You know, I don’t understand when people are going around worrying about, “We need to have English- only.” They want to pass a law, “We want English-only.”
Now, I agree that immigrants should learn English. I agree with that. But understand this. Instead of worrying about whether immigrants can learn English — they’ll learn English — you need to make sure your child can speak Spanish. You should be thinking about, how can your child become bilingual? We should have every child speaking more than one language.
Of course, he’s right. Immigrants will learn English and assimilate as they always have, despite what Michelle Malkin and her ilk might think.
You know, no, I’m serious about this. We should understand that our young people, if you have a foreign language, that is a powerful tool to get a job. You are so much more employable. You can be part of international business. So we should be emphasizing foreign languages in our schools from an early age, because children will actually learn a foreign language easier when they’re 5, or 6, or 7 than when they’re 46, like me.
I’m fortunate enough to speak a second language, and that ability certainly has opened a lot of doors for me professionally.
Perhaps more imporantly, it has opened me up to cultural enrichment. When I travel in the Spanish-speaking world, it’s easy to make friends who invite me into their homes and who teach me far more about their countries than I would have ever learned without their help.
But too many Americans seem to have a fear of learning and hearing foreign languages.
On the learning side, I understand that learning a foreign language is difficult. To learn to speak a language, well, you need some immersion, some studying, and a lot of patience. It’s not that hard, it just takes some time and practice.
But on the hearing side, I am often disturbed by the attitudes of many Americans.
Lynn Samuels, an alleged liberal talk show host on Sirius left regularly informs her listeners about how upset she gets when she hears people speaking Spanish. She’s a PUMA, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. She also likes to blather on about herself.
I was reminded of Lynn last week when I was buying groceries. Upon entering the store, I saw a lovely family that I took to be Indian. They seemed to be having a good time and they seemed to be happy.
But while I was squeezing some peaches, an old white guy stepped next to me and said something about “them people” learning English. I pretended not to hear him and moved on the the arugula section </snark> and the same guy again tried to speak to me. He said something about “them people” needing to get the hell out. I ignored him again and went about my business.
It seems that among the Lynn Samuels and guy from the supermarket crowd, it’s a sin to not speak English.
I don’t get it.