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Old 06-20-2013, 11:50 PM   #121
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Originally Posted by lizabu View Post
Speaking from someone who has nieces and nephews who live is various EU countries, they all speak at least three languages. It's the norm. They actually think its odd to only speak one language.



Right, but you have to admit not being bilingual is a disadvantage. There are jobs you just can't have if you aren't bilingual. Bilingual people get paid a premium for doing the same job as non bilingual people at many companies too.
It's hard to imagine that there is that much of a disadvantage when the bilingualism rate ranges from 5% to 12% in eight of the provinces and only New Brunswick and Quebec are above the average. I did not find any info on the territories . . .
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:54 PM   #122
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OP here. I am truly enjoying reading all of the responses and am pleasantly surprised at how civil we were all able to be so far. Thank you for an insightful discussion.
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Old 06-21-2013, 12:04 AM   #123
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Originally Posted by A_Princess'_Daddy

I understand what you're saying, but they announce and print things in English in Russia, China & Japan, so it's not just the close-knit European nations that do it. I haven't spent much time in South America and have never traveled to Brazil (nearly the size of the contiguous USA) but my understanding is they also freely announce and publish in English and Spanish there, as well.

Interestingly, Mexico also has no official or legal language, and their constitution was recently amended to require a "legal respect" for the other indigenous languages in the nation. They also announce and print things in English in Mexico, despite not having an official language. I wonder why they aren't insecure about that?

Worrying about having to "Press 1 for English" is, I believe, the epitome of a First World Problem...
Uh . . .Brazilians speak Portuguese, not Spanish.
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Old 06-21-2013, 04:33 AM   #124
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Originally Posted by Lorelei Lee

Uh . . .Brazilians speak Portuguese, not Spanish.
I thought that was the point, that Brazil is a large country and yet has things printed in other languages.
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Old 06-21-2013, 05:40 AM   #125
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I thought that was the point, that Brazil is a large country and yet has things printed in other languages.
That's how I read it too.

I have to admit, since I'm so used to announcements in French and English when I fly, I'm always waiting for the French announcement to follow the English when I fly on a US based airline. When I flew to Japan (on a Canadian airline) a little while ago, we got announcements in English, French, and Japanese.

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Right, but you have to admit not being bilingual is a disadvantage. There are jobs you just can't have if you aren't bilingual. Bilingual people get paid a premium for doing the same job as non bilingual people at many companies too.
No, not really. Maybe in some government jobs or service jobs (especially in areas that border Quebec (or other areas with many Francophones)). Very few job descriptions that I've looked at have mentioned French at all and none have made it a requirement. None of the bilingual people with whom I work are being paid a premium because of the skill. Even when flying, not every flight attendant is bilingual (though there is always at least one who is - see my comment about announcements on flights).
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:08 AM   #126
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Originally Posted by Lorelei Lee View Post
Uh . . .Brazilians speak Portuguese, not Spanish.
That was my point, i.e. that they speak Portuguese yet they make announcements in Spanish and English without concern for losing their national identify or official language and that they do the announcements in Spanish because their neighboring countries use Spanish, therefore they embrace those visitors and immigrants rather than worrying that they will lose their national identity by allowing languages other than Portuguese to be used.
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:15 AM   #127
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Originally Posted by JennaDeeDooDah
If I got that bent out of shape every time someone spoke a language other than English here (Texas), I'd be angry almost every time I left my house! Spanish is spoken everywhere down here. You will hear English most often, but it is not at all uncommon to hear people speaking Spanish to each other while they are out shopping, getting lunch, etc. Personally, I would like for the USA to adopt a national language, but even if that were to happen, I would still have no problem with people speaking their native tongue to each other while out in public. It in no way, shape, or form has any effect on me so why would I care? Not sure what this woman's problem was. Clearly, though, she is having a bad day... and might want to stay away from Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, or southern California if hearing a foreign language is that offensive to her.
Gotta add S. FLA to your list!
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:22 AM   #128
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I think most folks do consider it a European language when we think about it. It's just that the majority of the time we hear Spanish spoken, it's coming from someone born in this Hemisphere

Interesting point about Mexican heritage. Most of my time in Mexico has been spent on the Texas border & the overwhelming majority of Mexicans I encountered were clearly of Native American blood, or at least partially so. Must be different in other parts of the country. I had the strangest reaction to showing up with a beard down there. Very few of the men there can grow one. I didn't realize this, so I stuck out like an even bigger sore thumb than usual

'til next time!
My understanding is that the Mexican DNA pool truly has been more of a melting pot than that of the USA, so the majority of Mexicans do have a portion of indigenous heritage, as well (categorized as the Mestizo population, which comprises the vast majority of the population), but if you were able to distill all of its citizens' DNA back to its origins and put it in pots, the majority would go back to European extraction. Certain genetic tendencies, such as eye color and facial hair, are so genetically dominant, however, that they shine through despite their diluted presence in a genetic combination.

