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Posted: 4/9/2002 9:11:58 AM EDT
Many of us have concerns with the possibility of the United States turning away from having a single common language, and the negative implications of that possibility. I came across this interesting and somewhat optimistic article relating to the subject from the NY Times. If you want to read the article there, you will have to register for free. http://[url]www.nytimes.com/2002/04/07/weekinreview/07RODR.html[/url] [b]The Overwhelming Allure of English[/b] By GREGORY RODRIGUEZ LOS ANGELES A generation of large-scale Latin American immigration has turned Spanish into the unofficial second language of the United States. In early March, Texas held the nation's first-ever gubernatorial debate in Spanish. President Bush never misses an opportunity to show that he, too, can speak the language of Cervantes. Meanwhile, with the press of a button, most automated teller machines can communicate with customers in digital Spanish. From the streets of Miami to Los Angeles, it sometimes feels as if Spanish is giving English a run for its money. But even with this proliferation of Spanish, the United States is still, in the words of one prominent sociologist, a country that is a "language graveyard" for foreign tongues. While many Americans fret over the state of their nation's primary language, there are signs everywhere that English is triumphant both at home and abroad. As the United States strengthens its position as the world's economic superpower, the global reach of its popular culture — and accompanying English language — only grows. By mid-century, half the planet is expected to be more or less proficient in English, compared to roughly 12 percent now. Why should the American-born children of immigrants be somehow immune to the rising power of the international language of diplomacy and commerce? Still, there is a growing concern that the rise of Spanish threatens the pre-eminence of English in America. Last month, Iowa became the 27th state to declare English its official language — the 10th since 1995. While The Des Moines Register dismissed the act as "an embarrassment" perpetrated by a "bunch of yahoos in the Legislature," four out of five Iowans supported it. To be sure, the United States' proximity to Latin America combined with the sheer size and continuous nature of Latino migration has changed the nation's cultural landscape. Mass media, modern transportation and the Internet all nurture Spanish in the United States in a way inconceivable to earlier waves of immigrants. And unlike those who came before, today's immigrants can hear their native tongue on morning drive-time radio and watch soap operas from their homeland in the evening. Over the last decade, Spanish-language TV and radio boomed in the nation's largest media markets. [i](to be contd.)[/i]
Link Posted: 4/9/2002 9:14:27 AM EDT
International Morse Code is still sent in English.
Link Posted: 4/9/2002 9:15:00 AM EDT
[i](contd.)[/i] But while immigration has powered the rise of Spanish-language media, a new demographic trend is already shifting the balance in favor of English — even in the heaviest immigrant media markets in America. In Los Angeles, home to the nation's largest Latino immigrant population, Spanish-language radio stations routinely topped the charts for most of the 1990's. But the growth of Spanish-language radio leveled off in the last few years. For the past nine months, KROQ, an alternative, youth-oriented rock station, has snagged the region's highest overall ratings. It is the first time since 1991 that an English-language station has remained No. 1 for three consecutive ratings periods. A fragmented Spanish-language radio market helped KROQ, but the station has a fundamental trend on its side. "The Hispanic share of our listenership has increased gradually over the past 10 years," says Trip Reeb, KROQ's general manager. Without actively seeking to broaden its ethnic appeal, the station, long considered "white," now has a 40 percent Latino audience. In fact, a growing number of mainstream English-language radio stations find themselves with sizable Latino audiences. "Right when everyone is discovering the importance of using Spanish, we're seeing Latinos become the backbone of the English-language audience," said Patricia Suarez, president of Suarez/Frommer & Associates, an advertising firm in Pasadena, Calif. Sometime in the 1990's, demographers say, the foreign-born portion of the Latino population reached its peak. In other words, on the basis of current projections, from now on the immigrant or first generation will be a smaller percentage of Hispanic America. According to Barry Edmonston, the head of the Population Research Center at Portland State University, the fastest-growing segment of the Latino population is the third generation, which is projected to triple by 2040. The second generation, is expected to double. "In every immigrant experience, there is a shift from immigrant culture to ethnic American culture," said Mr. Edmonston. "Hispanics are in the middle of that shift right now." As American Latinos now become less an immigrant market and more an ethnic market, the equation of Latinos with Spanish is beginning to fade. While slower to make