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The Tower Of Babel

August 1, 2008

So as the story goes, as the people built the tower of Babel God made them all speak different languages.  That’s cool.  Otherwise we would all be speaking the same language.  Who would want that?  I mean that would make things way too easy, right?  Well, a couple sentences ago, I had a plan for where this was headed, but I have since changed my mind.  Instead I think I would like to go with this.  Moving to Fort Worth gave the word diversity (which I believe is an old wooden ship) a whole new meaning.  I am absolutely completely cool with that.  I think it is fun!  But, I don’t understand people coming to America and not learning the language.  Now I am fluent in what I like to call American because we all really know that “English” is what those odd people over in the UK speak and our languages are very, very different.  Anyway, not the point.

There are over 50 countries (don’t ask me to name them) that have English as the official language.  The United States isn’t one of them (if you didn’t know already).  Honestly, I think that’s kinda cool.  Sort of a “we accept everyone” kind of outlook.  Now I do believe that they should come legally, but that’s a whole different matter for another day and another post.  I believe we would probably all agree that what I call the American language is accepted by the largest majority of the US.  Granted I have not taken a poll of everyone and checked, but that’s my guess.  
Living here in Texas, there is a much larger Spanish speaking community than I had been used to.  I like that a lot.  My Spanish is very rough, but I really enjoy the language.  But there are some things that are weird here.  Our Wal-Mart is what I have been told is the “minority Wal-Mart” (not my words…I’ve even been questioned about why I went to that Wal-Mart by a Hispanic friend of mine) and everything is clearly marked in English and in Spanish.  I still love it.  I like to try to brush up on my words and knowledge.  Good times.  But the other day I was driving down the road and I saw a sign outside a business that said “We speak English”.  What?  Good.  I’m glad.  You should be able to.  But that wasn’t the only thing.  I recently used a credit card machine at a convenient store that made me select English or Spanish BEFORE it would let me make a transaction.   Are you kidding?  Is that becoming a question?  Do I need to go back to school and get my second language down really well so that I can do business now?  I don’t know.  I guess I just find it weird that people would come to America and not learn the language.  I have run into several people around here that don’t speak any English or struggled really bad to understand me.  
I completely understand that sometimes you can’t do anything about it.  We have some refugees that live nearby that don’t speak a lick of English, but they are here because they have nowhere else to go.  And they are learning.  And it isn’t just Spanish.  That’s just the easiest example for the area.  There are several Asian places (sorry if that isn’t politically correct) that I wonder sometimes if they really have a clue what I just said.  I know this is a hot subject for many people so I ask…
Is English a difficult language?
Do you think we should have an official language of the USA?
Is this weird to anyone else?
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One Comment leave one →
  1. Pat & Bill permalink
    August 1, 2008 5:15 PM

    Have you ever looked at Esperanto as a ay to reverse “the curse of Babel? Take a look at http://www.esperanto.net

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