Let's not forget the French influence on Mexico, either, which primarily comes through in Mexican cuisine, particularly in the use of sauces and certain cooking techniques.
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:22 AM   #129
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If you were whispering and pointing in another language AT someone who didn't understand, that is rude, but just speaking to each other, um, nope, no law against that. And I don't find it rude.

What I DO find rude is someone coming over and saying that to you!
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:25 AM   #130
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I think people are concerned that immigrants who they see as resistant to assimilate to America, including in language, are somehow going to change American culture. And you know what? They're right...just as every wave of immigration to America has fundamentally changed our culture. We are a nation of immigrants, which is why I love that we don't have an official language: we recognize that so much of our power and strength comes from our heritage as an immigrant nation.

People have always been worried about immigrants changing culture. There have been entire political programs built around this fear: the Know Nothing Party in the 1850s, for example, were founded out of fear of the waves of Irish Catholic immigration. They called themselves nativists and were worried that Catholics were somehow going to ruin America. Did they ruin it? Of course not. But, America was very different before and after the waves of European immigration in the mid-nineteenth century: they were right that things were changing.

As for press 8 for Spanish, I see that as no different than the thousands of urban shops that have been bilingual to cater to recent immigrants: German, Gaelic, Yiddish, Italian,, etc., etc. The difference is that a) the Spanish-speaking immigrant population is more scattered than any immigrant group that's come before, and b) the globalizing effect of technology. We don't rely on signs in storefronts anymore: central numbers for large corporations have to reach many people in many states, so the storefront sign has changed to "press 8 for Spanish."

But I think people are always going to be scared of change, and for a segment of the population, immigration and cultural change will seem like a threat rather than a part of what it means to be an American.
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:27 AM   #131
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My dad was military so I did live overseas several years so I'm used to hearing many languages and now I live in S. Fla so I am immune to it. However, what I don't like is being critized because I don't speak a foreign language - theirs of course! I spent my entire childhood being dragged around the world, at the whim of our government, so my dad could help this country preserve our freedom, so they have the freedom to insult me is what I would like to answer!!!!
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:28 AM   #132
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A_Princess'_Daddy

That was my point, i.e. that they speak Portuguese yet they make announcements in Spanish and English without concern for losing their national identify or official language and that they do the announcements in Spanish because their neighboring countries use Spanish, therefore they embrace those visitors and immigrants rather than worrying that they will lose their national identity by allowing languages other than Portuguese to be used.
Oh, ok, my misunderstanding.
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:32 AM   #133
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Originally Posted by A_Princess'_Daddy View Post
My understanding is that the Mexican DNA pool truly has been more of a melting pot than that of the USA, so the majority of Mexicans do have a portion of indigenous heritage, as well (categorized as the Mestizo population, which comprises the vast majority of the population), but if you were able to distill all of its citizens' DNA back to its origins and put it in pots, the majority would go back to European extraction. Certain genetic tendencies, such as eye color and facial hair, are so genetically dominant, however, that they shine through despite their diluted presence in a genetic combination.

Let's not forget the French influence on Mexico, either, which primarily comes through in Mexican cuisine, particularly in the use of sauces and certain cooking techniques.
Agreed, the Spanish and indigenous people of Mexico seem to have intermingled much more so than the settlers in the US.
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:36 AM   #134
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Originally Posted by A_Princess'_Daddy View Post
That was my point, i.e. that they speak Portuguese yet they make announcements in Spanish and English without concern for losing their national identify or official language and that they do the announcements in Spanish because their neighboring countries use Spanish, therefore they embrace those visitors and immigrants rather than worrying that they will lose their national identity by allowing languages other than Portuguese to be used.
Admittedly, it's been awhile (12 years or so) since I've been to Brazil, but my experience working in the country was actually that Spanish speaking people were looked down upon by many because there was an inherent distrust of those from other South American countries. I don't know if it came from being the only non-Spanish speaking country in the region or what, but I was told by a number of people to make a point of not speaking Spanish to a native Brazilian or they might think you're Argentinian, Chilean, etc.
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:40 AM   #135
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I didn't say it was the official language. It is the language peope that came here for years have been using. Until the last couple decades, the ones moving to this country have been learning that language. They embraced the culture they were moving in to. Now that we are suppose to be politically correct, English speaking citizens are expected to now learn other languages to make others feel more at home.
And that is a problem because??
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