Filed in Gather Politics News Channel by on June 6, 2007 0 Comments


As I watched clips from the Democratic debate this week; I was amazed that none of the candidates thought that English should be our official language. They didn't suggest any other language, so I guess everyone can speak what they want. Sessions of Congress will eventually look like the UN, with everyone wearing headphones to hear their translator.

I can't think of a country that doesn't have an official language. Approximately sixty countries have English as their official language, including Hong Kong.

This American says English is our language. Do we need a law to spell it out?  In what other country in the world can you expect everything to be in your native tongue, receive free schooling, medical care? Not only can you expect and receive this in the USA; you can come here illegally and demand it. If it's not fast enough there will be some legal group such as the ACLU who will take your case for free and waste more of the taxpayer's money in the process.

There are public schools where classes are taught in up to fifty different languages. I suppose it would be politically incorrect to suggest that classes be taught in English.

Sitting on the toilet the other day I was reading the label on the toilet paper. The label was in three languages, English, Spanish and French. Why only Spanish and French? Do all other ethnic groups know toilet paper when they see it? In Brasil packaging labels are written only in Portuguese. During the two years I lived there I never sprayed Windex in my eyes and I always wiped my ass with the proper paper.

On the other hand maybe the toilet paper label should not only be in Spanish, but it should give directions for use. There was an ongoing problem at Bertram Yacht years ago when I worked there. It seems that the Cubans used to leave the used toilet paper on the floor rather than throwing it in the bowl. Management didn't push the issue as they built a hell of a boat. I'm not sure if the sewer pipes in Cuba were very small or maybe you can't flush newspaper and corncobs down the toilet. Thirty years later we learned that you can't flush a Koran down the toilet. So maybe it was a pipe issue.

Many of the ethnic groups that come here tend to live together in the same community, open businesses and sell to each other, speak their language etc. Isn't that what they did in their own country?  What am I missing?

I don't have anything against immigrants; my grandparents came from Italy. They came here for a better life and I'm sure they found it. Unless you are an Indian we all descended from immigrants.

I lived in Brasil for two years. (I spell Brasil with an "S" as they do in Brasil.) I did learn one thing about the USA. It is a great place to live. I don't blame anyone for risking life and limb to get here. However, we are a nation of laws and people must abide by them when they get here.

Before I went to Brasil I was excited about learning another language. I studied Portuguese before I went and continued after my arrival. Every word I learned made life that much easier. I'm sorry, but I just can't understand the attitude of those who refuse to learn English.

English is the national language of the USA. We don't need a law to make it official. Let's stop catering to the immigrants by putting everything from Citizenship tests to the CPA exam in a foreign language. They are not tourists that are coming here to spend money. They are coming here to get something. So if the poor babies are inconvenienced by having to learn English, so be it.

The French won't even speak to you when you're a visitor giving them money. I can take a hint. Guess I'll never see the Eiffel Tower.

On my last visit to Target I noticed the sign for the bathrooms. Under the word bathroom was "Banos". When I moved to Brasil; how long do you think it took me to learn the word for bathroom? If you guessed more than one minute you are still not getting it. Target also has the signs for the departments in English and Spanish; e.g. shoes/zapatos. Do you honestly believe that if Juan was standing in front of a rack of shoes with only the English sign "shoes" that he wouldn't know what it was?

In Florida, lawsuits have been filed alleging that non English speaking voters were not able to understand the ballot in the last Presidential election. This is outrageous. Had I known I could have helped. I have redesigned the ballot for the next time. I hope this will be of some help.

For President:

Jorge Bush   __   

Alberto Gore __ 

Referendum Especial:

Should all illegal aliens be deported? Si_ No_

I know that English is a difficult language to learn; as the English aptitude test, below, will demonstrate. This test was administered to a random group of Hispanics in Miami.

                   English/Spanish Test

Match the English words with the equivalent Spanish word

president                  el público

actor                        el hotel

doctor                       el cable

favor                        el presidente

public                       el actor

client                       la Florida

cable                        importante

hotel                        el doctor

important                    el favor 

Florida                             el cliente

Here are the results for the 100 tests given, 10 points for each correct answer:

50%  would not take test, assuming it was an INS trick

30%  40

15%  50

 4%  70

 1%  90

I met some Brazilians who came to Miami to learn English. Boy was that a mistake. I also worked with an Ecuadorian who went to Michigan as a high school student to learn English. He had no problema.

So let's review. If English is good enough for Kiribati, it's good enough for me.

About the Author ()

Columnist for Florida by Water and author of two books: Am I the Only One That Signals? and More BullVisit me at www.bobesherman.com

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