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Old 06-21-2013, 09:42 AM   #151
Lorelei Lee
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I work for an international insurance company.

A coworker of mine got a great temporary assignment a few months ago. Two weeks in Italy, at the company's expense, helping our Italian branch clear up a backlog of claims. She had to prove her fluency in Italian in order to qualify for the assignment.

Not a problem for her. She lived in Italy once and is fluent in the language. It probably came easy to her, she's also fluent in Portuguese, as she is the child of Portuguese immigrants and has spent a good deal of time visiting her grandparents in Portugal.

I have to admit I am jealous. I used to have a small degree of fluency in Spanish after many classes in high school and college, but I have forgotten a lot of what I used to know.
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Old 06-21-2013, 09:50 AM   #152
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I think it is very rude to speak a language in front of someone that you know they cannot understand. And it is also rude to talk about person, in front of that person, in any language. Don't do either of those two things and I'm ok with it.
So I guess you would consider it rude for you to speak English while in another country? Or is that different somehow? I'm really curious how someone talking to someone other then yourself in another language is rude.
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Old 06-21-2013, 09:53 AM   #153
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So I guess you would consider it rude for you to speak English while in another country? Or is that different somehow? I'm really curious how someone talking to someone other then yourself in another language is rude.
There's a huge difference between visiting somewhere on vacation and actually living there for an extended period of time.
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Old 06-21-2013, 09:59 AM   #154
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The op mentioned they were in a store. Unless you know the person how would you know how long the person has been there? But really why does it matter. Why does it affect you if you not part of the conversation? I have several Spanish speaking friends. They can all speak English well but do find Spanish easier since its their first language. If 2 of my friends say something to each other in spanish simply because it's easier for them, why should i care?
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:02 AM   #155
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It's a step backwards.

And yes, there is a movement within the Latino community to deliberately NOT assimilate. I have no idea of the percentage it is compared to the community at large.

My German ancestors came to my hometown almost 200 years ago as part of an attempt to create a German "utopia" here in the US. My great-great grandfather even sent a propaganda book back to Germany and was largely credited with recruiting many German immigrants to this area. Ultimately, their utopia was unsuccessful, and they assimilated after a period as outcasts.
I don't know why but the word Latino bugs me. I consider myself Hispanic, not Latina...

Anyway, while there might be a SMALL contingent of the community not assimilating, its a very small percentage. Besides, they can't live in a vacuum for long. Eventually, the older folks will pass on, the next generation will be speaking English as they went to school here.

And people speak of the hispanics being difficult, well, DH's grandmother came from Italy, YEARS ago. The woman spoke maybe 50 English words and couldn't communicate. She just didnt want to learn.

My son is very into Tae Kwon Do, I can tell you the Korean community down here also has a percentage of Koreans that do not speak English. Of course, many are older but that too will pass. Each group has a strong bond with their culture.

My point is that this is not exclusive to Hispanics. I was born here, my parents came over in the 50's. My family assimilated well. I don't have an accent. My kids, sadly, barely speak the language but understand it. While I do find it tiring to encounter Hispanics that just refuse to learn English, its not just a Hispanic situation. There just happens to be more of them and more noticeable.

There are little Italys, Korean Town, Little Havannas everywhere where the signs are in different languages and you can find people that don't speak English.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:02 AM   #156
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Having others speak a different language, I have no issue. What I DO have an issue with is if you decide to live in the US, learn English. But the reverse is also true, if Americans move to another country, then learn that language. I went to Japan for 3 years and learned how to speak Japanese. I think it is the respectful thing to do.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:05 AM   #157
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I don't think some people realize but some of the attitudes on here, like how it's rude to speak another language, is one of the reasons for this whole "ugly american" image that many other parts of the world have. And no I'm not agreeing with that label. But as a Canadian I find it very interesting that when traveling in another country you get a lot of attitude sometimes until they learn that I'm Canadian and not American. When they learn I'm Canadian all of a sudden people become so much more warm and friendly. There is a reason that many Canadians traveling overseas make sure to have a Canadian flag somewhere like on bags.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:11 AM   #158
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Again, I'm sorry but that is simply incorrect. It is an opinion driven by your preconceptions of the past and the present and is not an accurate representation of reality, then or now. You are expecting today's immigrants to assimilate instantly, which is functionally impossible to do on a universal scale and is not what happened, again for the most part, historically. You can cling to your opinions all you want, but that is not what happened in the past nor what is happening in the present according to the totality of the data.