the shift than other immigrant groups, Latino linguistic assimilation is not entirely unlike that of immigrants at the turn of the 20th century. According to the 1990 Census, fully two-thirds of third-generation Latino children spoke only English. And while bilingualism does persist longer within Latino families, particularly along the border region, there is no indication this precludes the use of English as the primary language. As in past waves of immigration, the first generation tends to learn only enough English to get by; the second is bilingual; and the third tends to be English-dominant if not monolingual. "The big picture is that bilingualism is very difficult to maintain in the U.S., and by the third generation it is extraordinarily difficult to maintain," said Richard Alba, a sociology professor at the State University of New York at Albany. "This is because English is so dominant and so highly rewarded." [i](to be contd.)[/i]
Link Posted: 4/9/2002 9:16:20 AM EDT
[i]contd.[/i] It makes sense that the shift to English is being felt first in the youth entertainment market. A two-year-old study by Nielsen Media Research shows that even in households where the adults speak Spanish, younger Latinos prefer to watch television in English. In fact, the preference for English over Spanish becomes more lopsided the younger the demographic. Nickelodeon, the children's cable network, has embraced mainstream Latino characters more than any other network. Two years ago, the Walt Disney Company failed in the first large-scale effort by a Hollywood studio to broaden its domestic Latino base. But after simultaneously releasing an English and Spanish-language version of the animated film "The Emperor's New Groove" in 16 theaters, the studio pulled the dubbed version for lack of interest. "The Latino audience clearly came out for the movie, but that audience definitely preferred to see it in English," said Richard W. Cook, chairman of Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group. Similarly, even as the Latino population exploded, Spanish-language movie theaters in Southern California were closing. In the last half of the 1990's, a company that screens foreign and dubbed films cut the number of its movie houses dedicated to Spanish-speaking audiences by more than half. Like Americans at large, the average Latino moviegoer is a teenager. And the average Latino teenager is American-born and more eager to see a contemporary English-language action film than the art-house fare from contemporary Latin America. In fact, a recent study of the children of immigrants found that by the end of high school 9 in 10 preferred to speak English and 98 percent spoke it proficiently. At the same time, Spanish is certainly not going away in the regions of the country that serve as gateways to new immigrants. American-born Latinos can enjoy Latin-American soap operas or old-fashioned boleros on the radio. But like children of immigrants in the past, the descendants of today's newcomers will negotiate their work lives and create art and music in the language in which they are schooled. While bilingual education is often blamed for the persistence of Spanish in the United States, most such programs are designed to shift the child into English-speaking classes within three or four years. In addition, a few elementary school years in Spanish do not give students adult-level proficiency. Even in Miami, the nation's quintessential bilingual city, international corporations complain of a shortage of fully bilingual workers to conduct business with Latin Americans in professional Spanish. Thus, despite the obvious benefits of bilingualism in a globalizing world, English still overwhelms the languages that immigrants bring to these shores. Not unlike previous large waves of immigrants, Latinos are introducing words and phrases of their native language into mainstream English. But within generations of arriving in America, Latinos eager to read the classic works of Cervantes or Gabriel García Márquez will most likely do so through English translations. [i]End.[/i]
Link Posted: 4/9/2002 9:44:20 AM EDT
DON'T YOU KNOW.... WE ARE A SMELTING POT!! [:E]
Link Posted: 4/9/2002 9:50:40 AM EDT
The fact that there are 300 million students of English in China is reassuring. English will become the language of the entire world, if we continue to be the most powerful nation in the world.
Link Posted: 4/9/2002 6:04:17 PM EDT
[b]Last month, Iowa became the 27th state to declare English its official language — the 10th since 1995. While The Des Moines Register dismissed the act as "an embarrassment" perpetrated by a "bunch of yahoos in the Legislature," four out of five Iowans supported it.[/b] Oh, and the media doesn't have an agenda, no way! In California, Telemundo, a large Spanish radio and TV outfit, donated a small fortune to defeat a bill that was to finally get rid of bi-lingual education in the state. Their own research proved that bi-lingual education hinders English language skills, therefore they are all for it. At the same time, the teacher's union promotes bi-lingual education as an aid to learning English. Of course, the fact bi-lingual teachers make more money has nothing to do with it. Everyone has an agenda. The welfare of the kids is irrelevant.
