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Is it racist to ask for immigrants to speak English?

Is it racist to ask immigrants to speak English?


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ChrisL

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We are taught as children, we are required to learn form Grade 4 - Grade 9 after that it is optional. if you want to be in government you need to be bilingual, for example since I want to be in the page program in the first year of university I have be fluent in both languages since you are working with both languages. The bilingualism that dates back to even before Canada was a country, rebellions things like that over language. Then in the modern era Quebec has the influence to do it since Quebeckers get very mad and protest if their language or culture is threatened and it's half the reason Quebec is not part of the Canadian constitution and has their own. It's all politics and nothing bad has ever happened. There are francophones like Prime Minster Trudeau that speak English perfectly(he also made the country bilingual):


Well, what about my example on a construction job site? What if only a couple of people are bilingual and the rest speak either one or the other language? How would you solve that conflict?
 

ChrisL

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A lot of those from other nations who come here, at least where they have to travel by plane, are likely more educated, than people who ran/sneak/whatever across a border.
The probably explains a lot of that.

I agree. It's probably mostly illegal immigrants who can't speak a lick of English.
 

Carjosse

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Well, what about my example on a construction job site? What if only a couple of people are bilingual and the rest speak either one or the other language? How would you solve that conflict?

Generally English speaking companies don't hire French speakers and French companies don't hire English speakers so they segregate themselves and prevent this issue.
 

Harry Guerrilla

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I agree. It's probably mostly illegal immigrants who can't speak a lick of English.

I think it sucks to, because a lot of my work friends are former illegals who do speak excellent English and are generally, respectable upstanding citizens.

The people who don't learn it, give the rest a bad image.
 

nota bene

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A lot of those from other nations who come here, at least where they have to travel by plane, are likely more educated, than people who ran/sneak/whatever across a border.
The probably explains a lot of that.

Yes, in the case of the Vietnamese, many immigrants were doctors, newspaper editors, and military officers. Not necessarily so, however, of visa-students from the People's Republic of China.

Although I think this is basically unconscious, there is an underlying arrogance in many Americans' "inability" to learn other languages. We don't "have" to, and so we don't. Chalk it up to fear or whatever explanation that can be offered for the utter resistance to learn English, the fact is that there are many, many Hispanics who are unwilling, not unable, to step outside their comfort zones.

I'm talking about early 20-somethings who either speak Spanish or refuse to speak at all, and I see this every time I shop at this store. No reason to have your 4-year old translating for you. Turn off the Telemundo novellas and try. I mean, I've known women from Middle Eastern countries who met their spouses once before marrying, flew to Chicago or wherever, and learned English by sitting at McDonald's and listening and by watching American soaps. And they do just fine.

Why not these grocery-store mommies?
 

Boo Radley

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I hear people talking about this subject all the time, and I'm just curious.

Is it racist to ask immigrants to speak English (or whatever language the country they immigrated to speaks) when in public places?


Most just ignorance. Immigrants have always come here not speaking the language. It has been their children who have learned English.

Now, if it bothers someone just hearing another language in public, well, there may be another issue there.
 

ChrisL

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Most just ignorance. Immigrants have always come here not speaking the language. It has been their children who have learned English.

Now, if it bothers someone just hearing another language in public, well, there may be another issue there.

That's not true. It says right in the immigration laws that immigrants MUST be able to read, write and speak simple English with a FEW exceptions.
 

grip

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Right, and we should change that. IMO, if we are going to have immigrants in the country, they need to be able to get by on their own, and learning the language is one step in the right direction. Classes in English should be mandatory for those waiting for citizenship (which takes YEARS, so there is plenty of time). It only makes sense to me.

I'm talking about illegals but it's a nice concept, though probably not realistic yet.
 

ChrisL

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No person shall be naturalized as a citizen of the United States who cannot demonstrate: ... An understanding of the English language, including the ability to read, write and and speak words in ordinary usage in the English language.
... A knowledge and understanding of history, and of the principles and form of government, of the United States. ( Sec. 312. [8 U.S.C. 1423] )
 

Boo Radley

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That's not true. It says right in the immigration laws that immigrants MUST be able to read, write and speak simple English with a FEW exceptions.

Read your history. Here in Iowa, I can drive your right down to Checz village. They had there own village because those who came here couldn't speak English. History, what really happened.
 

Harry Guerrilla

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Yes, in the case of the Vietnamese, many immigrants were doctors, newspaper editors, and military officers. Not necessarily so, however, of visa-students from the People's Republic of China.

Although I think this is basically unconscious, there is an underlying arrogance in many Americans' "inability" to learn other languages. We don't "have" to, and so we don't. Chalk it up to fear or whatever explanation that can be offered for the utter resistance to learn English, the fact is that there are many, many Hispanics who are unwilling, not unable, to step outside their comfort zones.

I'm talking about early 20-somethings who either speak Spanish or refuse to speak at all, and I see this every time I shop at this store. No reason to have your 4-year old translating for you. Turn off the Telemundo novellas and try. I mean, I've known women from Middle Eastern countries who met their spouses once before marrying, flew to Chicago or wherever, and learned English by sitting at McDonald's and listening and by watching American soaps. And they do just fine.