Think of assimilation as an oak tree growing from an acorn. You cannot track it day by day, month by month or even year by year, but in 50 years, you're going to have a big tree and an assimilated culture. You must also keep in mind that assimilation does not mean wholesale adoption of our culture. The immigrants of history who assimilated also injected their cultures and histories into America's evolving culture. If not, we'd all still be Puritans and we certainly wouldn't have the diverse culture that we have now. So assimilation of the "new" immigrant cultures (and they're not actually new, as this country has been exchanging immigrants with Mexico and other Latin American countries for generations) will mean an evolution of American culture, and therefore I'd suggest you get used to that reality, even if you don't choose to like it.
And how are you saying I'm expecting it to be instant when you yourself said they've been coming here for "generations"? I didn't say instantly. You assumed that. I'm fine that we have immigrants (legally, of course) and that we adopt some of their cultures. I love diverse foods and without immigrants of the past, we wouldn't have that here. What I don't like is as Gumbo said, there are those that don't want to even try to assimilate and even like to put down this country. If they don't like it, find somewhere else. It's been working great for America for many generations now.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:12 AM   #159
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I don't think some people realize but some of the attitudes on here, like how it's rude to speak another language, is one of the reasons for this whole "ugly american" image that many other parts of the world have. And no I'm not agreeing with that label. But as a Canadian I find it very interesting that when traveling in another country you get a lot of attitude sometimes until they learn that I'm Canadian and not American. When they learn I'm Canadian all of a sudden people become so much more warm and friendly. There is a reason that many Canadians traveling overseas make sure to have a Canadian flag somewhere like on bags.
So they're treating you poorly in other countries because you're speaking English? Thought it was a just an American thing?
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:14 AM   #160
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So they're treating you poorly in other countries because you're speaking English? Thought it was a just an American thing?
No you get treated poorly when they think you are American. When people learn I'm Canadian I get a lot more respect and hospitality.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:17 AM   #161
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I'm curious how many of you speak Madarin? If we're going to get all upset that we're not accomodating and bilingual, why not require all Americans to learn Mandarin? It is the mostly widely spoken language in the world. If we are to be a truly open society and world market, shouldn't we be able to speak to the most populus nation in the world and not just accomodate our neighbors?
My DD is learning Mandarin. It is offered at our HS. She plans to take it all 4 years of HS and we have found an interesting program at a college she would like to attend. Time will tell if all that happens. it is a VERY difficult language! She loves to have me repeat words because I have a hard time "hearing" the correct pronunciation. It sounds correct to me, but she says no! Sadly, there are only 4 classes (one at each level) at the HS--a school of approx. 1800-2000 students in grades 9-12. I think more kids would take Mandarin, but, they only offer Spanish, French, and German in the MS so most kids just continue in the language they have been studying for two years once they get to HS. (If you take 2 yrs. in MS, you can start at Level 2 in HS foreign language classes.) Also, I think fear of the difficulty keeps some kids away. It is a pretty competitive school grade-wise. My DD says that other kids--even Honors students--always say, "You take Chinese! That must be so hard." She is one of only 2-3 Caucasians in the class. Most of the class of 17 kids are Asian and at least speak it or a version (like Cantonese) at home. Some of the class didn't have high enough grades to continue to Level 2 next year. You needed a final grade of 75--all 4 quarters averaged with the mid-term and final exam--to continue. Fortunately my DD made it! She really needs to put some time studying this summer, though, so she doesn't lose it since she has no opportunities to use it in our daily life. It did get a LOT harder as the year progressed so I hope she can keep her grades up and not have it ruin her overall GPA. I believe that it looks good on her transcript to take it even if she gets a C, but I'm not sure colleges will feel that way. She is our oldest, so we will see!
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:21 AM   #162
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No you get treated poorly when they think you are American. When people learn I'm Canadian I get a lot more respect and hospitality.
That's my point. Other than speaking English what is it you're doing that leads them to believe you're a rude American? If you don't speak and you're not wearing your Canadian flag, what separates you from others surrounding you? It's either your use of the English language or, apparently, you're being rude.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:21 AM   #163
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And how are you saying I'm expecting it to be instant when you yourself said they've been coming here for "generations"? I didn't say instantly. You assumed that. I'm fine that we have immigrants (legally, of course) and that we adopt some of their cultures. I love diverse foods and without immigrants of the past, we wouldn't have that here. What I don't like is as Gumbo said, there are those that don't want to even try to assimilate and even like to put down this country. If they don't like it, find somewhere else. It's been working great for America for many generations now.
Huh? The Hispanics who have been here for generations have assimilated, that's my point. They make up huge portions of the populations of California, Texas, Arizona, Colorado and Florida and are located in every state in the Union, to the point that you clearly don't even notice them anymore. New immigrants are still assimilating specifically because they are still new! You do realize that just because somebody who came here 50 years has now "melted" into the culture doesn't mean that somebody who arrived two years ago will fit in just as well or as easily, regardless of whether they came here from Asia, Europe, Africa or Latin America? Again, you are entitled to your opinions, but not to your own facts. Your fears are not new, nor are they original.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:38 AM   #164
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Huh? The Hispanics who have been here for generations have assimilated, that's my point. They make up huge portions of the populations of California, Texas, Arizona, Colorado and Florida and are located in every state in the Union, to the point that you clearly don't even notice them anymore. New immigrants are still assimilating specifically because they are still new! You do realize that just because somebody who came here 50 years has now "melted" into the culture doesn't mean that somebody who arrived two years ago will fit in just as well or as easily, regardless of whether they came here from Asia, Europe, Africa or Latin America? Again, you are entitled to your opinions, but not to your own facts. Your fears are not new, nor are they original.
I'm afraid of snakes and hieghts, not immigrants.