Link Posted: 4/9/2002 7:07:02 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Rainier: The fact that there are 300 million students of English in China is reassuring. English will become the language of the entire world, if we continue to be the most powerful nation in the world.
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I would not surprised at all by this. English is a powerful and dynamic language, and most people in the world desire to learn it. However, I think that most foreign speakers of English will continue to use their own language for their day to day activities with their compatriots They will use English for communication with the outside world, and also for technical, scientific and business communication.
Link Posted: 4/9/2002 9:51:09 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Rainier: The fact that there are 300 million students of English in China is reassuring. English will become the language of the entire world, if we continue to be the most powerful nation in the world.
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Who? The English? Serioursly, I live in Mexico and know that any businessman or student, with any ambition is in the process of learning English. To them, it is a simple fact of life. ckapsl – I think I know what you mean, however, I believe that history proves you wrong. It's a little like new money driving out the old – common usage, becomes common usage.
Link Posted: 4/9/2002 10:04:01 PM EDT
Bilingual is the way to be. Kids should be exsposed to more langauages in pre-school. High school graduates should be fluent in 3 languages. thats how most of the industrialized world does it.
Link Posted: 4/9/2002 10:27:07 PM EDT
... [blue][size=4][i][b]"Whoa is [s]me[/s] I"[/b][/i][/size=4][/blue]
Link Posted: 4/9/2002 11:08:12 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ckapsl: Many of us have concerns with the possibility of the United States turning away from having a single common language, and the negative implications of that possibility. I came across this interesting and somewhat optimistic article relating to the subject from the NY Times. If you want to read the article there, you will have to register for free. quote] Better just to violate copyrights and subscription terms; and post the darn thing in its entirety! Ain't nutin wrong wit' dat, is der?
Link Posted: 4/9/2002 11:45:43 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ckapsl:
Originally Posted By Rainier: The fact that there are 300 million students of English in China is reassuring. English will become the language of the entire world, if we continue to be the most powerful nation in the world.
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I would not surprised at all by this. English is a powerful and dynamic language, and most people in the world desire to learn it. However, I think that most foreign speakers of English will continue to use their own language for their day to day activities with their compatriots They will use English for communication with the outside world, and also for technical, scientific and business communication.
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This is perfectly acceptable, maintain and respect your personal heritageand culture. BUT, if you want to live in my country and be a part of my culture, respect it and learn it. If your "homeland" is so great that you refuse to accept things as they are here, then GO HOME!!
Link Posted: 4/10/2002 5:11:28 AM EDT
Originally Posted By USP40C:
Originally Posted By ckapsl:
Originally Posted By Rainier: The fact that there are 300 million students of English in China is reassuring. English will become the language of the entire world, if we continue to be the most powerful nation in the world.
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I would not surprised at all by this. English is a powerful and dynamic language, and most people in the world desire to learn it. However, I think that most foreign speakers of English will continue to use their own language for their day to day activities with their compatriots They will use English for communication with the outside world, and also for technical, scientific and business communication.
View Quote
This is perfectly acceptable, maintain and respect your personal heritageand culture. BUT, if you want to live in my country and be a part of my culture, respect it and learn it. If your "homeland" is so great that you refuse to accept things as they are here, then GO HOME!!
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Your rant is perplexing. I was talking about foreign speakers of English, such as 300 million students of English living in China. How is what you said applicable to them?
Link Posted: 4/10/2002 5:15:16 AM EDT
Originally Posted By IMHO: Better just to violate copyrights and subscription terms; and post the darn thing in its entirety! Ain't nutin wrong wit' dat, is der?
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Point taken. I will stop doing this, and will also look forward to seeing you police everyone else. You can start with: http://[url]www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?id=107931[/url]
Link Posted: 4/10/2002 5:19:06 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/10/2002 5:20:17 AM EDT by Avalon01]
English is spoken all over the world. Many Europeans learn English as a second language, and many foreign business people also know English. The problem is we need to force people to USE English here in the States. But knowing more than one language is great. My primary language is English, but I know enough Spanish and Polish to get by. I wish American schools would teach foreign languages as much as the rest of the world. Av.
