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Old 06-19-2013, 11:32 AM   #1
LongLiveDisney
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What do you think of people in the United States who speak languages other than English in public places?

My family and I went out shopping the other day and we were speaking in Arabic as we were looking at the clothes. Now, we are Americans and speak fluent English (I was born and raised here) but we speak Arabic at home just as much as English since we are of Arab descent. This lady starts huffing and puffing that "in AMERICA, people should speak ENGLISH," etc. I told her that I can speak whatever language I want in the U.S. and she just walked away muttering to herself.

What do you think? Is it rude to speak languages other than English in public?
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:37 AM   #2
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I love to hear other languages out in public, as it really reinforces to me what a wonderful melting pot of cultures, nationalities and backgrounds this country is, and has been since its inception. Ignore the idiots and speak in whatever language you want to speak.
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:37 AM   #3
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I don't think its rude for you to speak Arabic in public.

Now if you want to talk about press ocho for Spanish or signs, pamphlets or announcements in another language that's another topic.
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:40 AM   #4
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After 4 and a half years here, my German is still only so-so and I cannot really relax and enjoy myself while speaking it--I' be up a creek if it were not okay for me to speak English when speaking to my own family or friends in public here in the US.

I think the only rude person in your scenario was the huffy woman.
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:40 AM   #5
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It doesn't bother me. When the US decides to adopt an official language then people can get all huffy over it. Even then I think it is a dumb thing to be upset over.
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:42 AM   #6
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It doesn't bother me. When the US decides to adopt an official language then people can get all huffy over it. Even then I think it is a dumb thing to be upset over.
Where I live there are signs on businesses and highway billboards that are not in English and many of them do not even use the english alphabet. This means I cannot use that business' services and cannot read the billboards. I wish our country would adopt the official language of English. I'm 100% for bi-lingualism and I don't care what language you speak in public but when it comes down to the marketplace, let's get it together. A country divided cannot stand.

Disclaimer: I am Puerto Rican and am not against any minority.
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Old 06-21-2013, 09:32 PM   #7
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Where I live there are signs on businesses and highway billboards that are not in English and many of them do not even use the english alphabet. This means I cannot use that business' services and cannot read the billboards. I wish our country would adopt the official language of English. I'm 100% for bi-lingualism and I don't care what language you speak in public but when it comes down to the marketplace, let's get it together. A country divided cannot stand.

Disclaimer: I am Puerto Rican and am not against any minority.
I am very curious what you mean by the bolded part. A country divided in the market place can not stand? Are you aware there are numerous countries with multiple languages in use that work perfectly fine? I'd say more, but I'm not sure I'm understanding you correctly.
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:43 AM   #8
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Wow, was that lady rude to say that. I guess she thought you were talking about her right in front of her, huh?

I also love to hear people talking together in other languages.

It makes me sad that my mother who speaks fluent Spanish didn't bother to help us (her children) be bilingual. Back in the 60s it just wasn't something they thought about being important. If she were bringing us up now, I'm pretty sure she would have spoken Spanish to us at home.
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:45 AM   #9
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Now if you want to talk about press ocho for Spanish or signs, pamphlets or announcements in another language that's another topic.
Why is that a another topic?

From your other posts, clearly you perceive yourself to be all about what you perceive to be "the free markets," so you cannot think that private industry should be regulated in that regard, and since the USA has no official, much less legal, language there is clearly no legal justification to have only English on governmental announcements, so what is your objection to having announcements in other languages?
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A_Princess'_Daddy View Post
From your other posts, clearly you perceive yourself to be all about what you perceive to be "the free markets," so you cannot think that private industry should be regulated in that regard, and since the USA has no official, much less legal, language there is clearly no legal justification to have only English on governmental announcements, so what is your objection to having announcements in other languages?
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Old 06-19-2013, 12:08 PM   #11
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To borrow a line from the sage Jefferson, "it neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."



Wilfull cognitive dissonance may be the true perpetual motion machine. Would that we could connect a generator to it...we could air-condition all of Florida.
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Old 06-19-2013, 12:43 PM   #12
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In a typical day on the NYC subway I am likely to hear half a dozen languages other than English, some from immigrants and their families, some from tourists.

I know a lot of people want to kick the UN out of NYC, but it's got nothing to do with the languages spoken there.

I find it ironic that countries like Canada, Belgium, Cyprus, etc. embrace their multi-linguistic culture and officially recognize more than one "official" language, but in this country, where we have no "official' language, there are people who get bent out of shape if someone dares to speak a language other than English.

The OP and her family were speaking Arabic among themselves. The other woman was rude to be eavesdropping on their conversation and even more rude to confront them about something that was none of her business.

I do think it's rude to speak a foreign language in a group setting if not all of the members of the group understand that language.

I agree that it behooves an immigrant population to learn the dominant language of our country, but I don't have a problem accommodating those who don't speak English, or don't speak it well.

And I have a real problem with those who complain about Spanish. Why? well, among other reasons, because Puerto Rico, whose people are born American citizens, is bilingual, recognizing both English and Spanish as "official" languages. Imagine that, a territory of the United States is officially bilingual! Friend of mine got a lot of grief when he applied for a passport at a post office in New Jersey when he presented his birth certificate, issued in Puerto Rico, because the document was in Spanish.
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:51 AM   #13
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I have absolutely no problem with people speaking other languages out in public. Not sure why it would bother anyone.

It does kind of bother me when SIL and her parents speak Spanish to each other at a family gathering. The rest of us don't speak Spanish and I always wonder why they do it. It makes me feel like they're saying things they don't want the rest of us to know about. If that's the case, they shouldn't do it right in front of us.
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Old 06-19-2013, 01:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironpig70 View Post
I don't think its rude for you to speak Arabic in public.

Now if you want to talk about press ocho for Spanish or signs, pamphlets or announcements in another language that's another topic.
Agree
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:41 AM   #15
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I don't see the issue at all with the situation you described. I don't care what language people speak to each other.

I also personally don't think switching to another language when in a group to say something privately is rude either. Just know that someone might speak the other language that you think might not so be careful.

Generally people are way too caught up on the "speak English" garbage and I say that as someone who only knows English and some Italian swear words.
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