I do realize the difference in how long someone has been here. I am not two and have an education.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:38 AM   #165
PrincessKsMom

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My DD is learning Mandarin. It is offered at our HS. She plans to take it all 4 years of HS and we have found an interesting program at a college she would like to attend. Time will tell if all that happens. it is a VERY difficult language! She loves to have me repeat words because I have a hard time "hearing" the correct pronunciation. It sounds correct to me, but she says no! Sadly, there are only 4 classes (one at each level) at the HS--a school of approx. 1800-2000 students in grades 9-12. I think more kids would take Mandarin, but, they only offer Spanish, French, and German in the MS so most kids just continue in the language they have been studying for two years once they get to HS. (If you take 2 yrs. in MS, you can start at Level 2 in HS foreign language classes.) Also, I think fear of the difficulty keeps some kids away. It is a pretty competitive school grade-wise. My DD says that other kids--even Honors students--always say, "You take Chinese! That must be so hard." She is one of only 2-3 Caucasians in the class. Most of the class of 17 kids are Asian and at least speak it or a version (like Cantonese) at home. Some of the class didn't have high enough grades to continue to Level 2 next year. You needed a final grade of 75--all 4 quarters averaged with the mid-term and final exam--to continue. Fortunately my DD made it! She really needs to put some time studying this summer, though, so she doesn't lose it since she has no opportunities to use it in our daily life. It did get a LOT harder as the year progressed so I hope she can keep her grades up and not have it ruin her overall GPA. I believe that it looks good on her transcript to take it even if she gets a C, but I'm not sure colleges will feel that way. She is our oldest, so we will see!
Congratulations to your daughter. I've heard it is an extremely hard language to learn but apparently she's doing well. I know so many times kids are worried about their GPA that they tend to shy away from harder classes. Continued success with her Mandarin lessons and her future!
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