Should state and local governments sp...

Should state and local governments speak in English only?

There are 43 comments on the STLtoday story from Oct 5, 2008, titled Should state and local governments speak in English only?. In it, STLtoday reports that:

For a decade, Missouri law has recognized English as the state's common language.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at STLtoday.

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Harold

United States

#1 Oct 5, 2008
It's beyond comprehension that English only isn't English only in our government and schools. We must stop bending over backwards to appease one group of non-english speaking people over all of the other groups! Missouri has the handle on the illegal alien border jumpers, now let's push our governors to do the same. NO MORE PANDERING TO HISPANICS!

Since: Sep 08

Los Angeles, CA

#2 Oct 5, 2008
YES, English only should be the law in all state and federal government business. In fact, it should be made the official language of the country.

“Illegals are not immigrants...”

Since: Apr 07

Mid-south, USA

#3 Oct 5, 2008
I can't even imagine anybody posing this question. English should be the only language recognozed for all state and government dealings...period.
PB MULES

Williamsville, MO

#4 Oct 16, 2008
Wonder if other governments around the world provide English to their immigrants on official documents? It burns me everytime I hear someone talk about having to provide a document in a foreign language. Or schools that have to hire bi-lingual teacher because of all the new students who can't speak English. I tho't America was about intergrating not isolating--learn English or leave. Or how about this--charge them for any version not in English. Now that's a revenue generator.
Mike

Fairfield, CA

#5 Oct 16, 2008
English only will eventually be federal law.
Cheyenne Z

Canyon Country, CA

#8 Oct 17, 2008
Should state and local governments speak in English only?
Yes.

There are 6000 languages and dialects on this earth.
How many do you want to print every scrap of paper in, and who is paying for that?
We certainly can't discriminate against anyone.
It's all 6000, or English only.

Since: Sep 08

Kansas City, MO

#9 Oct 17, 2008
Mike wrote:
English only will eventually be federal law.
Lots of other countries in the world have multiple languages of government and they are none the worse for it: Finland, Ireland, Switzerland, Estonia, etc. America is built on the inclusion of all peoples and thrives when it is open to all. Closed borders and closed mindedness when it comes to language stifles the life-blood of the economy and of our culture. Anyway, you can legislate all you want, but language will develop in response to historical circumstances and these circumstances make monolingualism increasingly inappropriate. I am raising my children to speak Spanish, English, and French to prepare them for poly-lingual life in the twenty-first century.
PSL

Boca Raton, FL

#10 Oct 17, 2008
The U.S. has always been an English speaking country. Anyone wanting to immigrate need learn the language. Adding another language to our country for people that are NOT SUPPOSE TO BE HERE IS LUDICROUS!
Missouri Gal

United States

#11 Oct 17, 2008
This will pass!
Arizona Resident

United States

#12 Oct 17, 2008
Harold wrote:
It's beyond comprehension that English only isn't English only in our government and schools. We must stop bending over backwards to appease one group of non-english speaking people over all of the other groups! Missouri has the handle on the illegal alien border jumpers, now let's push our governors to do the same. NO MORE PANDERING TO HISPANICS!
Really ticks me off when calling a government office out here in Arizona and have to 'Press One For English'... if you don't it defaults to Spanish!.. Even if you do 'Press One' messages to hold, call will be answered, are both English and Spanish alternating.
Personally we don't press anything, speak to them in English and make them transfer you! Work for your money! Pisses them off but OH WELL AMIGO!
If you're going to live here learn the language. Most of the illegals out here can't even read or write in Spanish! Mexican government is quietly donating a million dollars a year to school systems to immerse illegal children in 'proper' Spanish to be able to learn English.
My (legal) immigrant parents from Italy did. Learned the language of the country to get ahead and make something of themselves and their children.
You bleeding hearts that say illegals just want to advance themselves, make a living, etc.... GO TO MEXICO AND HELP THEM WITH THEIR SYSTEM! The drain on ours is killing us.
Some smaller rural schools in areas where retird folks reside out here are 90% offspring of illegals and we're paying 32% of our local property taxes for bilingual teachers, bilingual text books, bilingual, bilingual, bilingual for a school that really shouldn't be there. Some teachers are teaching in Spanish to keep school scores/ratings up, not to have funds cut.
Mexican government is depositing money in jail accounts in Phoenix for those incarcerated for being in country illegally.
COMING TO YOUR TOWN SOON~
Cheyenne Z

