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(ABC News)   Georgia proposes English-only driver's tests, despite the fact that very few people in Georgia speak what the rest of us would call "English"   (abcnews.go.com) divider line
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4193 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Apr 2009 at 6:05 PM (11 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2009-04-02 3:30:57 PM  
Y'all best be takin' that back, now. Y'hear!
 
2009-04-02 3:46:21 PM  
This will surely stem the tide of illegal immigration and save countless millions of dollars.
 
2009-04-02 3:51:48 PM  
You are being unfair, subby. Why, just the other day I talked to a guy in Georgia and I understood almost every other word.
 
2009-04-02 3:58:48 PM  
That exception and a provision that allows illiterate people to have the written test read to them aloud prove the bill is not purely a public safety measure, opponents say, because it would allow some people who can't read English to drive.

Their argument is that people need to be able to read road signs, but they let illiterate people drive. This amuses me for some reason.
 
2009-04-02 4:05:48 PM  
That's racist

/obligatory
 
2009-04-02 4:08:17 PM  
I'm torn on this. Forcing this will likely increase the number of people driving illegally and likely uninsured, thus costing me more money for uninsured motorist insurance. On the other hand. a Vietnamese man wearing two pairs of glasses who couldn't answer the question "what kind of car do you drive" received his Georgia driver's license the same day I did back in 1997. That's a bit ridiculous.
 
2009-04-02 4:10:38 PM  
Not only that, but I'd do away with the multiple-choice questions and require that every answer be a Shakespearean sonnet.
 
2009-04-02 4:10:59 PM  
Georgia Peach Commission chairman Al Pearson said the law could have serious consequences for the state's farmers, many of whom hire legal immigrants who can't read English well enough to take the written test.

Those pooooooooor farmers. Uh, maybe stop hiring illegals and call ICE on those who do?
 
2009-04-02 4:12:45 PM  
pandabear: Not only that, but I'd do away with the multiple-choice questions and require that every answer be a Shakespearean sonnet.

No multiple choice
It should be in haiku form
Penis vagina
 
2009-04-02 4:13:38 PM  
It shouldn't be too bad for Lanna, Jawjuh

Seriously though, this needs to be done.
How much money does it cost to translate every state document in every language? I wouldn't even care if they did it in Spanish and English. But when you send the message to immigrants, "Hey, it doesn't matter what language you speak, we'll spend money to translate it for you," it can be costly.

If i decided to move to another country, I would expect to learn its dominant language. What are we going to do? Have a signs at intersections reading:

img24.imageshack.usView Full Size


???


/just saying we need to draw some lines in the sand if we don't want to keep throwing away taxpayer money
 
2009-04-02 4:28:27 PM  
Bonkthat_Again

It goes beyond who wants and doesn't want to learn the dominant local language. After a certain age your brain is pretty well organized with a dominant language and there's a very good chance you won't be able to learn a second language at a fluid, conversational level. So while these people may be able to speak enough English to get by in every day life, their grasp may not be comprehensive enough to handle a test on the specifics of driving. So it isn't about stop signs with thirty different words for stop on them or even reading the signs at all, it's about providing equal access to American citizens.
 
2009-04-02 4:41:04 PM  

Great Metal Jesus: it's about providing equal access to American citizens.


But where do you draw the line? There are roughly 4000 languages in use today (>1000 people using).

I comically refer to my workplace as the "United Nations" as we have a very diverse workforce. We have a bunch of people who supposedly hardly speak a lick of English. When you try to instruct them in English, they resist. But talk to them about benefits or pay...and they comprehend completely.

My mother is 62...and just completed her 2nd Spanish lesson (she's a teacher's aid for autistic children). So I think the "they can't" argument is moot. It's more like "they won't try".

I think if you abandon all the translation nationally, and put that money into free English classes, it would cost a fraction of catering to everyone's native language.
 
2009-04-02 5:00:15 PM  
Bonkthat_Again But where do you draw the line?

Honestly, that's a good question. I'll be the first to admit that I don't know. In some utopian society with infinite money to chuck at problems, bus in a translator for anyone and everyone who might need it. In reality? Not my area of expertise.

