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I’m a Democrat. But I side with Republicans on a number of issues. So, I don’t want this little rant to make me sound like one of those radio talk show hosts I hate.

When I was in the DMV the other day, I was handed a form on a clipboard (note to self: if I ever have a son, don’t name him Clip). I was a bit confused at the first question. After 10 seconds of trying to figure it out, it occurred to me why. The form was in Spanish. I walked back up to the window (and interrupted another person being helped), to ask for a form in English.

My question is…why are we spending money to have forms printed in another language? Seriously. Think about the waste of trees, and money, this is.

Now, I’ve heard people like Bill O’Reily go on about driver’s licenses for illegal aliens, and other topics. I’m not even going there. I’m simply saying…if you CAN’T READ English, you shouldn’t drive. Even if you are here legally.

I can give you a few reasons why. You won’t be able to read signs. Sure, you’ll know what “stop” means because it’s red. But, what about a sign telling you “slow down, construction zone ahead.” What if an officer pulls you over, and you can’t understand them, and vice versa? Does this now mean we have to hire people that are bilingual just for scenarios like this? Apparently it does. My stepbrother is a teacher, and he’s lost jobs to people simply because he wasn’t bilingual.

Now, there’s controvery that emergency calls that went out during the fires were English only. Well, duh! Should they have been in Swahili?

Here’s a cliché I hate to use. I can’t believe I’m even going to type it. If you are in America, you have to learn to speak and read in English, if you want the various privileges that come along with living in this country.

Listen, I can speak English, Pig Latin, and a few dirty words in various languages (long story). But I wouldn’t move to France and want to live there, assuming everyone is going to have forms in my native tongue. In fact, that’s one place where I’ve heard from friends, if you don’t make the effort to speak their language, they’re extremely rude.

I know. Rude people in France. Go figure.

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Comments
9

Amen, Brother Josh! I couldn't agree more. I can appreciate that even more here in Belgium where there are two official languages: French and Dutch. All the signs are in both languages, including street signs. Do I expect everyone to speak English? Nope. I'm all for "I'm in your country, I will have to learn your language" kind of attitude. Hats off to you...and nice pun on Clip Board..wonder how many got that?

Nov. 3, 2007

If I ever have a son, I will seriously consider naming him William, so that he'll be Bill Board. Hey, he'll develope a sense of humor. It will be like A Boy Named Sue.

Nov. 3, 2007

Hey! Here's an idea; how about let's have a country where we are FREE to speak what ever language we want. Or is freedom to big a concept for you to understand. I suggest you look up: Ethnocentric. In the dictionary of your choice!

Nov. 3, 2007

Here's the problem with that logic. If you speak whatever language you want, then should the DMV have forms in every language imaginable? Is that the way government agencies should work? I don't think so.

Nov. 4, 2007

And I think you're missing the concept. You are FREE to SPEAK whatever language you want. That's not the problem. The problem is not conforming to the OFFICIAL language in reading/writing/speaking in order to get things completed. Which, in the U.S., is ENGLISH. Laslty, you should look up your own $10 word - Here it is - Ethnocentric - centered on a specific ethnic group, usually one's own. So how does that word prove your point?

Nov. 4, 2007

Hmm...Ik me vraag waroom ik moet een beetje nederlands leren als ik wil aan Belgie wonen of werken...alles de weg-tekens zijn aan vlaams, maar de mensen (normaal) kannen engels spreken...

Nov. 9, 2007

And most Vlaams do sprek Engels because both languages are Latin based. Again, missing the point. I live in Brussels, so I should learn French and Dutch to help fit it since those are the official languages. I don't expect everyone to conform to me, and speak English. It's all about self responisibility. That's all I'm saying. If I were dropped in Russia, I would expect to learn Russian, and so on...

Nov. 11, 2007

To say that Americans should have to know English to be an official American is absolutely ridiculous. The impression you give is that you are really a bigot trying to find a legitimate sounding excuse to express your racist inner self. Dont be so ignorant, it's not American-like....or wait maybe it is??

Nov. 15, 2007

Holy cow! Who said anything about not being an official American unless you speak English? You are sounding a trifle paranoid. In addition to seeking help for your paranoia, please take a few U.S. History courses before you spout. We are talking about government agencies. It is absolutely ridiculous for America to continue to cater to every language spoken here. Regardless of your native language you must learn to effectively communicate in English when living in America. I find it odd that people beg, borrow, and steal to come here but yet have no desire to get a handle on the language. Somehow they actually feel entitled to be offended by needing to learn English in order to live in America. You'd think they would feel eternally grateful for the opportunity to live in this country and would WANT to learn the language. In fact, the millions of European immigrants that came here did just that, they learned English. Wow!

Nov. 17, 2007

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