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(Japantoday)   1 in 5 Americans don't speak English   ( divider line
    More: Cool  
•       •       •

1715 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 Aug 2001 at 12:06 AM (16 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

142 Comments     (+0 »)

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2001-08-08 12:29:51 AM  
What is so bloody cool about that? I hereby propose that the tag be changed to "SCARY"
2001-08-08 12:34:58 AM  
2001-08-08 12:44:44 AM  
Shock title is all it is. Like someone pointed out in the comments at the bottom of the article, the article says that one in five Americans doesn't speak English AT HOME. This does not mean that they don't speak English at all.
2001-08-08 12:46:34 AM  
It's cool because Drew was is the webmaster of this site, and Drew isn't a rightwing Nazi from the 700 Club and can actually embrace diversity.
2001-08-08 12:48:18 AM  
4 out of 5 Americans speak French! USA surrenders!
2001-08-08 12:53:44 AM  
Es no problemo. Todos los linguas son muy bonita. Farkame!
2001-08-08 12:55:25 AM  
...perdoname... todas las linguas. Meesa Jar Jar Binks.
2001-08-08 12:57:34 AM  
Damn. I say, speak whatever you want at home. If your family is more comfortable with spanish or french, speak it at home. But all US citizens should be required to speak English. It makes life easier. It's the language of the country, so if you want to live here, get used to it.
2001-08-08 01:08:54 AM  
Go to Miami or NYC or LA or anywhere in Texas and say that Jebediah.
2001-08-08 01:10:13 AM  
Yeah, it's a shock title, but still 20% of the population speaks a foreign language at home?!? That is VERY cool.
2001-08-08 01:25:32 AM  
One of my friends' parents are teaching his little brother german, spanish, english and french. He has a 6 year olds vocabulary in each of them, but for a five year that's pretty farking good. they should teach foreign languages (varying depending on the area) to kids in first and second grade, when their brains can absorb the most of it. I knew how i was going to tie this into the topic five minutes ago, but i forgot. ah well...
2001-08-08 01:25:49 AM  
I will go there and say that. I'll say it anywhere. I live in Phoenix, which is surrounded by more Mexicans than a free burrito. I say it here. And many of them agree. If you're implying that I'll get my ass kicked, you're wrong. They wouldn't understand what I'm saying.
2001-08-08 01:37:09 AM  

Look, I can speak french!
2001-08-08 01:39:06 AM  
Free burrito. HAHAHHAHAHA. I see your Mexicans have been Americanized. Muy bien. The Mexicans here don't seem to understand a bit of English, same goes for most of the Chinese on the West Coast, the Puerto Ricans in NYC, or the Cubans in Miami. But I'm stereotyping based on a few choice examples..minus the Mexicans.
2001-08-08 01:41:03 AM  
Me speaka engrish very well, me learn it from a book!
2001-08-08 01:44:04 AM  
And 9 out of 10 students at Oklahoma State University don't speak English (at ALL).
2001-08-08 01:47:08 AM  
I don't know too much about the Chinese or Puerto Ricans or Cubans. All I know is that (estimating) 75% of mexican immigrants, legal and illegal, don't speak or try to learn English here in Arizona. Especially the day workers, who sit by the side of the road and wait for someone to pay them $1 an hour to do hard labor. Usually digging holes in people's yards during the hottest summer hours. Why would you come to America to do that?
2001-08-08 01:51:47 AM  

Well, if they pop out a kid, that kid gets the full citizenship deal. And that dollar a hour very well may be more than they could make out in the middle of the Sierra Nevada digging holes.
2001-08-08 01:55:28 AM  
Quite often the kid learns English. They are young and are exposed to it all their lives. But not always.
2001-08-08 02:12:47 AM  
I say, let's count off and then send them home. Simple.
2001-08-08 02:31:03 AM  
Ach du liebes!!
2001-08-08 02:33:10 AM  
English is the language of international commerce. Spanish is the language of migrant workers.