Canyon Country, CA

#13 Oct 17, 2008
Skelly wrote:
<quoted text> Lots of other countries in the world have multiple languages of government and they are none the worse for it: Finland, Ireland, Switzerland, Estonia, etc. America is built on the inclusion of all peoples and thrives when it is open to all. Closed borders and closed mindedness when it comes to language stifles the life-blood of the economy and of our culture. Anyway, you can legislate all you want, but language will develop in response to historical circumstances and these circumstances make monolingualism increasingly inappropriate. I am raising my children to speak Spanish, English, and French to prepare them for poly-lingual life in the twenty-first century.
Other nations do not necessarily have immigrants and illegal aliens coming from about 200 other nations, speaking about 6000 different languages and dialects.
Sorry, if you want everything printed in 6000 languages you pay for it, the tax payers shouldn't.
If any person in any court in this nation needs an interpreter, you pay for it, don't expect the taxpayers to.

If you want to learn a few languages, fine, good for you.
What if other people want to speak languages you don't want to learn? Like Mandarin, Farci, and Greek.
How does someone who speaks Spanish communicate?
Though English in this nation.

English is our common language, if you want to live here you should learn it.
If you want to be bilingual, in whatever other language (not necessarily Spanish), be bilingual, it's your choice.

We should not have Spanish shoved on us, especially when there are 1.3 billion Chinese just itching to get here for their piece of the American Dream.

If Mexicans can live here and not have to learn English, why can't the Chinese too?
And the Russians?
And the Hindu?
And the Egyptians?
And the Romanians?
And the Thai?
Get the picture?
If they all learn English there is a common denominator in this land, there will be some way to communicate.

This nations laws are written in English, our Constitution is written in English, our Bill of Rights is written in English, none of that is ever going to change.

Anyone who thinks that Spanish is the only foreign language Americans need to learn, or that we need to learn it at all is "close minded". There is a whole world out there, and Spanish is only a tiny part of that whole.

Why aren't you learning some Asian dialect?
That is our future.

Close minded much?

Since: Sep 08

Kansas City, MO

#14 Oct 17, 2008
Cheyenne Z wrote:
<quoted text>
Other nations do not necessarily have immigrants and illegal aliens coming from about 200 other nations, speaking about 6000 different languages and dialects.
Sorry, if you want everything printed in 6000 languages you pay for it, the tax payers shouldn't.
Europe is actively dealing with the multiplicity of languages. I understand why you might be so defensive but this is not about printing everything in 6000 languages...as the rest of your comment suggests, it is mainly about the resistance to Spanish and immigration. All I can really say is that no matter how big a wall you build and no matter what administrative and legal blocks you put in the way, the tide of history makes it so the US is already a multi-lingual nation. Over the next fifty years it will become more so. This law has not been necessary until now and remains a mere political tool to express disdain for outsiders; it will cost money to impose this law and it will, ultimately, be ineffective in stopping the flow of people into and across our country. If it makes you feel better, vote for it; but please take into account that no language law ever passed in any country has ever succeeded in regulating the evolution of language.
Mike

United States

#15 Oct 17, 2008
Well since this story is coming out of Missouri, home of the best anti-illegal immigrant laws, I think it will be upheld and used.

The DMV for commercial drivers licenses only has tests in English, no translators allowed.