My mother is 62...and just completed her 2nd Spanish lesson (she's a teacher's aid for autistic children). So I think the "they can't" argument is moot. It's more like "they won't try".

I'm not saying that you can't learn. I'm saying that your fluency won't compare to a native tongue speaker. If you were ordering a pizza or shooting the shiat with friends there's a pretty good chance that you'd be able to get by. Their skills may not cut it for government forms, which may be written in language that's difficult even for native English speakers, or for government-issues tests.
 
2009-04-02 5:05:23 PM  
People from other places are scary.

And my daughter's vagina is much too precious to let her go to school with them or have them pick her peaches.

/yeah. I said it. peaches.
 
2009-04-02 5:27:36 PM  
Heh. True story: I once worked with a woman who was born and raised in Georgia, and who came here after she married a Canadian. She only ever lapsed into her native accent when she was mad, and when I asked her how come she didn't speak that way all the time, she said that she had gone to speech classes starting at age 18 because talking with a Southern accent caused people to mentally shave 50 points off her IQ.
 
2009-04-02 5:38:56 PM  

Bonkthat_Again: What are we going to do? Have a signs at intersections reading:


A few years back one of the local morning shows was talking about the state drivers tests being in multiple languages. A listener called in claiming to be a state driving instructor. His opinion was that offering the written tests in other languages didn't do a damn bit of good to help immigrants since all the street signs are in English & they couldn't read them anyway. He then went on to tell a few stories about experiences he had doing ride along on drivers tests with immigrants & the hilarity that ensued.
 
2009-04-02 5:53:37 PM  
Way to keep up with the times there, Georgia.. Pennsylvania enacted this type of law in the late 1800's to keep slavic immigrants from finding jobs in the coal mines.. The precedent of the law allowed individual business owners and lawmen to openly display racism towards their new neighbors; and fomented riotous situations in which the industrial economy of PA was shut down numerous times, for weeks on end.


They were forced to call the National Guard out repeatedly because the unrest got so bad; and these days there are plenty more Hispanics than there were Slavs.. Seems rather ironic since the only thing southerners fear more than brown people, is their own misinterpretation of what the Posse Comitatus Act allows the National Guard to do.


//I hate illegal immigration too, but that's no reason to enact racially motivated legislation.. You wouldn't want someone passing a law against people of French descent, would you oh land of Beauregard?
 
2009-04-02 5:53:56 PM  
img522.imageshack.usView Full Size
 
2009-04-02 5:54:52 PM  
agreed.

i say we force the chauvinists' hand and mandate english language tests as a requirement for citizenship. not grandfathered, either - i think we should make everyone pass a writing/reading exam or GTFO. that would likely result in the demise of the palinist wing of the GOP.
 
2009-04-02 6:10:42 PM  
This is madness. I wouldn't have thought that English was too widely spoken in Tblisi.
 
2009-04-02 6:11:16 PM  

Bonkthat_Again: We have a bunch of people who supposedly hardly speak a lick of English. When you try to instruct them in English, they resist. But talk to them about benefits or pay...and they comprehend completely.


What do Mexicans and billiard balls have in common?

The harder you hit them, the more English you get.
 
2009-04-02 6:14:26 PM  
If you are going to immigrate to America you should be able to conduct an everyday conversation in English.

It's not up to us to adapt to you, you adapt to us. If that's a problem, go out the way you came in. Thanks.
 
2009-04-02 6:15:07 PM  
FlashHarry:
agreed.

i say we force the chauvinists' hand and mandate english language tests as a requirement for citizenship. not grandfathered, either - i think we should make everyone pass a writing/reading exam or GTFO. that would likely result in the demise of the palinist wing of the GOP.


If spelling, grammar and punctuation were included, just think of the possibilities.

/I have a dream
 
2009-04-02 6:16:23 PM  
There's a woman I work with who has taken an insurance licensing exam three times; it's a fifty-question test that I've had people suffering hangovers pass.