Mandarin Chinese is actually the most spoken language on Earth, but do any of them have anything worthwhile to say? I think not.

Speak English or shut the hell up, I say.
2001-08-08 03:20:25 AM  
I went to tecate mexico for a week to put up sheet rock in some poor family's house. the guy whose house it was worked 12 hours a day, and got ten bucks for it. So you're basically right, digging a ditch here pays MUCH better than digging a ditch there.

as for JoshG, since you're from texas your view of migrant workers is understandable. up here in the northwest we don't get too many of them, but from what i've seen, they tend to be nicer, work harder and longer, and for less than most of the americans doing the same crappy jobs. if they want to speak spanish while they're picking apples, what the fark's wrong with that?
2001-08-08 04:54:32 AM  
Gah. Lets try for 0 in 5 who don't speak english.

Preach all the diversity you want- when I order a mcflurry I want the stupid biatch at the register to understand what the hell I'm saying.
2001-08-08 05:44:43 AM  
i live in lexington ky... home of the big horse farm... i work at a kroger on the rural side of town (byran station.. for those of you that live here)... during the summer we have lots of mexican workers come in to our store.. and although they might not speak english very well, they always try their hardest to help me understand what they want, and they are THE MOST POLITE CUSTOMERS we ever have. i have been almost beaten to death by a black woman over 25 cents, been yelled at for a half an hour by a rich ass yuppie biatch over a bagging error.... but i have never ever ever had a hispanic worker be rude to me,.. not ONCE. they might not speak our language very well... but shiat.. they're polite people, buy lots of beer, and ALWAYS pay in cash :)

*drunken rambling by bodegas, if you have a problem with it.. then suck my choad.*
2001-08-08 06:00:08 AM  
As with all surveys, the answer is simple: regular people who were born in america hang up on surveyors.
2001-08-08 06:00:50 AM  
The problem with the US (yes I live here) is we've never set an official language, probably because it would've gone against the whole melting pot attitude from the huge immigration years, or that England took control over former Dutch colonies way back when... who knows. So right now people can speak whatever they want and get away with it. I think we need to petition the government to make English the official language.

Maybe we should do like Canada and have 2 official languages then people can choose which one they'd like to speak. Spanish would be obvious but too easy to pick. I vote for one of those African tribe languages with all of those cool clicking sounds in it :)
2001-08-08 06:12:31 AM  
Oh yeah, making two official languages like Canada makes it better. As a Canadian, I can assure you of that (snicker).

Why the fark do some of you guys think everyone must speak English (even as just one of their languages)? Do you have lots of concentration camps and white hoods being unused?
2001-08-08 06:13:51 AM  
English is the official language of the US, and all public places are required to have their signs in english. That's one of the sticking points that puerto rico has about becoming a state, they don't wanna adopt our language.
2001-08-08 06:16:43 AM  
As a South Florida resident, I would have chosen a different category for this one - OBVIOUS.

I do agree that diversity is a wonderful thing, but as Asmor points out, I *would* like people in the service sector to be able to understand me. I speak English rather well, actually, and it is pretty annoying when I go into a business and am told "No habla Ingles." Well, hell, welcome to America, amigo! You just ensured that your business will never get my dollars again!
2001-08-08 06:49:36 AM  
The 4 out 5 5 who do speak English at home don't speak it properly anyway, so I don't see why this is so surprising.
2001-08-08 07:19:57 AM  
Americans do not speak English. They speak American English.
2001-08-08 07:26:33 AM  
Those 1 out of 5 people in the Us who dont speak english all teach at rpi.
2001-08-08 07:53:54 AM  
"American English" - just like Norwegian Welsh. American English is a contradiction in terms. English is a precise, well oiled language drawing roots from all over Europe. American English just means being lazy.
2001-08-08 07:59:51 AM  
Êàæäué äiëæåi ãiâiðèòu ii-àiãëèéñêè â Ñiåäèiåiiuõ Øòàòàõ.
2001-08-08 08:00:54 AM  
Oops, my previous post won't mean anything to anyone unless your machine is set up to read cyrillic fonts.
2001-08-08 08:04:27 AM  

It still qualifies as English (even you do so).
2001-08-08 08:26:26 AM  
previt, kajdee v soedeeninx shtatx dogjen govarete po-angleeski.

