Matt Davies by Matt Davies

Matt Davies

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  1. dtroutma

    dtroutma GoComics PRO Member said, over 4 years ago

    I haven’t seen the latest “GOP English only bill”, but have to say that ALL “official” documents, and signage in the U.S. should be “English only”. Vietnamese, Italians, Germans, even the French, have to learn “our” language to get along. Those who do NOT learn enough English to “get by” in society, do NOT “get by” in the society if they don’t understand it’s basic language. English is spoken in every airline control tower in the world. English IS the language of commerce around the world, as recent “activity” in Japan has shown.

    Culturally, it DOES need to be recognized that in Southwest, with many cities named in Spanish, and recognizing the Spanish DID settle a good deal of the U.S. centuries BEFORE the “English speakers”.

    But the language of prior “conservative” attempts to write legislation, have shown a clear bigotry, period. That is NOT what such a bill should accomplish.

    As the Continental Congress DID establish that English should be the national language, NOT German, there is precedent.

  2. Murphy224

    Murphy224 said, over 4 years ago


    Umm….so you do like it? Btw there’s no “bigotry” in the bill.

  3. braindead08

    braindead08 GoComics PRO Member said, over 4 years ago

    Being bilingual is a great thing for individuals. For countries, not so much.
    That said, I’d like to see the substance of the bill. If it’s fair and even-handed, I’d likely support it, even though I know it would not pass.

  4. dtroutma

    dtroutma GoComics PRO Member said, over 4 years ago

    BTW, ALL Americans would benefit by being at least to some degree bi-lingual, if not more. When we don’t regularly use languages, and get older, vocabulary does become a problem, but: Latin, Japanese, German, Vietnamese, and some Spanish, I"ve been exposed to and at times could at least understand some conversation. My son’s English improved considerably when he learned Mandarin, German, Spanish, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, and a smattering of Arabic. The military DOES proved some “cultural expansion”.

    If Americans INSIST on “English only” as THEIR only exposure, they’re losing out on a lot. Well, it does explain their hostility toward all other cultures they refuse to “understand”.

  5. omQ R

    omQ R said, over 4 years ago

    said " I learned it because I wanted to live here and be successful"
    And new immigrants, and old, will have to learn Spanish as well in America’s future in order to be successful. You have a head start, lucky you.

  6. Craig Linder

    Craig Linder said, over 4 years ago

    If we become a bilingual country, I see little harm in that. I think it would be great if most of the U.S. were fluent in more than one language.

    WRT English only, the bill isn’t really necessary. First generation immigrants nearly always continue to speak their original language, but by the second generation nearly everyone speaks English. It’s worked this way in nearly every wave of immigration from non-English-speaking countries. Italians, Vietnamese, Chinese, Homng, German, European Jews (Yiddish), etc. During those prior waves, similar zenophobic responses to these peoples occurred.

    Patience zenophobes, English is the dominant language of the land, it’s not going anywhere. (Bonus points: due to the Hundred Years’ War with France our “English” is riddled with non-Anglo-Saxon words. Shall we purge our language of that foreign influence, or enjoy the additional richness it adds to our expression?)

  7. Craig Linder

    Craig Linder said, over 4 years ago

    My apologies for misspelling Hmong.

  8. lonecat

    lonecat said, over 4 years ago

    If we’re going to make English the official language, could we all please learn to use “supposed to” rather than “suppose to”?

  9. Craig Linder

    Craig Linder said, over 4 years ago

    You have a very active imagination if you think what I said does any of the things that you ascribe to it. Your argument is prima facie without foundation.

    My own ancestors (great grandparents) came to this country not speaking English. Their young children learned English and their parents’ language. By the time you get to my parents’ generation, no one spoke the original language. It’s a situation that’s been repeated for many groups without their being consigned to a “slave” class.

  10. fritzoid

    fritzoid GoComics PRO Member said, over 4 years ago

    Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Canada, are all officially multilingual. India has twenty three official languages. The official language of Ireland is Irish, although only a minority of the population speak it.

    English isn’t even the official language of the United Kingdom. As Prime Minister, David Lloyd George would sometimes give speeches to Parlaiment in Welsh, knowing full well that most of his audience (particularly members of the Opposition) wouldn’t understand a word he said.

    Yes, it behooves anybody in the US to learn English. And it behooves anybody in the Southwest US to learn Spanish. If you live in San Francisco (as I do), it’s useful to know Cantonese (although I don’t). Where you have large immigrant populations, it’s just common sense to have street signs, public notices, and yes ballots in the languages of the people who actually live there.