I hope my state pays attention. Nebraska's official language is English, if only our government would obey the laws.

“Assimilate & Speak English!”

Since: Jan 07

Lansing, IL - now: Pomp Bch FL

#16 Oct 17, 2008
Skelly wrote:
<quoted text> Europe is actively dealing with the multiplicity of languages. I understand why you might be so defensive but this is not about printing everything in 6000 languages...as the rest of your comment suggests, it is mainly about the resistance to Spanish and immigration. All I can really say is that no matter how big a wall you build and no matter what administrative and legal blocks you put in the way, the tide of history makes it so the US is already a multi-lingual nation. Over the next fifty years it will become more so. This law has not been necessary until now and remains a mere political tool to express disdain for outsiders; it will cost money to impose this law and it will, ultimately, be ineffective in stopping the flow of people into and across our country. If it makes you feel better, vote for it; but please take into account that no language law ever passed in any country has ever succeeded in regulating the evolution of language.
The majority of the States already, individually, have English as their official language, and the majority of the rest are fast on their way to passing similar directive.

If the cost is passed on to the idiots who don't care to learn our language, watch how fast they either learn or leave. We mustn't cater to them over this.

Other immigrants learn English. The Spanish speakers can follow suit or GTFO. And that goes for any other people who speak something other than Spanish and don't care to learn Enlish -- they, also, can GTFO.

We need a language that defines us. Whatever other languages people desire to learn to better themselves and/or open up more work opportunities are their own choice and I believe in doing that. However, to expect taxpayers to pay for literature, schooling, etc., etc. for anything other than English is a downright misuse of our funds. People that don't speak Spanish are being turnd down for jobs. Teachers are being required to learn Spanish or lose their jobs. It's not right and it's not fair to Americans who speak English.

It may cost money to impose the law, but in the long run it will save money, as it costs much more to always provide everything in more than one language, not to mention having Americans out of work due to not knowing Spanish.

Since: Sep 08

Kansas City, MO

#17 Oct 17, 2008
Rebel wrote:
<quoted text>
If you want a language to define your nation then come up with one different than the language of the nation you rebelled against back in 1776-83. The only defense anyone seems to give for this ballot measure, and other "English Only" laws, is something to do with some perceived threat that hasn't actually happened. We have done perfectly fine without this law to date; why is it so urgent now? Obviously it is in response to the fact that there is a massive growth of Spanish-based languages on our borders and throughout our industrial and agricultural institutions and is simply a last-ditch effort to hold onto nineteenth century isolationism. Again, I am not particularly worried because the tide of history will gradually shift the United States towards bilingualism. Economics will eventually drive us to recognize the benefits of bilingual education, bilingual advertising, and bilingual government. But for now xenophobic paranoia seems to be driving the debate.
PSL

Boca Raton, FL

#18 Oct 17, 2008
Skelly wrote:
<quoted text> If you want a language to define your nation then come up with one different than the language of the nation you rebelled against back in 1776-83. The only defense anyone seems to give for this ballot measure, and other "English Only" laws, is something to do with some perceived threat that hasn't actually happened. We have done perfectly fine without this law to date; why is it so urgent now? Obviously it is in response to the fact that there is a massive growth of Spanish-based languages on our borders and throughout our industrial and agricultural institutions and is simply a last-ditch effort to hold onto nineteenth century isolationism. Again, I am not particularly worried because the tide of history will gradually shift the United States towards bilingualism. Economics will eventually drive us to recognize the benefits of bilingual education, bilingual advertising, and bilingual government. But for now xenophobic paranoia seems to be driving the debate.
You mean like the Tower of Babel? LMAO

“Assimilate & Speak English!”

Since: Jan 07

Lansing, IL - now: Pomp Bch FL

#19 Oct 17, 2008
Skelly wrote:
<quoted text> If you want a language to define your nation then come up with one different than the language of the nation you rebelled against back in 1776-83.
I want a language to assist in holding the nation together, nothing more. And, why should I "come up with a different one"?? Seems to me that English has worked really well for a very long time. Who are YOU to tell *me* to find a different language?

