preview

Official Language Debate

Decent Essays
ement would you insist upon? If not, what social and economic price do we all pay by not having an official language? One more request: when you answer, could you try to give... show more
Update: It's not as simple as who "founded America." Think about that for a minute: the Native Americans, the Dutch, the French, the Spanish, among many. Please try to think outside the box.
Update 2: The "toy-let" example doesn't have anything to do with the question, I'm afraid. No one should expect the Japanese to speak English under any circumstances. If their cars are good, we'll drive toilets, anyway.
Update 3: Does the relative commonality of English among U.S. residents really result in a useful sense of "we-ness"? How so?
Update 4: An argument FOR
…show more content…
The argument goes that the U.S. is spending a lot of money on translating official documents into many languages and providing interpreters for official proceedings, etc. An official language would mean that the country wouldn't have to expend so much money on providing such services, thereby freeing up resources to spend on other issues. I would have to say that, for me, this is the most convincing argument for having English as the official language of the U.S.

In addition, many people who want English to be the official language see a common language as a binder that holds our country and culture together. They feel that it's important to have the shared culture that speaking the same language provides.

Many English speakers see the increase in native speakers of other languages, such as Spanish, as a threat to their way of life. You can see this feeling expressed frequently here on Yahoo! Answers, in questions like, "Why do I have to learn Spanish? Why shouldn't they learn my language?" and so forth. Many English speakers believe that Spanish is actually threatening to take over English as the dominant language of the United States, and having an English-only law would be one way to prevent
…show more content…
In fact, many people who study the culture of the United States recognize that the United States is already made up of a number of distinct cultures. Even if we're looking only at the English speakers we recognize that there are different dialects of English spoken in the United States by different groups. In the West, for example, people are proud of the way they talk; they don't want to talk like people in the East or the South. Likewise, they don't want to be like the East or the South in some cultural aspects. Making English the official language would hardly decrease fragmentation in these groups, and would probably do little to change the behavior of those who don't speak English at home, either. (After all, an English-only law would only apply at an official governmental level, not in the home.) Neither do I think that the country is suddenly going to fall apart if people are allowed to continue speaking other languages if they choose. It hasn't fallen apart so far, even though there are enclaves of Chinese speakers, cajuns, and so
Get Access