Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Si habla espanol?

I got an interesting email today from a friend. I don't believe much of what I read in emails but this one caught my attention because it was about a supposed ammendment to the Immigration Bill that would make English the official language of America. The headline read:

33 Senators Voted Against English as America's Official Language on June 6, 2007

Senators that voted against it, including Obama and Clinton, were called un-America and such.

I didn't bother looking up the validity, surely it's a joke, but it did make me think - isn't dictating a "language" in America more un-American that voting against it? Would I be arrested if I didn't speak English? Would it need to be proper English? There are some variations of English out there that give me the chills, if you know what I mean dawg.

Having in-laws who primarily speak Spanish, I don't really care what others use to communicate, as long as they realize I can't converse with them unless they use English (which after 15 years they've honed in on). I grew up with friends whose families spoke Greek and Italian. I was jealous - I wish we spoke more than one language in my house. My husband is bilingual but hasn't given that gift to our children (although I try to encourage it).

I love the variety of languages spoken around my town. I get bummed out sometimes that I miss the joke when it's not in English - but seriously? English as the Official Language? Oy vey!

1 comment:

Fairly Odd Mother said...

It drives me crazy that we call ourselves a great 'melting pot' but expect everyone to assimilate. My guess is that this bill was trying to eliminate special public school classes for kids who need English language help or wanting to eliminate translation services for people coming to public buildings. Definitely not very inclusive if you ask me.