post ID: 3105746
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Of course I don't think people -shouldn't- make an effort to learn a country's official language. Like you said, it's rude and inconsiderate. But... I don't feel like it should be a... forced thing. It should still be up to the individual. If they want to be, in a way, looked down on for their lack of speaking the main language, it's their own choice. If they want to have more trouble getting jobs or education, it's their own choice. If they want to have a much worse time living in the country, in general, it's their own choice.
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Rage [VG] Posted: 18:50 Apr07 2012 Post ID: 3105766
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I do not think anyone should be forced to learn another language, however they will find it hard to live in such a place without knowing the native tongue, so they should make a personal attempt to learn it, however I don't they should be punished for not doing so.
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Purrloin Posted: 22:11 Apr18 2012 Post ID: 3107955
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I think they should at least make an effort to learn the language, if only for their own well-being. Not necessarily a law. Someone I know has said that he has talked to people who don't speak English that think that the STOP signs should be in Spanish, as well. They run right through them because "they don't know what it means" He thinks it's nonsense, and I agree. I think people who want to live here should want to know our language so that they can have more opportunities in life. After all, most people who don't speak English very well, or even not at all, don't get the best jobs and yet sometimes have a lot of children so they end up on welfare, which is draining the money from the country, and it could go to people who need it more than they do. If they would just make an effort, I think the US would benefit as a whole.
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nightmare2 Posted: 20:40 Apr19 2012 Post ID: 3108144
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There is a kid in my class who came from Ukraine and he learned english, he also knows spansih and russian along with Ukrainian. But on the citizenship test in USA they make sure you can atleast speak the language, which he can with only a little trouble do to his accent. He came to the USA when he was thirteen and knew some english. It is obviously hard to learn a language and everyone learns differently but personally being able to learn english and then take on spanish in school just shows that it can't be that hard. Atleast he is putting effort in and I asked him and he agrees that you need to learn the language of the country you live in otherwise you shouldn't even be living there.
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