Link Posted: 4/10/2002 5:50:56 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Rainier: Bilingual is the way to be. Kids should be exsposed to more langauages in pre-school. High school graduates should be fluent in 3 languages. thats how most of the industrialized world does it.
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This is appropriate only if you are already fluent in the language of the host nation. If you are a foreigner living in America, for instance, this is absolutely inappropriate. Total immersion in the English language is the only way to go. Once you're fluent, it's fine.
Link Posted: 4/10/2002 6:38:38 AM EDT
The way I see it is, if I were going to move to Mexico, I would take it upon myself to learn Spanish. If I moved to China, it would be my responsibilty to learn Chinese. I wouldn't move to another country and expect everyone there to learn my language and conform to me. Alot of people live in the U.S. and don't even try to learn English.
Link Posted: 4/10/2002 6:54:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/10/2002 6:55:38 AM EDT by Avalon01]
There have always been immigrant areas of the nation. Look at Chicago for example. They have a huge population of Polish people. Signs in the area are in both Polish and English. Many immigrants continue to speak their native language for many years after they move here. The problem is now they have no reason to learn English. If you can take drivers license tests in your native language, why learn English? Many documents here at the school district are in Spanish, so why should they learn English? My grandfather learned English because he had too. Honestly though, I don't think he would have if everything was printed in English and Polish. Why make the effort if you don't have to? Av. Edited since I'M still working on my English.
Link Posted: 4/10/2002 11:11:27 AM EDT
Using signs and other devices in 2 langauges is a double edged sword. The children of an immigrant will likely speak both languages fluently, while the immigrant may never learn English. I do think that they SHOULD learn English, but I don't see any way to make them short of doing everything in English, which would be cutting off our nose to spite our face.
Link Posted: 4/10/2002 7:27:18 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ckapsl: Your rant is perplexing. I was talking about foreign speakers of English, such as 300 million students of English living in China. How is what you said applicable to them?
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I got confrused, it was late and I was getting very tired. I intended to make reference to those choosing to live in this nation, but refusing to learn our language and culture. It seems that many wish only to transplant their country in ours. Understandable, as the benefits of life in the US over MOST other countries are easy to see, however unacceptable, as the concessions they expect of us would not be afforded to us in their homelands, nor should they be.
Link Posted: 4/11/2002 8:17:04 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/11/2002 8:20:24 AM EDT by ckapsl]
USP40C, understood. I agree with you that people who move to another country should be willing to learn the language of that country and its traditions. As far as culture goes... it is an amorphous word about which I have mixed feelings. If by culture, you mean the traditionally American ideals of hard work, responsibility for self and family, respect for the rights of individuals and others, I agree completely. If culture includes watching 20 hours a week of junk TV and hanging out at the mall, then perhaps immigrants should be able to opt out of this part of our culture [:)]
Link Posted: 4/11/2002 11:25:50 AM EDT
It's a good thing to remember where your ancestors came from, it gives you a sense of identity. Even though I was born in America, I still feel very strongly about my Polish heritage. We celebrate Polish holidays in our home, and eat many of the traditional Polish foods. I know I'm going to be preaching to the choir but what irks me are immigrants who feel that if they learn English they loose their heritage. It's a lame excuse to leech off the system. Av.
Link Posted: 4/11/2002 8:04:03 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ckapsl: USP40C, understood. I agree with you that people who move to another country should be willing to learn the language of that country and its traditions. As far as culture goes... it is an amorphous word about which I have mixed feelings. If by culture, you mean the traditionally American ideals of hard work, responsibility for self and family, respect for the rights of individuals and others, I agree completely. If culture includes watching 20 hours a week of junk TV and hanging out at the mall, then perhaps immigrants should be able to opt out of this part of our culture [:)]
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Then it is agreed, I love this. I get to run around, make an ass of myself, realize it, and clarify my original intent, only to find that there was no need for my rambling input in the first place!! And you guys put up with it, Thanks guys!!! [whacko] [beer]
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