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Thread: Where do you stand in reguards to:

  1. #33
    Somewhat Unstable superimposedhope's Avatar
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    True, for some it is the same as being foreign. I attended public school in a sh** neighborhood and spent more time on the street and so my grammar is riddled with double-negatives incomplete thoughts and sentences. My wife constantly corrects my grammar. Like "I aint got no cigarettes". To me that sounds perfectly normal, my wife will jump my butt about it though. I actually speak better slang/ebonic than proper english. If I want to I can write proper english but speaking it sounds weird to me. The same goes for my German. I have a hard time speaking correctly but the German youth can understand me cause I speak 'low' German. In low german gender play little part in vulgarities, epithets, inuendos(sp?), many other rules don't apply either just like street English.

    RP,
    Interesting that you brought that cause in all the forums that I visit I ask the Euros what they think of Americans and our English and so on. Most seem to avoid answering. I've many times wondered what the English think of our English. They call it American cause its so different.

    Joe
    \"There is nothing here of interest to any nation, as a matter of fact there is nothing here but humans!\"

  2. #34
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    I think RamPuppy hit it right on the head. It's great to be bilingual, and I do think that bilingual education should be part of the norm. But being able to opt out is important, too - as much as I value education, I don't think that parents should be forced to send their children to learn something of which they don't approve.
    I was born in the States but grew up and learned to speak in Panama City, Panama. Up until we returned to America, I spoke Spanish as well as I did English. Upon returning, I didn't get any Spanish lessons until I was in highschool, and so I've lost most of my vocabulary since then. But that's to be expected. What I have always been appalled at, though, is that my English was, and still is, dramatically better than those of my American peers.
    We need to have a firm grasp on our primary language, whatever it may be, before we start calling for education in other languages. I certainly think it should be an option, but until our nation's 6th graders can read English at a 6th grade level, I think we should spend less money on second-language classes and more money on basic education.
    Oddly, I think that laziness plays into the average American's push towards English, in just the same way that non-English speakers get lazy about learning English. It's real easy to say that foriegners should learn English, but it is a bit of the pot calling the kettle black - I still don't think English is our official language (which should be changed, because even if we don't intend it to be, it is, and it's not fair to say otherwise.) I'm not bothered by signs in Spanish, because I can read them. But I'm also not bothered by signs I can't read, because I like to not understand sometimes. :)
    People let their lack of language get the better of them, and I think that's a crying shame. I know people who's biggest concern when choosing a vacation destination is whether or not they speak English there! I've read that there's an actual statistical correlation between the number of languages a person speaks and the diversity of their travel - it's a phenomenon that is common enough to be a statistic! It almost seems like there's some stigma against other languages, as if countries that don't have a large English-speaking population are somehow more dangerous or unpleasant because they don't share our tounge.
    In any case, I think we can all agree that the real problem is the enormous lack of infrastructure in America for rectifying this issue. We barely have enough ESL services to get immigrant kids speaking English, and bilingual education for English speakers is a joke. Adult education isn't even a serious possibility. I've worked with immigrants from Mexico and other Latin American countries who would have loved to learn English, if they only had the opportunity. But, such is not the case; even if there were some service to offer them classes, their lack of English has them in an employment position where they couldn't possibily find even the time to attend them, let alone tuition, childcare, etc.
    I dunno, really... I have a strange perspective. I think that being bilingual is important, any way you look at it. English speakers should learn other languages, and anybody who's going to live in a given community should at least have the decency to take the time to learn to speak the local language. But when it comes to education, we've got to be pragmatic, and take care of primary language first.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

  3. #35

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    I'm quadrilingual (English, Japanese, French, Spanish) and I have to say it's useful if not fun as well. Forced learning however I stand against. Learning an extra language should be either out of choice (so should many other things, but you can't choose your parents/environment/religion etc. at birth right?) or necessity, the latter being my case. Right, I think I'm off to learn Russian and Gulf Arabic (real targets!). [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/cool.gif[/img]

  4. #36
    Guest
    http://www.geocities.com/keaton_kool/spanish.html

  5. #37
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    I've lived in Buffalo and Reading for about 25 years. Both cities have high populations of Hispanics, mainly Puerto Rican. Unfortunately, I took French in junior high and high school. Je parle francais, un peu. It HAS come in handy on occasion. I made one really good friend because of it.

    On the light side, most of my Spanish comes from Bugs Bunny cartoons - andelle, arriba, senor duck, senor mouse....

  6. #38
    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    Je parle le francais un grandement monsier Jimscott! I know what you mean. Especially since I live in an econimically tourist dependent area, its really helpful to give confused franophone tourists a handy helper on where to go and what they are trying to find. Rather than get angry with them and try to listen to thier choppy English....if ya can;'t beat em, join em! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]

  7. #39
    Lauderdale's Avatar
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    My feelings;
    I speak English and learned Spanish so I could conduct business in South America. I believe children/parents should have a choice of which second language they want to learn.
    On the other hand, our schools do such a poor job of teaching, that a large number of kids graduate, unable to speak, much less write proper English. As far as spelling…forget it.

    English IS our national language. If you want to live here, learn to speak it.
    A basic grasp of English should be required for citizenship.

  8. #40
    kahnli's Avatar
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    you should learn to speak the language of the native people...
    much like our fore fathers learned to speak the native american languages.
    Sturgeon's Law:
    "Nothing is always absolutely so".

    http://terraforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=102021

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