Friday, July 20, 2007

Habla Francais, Sir?

If the truth were to be known, I really don’t give a rat’s ass if we pass a law about a national language or not. English is our language and the second generation picks it up quickly; the first generation never does, not now and not ever. The kids do and they fit right in. If anyone’s really interested, all they have to do is go downstate and look at the official record from a couple hundred years ago; they’re all in German.

What I want is to be able to converse in the languages that are present. My family is Quebecois and I try to keep up with some sort of ability in Canadian French. I visit there occasionally and want to be able to talk to shop keepers and others to the degree that I am able. Among other things, it shows respect – just what we are looking for in our country.

Maybe I will take Spanish lessons. Not classic European Spanish, but whatever the locals speak. I’d like to be able to chat with them, with the old folks who will never be able to master a word of English. Add that to my knowledge of Morse Code and Braille and you’ve got a nice library.

Maybe we can change the old, but true joke: What do you call a person who speaks three languages? Trilingual. Two languages? Bilingual. One language? American. I know people who are proud they know only English and will not learn another language, even though they travel; we are the biggest country and other people probably know English, so why learn anything?

They miss the fun of knowing at least a bit of another language.


Blogger Carole Ann said...

Amen!(I wish I knew how to say that in another language! Hey ... but wait! That IS another language!)

August 16, 2007 11:00 PM  

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