Lastly, what in God's name are you talking about when you say the one "I" rebelled against in 1776-83? I'd have to be pretty damn old if I rebelled against anything or was alive back in 1776-83.

I didn't rebell against anything back in 1776-83, and obviously everything worked out, English became our language and has been for a very long time. We do not need YOU or any illegal aliens to tell us otherwise or try to say we need to change.
Skelly wrote:
The only defense anyone seems to give for this ballot measure, and other "English Only" laws, is something to do with some perceived threat that hasn't actually happened. We have done perfectly fine without this law to date; why is it so urgent now?
I don't know about your area, but in my area, it's not working out so well, and Florida *has* English as the official language...it's just not enforced. Down here, if you don't speak Spanish, it's damn hard to get a job, much less a good paying job. Almost every job requires Spanish. That is not fair to Americans. I am only lucky I work for myself. I could understand if these were international companies who advertised positions that required contact with other countries, then the additional language would make perfect sense. However, these are jobs in companies located only in Florida or in the United States, having no international contact, and only dealing with local people or people within this country. To require Spanish to cater to illegal aliens is a travesty and discriminates against Americans.
Skelly wrote:
Obviously it is in response to the fact that there is a massive growth of Spanish-based languages on our borders and throughout our industrial and agricultural institutions and is simply a last-ditch effort to hold onto nineteenth century isolationism. Again, I am not particularly worried because the tide of history will gradually shift the United States towards bilingualism. Economics will eventually drive us to recognize the benefits of bilingual education, bilingual advertising, and bilingual government. But for now xenophobic paranoia seems to be driving the debate.
You can take your theories and isolationism nonsense and stuff them.
Tommi

Los Angeles, CA

#20 Oct 17, 2008
Awesome post!
Cheyenne Z wrote:
<quoted text>
Other nations do not necessarily have immigrants and illegal aliens coming from about 200 other nations, speaking about 6000 different languages and dialects.
Sorry, if you want everything printed in 6000 languages you pay for it, the tax payers shouldn't.
If any person in any court in this nation needs an interpreter, you pay for it, don't expect the taxpayers to.
If you want to learn a few languages, fine, good for you.
What if other people want to speak languages you don't want to learn? Like Mandarin, Farci, and Greek.
How does someone who speaks Spanish communicate?
Though English in this nation.
English is our common language, if you want to live here you should learn it.
If you want to be bilingual, in whatever other language (not necessarily Spanish), be bilingual, it's your choice.
We should not have Spanish shoved on us, especially when there are 1.3 billion Chinese just itching to get here for their piece of the American Dream.
If Mexicans can live here and not have to learn English, why can't the Chinese too?
And the Russians?
And the Hindu?
And the Egyptians?
And the Romanians?
And the Thai?
Get the picture?
If they all learn English there is a common denominator in this land, there will be some way to communicate.
This nations laws are written in English, our Constitution is written in English, our Bill of Rights is written in English, none of that is ever going to change.
Anyone who thinks that Spanish is the only foreign language Americans need to learn, or that we need to learn it at all is "close minded". There is a whole world out there, and Spanish is only a tiny part of that whole.
Why aren't you learning some Asian dialect?
That is our future.
Close minded much?

Since: Sep 08

Kansas City, MO

#21 Oct 17, 2008
Rebel wrote:
<quoted text>and discriminates against Americans.
<quoted text>
You can take your theories and isolationism nonsense and stuff them.
Ahhh, that's the American spirit. Isn't democracy great?
PSL

Boca Raton, FL

#22 Oct 17, 2008
Skelly wrote:
<quoted text> Ahhh, that's the American spirit. Isn't democracy great?
Yep Democracy is great. And the people want English as the official language of our land.

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