  11. omQ R

    omQ R said, over 4 years ago

    It is often the case that those that need to learn another language the most, cannot, not “won’t”. I’m presuming migrants with a professional background are not the ones folks are complaining about. They typically can and do learn the host nation’s primary language. Like Jeff Kiser.
    As someone whose mother-tongue is not English but started speaking it fluently from the age of 5, I was often annoyed and sometimes ashamed even, when some of my compatriots could not speak English. My father would often be called on to provide translations or act as an interpreter for job contracts, interviews, doctor’s appointments and school meetings for others. If my parents could learn a new foreign language (my father had learnt French in school as his 2nd language, not English) why couldn’t others make the effort? It was only until very recently that I realised why it was.
    Quite simply many do not have the “tools” to learn a new language. They don’t have the education. They haven’t been taught to be students.Sure, necessity is a great enabler or teacher but for many, even if it is to their benefit, they won’t be able to. I’m not just speaking of unskilled migrants, also of semi-skilled or skilled artisans.
    Unskilled migrants are more than likely to have had very little or no formal education from their native countries i.e. some are functionally illiterate in their own mother-tongues, never-mind expecting them to learn an entirely new language. Many also do not have the time even if there are free language classes available in their community; they juggle several jobs to make ends meet.
    Many migrant artisans learnt their skills in vocational schools, institutes or apprenticeships, not academic schools; and therefore lack tools to learn more academic subjects, like a language.. I’ve spoken to many in my community and discovered how afraid they are to “return” to a class-room. They regard educated people as a higher class, an elite and have no confidence in being able to go “back to school”. This self-imposed barrier is what needs to be broken. They need to be shown they can learn a new language despite lacking formal education. Until then, they will continue to isolate themselves in their own communities and remain dependant on compatriots who do speak the language (often fleecing the less able).
    Adding another barrier like making compulsory a national language isn’t the answer. What needs to be promoted is more Education and providing the opportunities to access that education.
    I wouldn’t worry about 2nd/3rd generation off-spring of migrants. They assimilate automatically without coercion of any sort. However, if they come from a deprived family that doesn’t speak the host nation’s primary language, they’re also more likely not to speak the host nation’s primary language very well either. Vicious circle.

  12. dtroutma

    dtroutma GoComics PRO Member said, over 4 years ago

    A note on “slavery”. We had neighbors move in across the street when we were in Arizona. They were from Boston, and the wife was third generation born in Boston. She spoke not a word of English, only Italian, and THAT is how her husband kept her isolated as his “spouse”. We often forget these enclaves exist in the U.S., and they aren’t all the “Spanish speakers” folks, and especially certain politicians, would have us believe. Speaking the language of the nation you live in, IS critical, at least to the extent of carrying on a conversation, and understanding basic functions of “your world”.

  13. braindead08

    braindead08 GoComics PRO Member said, over 4 years ago

    DrCanuck, last I heard, which was a long time ago, Canada was a bilingual country, english and French. I think back in the 70s or so there was a separatist movement for Quebec to secede. Or something like that.
    I haven’t heard of or thought about bilingual issues in Canada for a long time.
    Is Canada still bilingual, and how have they dealt with the issue?
    Are there any lessons for America?

  14. braindead08

    braindead08 GoComics PRO Member said, over 4 years ago

    Thanks for the thougthful post, JK. I agree with the substance of all of it (except that first paragraph, but that’s kind of off topic)
    I think the bilingual education was a good concept, but was hijacked by people who wanted to make latinos into a faction, rather than have them go through the melting pot process. I think they should melt. I think everybody should melt.
    But then, I believe in racial integration, as well.
    I would also support getting rid of bi-lingual (really multi-lingual) ballots. To say that someone is disenfranchised by not having ballots printed in their native language is wrong, IMO. I mean, does this mean that if there is even one citizen, say an Elbonian, who doesn’t speak English, that an Elbonian language ballot — and voter’s guide — has to be produced?
    Not that I think it should be banned or anything like that, but I think one of the greatest deterrents to melting is foreign language TV, which is a disincentive to learning English, IMO.

  15. zekedog55

    zekedog55 GoComics PRO Member said, over 4 years ago

    A lovely lady from Brazil joined our dojo and mentioned to me how funny (yet telling) she views the following inquiry [launched by our intelligent majority ’muricans]—-

    “How do you say (fill in any word or phrase) in Brazilian?”

    Good Grief.

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