Damn end-users, don't they know I was in the middle of a transliteration?
2001-08-08 08:39:45 AM  
wow, lots of ignorance in this thread. First of all, America *has no official language*, stop saying it is English. (Though some law makers have been trying to push it through in various forms, none that I know of has yet made it).

Mandarin Chinese is indeed the most spoken language by number of speakers. English is an official language in the most countries (40-sometningg). French is next (20 something).

Sadly, America is behind on languages. Having more diversity is a good thing, it isn't as if English is in danger of extinction. Would it be that terrible for our children to be exposed to foriegn languages earlier and perhaps, as in many other countries, be fluent in multiple languages.

People seem to have the view that foriegners are stealing away all that they hold dear. Now they are taking the language. What a narrow world-view you have.
2001-08-08 08:42:31 AM  
and all you brits, lighten up with your language. you aren't always right you know... case in point
2001-08-08 09:25:10 AM  
I agree with Mojo. The US has always had multiple languages. Florida and Arizona were Spanish-speaking 200 years ago. Louisiana and Maine were French, Pennsylvania was German, Alaska was Russian, NY was Dutch. If you live in an ethnic neighborhood where all the stores are Spanish, they will make an effort to communicate to you, but if it's their neighborhood, why not make an effort to learn a little Spanish? It's not that hard.
2001-08-08 09:34:24 AM  
The problem is mojomonkey is that if they can't speak english (which the majority of our countrie speaks) they should be sent packin. I don't care what someone speaks at home, thats there bisness, but all americans, should have a decent understanding of the english language.
2001-08-08 09:35:29 AM  
Well, maybe not packing, maybe to shool to get a decent grip of the english language.
2001-08-08 09:36:35 AM  
Big true dat for da Phillyguy....... Sorry, I was talking in Eubonics, but I do agree with you ;)
2001-08-08 09:40:36 AM  
i thought the article said that they speak another language at home. not that they dont know how to speak english. and who cares anyway? whats wrong with our country being more diverse? america can have more than one race and more than one language.
HPZ [TotalFark]
2001-08-08 09:41:01 AM  
[image from too old to be available]
2001-08-08 09:46:54 AM  
HPZ, are you trying to make a point by your statement not being understood because it's in Chinese?
2001-08-08 09:49:58 AM  
I'm all for makeing english the official language of the US. I recall reading an article about (maybe it was on fark) about police raiding the house of a non-english speaking man. The man had a gun, and didn't understand when the police told him to drop it, so they shot him. Turns out the police were in the wrong house. That aside, if the man had spoken english, it wouldn't have happened. People need to be able to speak and understand english so they can communicate with law enforcement officers, and emergency workers. Just makes more sense...
2001-08-08 09:50:42 AM  
I'm not sure if i what i just said made any sense... i'm somewhere between up too early or up too late.... Forgive me.
2001-08-08 09:58:01 AM  
//start rant

My problem is not that many of these people, at least around here (various areas of NJ), most of the people who do not speak english refuse to learn it, and further more, get irrate when yuo can't understand them.

I'm sorry, I only know 'American English' and a little German. Whilst I would like to expand my knowledge of the German language, I haven't the time to do so. I have no desire to learn spanish or french, as those are not part of my ethnic background.

However, it should be understood, at least in my mind, that when you move to a different coountry, you should be expectant that you will have to learn some new customs, and that you should at least make an effort to learn the language. Not all the nuances, but enough so that you can get by.

To think that everyone in that country can automatically understand you is arrogant, and to get angry at them when they can't (because you speak a different language) is doubly arrogant.

//end rant
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