However, she's Mexican (born there, raised here) and everyone assumes she fails because she learned English as a second language. Now, this is a state-created test, and since this is Iowa, there's an English-only law (that groups are trying to say is "unconstitutional.")

Her boss thinks she's failing because of the "language gap."
I say she's failing because she doesn't study and is lazy.

/half-Mexican
//only speak English, as is proper
 
2009-04-02 6:18:51 PM  
About frickin time.
 
2009-04-02 6:18:59 PM  
Oh stewardess, I speak cracker.
 
2009-04-02 6:19:33 PM  
Drivers License?
I was driving a one ton furniture truck
in an out of Atlanta at 14..

/but,i drove in english
//chas s martin
 
2009-04-02 6:19:35 PM  

barneyfifesbullet: If you are going to immigrate to America you should be able to conduct an everyday conversation in English.

It's not up to us to adapt to you, you adapt to us. If that's a problem, go out the way you came in. Thanks.


I agree. Immigrants should be given a time frame during which they learn to adapt to their new cultural surroundings and a least try to assimilate. IMO, blind multiculturalism and forced acceptance only bring about more cultural segregation and racial issues.
 
2009-04-02 6:20:10 PM  

FlashHarry: i say we force the chauvinists' hand and mandate english language tests as a requirement for citizenship. not grandfathered, either - i think we should make everyone pass a writing/reading exam or GTFO. that would likely result in the demise of the palinist wing of the GOP.


You haven't lived until you have had someone from Queens NY make fun of your accent.

Queens. NY.

That's like having Ted Nugent make fun of how many animals you shoot. I had to explain, slowly, to them that around here they are the ones that tawk fonny, not me.
 
2009-04-02 6:21:05 PM  
Does this even matter anymore? Construction has ground to a halt in Atlanta. I see less and less Mexicans at the usual pick up spot in the morning. The only guys I still see looking for day labor these days are the Africans, and they're generally legal.

This is a solution to a problem that isn't much of a big deal anymore. Too bad. This guy could have got some serious media attention with this bill 2 years ago.
 
2009-04-02 6:21:28 PM  

barneyfifesbullet: If you are going to immigrate to America you should be able to conduct an everyday conversation in English.

It's not up to us to adapt to you, you adapt to us. If that's a problem, go out the way you came in. Thanks.


I would agree with this comment except to add that they can also be TRYING to learn the language, not necessarily know it coming in.
 
2009-04-02 6:21:43 PM  
All this fuss in America is not really about language or or illegal immigration. It's sub-text is color; specifically the color brown.
 
2009-04-02 6:22:54 PM  
Don't make me call together the Southern Total Fark Union

otherwise known as S.T.F.U.
 
2009-04-02 6:24:55 PM  
I guess you have to read words off of the big green signs... But I don't think we really even need to write "stop" on the stop signs. Color and shape and all that seem to do a pretty good job. But, I mean, how much reading is really necessary to driving? "Work Zone" maybe? "Traffic Shift Ahead?"
 
2009-04-02 6:26:27 PM  
barneyfifesbullet:
If you are going to immigrate to America you should be able to conduct an everyday conversation in English.

"Love you long time."
bp3.blogger.comView Full Size
 
2009-04-02 6:26:28 PM  

Sue Dunham: All this fuss in America is not really about language or or illegal immigration. It's sub-text is color; specifically the color brown.


O'rly?

I hear plenty of Blacks and Hispanics complain about people not speaking English, and if there were a sudden flood of white, non-english-speaking, immigrants from Europe; I'm pretty sure you'd hear complaints about them too.
 
2009-04-02 6:26:37 PM  

tbernot: I would agree with this comment except to add that they can also be TRYING to learn the language, not necessarily know it coming in.


Well, yeah. At least try to make an effort.

I should have typed, acquire a working knowledge of English, so people can talk to you and likewise.
 
2009-04-02 6:26:41 PM  
i230.photobucket.comView Full Size


"A,B,C,D,E,F,B,C,D,E,F,B,..E,..D,E,F,B,A,B,C,D,E,F,B.....(I never did find out what comes after the F)"
 
2009-04-02 6:26:45 PM  
Whoa der now..we folks in Georgia take offense.

