Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentImmigration · 1 decade ago

Should all people in the U.S. be forced to learn every language spoken here? At least Chinese and French?

Or would it just be common sense to require only ONE and let us learn as many others as we VOLUNTEER to learn?

[I speak English and Chinese, have family in Mexico, Germany and much of Asia and have seen people learn English from zero in under a year...WHILE WORKING.]


Bibi: You speak French, and, since you obviously speak darned good English (and I don't even know if you're in the U.S.) Good For YOU!!

Still, an insistence on basic uniformity would be nice to hear.

Blue, JWatson and many others... EXCELLENT STUFF! In years past, I often chastised immigrants who deprived their children of the old culture and language. I never imagined then that ANY self-respecting subset (least of all, Latin America from whom I have family and friends) would EVER keep ONLY their old ways and refuse to learn the new!

25 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    No. Businesses in the US also shouldnt be able to turn away potential employees for not being bi-lingual. I say require one, or at least make english oficially the primary language, and then what people chose to speak in their communities and homes is their business.

  • 1 decade ago

    No. It would be quite impractical. There are hundreds or thousands of languages and dialects. Some are going extinct and are only spoken by a few. Keeping track of all that information is going to be very difficult for any one individual.

    Imagine trying to learn Igarot, Urdu, Barish, Gaelic, Basque and Tibetian at the same time. It gets even harder when you realize that in most cases you need to know the in depth history of the country, nursery rhymes, etc to understand what is being said.

    We are better off knowing one major language and one or more secondary languages. I think it is a good idea to require a second language be learned in school. There is a lot of benefit to be had in speaking a second or third language, even poorly.

  • Carol
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Wow that previous answerer is cocky to say the least! I am majoring in Chinese and it is my fifth language. The tones take a few months (of classroom teaching) to get used to so Japanese won't help here as it doesn't have any tones (or just the one, I can't remember). Speaking and listening is quite easy as there are only 250 'word sounds' but all of which will have 4 tones applied to so that makes 1000, then these will have multiple meanings which we contextualise through reading and listening to carefully. Good luck, this summer I will be in Beijing taking a course in Chinese which really will be excellent.

    • bryan_q
      Lv 7
      3 years agoReport

      Chinese is also used to describe people who have ancestors from China but have settled outside China.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Wouldn't it be nice if our children actually learned English and appropriate grammar?

    That would be a great start! High schools degrees for college preparation require a minimum of two years of a foreign language. Some schools accept sign language as an alternative to a spoken language. I think this is a great alternative.

    After listening to some of my children's friends and seeing the grammar on the internet, I would be grateful for some Standard English 101.

    However, French is the most spoken language world-wide. Although in the USA, Spanish may be more appropriate for a second language.

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  • 1 decade ago

    There's nothing wrong with learning other languages but I think a country should have ONE common language that everyone knows and understands.

    It would be ridiculous to require Americans to learn the languages of every immigrant who comes to the U.S. It should be the other way around. Every immigrant should attempt to learn English so that we will continue to be a UNITED States and have a common bond with each other as citizens.

    After that, people can speak or learn any language they please voluntarily. But at least know English in order to vote, serve on juries, read legal documents, become a citizen.

  • shawn
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    the united states does not have an official language right now,

    although over 80% of the population speek's english it is not the offical language. I belive yes it should be common sense however until we acually have a official language I dont think pure common sense is going to get people to learn a new language! I belive that it is common curticy, when I was in mexico I spoke spanish, we felt that it was rude to speak english while visiting there, however I guess some people just dont care!

    check out the listings below, I found them interesting!

  • 1 decade ago

    Of course not. I see nothing wrong with people learning another language if they want to but when we go to their country, we don't insist they speak English. They come to America, they can learn to speak and read English and quit demanding changes like this. It is ridiculous !!!

    I read a story several years ago about a guy who came here from Germany and came through Ellis Island. His dream was to come to America and earn enough money to bring some of his family over later so he worked hard, learned to read and speak English and eventually saved up enough money which he sent to his younger brother.

    Soon his brother joined him in America, both proud and happy for the opportunity to live in such a wonderful country but the younger brother kept speaking to him in German and not really taking the time to learn or read English. One day when the younger brother started telling him something about work, the older brother told him, "You are now in America and in America, we speak English. You must learn to speak and read English since you wanted to come here because that is the language of this country and we are honored to be here, to have been accepted by those who live here".

    I don't know if the story is true or not and I don't care. It says enough in the last part of the sentence that should apply to anyone coming here to live. You should be honored that we accepted you and you should honor our laws and our language. If you want to continue speaking your foreign tongue, then you can go back home where no one has a problem with it.

  • BAS
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    English should be required and additional should be optional. We all need to have one common language. I was disappointed with the school system here when I found the only foreign language option was Spanish. What good will it be if the child gets a job in the future that does not deal with Spanish. I think everyone should have the choice on a second language.

  • 1 decade ago

    I do not feel they should be forced, but it would be a very wise decision to learn several new languages with the way the world, not just our country is going. I actually hope to take classes to learn another language soon, although I have not made up my mind as I do not know if my family and myself will be moving to Ireland to be close to relatives. I say this because I am unsure what language would benefit me most, depending on where I decide to live.

  • Rick K
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    The (unofficial but true) language of the U.S.A. is English, and American English at that. English has also become the world's language.

    If anyone wants to learn English, they should take a class or find another way to learn the language.

    If they don't want to learn it, then go home! We welcome immigrants from all over the world to the U.S.A., and we do so happily. But if you come here, come here and become and American. That's what my wife and a few million other people have done. Don't expect us to change to meet your particular situation. You chose to come here, become one of us!

    When in Rome, do as the Romans.

    And when in the U.S.A., do as the Americans!

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