Why not these grocery-store mommies?

Well I think the first wave immigrants learn it, but they tend to start the insular communities, where the proceeding waves move in and can function without learning it.
They use the bi lingual people and immigrant stores as a crutch.
 

ChrisL

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I'm talking about illegals but it's a nice concept, though probably not realistic yet.

It's not "nice," it's common sense. Immigrants need to learn things before becoming citizens of the country or they are just creating more poverty. THAT is realistic.
 

ChrisL

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Read your history. Here in Iowa, I can drive your right down to Checz village. They had there own village because those who came here couldn't speak English. History, what really happened.

NOT according to the law. Did you read my post above (#84) which states the law?
 

peepnklown

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Is it racist to ask immigrants to speak French in France?
Is it racist to ask immigrants to speak Chinese in China?
Is it racist to ask immigrants to speak Spanish in Mexico?
I mean, come on people! :lamo
 

24107

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I hear people talking about this subject all the time, and I'm just curious.

Is it racist to ask immigrants to speak English (or whatever language the country they immigrated to speaks) when in public places?
Pretty soon it will be racist to breath.
 

grip

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It's not "nice," it's common sense. Immigrants need to learn things before becoming citizens of the country or they are just creating more poverty. THAT is realistic.

I think common sense is nice to have. ;)
 

johnny_rebson

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That's not true. It says right in the immigration laws that immigrants MUST be able to read, write and speak simple English with a FEW exceptions.

Before cable/satellite TV, immigrants used to learn English by watching television shows on ABC, CBS, and NBC.

Now cable/satellite TV comes with 4 or 5 Spanish speaking stations.
 

ChrisL

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Something else to think about is that jobs are NOT infinite. There are a limited number of jobs in this country, and we are a country of over 300,000,000 people! Yet, we keep inviting more and more people in. "Oh, sure, come on in." "Oh you came here illegal, that's okay, AMNESTY FOR ALL!" Good Lord! :roll: We're killing ourselves.
 

ChrisL

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Before cable/satellite TV, immigrants used to learn English by watching television shows on ABC, CBS, and NBC.

Now cable/satellite TV comes with 4 or 5 Spanish speaking stations.

That's true. My uncle had a girlfriend from Yugoslavia, and she learned English by watching television. I don't know if she was an illegal immigrant or not because I was very young, but yeah, that's how she learned.
 

Boo Radley

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NOT according to the law. Did you read my post above (#84) which states the law?

Again, history and the law are not the same thing. I can take you to many such places across the country, with their history well documented. It's kind of the English only law in Iowa: it makes natives feel good, but has no actual effect.
 

Fisher

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Something else to think about is that jobs are NOT infinite. There are a limited number of jobs in this country, and we are a country of over 300,000,000 people! Yet, we keep inviting more and more people in. "Oh, sure, come on in." "Oh you came here illegal, that's okay, AMNESTY FOR ALL!" Good Lord! :roll: We're killing ourselves.

I think of it more like a reset. Amnesty is not citizenship, it just makes it easier for you to seek legal status if we actually create more opportunities to be here legally and temporarily--maybe with some sort of seniority system for the Visa's. Send every illegal immigrant home, and citizens still aren't going to be willing to pluck chickens and pick cucumbers or pick up and move all around with the field work or construction jobs. It is just a cultural reality that we benefit greatly from the work they are performing.
 

LoopyPaladin

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I don't know about asking them to speak it in certain places but I think it's sound advice to ask them to learn the language(s) of the country they immigrated to and are living in.

By the certain places, I just meant in public when attempting to communicate with people who do speak English. Or at least to give the courtesy to not ****-talk people in their language because English-speaking people can't understand it. I see that one a lot in schools...
 

jamesrage

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I hear people talking about this subject all the time, and I'm just curious.

Is it racist to ask immigrants to speak English (or whatever language the country they immigrated to speaks) when in public places?

It is not racist.As a matter of fact it is perfectly reasonable to expect people who are going to permanently live in your country to speak your country's language.
 

ChrisL

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Again, history and the law are not the same thing. I can take you to many such places across the country, with their history well documented. It's kind of the English only law in Iowa: it makes natives feel good, but has no actual effect.

History is irrevelant here. I'm sure you know that our population has grown exponentially since the 1950s.

http://aging.senate.gov/crs/aging4.pdf

The U.S. population has experienced remarkable growth since 1950. From a base of about 152
million Americans in 1950, an additional 155 million persons were added to the population
between 1950 and 2009, with the number of additional women slightly outnumbering additional
men (see Figure 1). This increase (of about 105%) in the size of the U.S. population was
remarkable compared with other industrialized countries. Germany and Italy, for instance, grew
by only 21% and 30% respectively during the same period.6 And, a number of countries, most
notably in Eastern Europe, have recently experienced absolute reductions in the size of their
populations.7
 
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