Succeed for the Union I say....ahh never mind its late but tomorrow we do it for real!
 
2009-04-02 6:27:03 PM  

Lhooq: I agree. Immigrants should be given a time frame during which they learn to adapt to their new cultural surroundings and a least try to assimilate. IMO, blind multiculturalism and forced acceptance only bring about more cultural segregation and racial issues.


I want to administer the test at the end of the time frame to see if they've adapted.

1. Anyone who wore a sombrero to the testing site automatically fails.
2. When they arrive, offer them a burrito or hot dog. Anyone who chooses the burrito fails.
3. Approach each person while they're eating their hot dog, and ask "Como estas?". Anyone who answers fails.
4. Bonus points for American flag pins.
 
2009-04-02 6:29:16 PM  
People in Jawjuh are different?

i40.tinypic.comView Full Size
 
2009-04-02 6:31:39 PM  
UGA needs a kicker, I don't care what he speaks Vladimir
 
2009-04-02 6:31:50 PM  
What they should do is go back to their home country get an International Drivers License then come back.

/ Damn, how tough is that?
 
2009-04-02 6:32:03 PM  
This liberal pansy douchebag is having a hard time working up outrage over this. In other parts of the world it is customary that you learn the language well enough to converse and get a job before you immigrate. I don't see why America should be held to a different standard. The common, accepted, business and government language in America is American English. Learn it. We'll also accept British English, Austrailian English, Canadian English, and other varieties of English. We like it if you at least try. A rudimentary understanding should be required to obtain citizenship.

I agree with another poster about offering free ESL classes. Try. At least teach enough english to read the driver's manual.

I also agree that this english only standard of testing will result in a lot more unlicensed, uninsured drivers. If caught and they are here legally, they should be forced to take english classes and an english driving test as compensation. If they're illegal, they should be deported, no questions asked.

I'm not a racist. I love people of all skins and nationalities, but I love simplicity and efficiency more.
 
2009-04-02 6:34:07 PM  

Sue Dunham: All this fuss in America is not really about language or or illegal immigration. It's sub-text is color; specifically the color brown.


THIS. Many of Chicago's 200,000 Polish speakers are here illegally, but no one ever complains about Polish on store signs or the Illinois government offering services in Polish. Every time I hear an anti-immigration hardliner say "this isn't about race, it's about obeying the law," I bring this up. Usually it's enough to make their heads asplode.
 
2009-04-02 6:36:45 PM  
On Ohio, someone may take their written test in English, Spanish, French, Japanese, Arabic, Chinese, Russian and Somali. They can even have an audio version given if they are completely illiterate. However, when they take their behind the wheel test, they have to be able to understand road signs and instructions in English.
 
2009-04-02 6:37:16 PM  
I try in Florida to accept me the driver to allow many time, but does not have the luck.

The written examination is the extreme is difficult, and nobody will help me.

They should do in each language these tests, and makes street sign each language, is also.

You think what kind of?
images.javasigns.comView Full Size
 
2009-04-02 6:37:20 PM  

Bonkthat_Again: What are we going to do? Have a signs at intersections reading:


You do realize that the symbol and coloring what you just posted has meaning beyond just providing a backdrop for the words, right?
 
2009-04-02 6:38:10 PM  
southern78 Whoa der now..we folks in Georgia take offense.

Succeed for the Union I say....ahh never mind its late but tomorrow we do it for real!


Did you mean: "Secede from the Union"... ?

/Hope you weren't planning on driving anywhere then. ;D
 
2009-04-02 6:38:57 PM  
I'm an English as a Foreign Language teacher, and an armchair linguist, so I'm really getting a kick...

But, seriously, and FWIW...

Studies seem to show that:
-The best time to acquire* a language is when you are 2-3 years old
*acquire is different from learn
-The ability to learn to speak a 2nd language without an accent falls drastically after puberty.
-The best time to learn the grammar of a 2nd language is between 9 and 15
-The vocabulary of a 2nd language can be learned at any age
 
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